Hello and welcome to the new food portion of my blogging life! This site is technically its own, free-standing blog with a separate WordPress installation on my www.natashalh.com domain. I’m sorry to say that means you’ll have to ‘follow’ this blog separately if you want updates because they won’t show up under my Natashalh feed. Following me an additional time isn’t difficult or time-consuming, though, just click this little button =)
I do have to warn you, though, that I’m not your typical ‘food blogger.’ I’ve noticed lots of people like to share beautiful pictures of their tasty creations all throughout the page. This is because it is sort of annoying, and even pretty difficult, to take pictures of a recipe in progress and things in the making usually just aren’t that attractive. I don’t care if it makes my page a little less attractive – I love step by step photos when I’m cooking so I can tell if I’m doing things ‘right.’ That is why my posts have less than beautiful photos of food in the works.
Now that business is out of the way, allow me to introduce my inaugural recipe on this blog. Spring finally showed up this week, which means summer will arrive next week for me in South Carolina. I have always loved frozen desserts and drinks. As a kid, my grandmother and I would make orange popsicles the first night I came to visit the old family farm each summer. Then, I would be allowed to have one a day for as long as they lasted. I could choose when during the day I wanted it, but I couldn’t have more than one unless it was an exceptionally short visit and there were more popsicles than days in my trip!
This simple, but delicious, recipe is a great summer treat, no matter your age. It combines the deliciousness of strawberries with the tang of lemon and a hint of earthiness with the basil. Don’t worry – the basil flavor doesn’t dominate the popsicles; it just adds a little extra depth to the flavor profile. I call it a “no cook” popsicle recipe because it does not call for heating water and sugar together to make a simple syrup. Adding granulated sugar to something you’re going to freeze can turn out grainy and weird, so it does need to be heated. I circumvented this problem by using honey, instead. Besides, what could be more timeless than honey and lemon?
1 quart container of fresh strawberries
6-8 basil leaves
1/2 cup of water
1 lemon, or 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
2-3 tablespoons of honey
1. Find and clean your popsicle molds! If you haven’t used them since last season, this may take some hunting, so go ahead and do it now. This recipe should fill 6-8 molds. My molds have these handy little straws to sip off any meltage and I love them!
2. Measure out about 1.5 cups of whole strawberries and rinse them well. This isn’t an exact sort of thing – use more than half of your quart container, but not quite all. =)
3. Cut the tops off the strawberries and place the de-topped strawberries in your blender.
4. Add 4-6 basil leaves, depending on the size of the leaves and your taste. I originally only used four, but the flavor was hardly noticeable, at all, so I added two more.
5. Add the juice of one lemon, or about 2 tablespoons, 2-3 tablespoons of honey, and half a cup of water.
7. Pour the purred strawberry basil lemonade into your popsicle molds. Remember that you shouldn’t fill them all the way to the top! They will expand as they freeze, so give them a bit of space.
8. If desired, slice a couple additional strawberries and drop the slices down in the popsicle molds for some added fun.
9. Place in your freezer and resist temptation for as long as possible! Ideally, you should let them freeze overnight. I know, it’s a bummer to wait for them.
Aren’t these delightfully easy? They are super delicious, too, and worth the wait. They’re really healthy and should only have about 50 calories a popsicle! Plus, they lack preservatives, corn syrup, artificial colors, funny chemicals you can’t pronounce, and so many of the other ingredients found in grocery store frozen desserts. If you want something ready a little faster, substitute a cup of ice for the half cup of water and blend up a smoothie-like treat on the spot!
What are your favorite popsicle flavors? Do you go for the classic orange, or do you like to branch out a little?