There’s something about the promise of summer that is truly exciting. As the summer months approach and the temperatures start to rise, I start having daydreams about cookouts, light summer salads, and frozen treats: cocktails or otherwise! I find that I always crave lighter meals and snacks when it’s hot and humid. Last summer, I invested in some popsicle molds and started creating different dessert recipes that I could make quickly and keep in my freezer for a little something after dinner.
This particular recipe is perfect for right now because strawberry season is in full swing! I cannot stress enough how much better strawberries are when they are in season. I refuse to buy those tasteless imposter strawberries that you find in February. Ripe, delicious strawberries are worth the wait! As an added bonus, you can get them on sale during the growing season. At this time, their antioxidant potential is at its best and freezing them ensures that they remain at their peak of nutrition. The polyphenols in strawberries are associated with ample health benefits, including the prevention of cardiovascular and cognitive diseases as we age. These fresh popsicles are fat-free, low in sugar, high in calcium and protein, and are sure to satisfy your sweet tooth without weighing you down. Dessert has never been so good for you!
Herbed Strawberry Yogurt Pops
Makes 6 popsicles
2 cups plain nonfat Greek yogurt
1 cup fresh or frozen (thawed) strawberries, chopped
1 tablespoon lemon zest
½ cup honey, to taste
8-10 mint or basil leaves, chiffonade (For instructions on how to perform this technique, try this link: http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Chiffonade/ )
¼ teaspoon grated fresh ginger(optional)
Combine all ingredients in a medium mixing bowl and stir lightly (honey will end up more of a swirl than an incorporated ingredient). Spoon into popsicle molds and freeze until set, about 5 hours. Don’t have molds? Make your own by pouring mixture into a 5-ounce paper cup and placing a popsicle stick in the center.
Leftover smoothie that isn’t quite enough to stash for tomorrow’s breakfast? Making a fruit pop is a great way to keep it from going to waste.
Need an afternoon pick me up? Try blending your leftover morning coffee with some chocolate milk and a banana.
In need of a Happy Hour makeover? Try blending fresh fruit with soda water and a light liquor such as white tequila or rum. Get creative! My favorite is fresh watermelon blended with mint, lime juice and tequila. Sprinkle them with course sea salt right before you enjoy them.
Happy cooking and have a delicious weekend!
Until next time, remember that… there are no excuses when it comes to your health!