A Taste of Summer

It got to 23 degrees C yesterday.

Summer is settling in and I can see the benefits all around me. My garden is bursting with freshness and my tastebuds are expecting pleasurable delights. One thing I enjoy doing in the summer is making ice-pops. They are a refreshing cooling agent and the perfect indulgence for the season. I personally prefer fruity versions that have as little ingredients as possible. Why overload such a small thing when you can relish simplicity.

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Today I decided to make my fist batch if ice-pops of the season. I had just bought a large bag of frozen strawberries (still waiting for mine to ripen) and had a honeydew melon on hand so didn’t need to go out of my way to purchase any ingredients.

I decided early on to add some herbs too, herbs are lovely to use in non-traditional recipes and bring another depth to the combination of flavours. I chose tarragon to go with the strawberries and basil for the honeydew melon. Mint, thyme, or rosemary would also work in either recipe.

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Instead of using processed sugars in the strawberry ice-pops I also used leaves from my stevia plant to for sweetness, I did not sweeten the honeydew pops but if you want to, use the tiniest amount of sweetener.

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IMG_5948Tarragon lends a nice earth, dark liquorice taste which melds well with the strawberries. I love black liquorice so these are definite a favourite of mine. Basil on the other hand give the honeydew melon a fresh yet slightly spicy undertone.

Your mouth explodes with flavour, but in a subtle sense, you are not overpowered by one flavour but instead all notes play off each other. It is hard to explain exactly but it reminds me of an orchestra playing perfectly in sync, none taking too much control and everyone shinning at the right time.

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Gone are the days of sugar filled icy treats. These are more grown-up and fancy, though children may enjoy them also. I was also thinking that to make them completely grown up, alcohol would be a nice addition, something like champagne or tequila would be my suggestion. For now though, I am sticking to all-ages friendly ice-pops but will need to experiment some more with alcoholic versions.

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Ice-pops
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6 Servings
 
Ingredients
  • 1 Cup strawberries, fresh or frozen
  • 10-15 Whole tarragon leaves, fresh is better but dry will also work
  • 4-5 Whole stevia leaves, or 1 Tsp stevia sugar
  • 2-3 Tbsp coconut water or plain water
  • Splash of balsamic vinegar ( optional)
  • 1 Cup honeydew melon, cut into small cubes
  • ¼ Fresh basil leaves, chopped roughly
Instructions
  1. Strawberry Tarragon Ice-pops:
  2. Simmer all ingredients but vinegar over medium heat until strawberries release most of their juices and it is easy to mash them up.
  3. (optional) Remove from heat and add vinegar.
  4. Remove tarragon and stevia and roughly mash up strawberries.
  5. Pour into ice-pop mold and freeze for 24 hours.
  6. To remove pops from mold, place under warm water until stick can easily be pulled out.
  7. Honeydew Basil Ice-Pops:
  8. Add honeydew melon and basil to blender and blend until smooth.
  9. Pour into ice-pop mold and freeze for 24 hours.
  10. To remove pops from mold, place under warm water until stick can easily be pulled out.

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Enjoy!

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