Monday, May 21, 2012

We always say in the Midwest (possibly to make ourselves feel better) that we appreciate the summer so much more than folks who live in warm climates year-round.  

How could a Californian know the joy of the first real spring day?

Could someone from the South really know the excitement of the first day that the pool is open?

As a food-allergy family, we get that same giddiness when we find somewhere we can all safely eat that isn't home.

A couple of years ago, we found an Italian ice parlor that serves a wide range of dairy-free, nut-free frozen treats that are safe for my food-allergic son and appropriate for the rest of my vegan family.  They have a dedicated freezer for their Italian ices and use separate scoops so there's no cross-contamination.

Being able to take my boys for an "ice cream" on a hot day for the first time brought my husband and me to tears (though they were quickly dashed away). 

Yesterday it was over 90 degrees and sunny.  A perfect day for ice cream, right?

Not so much!  Our Italian ice parlor is right near Wrigley Field (our historic baseball park), and we were in the middle of the Crosstown Classic when the Cubs play the White Sox.  There was no way we were going anywhere near there!

Lemon Strawberry Ice

What could we do instead? Make our own Italian ice.  Not only is it vegan and  allergy-friendly, it is refined-sugar-free.  And, my boys got an extra serving of fruit for their dessert, all the while knowing they had helped create a vividly colored, tart yet sweet, refreshing treat!

Before the recipe, though, I want to let you know what we'll be having for Meatless Monday -- a taco bar with all the fixings!  Everyone has fun when they can choose what to add to their own custom taco.

Strawberry Lemonade Italian Ice
Makes 4 generous servings

Juice of 6 lemons
2/3 pounds strawberries, hulled
2 cups melon chunks (I used musk melon, but honeydew would work well, too.)
3 tablespoons agave nectar

Puree all the ingredients in a blender or food processor. (I used my Vita-Mix.)
Freeze in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer's directions.

(If you don't have an ice cream maker,  you can freeze the mixture in a freezer-safe dish.  Every half hour, scrape the mixture with a fork to keep it fluffy.)

I shared this recipe with the Chillin' and Grillin' Event and  Wellness Weekend, Healthy Vegan FridaysAllergy Friendly Friday, Allergy Free Wednesdays, and Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays.

Happy Cooking!

Find more tasty recipes in Welcoming Kitchen: 200 Delicious Allergen and Gluten-free Vegan Recipes.

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  1. Love your blog. So glad I found you!

  2. Thank you, Sarah! You made my day!

  3. Wowsers! This looks and sounds so delicious and refreshing! i love italian ice! Thanks for sharing! i love your blog!

  4. Thank you so much, Gluten Free Happy Tummy!

  5. I don't really like melon, is there anything you could substitute for the melon? I love you blog SO much! I makes me really hungry! Thank you so much! ��

  6. I think that if you used honeydew, you wouldn't taste it, but maybe you could try pineapple or mango. I think you just need a fruit with a little more body to it so it's not too icy.

    1. Thank you! You are an amazing person! Thanks again!

  7. Oh this I will be making it sounds and looks absolutely delicious!!! Thank you for posting!

  8. I hope you like it as much as we do!

  9. Thank you, made these twice. My boys who have gf, dairy, egg, soy, were thankful to have a summer treat. I put them in little plastic containers decorated for summer, they sell at target, in the freezer, and they grab one and take them outside.Eat with friends. Simple, and good. Thanks!

  10. That is such a great idea to freeze it in individual containers so that your kids can have an individual "ice cream!" Thanks for sharing your tip!

  11. That looks so refreshing. I really need to get my ice cream maker out again!

  12. Katherine,
    That's so funny, because I put mine away, and then I'm always so glad when I dig it back out. Nothing beats homemade frozen treats!