Strawberry Yogurt Popsicles
Today is a day to celebrate, the first day of summer and the longest day of the year. The sun has even decided to join us for the solstice celebration. As much as I love all the seasons, I certainly long for summer the most. The warmth, the ease of lazy days, BBQs, bike rides and an abundance of fresh food at its peak.
I had the pleasure of sinking my teeth into local strawberries this weekend, a sure sign that summer has arrived. These strawberries are the real deal, the kind that start to soften the moment they are picked, the kind that send red juices dribbling down your chin and the kind that have the most incredible flavour of summer.
I was in Victoria for the weekend and the family was up bright and early Saturday morning with the promise of the first taste of fresh strawberries at the Moss Street Market. Arriving at opening time was worth the effort and we were rewarded with baskets full of juicy red berries from Saanich Organics. They didn’t last long, so Sunday involved a trip to the country in search of more berries to bring back to Vancouver. We found beautiful berries at Dan’s Farm and Oldfield Orchard, needless to say I came home with an armload transported with tremendous care. Fear not Vancouverites, I have heard there will strawberries at the Vancouver Farmers Markets this week too, be sure to get some before they are gone.
The strawberries that haven’t been devoured yet are getting soft and being that it is the first day of summer I decided to make some popsicles. Super simple and very delicious. I adapted the recipe from a David Lebovitz recipe for strawberry frozen yogurt. You could certainly make this recipe into frozen yogurt if you prefer or don’t have popsicle molds but there is something fun about making your own popsicles.
This recipe is very adaptable to whatever berries or fruits are in season. I have made mango ones before and I am certain they would be delightful made with peaches, apricots, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries and the list goes on. You may need to adjust the amount of sweetener based on how sweet your fruit is.
The hardest part of making the popsicles is waiting for them to freeze. It has been a couple of hours now, I think I will sneak off and see if they are ready. The sunny rooftop patio is calling me.
Happy summer and happy cooking!
Strawberry Yogurt Popsicles
This recipe was adapted from a strawberry frozen yogurt recipe from David Lebovitz (http://www.davidlebovitz.com) which is also featured in his amazing book The Perfect Scoop. The original recipe called for sugar, I used wildflower honey instead and reduced the amount by half as the berries were so naturally sweet.
Makes 8 popsicles or about 1 litre of frozen yogurt.
1 pound fresh strawberries, washed and trimmed
1/3 cup honey
1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
Place the cleaned and hulled strawberries in a food processor or blender and puree until smooth. Add the honey, yogurt and lemon juice and blend until combined. Pour the mixture into popsicle molds and freeze until set, about 2-3 hours. Alternatively, chill the mixture in the fridge for 1 hour, then freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturers instructions.
Note: If you like a really smooth popsicle/frozen yogurt, after blending the strawberries press the puree through a fine mesh strainer to remove seeds. Return the strained mixture to the food processor/blender and proceed with the next steps.