Apr 23

Mixed Berry Sorbet Recipe & Half-Marathon Update


Mixed Berry Sorbet Recipes & Half-Marathon Update

“Where are they? Where are they? I just need to see them. Please let me see them.” As I ran down the final stretch of the half-marathon course, all I could think of was finding my family in the cheering crowd corralled behind the metal gates. The sound of my pounding feet and labored breathing filled my ears as I scanned the crowd desperately. And then I heard them and saw them simultaneously. “Go Dara! Go Mum! You can do it, you’re almost there!” That was all I needed. I mustered the last ounce of energy and kicked it into gear for the last block, passing the runner in front of me and stumbling over the finish line in 1:51:04, well ahead of my 1:59:59 goal.

Tears filled my eyes as the kindly volunteer put the finsher’s medal over my head. “I did it. I really did it,” I whispered to myself in disbelief.


As I stood at the starting line a couple of hours earlier, the supportive words of Cindy of Once Upon a Loaf, who is also a certified running coach, rang in my ears. “Don’t be afraid of an aggressive pace if you are warmed up and nothing’s snapping, crackling or popping. Chances are your body will adapt to it after just a bit.” And then, “You’d be suprised what you can do that you thought you couldn’t pace-wise. You can always back off if you go through a bad patch. Go for it!” And I did. I really went for it. I ran like I meant it.

I ran hard in the first half of the race, playing around with that aggressive pace, wondering if I could sustain it for the whole race. Halfway through the run, I started scanning the sidewalk for my friend, Kalyn of Kalyn’s Kitchen, who promised to station herself along the route to cheer me on. And then there she was, clapping and cheering. Thank you, Kalyn! I needed that.

All went well until mile 10. My breathing started to labor and I forced myself to slow down slightly. Just three more miles. Just a walk in the park. Yeah, right. I regained my composure and pushed on through the next mile and a half. And then came the hill, the one between miles 11.5 and 12.5. As my friend said, “Who is the dumb ass that thought it was a good idea to put a hill at the end of a half-marathon and marathon course?!” I concur. I hit the proverbial wall and found that my mind was incapable of sending a signal to my legs to go any faster. How badly I wanted to walk, but I knew I would never start running again if I stopped. So I chose a runner in front of me and stayed focused on her, letting her pace carry me up the hill.


As we turned the last corner, I spotted the finish line. How could five blocks look so long? How was I ever going to make it? I dug deep, deeper than I’ve ever dug before and willed my legs to carry me down the road. “Come on, Dara. You can do it. Don’t give up,” I said out loud to myself. And there was my family…and then the finish line. It was worth every grueling minute of those last miles. It was worth every mile I trained over the last months, every weight I lifted and every calorie I cut. It was the culmination of my journey and an overwhelming feeling of satisfaction overtook me.

The morning was topped off with my husband and I watching our two boys run the kids’ marathon (1 km run). They took off like a shot at the start and sprinted at full speed towards the finish line several minutes later. The looks of excitement and victory on their faces as they clutched their medals was great to see. Hopefully we’ll be watching many more races in the future.

All I craved right after the race was something cold, wet and sweet. This easy sorbet would fit the bill perfectly after a run or on any hot day.

The recipe:
Adjust the amount of agave nectar/honey/sugar in this recipe according to the sweetness of the berries you are using. If you wish, start with a little less sweetener, then taste the mixture after pureeing. If it needs to be sweetened, you can add more at that time.

In a medium bowl, stir together strawberries and sugar. Let the strawberries rest for 15 minutes to release the juices (macerate).

Place strawberries and the juices, and lemon juice in a blender. Puree until the mixture is smooth.

Set fine mesh sieve over the bowl, pour in the strawberry puree and press the juices through the sieve. Discard the solids left in the sieve. Chill in refrigerator for 30 minutes.


Pour strawberry puree into ice cream maker and process according to manufacturer’s instructions.

Transfer to an airtight container and freeze for at least 3 to 4 hours. Let the sorbet sit at room temperature for 15 to 20 minutes before serving.


Other fruit sorbet recipes:
Cookin’ Canuck’s Easy Strawberry Sorbet
The Cilantropist’s (on Cookin’ Canuck) Orange Cantaloupe Sorbet
Food for My Family’s Watermelon Lime Sorbet Slices
Swapna’s Cuisine’s Lemon Sorbet with Mint Leaves

Mixed Berry Sorbet
From the kitchen of Cookin Canuck. www.cookincanuck.com
Serves: Makes about 3 cups
  • 6 cups mixed berries (such as blueberries, blackberries & raspberries)
  • ⅓ cup agave nectar, honey or granulated sugar (or more/less depending on sweetness of fruit)
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  1. In a medium bowl, stir together berries and agave nectar/honey/sugar. Let the berries rest for 15 minutes to release the juices (macerate).
  2. Place the berries and the juices, and lemon juice in a blender. Puree until the mixture is smooth.
  3. Set fine mesh sieve over the bowl, pour in the berry puree and press the juices through the sieve. Discard the solids left in the sieve. Chill in refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  4. Pour berry puree into ice cream maker and process according to manufacturer's instructions.
  5. Transfer to an airtight container and freeze for at least 3 to 4 hours. Serve.
Let the sorbet sit on the counter for 15 to 20 minutes to soften before serving.

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{ 63 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious April 23, 2012 at 2:17 am

Congrats on your half-marathon! And what an awesome time. You did so well, even with that ridiculous hill at the near-end. I’ve recently become a runner and I’m running 6 miles right now but hopefully I can get that up a bit higher so I can run a half-marathon soon. Thanks for the inspiration! And great looking sorbet. I really need to get the kitchenaid attachment.


2 Kathryn April 23, 2012 at 4:05 am

Congratulations on such an amazing achievement!


3 Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar April 23, 2012 at 4:38 am

Congrats Dara!!! You did such an awesome job – what a great time! Keep up the awesome work, you’re a rockstar :)


4 abbi April 23, 2012 at 4:58 am

Congrats, great job on your half!


5 Alex@Spoonful of Sugar Free April 23, 2012 at 5:40 am

Congratulations!!!! That is fantastic!!! You should be so proud 😀


6 shelly (cookies and cups) April 23, 2012 at 6:11 am

YAY! Great job! The thought of finishing a marathon of any variety brings tears to my eyes. Painful tears 😉
I can imagine it was an emotional finish.


7 kelley April 23, 2012 at 6:45 am

Another big congratulations to you! I hope you’re feeling less sore this morning and how great that you got to share the morning with your family! :)


8 Carolyn April 23, 2012 at 6:45 am

Girl, you rocked it. That is a fantastic time! I’d love it if you were nearer to me, we could run together because it sounds like we’d pace well together.


9 Lori @ RecipeGirl April 23, 2012 at 6:51 am

Congrats!!! What an awesome time you made- so great!! I was just happy to finish :) I love that your boys are into it too… I’ve encouraged my son, and he loves to run 5K’s now. yay for you!!!!!


10 bridget {bake at 350} April 23, 2012 at 7:00 am

Dara, I’m standing here at my computer crying! What a GREAT race story! Congrats to you on your awesome time, running the whole way, beating that damn hill, and just signing up for the race in general!!! WOOT!!!

Red-faced runners rule!!!


11 jessica lynn April 23, 2012 at 7:02 am

This post brought tears to my eyes. You don’t know me and I don’t know you, but I’m so proud of you! I’ve completed two half marathons and this post brought me back to those miles and the feeling of seeing the finish line. Congratulations :)


12 Tara @ Chip Chip Hooray April 23, 2012 at 7:03 am

Woohooooo!! Congrats, Dara–what an AMAZING time! I’m so glad your family was there to cheer you to the finish. I hope you celebrated a little, too! 😀


13 Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) April 23, 2012 at 7:07 am

Congratulations! You set out to achieve something, and you did it, and we are all cheering you on!


14 naomi April 23, 2012 at 7:19 am

Congratulations, Dara! What a an awesome accomplishment!


15 Maria April 23, 2012 at 7:19 am

You are amazing! Congratulations on all of your success! You are an inspiration to all! And what a great celebration treat!


16 Winnie April 23, 2012 at 7:23 am

Amazing Dara! A wonderful recap…so proud of you!


17 Jenny Flake April 23, 2012 at 7:27 am

This is really so exciting Dara! So proud of all of your wonderful accomplishments! Keep up the amazing work!


18 Megan {Country Cleaver} April 23, 2012 at 7:46 am

So many congrats on your great race Dara!! You’re an inspiration :) Truly.


19 Rachel @ Baked by Rachel April 23, 2012 at 7:48 am

Congrats Dara! You did amazing :)


20 Sommer@ASpicyPerspective April 23, 2012 at 8:09 am

Dara, That’s so awesome! It feel so good to finally hot a goal like that–especially one that is such a physical challenge.


21 Amber @ The Cook's Sister April 23, 2012 at 8:33 am

Yum! Reading about thismixed berry sorbet is making me hungry! Love the combination of flavours!


22 Kim | At Home With Kim April 23, 2012 at 8:34 am



23 Kathy - Panini Happy April 23, 2012 at 8:44 am

You did it!!! Many congrats to you, Dara – what an accomplishment. :-) YAY!!


24 Alison @ Ingredients, Inc. April 23, 2012 at 9:09 am

congrats Dara! You rock girl!


25 Cassie April 23, 2012 at 9:14 am

Congratulations, Dara. You are such an inspiration!


26 KalynsKitchen April 23, 2012 at 9:20 am

It was so great to see you run by, and how exciting that you beat your goal time by so much! I am thrilled for you.

Love the sound of the berry sorbet. I seem to be having a renewed interest in fruit lately and I would love this.


27 Cindy @ Once Upon a Loaf April 23, 2012 at 9:21 am

YOU. Are just a wonder. Congrats on the huge success of trusting your training and pushing yourself to a new level. As I said, you’re a BIG DOG now! 😉 I love that your kids ran, too – best feeling in the world to enjoy the fun and sport of it as a family, and you and your husband are amazing role models.

And this sorbet looks incredible – I’m thinking next Sunday after the long run! Maybe it will be warm for a change? And Asian quesadillas to go with it. :) Have a great week and recover well!


28 Lana @ Never Enough Thyme April 23, 2012 at 9:22 am

Congratulations, Dara! What an awesome accomplishment. Your journey has been such an inspiration.


29 Carol April 23, 2012 at 9:26 am

Congrats! Finishing a half marathon is such a great feeling!


30 Annalise April 23, 2012 at 9:47 am

What a recap. You are incredible! And then to go home and throw a party? (Which was also awesome, by the way). Way to go Dara!!


31 Charlie April 23, 2012 at 10:17 am

Hi Dara!


How wonderful to come in under your goal! Your family must be so proud of you.
And what a wonderful feeling of accomplishment.

I remember when my DH did the Berlin Marathon (back to back with Paris), and qualified for the Boston marathon. (He shaved off 20 minutes from his Paris time.)
He was on cloud nine forever! And my pride in him for accomplishing it was boundless.

Have a Joyful Day :~D



32 Barbara | Creative Culinary April 23, 2012 at 10:32 am

I love your story; mostly because I’ve lived it a bit albeit many years ago. To combat the stress of a husband who walked out on our family for a young twit I starting walking every morning. Which led to running a little bit and eventually running a neighborhood 5K within a year…and winning it!

The win was not as big of a deal as the accomplishment of doing something I would never have imagined at one time in my life. Half marathon…never happened! But I enjoy your relating your event and especially how you kept going when you hit that wall…really wish we could have all been there cheering you on (well in some ways we were); what a huge accomplishment.


33 Bev Weidner April 23, 2012 at 11:36 am



34 carmen April 23, 2012 at 11:51 am

Congratulations that’s awesome!!


35 Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking April 23, 2012 at 12:14 pm

Congratulations, Dara!! You should be very proud of yourself!


36 Susie April 23, 2012 at 12:14 pm

Congratulations – and I am sitting here at my desk trying to psych myself up to try to go 3 miles…getting ready for a 5K I’m NOT ready for in 2 weeks!

Thanks for the encouragement.


37 Karen @ Trilogy Edibles April 23, 2012 at 1:26 pm

Congratulations Dara! you’ve done one, now i’m sure you are addicted :)


38 Joanne April 23, 2012 at 1:53 pm

Congratulations Dara. Thanks for taking me along on your 1/2 Marathon journey in your writing, today. I could read the determination and emotion in your words. Thanks for the inspiration.


39 Stephanie @ Girl Versus Dough April 23, 2012 at 1:55 pm

Congrats, Dara! Your story is so inspiring. Keep on keepin’ on, lady!


40 Kristen April 23, 2012 at 2:09 pm

I am so so so proud of you, Dara! You did it and you should be so very proud!! So inspiring. Congrats to you!!!


41 Diane {Created by Diane} April 23, 2012 at 2:14 pm

what a great accomplishment Dara :) wish I could give you a huge hug. Well I’ll save it and give it to you in a couple weeks. Can’t wait to see you!


42 Sara{OneTribeGourmet} April 23, 2012 at 2:20 pm

Congratulations Dara! You are truly an Inspiration! Thank you for sharing your amazing journey with us!


43 Deborah April 23, 2012 at 3:05 pm

Dara, I am so impressed and proud of all you have done. You are a rock star!!


44 Heather @ Bake, Run, Live April 23, 2012 at 3:10 pm

Congratulations on your half-marathon!


45 Danijela April 23, 2012 at 6:15 pm

Beautiful post Dara.


46 Katrina @ In Katrina's Kitchen April 23, 2012 at 7:58 pm

I am over the moon excited and proud of you Dara!


47 marla April 23, 2012 at 9:08 pm

Congrats Dara!! Loved reading all about your 1/2 marathon experience. It is such a huge deal to cross that finish line no matter what length of race. You really have so much to be thankful for. I bet this sorbet was quite the treat to come home too. Congrats to your sweet boys too! xo


48 Sarah | The Cyclist's Wife April 23, 2012 at 9:09 pm

That is an excellent time! Was it your first half?


49 Krista April 23, 2012 at 10:04 pm

Congratulations Dara!!! You are amazing! What an accomplishment. I hope to be where you are someday. Right now I’m at the first leg of the race but I’ll get there…I’m determined.
I’ll have to remember to whip up some of this gorgeous sorbet for a well earned reward.


50 Kimby April 23, 2012 at 10:11 pm

Dara, it’s inspiring to see you set your goals and then exceed them. You’ve hit your stride, literally!


51 Julia {The Roasted Root} April 23, 2012 at 11:42 pm

Congrats! Looks like tons of fun! So happy to hear you beat your goal – shows how strong you are from all that hard work, healthy eating and training. Glad to see the big event went well!


52 Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen April 24, 2012 at 3:31 am

Major congrats Dara, what an accomplishment!


53 Barbara @ Barbara Bakes April 24, 2012 at 7:04 am

Congratulations! Well done! The sorbet looks so cool and refreshing. Can’t wait to try it.


54 SeattleDee April 24, 2012 at 8:59 am

Here’s a cheer and a big “Attagirl!” for all of your recent accomplishments. You are a great example of positive attitude and change.


55 Russell at Chasing Delicious April 24, 2012 at 5:05 pm

Congrats! And I am in awe. Just reading about your run winded me. I guess that means I need to get into shape! This sorbet looks scrumptious too!


56 Sarah L April 24, 2012 at 5:26 pm

Congratulations on your half marathon! I’m so impressed.


57 Monet April 24, 2012 at 7:06 pm

What a wonderful retelling. Biggest congratulations! And this sorbet looks so delicious. I’m glad I finally had a chance to visit. I’ve been just swamped with work and school. But as always, your post brought a smile to my face. Thank you for sharing!


58 Jen at The Three Little Piglets April 24, 2012 at 9:55 pm

That is awesome! Congratulations on such a tremendous accomplishment!


59 Kim Beaulieu April 25, 2012 at 8:22 pm

Dara I am so thrilled for you and proud of you. You give the rest of us hope to make changes in our lives. Great finish too. You rock!


60 Christine MacDonald April 26, 2012 at 6:23 am

Congratulations! What an awesome accomplishment! I started running last August and have done only 2 5K’s and this weekend I’m doing my first 10K. I’m nervous! Can’t imagine doing more than double that mileage!! GOOD FOR YOU!!!!


61 Maureen @ Orgasmic Chef April 28, 2012 at 1:54 am

Congratulations! You are such an inspiration to us all. Your transformation is very exciting. :)

Your sorbet makes me want to squeal. It looks so delicious!


62 Psychgrad April 28, 2012 at 6:18 am

Congratulations on what sounds like a great run!


63 Traci May 7, 2012 at 7:00 am

Great Job! I am training to run a 10k in June and a half by the end of summer. Thanks for the motivation to keep going!


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