Sunday, July 7, 2013

Recipe: Watermelon-Mint and Citrus-Thyme Popsicles

      Come summertime, I am always craving a snack that will help beat the heat. If I had it my way, it would be ice cream every time. But, if you're looking for something a bit more health-conscious, these popsicles may be just the thing. I adapted this recipe from Pinterest, and was pretty satisfied with the outcome. I will apologize in advance for the vague descriptions of the prepping process; I was sort of winging it with this one. Anyways, here's the run-down on this chilly bite:

What you'll need:
A mixing bowl
Popsicle molds
Grater or micro-plane

Watermelon-Mint Popsicle:
Step 1:
Cut your watermelon in half (save the other half for later), then dice it into smaller pieces. Take your mint leaves off of the stem, and chop. Put your watermelon and mint into the mixing bowl. I ended up using about 2-3 tablespoons of mint, but you can adjust depending on how minty you want your popsicles to be! I also used a combination of regular and pineapple-mint, so feel free to try out different variations.

Step 2:
Add a little sugar and lemon juice to your bowl. I only used about a half-teaspoon of sugar, simply because I wanted these to stay "light". You can adjust the amount to fit your desired level of sweetness. If you have a really ripe watermelon, you won't need a lot. The lemon juice is optional, but it does add an additional depth of flavor.

Step three:
Add mixture to blender, and pulse until is well combined/broken down. I left mine with a bit of texture, just to be able to see and taste the mint better. Pour the mixture into your molds, and freeze for at least 3-4 hours or over night.

Citrus-Thyme Popsicle:
Step 1:
Cut 4 lemons and 3 limes in half, and squeeze the juice from them into your mixing bowl. A little trick to getting the most juice from your fruit is to roll them under your palm or pop them into the microwave for 10-15 seconds before cutting them in half. Another tip for avoiding getting seeds into your bowl is to squeeze them with the cut-side up.

Step 2:
Grate a small amount of lemon zest from your left-over halves. I'd say I used about a quarter-teaspoon or so. It really just enhances the lemon juice. Next, take the thyme off of the stem. The easiest way to do this is to run your thumb and index finger down the stem; think back to stripping pine needles off  of their branches(does that make sense?). Don't worry about chopping the thyme, its really tiny already. Throw the zest and thyme into your mixing bowl.

Step 3:
Add sugar and water to your mix, to lesson the sourness. I used about two and half tablespoons of sugar, and a quarter-cup of water. I wanted my popsicles to be tart, but I greatly overestimated the power of sugar; I needed to add way more. Pour the mixture into the blender, and pulse until the herbs are broken down.

Step 4:
Pour mixture into molds and freeze!

     Ta-da! Your treats are done. I really enjoyed these, but I did learn a few things to try differently for next time. I'm going to add a lot more mint into the watermelon popsicles; and possibly let the blended mixture sit overnight before freezing to really get some stronger flavor out of them. For the citrus-thyme popsicles, I'm going to up the sugar, maybe use Sprite instead of water, and try adding orange or grapefruit juice to the mix. 
     I hope you enjoy these, ya'al! I'm so excited to make all of the other flavors that have been a-brewing in my head for Summer. What are some good combos you've found/made?
Until next time,

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