Monday, August 5, 2013

Making Herbal Popsicles at Home - How Tos -day

I have not done a How-to in some time so when I stumbled across this great new kitchen accessory, I just had to share!
 
ZIPSICLES!


A zip seal popsicle bag!  These must have come from the mind of genius.  So innovative and so OBVIOUS!  I wish I had thought of it first.
I love pushup frozen pops.  The King of them -- Jel-Sert http://www.jelsert.com/ is headquartered in the town I first lived in when I came to Illinois, West Chicago.  They call the creation Fla-vor-ice.  We used to call them colors as no one was really sure what flavor they were. But since they are made with sugar and food coloring and almost only sugar we stopped buying them to avoid the calories when our lifestyle became more sedentary.
Now I have a solution to my craving for a quick frozen cool down after a hot day in the garden-- Zipzicle pouches!   zipzicle ordering


Now my recipes for herbal infusions that are awesome frozen can be used to create these treats in a fun and easy way!  And the best part is these can be made with sugar substitutes as well as regular sugar.
And since I ordered my first batch of Zipzicles, I have been experimenting with recipes to make with them.
Here are the steps-- (two recipes are at the bottom.)
Lemon Verbena Sorbetsicles

2 1/2 cups water
2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups chopped lemon verbena
2 tablespoons lemon juice

 

Combine the water, sugar, and lemon verbena in a medium, heavy saucepan, and bring to a boil. Stir the pot until the sugar dissolves.

simmering the lemon verbena in the sugar water
Reduce the heat to medium-low. Allow the pot to simmer for 5 minutes.
 
You can see the green yellow color from the steeped leaves

Remove from the heat and allow the herb-syrup to steep while it cools. 



Refrigerate for 2 hours, or until thoroughly chilled. 



Strain.

Add the lemon juice.


Then pour into zipzicles 

and freeze until hard.  This recipe tastes like lemon ice heaven.  The fresh smell of lemon verbena is captured in the mixture.  And you will love it as a no sugar version too!


Lemon Verbena Sorbetsicles

2 1/2 cups water
2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups chopped lemon verbena
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Combine the water, sugar, and lemon verbena in a medium, heavy saucepan, and bring to a boil. Stir the pot until the sugar dissolves, and then reduce the heat to medium-low. Allow the pot to simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow the herb-syrup to steep while it cools. Refrigerate for 2 hours, or until thoroughly chilled. Strain, add the lemon juice, then pour into zipzicles and freeze until hard.


Pineapple-Lemon Balm Sorbetsicles

This pale yellow and green-flecked frozen treat was adapted from a recipe in Herbs in the Kitchen by Carolyn Dille and Susan Belsinger (Interweave Press, 1992).  The original recipe made 1 ½ quarts, but for sorbetsicles you only need a couple of cups.

2 Tablespoons sugar
¼ cup boiling water
¼ of a ripe pineapple, about ½ pound (you could use 2/3 of a 10 ounce can of pineapple packed in water)
2 Tbls. packed lemon balm leaves

Dissolve the sugar in the boiling water and set aside to cool. Remove the rind from the pineapple and core it. Cut it into chunks and measure 1 to 1 ¼ cups of pineapple. Puree the pineapple with the balm leaves in a food processor, or in a blender. Stir the sugar syrup into the puree and blend well.  Pour the mixture into Zipzicles and freeze for 40 minutes to 1 hour, until very firm.

BigOven has this simple syrup recipe you can make with sugar substitute Splenda.  http://www.bigoven.com/recipe/164356/Sugar-free-Simple-Syrup  I suggest you check it out for all the detailed instructions and information.   

Sugar-free Simple Syrup 
1 cup Sucralose Sweetener; Splenda or similar brand 
1 cup water, boiling 
Dissolve Splenda in water and allow to cool. Strain through a coffee filter to remove sediment. Use wherever a recipe calls for simple syrup. 


To use this in the recipes above –

For Lemon Verbena Sorbetscicles, add ¾ cup chopped Lemon Verbena leaves to the sugar-free simple syrup before you have strained it and allow to cool to room temperature.  Then refrigerate for at least 2 hours.  Strain the syrup, add 1 Tbls lemon juice and freeze in your zipzicles. 

For Pineapple-Lemon Balm Sorbetsicles add the Splenda equivalent of 2 Tbls to ¼ cup of boiling water and make sure the canned pineapple is packed in water, not syrup.  This one was not as good to the hubby’s blood sugar as the Lemon Verbena one was.

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