By Gina Eykemans
I always seem to forget how hot it gets here in California, until it happens. I’ve come up with a solution to cool things down: slushies! They’re easy to whip up in a blender, made with real fruit and, best of all, ice cold.
When I was a teenager, I used to drive to 7-11 and dish myself out a Cherry-and-Cola Slurpee. The red and brown ice mixed together into a dark brown sugar rush.
But as I get older, I find that I can tolerate sugar less and less. I have a feeling that if I tried to suck down a Slurpee now, my heart might explode. But this doesn’t stop the urge for one of my favorite summer treats. I had to create a slushie that didn’t make me feel like I was about to have a heart attack.
It all started with a watermelon and mint slushie. Since then, I’ve been experimenting with all kinds of fruits and flavor combos to create a formula that you can easily tweak for your own fruity creations. It turns out that it doesn’t take much to make a healthier, satisfying version of this old summer favorite. It’s a simple ratio of fruit, ice and sparkling water.
My favorite part in this process is thinking of fun, creative add-ins once you’ve got your fruits picked out for your base. You can add a few herbs for a flavor pop, some honey to sweeten the deal or a bit of citrus to give it a kick! I’m sure you can think of countless other combos, but I give a few of my favorite add-ins at the end of the recipe below.
Makes 1 slushie
1 1/2 – 2 cups chopped fresh fruit
1 cup ice (plus extra, depending on the type of fruit used)
1/4 cup sparkling water
1/4 Extra herbs, spices or other ingredients for flavoring (see note)
• Cutting board
• Measuring cup
• High-powered blender (or blender strong enough to crush ice)
Wash the fruit and chop it into manageable pieces. Discard any pits. You can leave peels on or remove them, as you prefer. Measure the fruit to make sure you have 1 1/2 to 2 cups total.
Combine the chopped fruit with 1 cup of ice and the sparkling water in a high-powered blender. If you’re using any flavoring extras, like mint or lemon juice, add them now.
Blend on high speed until the ice is completely crushed and the fruit is blended. Check the texture and add more ice or more fruit as needed to reach your desired slushie consistency. If the type of fruit you’re using has more water in it (such as watermelon), it might affect the amount of ice needed. The ratio of 1 1/2 cups fruit to 1 cup ice is a really great starting point.
Slushies are best if sipped right away. They will lose their slushie-like consistency the longer you wait.
You don’t need much to make the flavor pop. If you’re using herbs, a leaf or two will do. If you like things sweet, consider a tablespoon of honey. Here are some other suggestions:
• Mint: Pairs wonderfully with watermelon and other tropical fruits.
• Basil: Gives a lovely punch to berries.
• Honey: Adds some extra sweetness, especially with tart fruits.
• Lime: Fantastic with mango and pretty much everything.
• Lemon: Gives a bit of a frozen lemonade feel to any slushie.
• Vanilla: I added this to my mango slushie and it was heavenly.
• Ginger: If you love ginger as much as I do, it goes with everything.
Gina Eykemans is a writer for TheKitchn.com, a nationally known blog for people who love food and home cooking. Submit any comments or questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.