Saturday, June 11, 2011

Blackberry Basil Yogurt Popsicles

We had a wonderful beach vacation last week. Thanks to my in-laws for our annual trip to Kiawah Island. While there, my mother in law had the cool idea to freeze lemonade in popsicle molds for the kids to take down to the beach. Absolutely, positively BRILLIANT idea for these hot days. The kids were in heaven...and I have to say, I was a bit jealous the adults didn't get any. But then I saw their joy, and it was ok. Just look at how cute they seem from our beach chairs....

So fast forward to the present: we're back and I got my hiney on Amazon faster than Wienergate made the news...Ok, so that may be stretching it; however, I received my popsicle molds in 2 days (this does bring me to the point of 'Amazon Mom'--if there are any newish moms out there, check it out--wish I'd heard about it sooner. Here's a link.)

My daughter was ecstatic to open and play with these cute molds--they are made by Orka. After reading a lot of popsicle reviews, I decided to go with a quality brand in a smaller size (2 oz) so they can be easily eaten by a 2 year old (and portion control for the mom). Hey, it's summer here from May to October....anything keeping a person cool should be justified.

So while staring inside the fridge (for the tenth time today) and looking out at the basil growing on the porch, I remembered this amazing blackberry-basil flavor combination crisp I made from Barbara Kingsolver's book, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle.

My child is not as big of a yogurt fan as I'd like her to be, so sneaking Greek yogurt into a 'treat' was starting to sound better and better. And local honey got used as a natural sweetener...

And thus, the healthy blackberry basil yogurt popsicles were born. Can't wait to try this recipe with strawberries or raspberries and mint or basil.


Makes 5-6 (2 oz) popsicles
  • 1 (12 oz) container blackberries, rinsed and patted dry (OR 1 pint strawberries, cored and quartered)
  • 1/4 cup honey (agave nectar or raw sugar would work well too)-I used 1/3 cup & it was quite sweet
  • 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • small handful of basil leaves (amounts to a 1-2. Tbsp chopped basil)
  • 1 tsp. freshly squeezed orange or lemon juice
  • *7-8 ounces (~1 cup) Greek-style yogurt (I used fat-free, but any kind is fine) 

Bring the blackberries, honey, basil, vanilla extract, and orange or lemon juice to a simmer in a medium sauce pan. Simmer for approximately 5-8 minutes, or until blackberries are very soft or bubbly. Place fruit mixture into a food processor and pulse a few times, until the fruit mixture is almost pureed, but not completely liquified.

If desired (sort of recommend this actually if you hate berry seeds), push the puree pieces through a fine mesh sieve and discard seeds. Chill the berry puree in the refrigerator until cooled.

Stir the yogurt into the blackberry mixture until combined. Pour the puree into molds and freeze for at least 8 hours, or overnight. To remove the popsicles from the molds, run some warm water over the outside of the mold until you can gently pull/wriggle the popsicle out.

*You can also use regular vanilla yogurt and omit the vanilla extract.

And after an unfortunate spillage incident after the third serving, we learned that even the dog loved these popsicles.

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