Strawberry and Basil Popsicles

Strawberry patch

Our strawberry patch is a total overachiever. Especially this summer. Last spring (2012) we moved and replanted about 10 plants into the vegetable garden and they plugged away producing nice juicy sweet strawberry snacks and getting sporadic strawberry feed as a reward. But after settling into their new spot with the help of a big shady rhubarb plant, they have gone berserk this spring/summer. I gave them some extra love this year with regular strawberry feed, and seaweed juice. Plus I tucked them in nice and tight with strawberry straw to help keep the weeds down (not so successfully) and keep the growing strawberries raised off the soil (very successfully). And considering my ability to fatally neglect most indoor plants, I’m super proud of our little patch that has been pumping out a punnet of strawberries each week throughout the summer.

Strawberries

So I decided to put my new popsicle tray to the test, shamefully, I have had it for over a month, but in my defence, Christchurch has not been playing along with popsicle weather this summer. I got flavour inspiration from The Healthy Apple’s recipe here… It’s full of healthy fresh summer flavours. I tweaked the ingredients and whizzed up a batch. Kinda excited that our garden is getting to the point where all ingredients except the green tea were home grown (honey courtesy of a beekeeping friend).

Making popsicles

I loved the flavour but found that the tip (where more of the pulp had settled) was full of flavour and a good texture, but it got a touch more watery and icy further down. So for round two, I tweaked some more, took out some of the water content and added a dash of vodka so it doesn’t freeze as solidly. And then because I can’t help myself. I split the batch after it was blended (before adding the vodka and basil) and heated half of it until boiling (my thinking behind this was to better dissolve the sugar as it is the sugar that helps it have a softer freeze).

Strawberry and basil popsicle

These popsicles are amazing, full of flavour with a softer bite than most homemade popsicles. The strawberries and basils are the star flavours, with the others milling around in the background adding a bit of body. Personally, I love the fresh flavours of the uncooked version and can see these vibrant red sticks of goodness becoming a summer habit (I’m very tempted to up the vodka and make a cocktail slushy version). The popsicles made from the heated mixture, had a sweeter strawberry syrup flavour and would definitely appeal to the kiddies. They also did have the softer texture. Now… what else can I freeze? Any great popsicle ideas out there?

Strawberry and basil popsicles

Strawberry and Basil Popsicles
Makes 8 popsicles

Adapted from: The healthy apple

Ingredients:

400g Strawberries
1/2 cup Green tea (brewed very strong)
Juice of 1 Lemon
3-4 Tblsp Honey (adjust based on sweetness of strawberries)
1 Tbsp finely chopped basil
1 Tsp Vodka
Pinch of salt

Instructions:

Brew your green tea (I make mine very strong to give more flavour as I reduced the water amount) and leave to cool.
Combine all ingredients in food processor/blender and whizz until a smooth puree
Pour into popsicle tray (scoop of any froth and fill 5mm from the top) and freeze until hard, approx 6hrs
Dip tray into warm water up to the bottom of the lid to easily release popsicles.
These last about a week, then they can start to get too hard and freezery tasting.

Hint: make sure the popsicle stick are in straight or the lid can be a b…… to get off. There was swearing and stick breaking and more swearing the first time, due to my lopsided sticks.

Posted in Homemade..., Summer

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