Need a Cheap Cool Dessert? Make Your Own Shaved Ice!
Last week temperatures here in California soared into the 90s and we needed to cool down. After getting some fat free frozen yogurt we were still feeling hot, so my husband took out our ice shaver and made some shaved ice.
Shaved ice is fairly easy and cheap to make since the main ingredient is simply frozen water. We have a hand-cranked ice shaver that processes ice cubes. There are also ice shaving machines that automatically make ice into snow without manual labor. A blender could also be used to crush ice but the consistency of pureed ice is somewhat different from fluffy snow-like shaved ice.
Shaved ice takes on the flavor of whatever gets added to it so you can be creative with what you add. Here are a couple different types of ice we like to make and eat when the air heats up.
Hawaiian ice - This is basically shaved ice doused with colorful flavored syrups. You can make your own syrups or buy pre-made syrups and create very colorful and tasty ices.
Maiz con hielo (corn with ice) - This dessert is popular in the Philippines and it is basically a mixture of cream corn, shaved ice, milk, and sugar. My husband usually puts the cream corn into a tall tumbler and then adds the shaved ice, milk, and sugar and mixes all of it with a spoon. The amount of sugar and corn we put in is pretty arbitrary.
Red bean shaved ice - This type of ice is pretty popular in Chinese restaurants. It is basically a big bowl of shaved ice with cooked and sweetened red bean, condensed milk, and canned lychees on top. Sometimes people also add things like almond jelly and other fruits.
Halo Halo - This is a shaved ice that means "mix mix" in Tagalog. This is pretty much a freestyle shaved ice that could be topped with all kinds of fruits and beans. Some popular ingredients include red beans, coconut, purple yam, tapioca pearls, and pineapple. Ice cream could also be added.
So there you have it, shaved ice is really a frugal and versatile dessert that really hits the spot on a hot day. It could also be healthy and low fat depending on what ingredients you put into it. Do you have a favorite shaved ice recipe? Feel free to share!