As the days heat up, I am searching for new cooling treats like iced teas, gazpachos (cold soups), and frozen treats. I’ve been especially excited about one frozen treat in particular: herbal popsicles. These yummy goodies are easy to make at home and while they are delicious for adults, they also are a fun way to entice children into the world of herbalism.
Admittedly, when I decided to create an herbal popsicle recipe I immediately became overwhelmed with the options, as there are endless possible fruit and herb combinations.
In the end I decided I wanted a classic lemonade popsicle for a hot summer’s day, combined with the relaxing flavor of lavender. I took my first batch of lavender lemonade popsicles over to a friend’s house and the whole family loved them. Just be sure, I made another batch and took them to yet another family, and they enthusiastically loved them as well.
I am excited to share my new lavender lemonade popsicles recipe with you, but before we get to it, let’s take a closer look at our ingredients…
Loved for many centuries, lavender is still a favorite plant among herbalists and non-herbalists alike. Many people are familiar with lavender’s calming scent, as it is heavily used in bath salts and dream pillows; however, herbalists also use lavender internally (as teas, food or alcohol extract) to gently promote relaxation as well as digestion.
You can use dried or fresh lavender in this recipe. I specifically recommend using Lavandula angustifolia, or any other true lavender with a flavor that you enjoy.
Lavender can easily become unpleasantly bitter or too “perfumey” when taken in teas and food. This recipe infuses just the right amount of lavender into coconut milk, which gives the popsicles a hint of its delicious taste and scent.
When it’s hot out, lemonade becomes many people’s go-to drink, as the tartness of the lemons helps to quench thirst on a hot summer’s day. Traditional Chinese Medicine classifies lemons as cooling as well as enlivening to the digestive system.
In addition to the juice, this recipe uses the zest of the lemons which contains an abundance of healthy phytonutrients. Since we are using the outer peel, or zest, I recommend using organic lemons only.
My family uses honey for practically all of our sweet desires. I love that it’s an entirely local product with many health benefits. In this recipe I instruct you to heat the coconut milk, then remove it from heat before adding the honey. While it is often mistakenly repeated that honey is toxic when heated (it’s not), honey can lose some of its beneficial enzymes when heated for a prolonged period of time.
To enjoy the most benefits from your honey, I recommend purchasing it from a local bee keeper. Not only will you be getting a product superior to what is commonly found in stores, but our local bee keepers often are on the front lines advocating for the bees.
Lavender Lemonade Popsicles
Hints of sweet lavender cream with a tart lemony twist give this popsicle a heavenly taste that both kids and adults will love. To make these you’ll need some type of popsicle mold. This can be something fancy or it can simply be a small paper cup with some popsicle sticks.
If you don’t plan to have these lavender lemonade popsicles right away, after they are completely frozen, remove from the molds and store in an airtight freezer bag (this helps prevent freezer burn).
What you’ll need…
- 1 (13.5-ounce) can full-fat coconut milk
- Pinch of salt
- 1 teaspoon dried or fresh lavender flowers (Lavandula angustifolia)
- 1/3 cup honey (or to taste)
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest (from an organic lemon)
- 1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
Gently heat the coconut milk and salt until it comes to a full simmer. Remove from heat. Stir in the lavender flowers. Cover and steep for 5 minutes.
Strain off the flowers.
While it is still somewhat warm, add the honey, stirring until it is thoroughly combined.
Cool the mixture in the fridge. (I put mine in a large glass measuring cup with a pouring spout.)
Once cooled, stir in the lemon zest and juice.
Pour into popsicle molds (or paper cups). I was lucky to get some help from my honorary nieces.
Place the filled molds in the freezer. (If using paper cups, put the popsicle sticks in 30 to 60 minutes after putting them in the freezer. This way the sticks will stand upright.)
Freeze completely, roughly 4-6 hours.
To remove the popsicles from the molds, run them under warm water briefly, before gently pulling them out of the molds.
Yield: Makes 7 (2-ounce) popsicles