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Test Kitchen video tip: Keep cool with simple gelato tips and recipes

Homemade gelato is a simple, tasty remedy for summer's brutal heat.
Keep cool this summer with homemade gelato -- 5 recipes, and no special equipment required

Sometimes, nothing beats the summer heat better than a bowl of cold, creamy gelato. Italian for "ice cream," gelato is almost like standard ice cream, but because it doesn't contain as much air, has a more dense and creamy texture. Best of all? It's simple to make at home.

Unlike many other frozen desserts, gelato doesn't call for any special equipment. All you need are a couple of bowls, a whisk, a blender and a little arm power.

For fresh strawberry gelato, have ready some cleaned berries, a little sugar, water, ice and rock salt. In a blender, combine the strawberries, sugar and water. Blend the ingredients until smooth.

Place the strawberry mixture in a small metal bowl over a larger bowl containing the ice and salt and whip with a hand whisk for about 10 minutes to lighten the texture to a thick, slushy consistency.

Freeze the gelato base for about 1 1/2 hours before serving. That's all there is to it. It's a quick homemade remedy for the summer heat. You can find the recipe for this and other gelato recipes below.

Cooking is fun — at least it should be! No matter how long you’ve been in the kitchen, there is always something new to learn, whether it’s a simple twist on an old technique, or a handy tip to save time and energy. In this series of short videos, I demonstrate a variety of kitchen tips, ranging from how to hold a chef’s knife for maximum control to using a spoon to peel fresh ginger. If you have any gadgets, kitchen tips or questions you'd like me to explore, leave a comment or shoot me an email at noelle.carter@latimes.

STRAWBERRY GELATO (WATER-BASED)

Total time: 20 minutes plus about 1 1/2 hours freezing time | Serves 8 (Makes about 1 quart gelato)

Note: Adapted from Carpigiani Gelato University.

    1 pound cleaned strawberries (fresh or frozen)
    1 cup sugar
    1 1/4 cups water
    1 1/2 pounds ice
    1 pound rock salt

1. In a blender, combine the strawberries, sugar and water. Blend the ingredients until smooth.

2. Place the strawberry mixture in a small metal bowl over a larger bowl containing the ice and salt and whip with a hand whisk for about 10 minutes to lighten the texture, or to desired consistency.

3. Freeze the gelato base for about 1 1/2 hours before serving.

Each serving: 116 calories; 0 protein; 30 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram fiber; 0 fat; 0 cholesterol; 28 grams sugar; 1 mg. sodium.

STRAWBERRY GELATO (MILK-BASED)

Total time: 25 minutes, plus cooling time and 1 1/2 hours freezing time | Serves 8 (Makes about 1 quart gelato)

Note: Adapted from Carpigiani Gelato University.

    1 1/2 cups milk
    2 tablespoons skim milk powder
    1/4 cup heavy cream
    1 3/4 cups sugar, divided
    2 to 3 cups cleaned strawberries (fresh or frozen)
    1 1/2 pounds ice
    1 pound rock salt

1. Prepare the milk base: In a medium saucepan, combine the milk, milk powder, heavy cream and 1 cup sugar. Heat the mixture over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until it comes to a strong simmer, about 7 to 8 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside for 3 hours, up to 2 days refrigerated.

2. In a blender, combine the cooled milk base with the strawberries and remaining three-fourths cup sugar. Blend the ingredients until smooth.

3. Place the strawberry mixture in a small metal bowl over a larger bowl containing the ice and salt and whip with a hand whisk for about 10 minutes to lighten the texture, or to desired consistency.

4. Freeze the gelato base for about 1 1/2 hours before serving.

Each serving: 243 calories; 2 grams protein; 51 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram fiber; 4 grams fat; 3 grams saturated fat; 15 mg. cholesterol; 49 grams sugar; 48 mg. sodium.

LEMON GELATO (WATER-BASED)

Total time: 20 minutes plus 1 1/2 hours freezing time | Serves 8 (Makes about 1 quart gelato)

Note: Adapted from Carpigiani Gelato University.

    1 cup lemon juice, from about 6 lemons
    1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
    2 cups water
    1 cup (3 1/2 ounces) diced apple (about 1 apple), cut into 1/4- to 1/2-inch pieces
    1 1/2 pounds ice
    1 pound rock salt

1. In a blender, combine the lemon juice, sugar, water and diced apple. Blend the ingredients until smooth.

2. Place the lemon mixture in a small metal bowl over a larger bowl containing the ice and salt and whip with a hand whisk for about 10 minutes to lighten the texture, or to desired consistency.

3. Freeze the gelato base for about 1 1/2 hours before serving.

Each serving: 124 calories; 0 protein; 33 grams carbohydrates; 0 fiber; 0 fat; 0 cholesterol; 10 grams sugar; 1 mg. sodium.

CHOCOLATE GELATO

Total time: 40 minutes plus cooling time and about 1 1/2 hours freezing time | Serves 8 (Makes about 1 quart gelato)

Note: Adapted from Carpigiani Gelato University.

    2 cups plus 2 tablespoons milk
    3/4 cup sugar
    2 tablespoons honey
    2 tablespoons skim milk powder
    1 tablespoon cocoa powder
    3 1/2 ounces chocolate, preferably 70% cocoa
    1 1/2 pounds ice
    1 pound rock salt

1. Prepare the chocolate base: In a medium saucepan, combine the milk, sugar, honey, milk powder and cocoa powder. Heat the mixture over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until it comes to a strong simmer, about 7 to 8 minutes. While the mixture is heating, add the chocolate to melt. Remove from heat and set aside for 3 hours, up to 2 days refrigerated.

2. Place the cooled base in a medium aluminum bowl.

3. Place the bowl over a larger bowl of ice and salt and whip the base with a hand whisk for about 10 minutes to lighten the texture; it will be a soft ice cream consistency.

4. Freeze the gelato base for about 1 1/2 hours before serving.

Each of 8 servings: 203 calories; 3 grams protein; 31 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram fiber; 8 grams fat; 5 grams saturated fat; 7 mg. cholesterol; 27 grams sugar; 35 mg. sodium.

PARMESAN GELATO

Total time: 30 minutes plus cooling time and 1 1/2 hours freezing time | Serves 8 (Makes about 1 quart gelato)

Note: Adapted from Carpigiani Gelato University.

    4 1/4 cups milk
    1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons (3 1/2 ounces) heavy cream
    3/4 cup sugar
    1 cup finely grated Parmesan
    1 1/2 pounds ice
    1 pound rock salt

1. Prepare the milk base: In a medium saucepan, combine the milk and heavy cream. Heat the mixture over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until it comes to a strong simmer, about 7 to 8 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside for 3 hours, up to 2 days refrigerated.

2. In a medium aluminum bowl, combine the cooled milk base with the sugar and Parmesan cheese.

3. Place the bowl over a larger bowl containing the ice and salt and whip the mixture with a hand whisk for about 10 minutes to lighten the texture, or to desired consistency.

4. Freeze the gelato base for about 1 1/2 hours before serving.

Each of 8 servings: 241 calories; 8 grams protein; 26 grams carbohydrates; 0 fiber; 12 grams fat; 7 grams saturated fat; 40 mg. cholesterol; 25 grams sugar; 214 mg. sodium.

Love cooking as much as I do? Follow me @noellecarter

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