popsicles

What could be sweeter in the summertime than enjoying a cool popsicle on a hot day? When the weather’s hot and sticky, there’s just something about a refreshing popsicle that hits the spot more than ice cream. And, you can only drink so much iced tea and lemonade, right?

Amp up the flavor of your popsicles by making homemade versions—with herbs! Herbs add unexpected flavors and pack extra nutrition into your treat. Plus, there won’t be any high fructose corn syrup in sight (like with many store-bought popsicles). Craft these three tasty herbal popsicle recipes this summer. They’re herbalicious!

Layered Strawberry-Basil Popsicles

Scrumptious strawberry combines with bright basil to form these treats that kids and grownups alike will devour. While a bit of effort goes into creating the layers for these popsicles, they just look (and taste!) so lovely that it’s worth the extra time.

Makes 6-8 popsicles depending on the size of the popsicle molds used

Ingredients

Strawberry layer
1 quart organic strawberries
Zest of 1 organic lemon
½ cup simple syrup*
4 large organic basil leaves
Basil layer
¼ cup tofutti sour cream (or Greek yogurt)
¼ cup simple syrup*
12 organic basil leaves

Method

Puree the strawberries, lemon zest, simple syrup and basil leaves in a blender or food processor until smooth. Pour half of the mixture into popsicle molds (they should be approximately 1/3 full). Reserve the remaining strawberry puree. Place the molds in the freezer and freeze until the tops are set, 20-30 minutes.

Combine the tofutti sour cream (or Greek yogurt), simple syrup and basil in a blender or food processor and process until completely smooth. Remove the popsicle molds from the freezer and pour the basil mixture carefully over the strawberry layer. Return the molds to the freezer and freeze until the tops are set, 20-30 minutes.

Remove from the freezer and fill with remaining strawberry puree. If using popsicle molds place the tops on and return to the freezer until frozen solid, at least a couple of hours. If using cups with popsicle sticks, freeze again until the tops are set, insert the sticks, and then freeze until solid.

*Make a simple syrup by combining 1 cup organic sugar with 1 cup water in a small saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally to make sure that the sugar dissolves. Once it boils, remove the syrup from the heat and let cool. Syrup can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a month.

(Recipe adapted from Couldn’t Be Parve. Pictured above.)

Mini Lavender Lemon Pops

You’ll melt when you try these light, lavender pops. Frozen in ice cube trays, these mini popsicles make a quick, refreshing treat.

Makes 3-4 dozen mini popsicles

Ingredients

3 cups water
8-10 tablespoons fresh lavender
1 cup organic lemonade
Ice cube trays
Toothpicks

Method

Boil the water and pour over freshly chopped lavender. Let steep.

Strain the mixture and stir in the lemonade. Pour the mixture into ice cube trays and stick them in the freezer.

When the pops are about halfway frozen, insert toothpicks in each cube. Let freeze until solid.

(Recipe by Kirsten Hudson.)

Lemon Verbena Sun Tea Popsicles

Perfect for the heat of summer, this recipe doesn’t require turning on the stove. You’ll brew your own lemon verbena sun tea, combine it with pineapple juice and freeze the mixture to create these tantalizing popsicles.

Makes 6-8 popsicles

Ingredients

2 cups water
2 tablespoons lemon verbena
1 cup organic pineapple juice
1 mason jar

Method

Combine water and lemon verbena in a mason jar with the lid on. Set the jar in the sun for several hours.

Strain the herbs. Mix the freshly brewed lemon verbena sun tea with the pineapple juice.

Pour the mixture into popsicle molds and freeze until solid.

(Recipe adapted from the Living Awareness Institute.)

Follow Kirsten on Twitter @kirsten_hudsonGoogle+ and Pinterest.

Image: couldntbeparve