It’s popsicle season and that is a big deal around my home. That said, these popsicles are a favorite and a constant in my freezer. Of course you can skip the rum and just keep the popsicles as a straight-up fruity ice pop for the kiddos and it’ll be just as good. If you do decide to make two batches, don’t forget to mark one from another. In my house, I mark the kid-friendly pops with a smiley face so there’s never any confusion.
And since these are a favorite, lucky for me strawberries are available year-around with peak season in California starting in March and ending late fall. So I take full advantage of the the year-round crop, but will stock up when when they are in season by freezing them or using strawberries as the base for many of the fruit pops I serve to my family. A good thing, since strawberries have more vitamin C than an orange and its loaded with nutrients.
I usually limit my boys on sweet treats for the day, but these fall under the unlimited category. I let them indulge as the craving arises. That is except for the baby, who would probably eat one popsicle after another until he fell over from overeating.
Thank goodness we live in California where 90% of the nation’s strawberries are grown, so there is no shortage around here. Gotta love California!
¾ cup limeade, divided use or your preferred juice
½ cup white rum
2 lbs strawberries
Place limeade, rum and strawberries in a blender and pulse until smooth; set aside. Place kiwis and remaining ¼ cup of limeade in a blender and pulse until smooth; set aside.
Pour and layer* popsicle molds according to preference. Place foil on top and pierce a small hole in the center of each well. Insert stick and freeze for 4-6 hours or overnight* *
*To layer popsicle, make sure to give the strawberry layer a slight freeze, about 30 minutes, before pouring the kiwi layer on top so it doesn’t blend. The kiwi layer will not need to be freezing before layering with strawberry on top as it will be less dense.
**Freeze time will vary according to freezer setting and how full it is.
Strawberry season is in high gear and luck for all of us as it coincides with ice cream season. With that I’m sharing a mash-up of the two with these Strawberry Ice Cream Sandwiches.
The Strawberry Ice Cream Sandwiches recipe comes together easily with a creamy, no-churn ice cream. You can eat it like that—scooped into a bowl, on a cone, between two cookies or make it into a brownie sandwich like the photo above and below. For what you see here, I went with a box brownie mix for a shortcut. If you go this route, use your preferred brownie mix and prepare it according to the instructions, then pour into a standard bake sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake it for about 15-18 minutes. Then all that is left to do is a quick assembly, chill, slice and serve.
The hardest part comes when there’s one left and a house full of grab-y hands. How does one decide between the 8-year-old or your wife—you don’t. Hold your breath long enough and they’ll work it out. True story.
Lucky for me, I still had nearly a full flat of strawberries, so I made a second round.
Yep, it’s not everyday you are gifted with two flats of strawberries straight from a farmer. But that’s what happens when you travel to a farm to see just how strawberries are harvested.
Can you guess who the farmer is from the city boy?
Yep, Hector is in the boots and he was kind of enough to take us around his farm in Oxnard, CA to talk all about strawberries.
I knew it would be a great, but it turned out even better than I anticipated, so I was glad my 8-year-old came along for an educational field day. And it was way better than he thought. He learned the life cycle of a strawberry from flower to fruit is about 24 days. See the white flower below, at the center is the start of a strawberry that will push its way up and out by growing larger and larger and then turning green to white, pink and eventually red as its ripens on the stem. It seems so logical, right? But who knew unless someone showed you or told you, because in all honesty, I never really thought about it.
After learning that, Hector showed Cole how to properly pick a strawberry—it’s all in a flick of the wrist. Well, as you can imagine, Cole lost no time practicing his newly found strawberry picking skills. Which of course naturally led to him also doing a lot of eating—he ate, and he ate . . . and he ate.
So while he was busy, Hector talked about his year long business that comes down to just a few months of harvesting. He is a second generation farmer who learned the business from his parents. His farm grows organic and non-organic strawberries that end up being shipped throughout California and the west coast.
For more information about Hector and the other California strawberry farmers click here. You can find their personal stories, read about their families and hear about the challenges of farming, from unpredictable weather to some of their favorite ways to enjoy or prepare the crops they grow.
Speaking of personal asides, check out Hector attempting a Kendama big cup to little cup after Cole gave him a two-second lesson on the latest 8-year-old rage. As you can see, he was so gracious and we had such a great time with him.
2 oz. freeze dried strawberries , finely ground to powder
2 cups heavy cream
To roast strawberries: Toss sliced strawberries with sugar, spread onto baking sheet in a single layer. Roast at 375°F for 25 minutes. Remove from oven and transfer to a blender and puree. Transfer the puree to a bowl and chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours or overnight
Preparation: Lightly grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan (this will prevent the plastic wrap from shifting around in the pan) and the line pan with plastic wrap, leaving a 4-inch overhang on each side. Set aside.
Fill a medium saucepan with water and bring to a simmer over medium heat. In a standmixer bowl whisk together egg yolks, whole egg, sugar and salt. Set the bowl over the simmering water, making sure the bottom does not touch the water. Whisk the mixture continuously until it reaches 175°F. Transfer the bowl to the standmixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on medium-high speed until mixture doubles in volume and is cool to the touch. Add the freeze-dried strawberries and beat until well combined. Turn off mixer and fold in strawberry puree. Set aside.
In a second bowl, beat heavy cream until soft peaks form. Add half of the whipped cream to the whipped egg mixture and fold until just streaky. Add in remaining whipped cream and fold until well combined and no streaks remain. Pour the mixture into prepared loaf pan. Cover and freeze for at least 8 hours or overnight.
*Note: The freeze dried strawberries provide are highly concentrated and give this ice cream a bright burst of flavor and provide a nice shot of color. Freeze dried strawberries can be found in most supermarkets or can easily be ordered from Amazon.