It's the middle of spring here in NC, which means it's strawberry and blueberry season! There is seriously nothing like locally grown fruit. Growing up, I thought strawberries were meh and blueberries were gross. That's because the ones my mom bought were from California, and they'd been bred to survive the long cross-country journey. Bland, pale and boring. Yuck.
But then I moved to North Carolina. I didn't even know they grew berries here.
These local berries? Holy crap! So good!
Last Saturday, I went to the Charlotte Farmers Market, like I do most weekends. Farmers come from all over the state to sell their stuff, and I love to take advantage. I bought a gallon of strawberries for $10. That's about $2.50 a pound, which is comparable to the best deal at the supermarket. But these are no supermarket strawberries!
Look at all the deliciousness. Red, ripe, and bursting with juicy goodness. Amazeballs.
For those of you who are unfamiliar, paletas are Latin American popsicles made from fresh fruit. They usually contain a lot of sugar, but these are made with honey. These are a nice after-dinner treat on a warm spring or summer evening.
Here are the ingredients:
Rinse and hull your strawberries and put them in your BLENDER. Ignore the pot in the next photo, please. I thought I was going to do this differently. I was wrong, but I was not about to stage this all over again.
Pause to take a picture while toddler eats a few of the strawberries. Offer to make him a bowl of his own.
Add the honey, lemon and water and blend. Pour into popsicle molds. I got these from IKEA for $1.99, but I've seen them everywhere for next to nothing.
Place in freezer. Console crying toddler who thought he was going to get a popsicle NOW.
Notice there's some mix left over! Pour some in a sippy cup to bribe toddler with.
After toddler refuses it and storms off, sigh deeply and make a juice glass for yourself. Add Malibu passion fruit rum (optional). Wipe the honey off your camera and enjoy your tiny daquiri.
I knew my little one loved these when they were made with sugar, but would he like the honey variation? He had one for dessert tonight. He was happily nomming on it and making lots of approving "mmmm" noises. I asked him if I could have a taste.
He stopped and looked at me. "No, Mama. Baby strawberry pop. Baby taste." And without missing a beat, he went back to scarfing it down.
Paleo Strawberry Paletas
makes 6-8 popsicles
- 4 cups (approx 1 lb.) fresh strawberries, hulled and rinsed
- 1/4-1/3 cup honey (add more if you want it sweeter, add less if your strawberries are super ripe)
- 1/2 cup water
- Juice from 1 lemon (about 2 tbsp)
Pour strawberries, honey, water and lemon juice into blender. Puree until desired consistency is reached. Pour into popsicle molds and freeze for 5 hours. When removing the popsicles from the mold, run the mold under warm water for a few seconds. The pops will slide out easily.
Other flavor variations:
- Banana (great for those overripe organic bananas that are ALWAYS on the discounted produce rack)
- Mango-chili (add 1/4 tsp of chili powder to the mix, probably best for grown-ups)