Looking for a sweet, delicious, and exotic dessert that’s actually good for you? Consider Lychee Ices. They’re fast and simple to make, and they’re the perfect final course for a romantic dinner for two.
Lychee fruit is a relative newcomer in the west, but it has been grown and enjoyed throughout Asia for centuries. Originally native to China, Lychee has a documented history that goes back thousands of years; legend has it that an eighth century emperor set up an elaborate network of riders to rush the fruits across the country to his palace so his favorite concubine could enjoy them at the absolute peak of freshness.
Lychee are valued for the unique sweet-tart flavor of their succulent flesh. The mature fruit is small, rounded, and roughly heart-shaped (which may be one of the reasons they’re traditionally associated with love and romance). Under the thick, bumpy red rind the flesh is a delicate translucent pinkish white.
Fresh lychee may be hard to find in some areas, but most markets carry canned lychee packed in juice which are actually best for ices. the results will be low in calories and high in valuable nutrients. A full cup of lychee fruit weighs in at a very reasonable 125 calories, and it packs enough vitamin C to completely fill the daily requirement for an adult. Lychee is also high in potassium, phosphorus, copper, beta carotene, and fiber.
– two cans of lychee fruit, plus juice
– lime or lemon juice to taste
– a splash of vodka or sweet white wine (completely optional)
– Sliced fruits and/or berries (Kiwi fruits, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, etc.) for layering and garnish
Put canned lychee along with the juice into a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Add the vodka or wine if desired and mix well, then start adjusting the sweetness by adding the lime or lemon juice, mixing well and tasting after each addition.
Pour the mixture into a shallow freezer-safe container and freeze. Check the mixture about once an hour, stirring with a fork each time to keep it from freezing into a solid block; you’re aiming for a sherbet-like consistency.
To serve, remove from the freezer about a half-hour in advance to allow the mix to soften slightly. Layer the lychee ice with the fresh fruit in wine glasses or parfait dishes. A single serving will be just over 100 calories.
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