My favorite dessert started as something I didn’t even think I’d like. Friends presented a bowl with vanilla ice cream and strawberries and a dark, seemingly chocolate glaze poured over the top. But it didn’t smell like chocolate, and I knew the move was far too pedestrian for these foodies. They said it was a balsamic vinegar syrup. I loved balsamic — I mean, I could seriously drink the stuff! — but I wasn’t sure how that was going to go with dessert.
Well, I’m here to tell you it was like sky rockets in flight, after dinner delight all up in my mouth! It’s become my go-to dessert for dinner guests when I want something that appears super fancy but takes less than five minutes to prep and assemble.
Yes, fancy and five minutes in the same sentence!
This summer, I’ve decided to make my favorite dessert a bit more portable. You can’t really bob around in the pool with a big bowl of ice cream, but you can certainly float with a Strawberry Balsamic Drizzle Milkshake in your hand. Or at least I will. I won’t tell you how to spend your swim.
For weeks I’d been craving a real homemade milkshake with nothing more than vanilla ice cream and fresh strawberries. If you haven’t made this simple decadence for yourself, you must. There’s just nothing better.
Use your choice of vanilla “frozen dessert” for this milkshake. I like a reduced-fat natural vanilla bean ice cream; you may like vanilla fro-yo, or even something non dairy. You only need about a cup, so if the splurge is just for you, only buy a pint.
Get the ripest, juiciest, most gorgeous strawberries you can find. It’s summer, you should just have these on hand all the time anyway. These berries not only taste like sunshine is singing right out of their freckled skins, but are a top five food for vitamin C (more than oranges!) and an exceptional source of antioxidants.
The balsamic drizzle is going to feel complicated, but I swear scooping frozen ice cream out of a container will require more of you than this. If you’re making this, or the aforementioned original dessert, it’s a one-to-one measure of balsamic and brown sugar. For our purposes, we used one tablespoon of each. Nutritionally, there’s not much to say about a single tablespoon of this vinegar. However, at least a cup can offer some iron and calcium while being an incredibly low calorie explosive flavor agent. It’s made from pressed grapes like wine, how could you not love it?
The syrup cooks in a small saucepan just long enough for the sugar to melt and the vinegar to thicken in to sweet but tart syrup.
After you’ve blended the ice cream, strawberries, and milk together, pour in to a glass and drizzle the top with the syrup. As you sip down, the two flavors will merge in your straw for a dessert — nay, milkshake — unlike any you’ve ever had. It truly is frozen, sippable bliss in a glass.
All I can say is, you’re welcome.
Fresh Strawberry Balsamic Drizzle Milkshakes
1 cup reduced-fat vanilla ice cream (or choice of vanilla frozen treat)
1 cup, or 8 large, strawberries
1/4 cup skim milk
1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp. light brown sugar
1. Wash and trim the strawberries.
2. In a saucepan over medium-high heat, add the vinegar and sugar. Stir just a minute or two, until the sugar has melted and a syrup has formed.
3. Place the strawberries in a blender with the milk and scoop of ice cream. Blend on high until well combined.
4. Pour in to a glass and drizzle the top with the syrup. Enjoy!!
ALSO TRY THIS:
Watermelon Jalapeno Twist Mojitos
Savory Asparagus and Prosciutto Crepes with Balsamic Reduction
Balsamic and Rosemary Grilled Pork Tenderloin
Recipe by Brandi Koskie; photos by Kacy Meinecke