These frozen fruit pops are an upgrade of the ones my mom would make for me when I was young. They were a cool break on a hot summer day that seemed to make everyone happy — me, because they were a sweet treat, and her, because they were relatively good for us kids.
The accompanying recipe builds on that approach but uses fresh pureed fruit rather than juice. That makes the pops more intensely flavorful, with the full, deep essence of blackberry in every frosty bite, and more nutrient-rich. Although the puree is strained of seeds, which removes some of the fruit’s fiber, the bulk of its health benefits are retained. Using whole fruit also allows you to take advantage of the wealth of fresh berries — blueberries would be a nice substitute — in the market this time of year.
But that’s not all. These pops get another layer of flavor from fresh sage. The herb is steeped in hot water and muddled to release its fragrant flavor. Then the infused liquid is added to the blackberry puree along with lemon and honey, and the mixture is poured into molds and frozen. The result is a bold-flavored frozen treat that will make a kid’s summer day but has enough flair to appeal to grown-ups as well.
Krieger blogs and offers a weekly newsletter at www.elliekrieger.com.
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Blackberry Sage Pops
Yield: 6 pops
If your sage leaves come from the garden, be sure to rinse them thoroughly so they’re free of grit. You’ll need 6 popsicle molds or small, freezable cups, plus sticks.
From cookbook author and nutritionist Ellie Krieger.
1/3 cup packed fresh sage leaves
3/4 cup boiling water
1/4 cup honey
3 1/2 cups (12 ounces) fresh or frozen blackberries
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
Place the sage leaves in a small bowl or mug and pour the boiling water over them. Use a wooden spoon to muddle (mash) the leaves slightly, then let steep for 3 minutes. Discard the leaves; stir in the honey until it has dissolved.
Combine the blackberries, the honey-sage water and the lemon juice in a blender; puree until smooth. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer, stirring and pressing with a spatula to extract as much liquid as possible. You should wind up with about 2 cups of strained puree. Discard the solids.
Divide the blackberry puree among 6 pop molds. Insert a wooden stick into each and place in the freezer for at least 5 hours.
Per pop: 70 calories, 0 g protein, 17 g carbohydrates, 0 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 0 mg sodium, 3 g dietary fiber, 14 g sugar