It’s officially summer. Oh, we can all feel it in Los Angeles. The past few days were unusual sizzling HOT! Downtown LA reached 100˚F (37.8˚C). We typically get this hot during August and September. So ridiculous! The good thing is that I live close to the coast, which is always slightly cooler than inland. Even so, it was still hot enough for us to turn on the air conditioning and ate plenty of popsicles. I can tell this summer is going to be a hot one. Therefore, popsicles and ice cream will be my best friends for these couple of months. 🙂
These ice pops will cool you down instantly! They are made with strawberries and hibiscus. Have you tried hibiscus before? It is a flower that you usually brew as tea. It tastes a bit tart like cranberry. They are getting more and more common these days. You can find them in many drinks in stores and restaurants, like Starbucks. Hibiscus has many healthy benefits, like treating cold, loss of appetite, and stomach irritation. Early researches even have found that hibiscus tea can decrease high blood pressure. But yea, the health reason is not why I want to use hibiscus in the pops. It is just because I like how the taste of hibiscus and I think it works well with strawberries. Since hibiscus is pretty tart, it is best to sweetened it. Or like this recipe, turn it into popsicles. These pops are fruity, fragrant, refreshing, and light. They are perfect for summer. I really like them!
Strawberry Hibiscus Ice Pops
– ¼ cup dried hibiscus flowers
– ¾ cup water
– 2 tablespoons sugar
– ½ cup water
– ½ cup sugar
– 2 cups strawberries (rinsed, hulled, and halved)
– 1 cup cold drinking water
– ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons simple syrup
- For the tea, in a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the flowers, water, and sugar. Cover with a lid and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and let it steep for 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, prepare the simple syrup. In another small saucepan over medium heat, combine the water and sugar. Bring to a simmer and the sugar has melted. Remove from heat and let it cool to room temperature.
- Back to the tea, strain the tea through a fine mesh sieve into a glass bowl. Discard the flowers. Let the tea cool to room temperature, about 45 minutes.
- For the juice, in a blender, combine the strawberries, cold water and ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons syrup. Blend until smooth. Strain the juice through a fine mesh sieve to a medium bowl. Discard the seed. Combine the juice and tea. Taste and adjust with more simple syrup if needed.
- Fill the popsicle molds with the strawberry mixture. If using molds that contain sticks or hold wooden ones in place, put on lids and freeze. If using open cup molds, freeze until beginning to set, about 1½ hours, then insert the sticks and put back in freezer.
- After about 8 hours, popsicles are ready. If the popsicles are stuck in the molds, dip the molds in warm water for 10 seconds or so. Remove molds and serve.
- Dried hibiscus flowers can be bought in some tea shops or Amazon.
- If you want to, you can dice up some fresh strawberries and add them to the popsicles when filling up the mold.
- For storage: Place a wax paper around the popsicle and put in a Ziploc bag. They can be kept for at least a few weeks in the freezer. (Maybe even longer!)
(Inspired by Sunset Magazine)