June 19, 2021
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I was talking with a friend of mine about creative ways to incorporate tasty teas into summer treats, and since July 4th is right around the corner, I thought it would be fun to make a red white and blue layered popsicle. I put some thought into the flavors that I wanted to incorporate, and which teas would be best to use, so that the layered flavors harmonize with each other. After a few tries, I settled on using raspberries and hibiscus for the red layer, creamy coconut milk in the middle, and Lush Lavender tea for the blue layer. The final product turned out great; it was sweet, tart, with a hint of lemony creaminess, softened with lemongrass and lavender.
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I have been experimenting with tea popsicles for a few years (you can check out my first popsicle recipes here), but I hadn't made one that incorporated layers. YET. I quickly understood that one of the key ingredients for making layered popsicles is PATIENCE. I wasn't patient enough on the first try, and added layer number two before the first one was frozen, which came together in a pink blur. So.... don't rush it. Allow each layer to freeze before adding the next.
Before we get into the actual recipe, there are a few guidelines that you will want to follow so that your popsicles taste great and also have a pleasing texture. What you want to avoid is having your popsicles end up like a hard block of ice.
When you freeze water, the water molecules lock tightly together, which is why ice cubes can be rock-hard. When you're making a frozen treat like popsicles, make sure your recipe includes plenty of any or all of these: fiber, sugar, and fat. The fiber, sugar, and fat molecules wedge themselves between the water molecules, preventing them from bonding tightly together into an ice block.
The fiber component comes from fruits, which can be pureed as smooth or coarse as you like. Even though fruit contains sugar naturally, you will still need to add more, in order to get the correct texture. This is one instance when you can't substitute a packet of stevia. For the sugar component, use simple syrup, maple syrup, honey, coconut nectar, or agave. For the fat, you can use full fat coconut milk, cream (dairy or not), pureed cashews, nut butter, or mashed avocado. If you don't want to use a lot of sugar, you will need to go heavier on the fat and fiber.
Now that you know the guidelines, grab your popsicle molds, and let's go! (I used these BPA-free silicone popsicle molds)
You are going to make the popsicle in layers, starting with the red layer, and adding the white layer once the red layer freezes, and topping it off with the blue layer. Each layer doesn’t have to be 100% solid before adding the next, but it does need to be solid enough to not mix into the next layer. So be patient.
(Note that you will not be inserting the popsicle sticks until the end when you add the final blue layer)
For the red layer, you will need:
Mix the Cranberry Apple Tart tea or hibiscus tea, maple syrup, and raspberries in the blender until smooth.
Use a measuring cup to fill the mold 1/4-1/3 with the red layer. (Save any leftovers for smoothies.) Freeze for at least one hour. While the red layer is chilling, prepare the white layer.
For the white layer, you will need:
Shake the can of coconut milk well before opening, to make sure the fatty cream is fully mixed in. Combine the coconut milk with the lemon juice and the maple syrup. Pour into the mold until it's 2/3 full. Freeze. Again, save any leftovers for smoothies or future popsicle making.
For the blue layer, you will need:
Mix together the butterfly blue pea flower with the Lush Lavender. Brew in 3/4 cup hot water for 2-3 minutes.
Strain out the tea leaves and stir in the 3 tablespoons maple syrup.
Cool the tea in the refrigerator. If you're using the coconut flakes, you can add this now too.
Once the tea is cool, fill the mold the rest of the way with the tea, and insert the popsicle stick. Freeze for several hours or overnight.
PS: If you like this recipe, feel free to share it with your family and friends.
Watch us make these popsicles in this video!
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