One of the perks of living in Chicago is the regular sounds of paletas carts roaming through the streets and playgrounds on hot days. Paletas are the Mexican-style ice pops that are either water or milk-based and usually less sweet than the ice pops found in grocery stores. Z and I are partial to the water based versions, packed with exotic flavors like mango and tamarind. But now that I’m in the suburbs (barely!) and these sweets treats are not as readily available, I have to start making my own ice pops. This recipe is inspired by my love of the hibiscus iced tea, also known as jamaica (think huh- maie-kuh) found at local taquerias. This fruity tea combined with strawberries and a dash of lime make my new favorite summer treat – Strawberry Hibiscus Ice Pops.
Have you tried Jamaica before? For those of you new to this treat, hibiscus flowers produce a fruity flavor. It reminds me of a cross between cranberry juice and fruit punch, but without the sweetness. It is usually served iced with a bit of sugar, but never super sweet. I’ve seen recipes that call for dried hibiscus flowers for brewing the tea, but I find that tea bags are much easier to find in stores. Check out the tea section of a larger grocery store, although I have also purchased this tea online.
This is the simplest recipe to throw together. Roughly chopping the strawberries only takes a few minutes and you can do other things while the tea is simmering away or steeping. Simple, right? Getting the mixture into the molds is the hardest part of the process. I recommend chopping the strawberries into smaller pieces, just because they fit in the ice pop molds easily.
|Strawberry Hibiscus Ice Pops|| |
- 1 pound strawberries
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 hibiscus tea bags
- Zest of 1 lime
- Juice of 1 lime
- Add water and sugar to a medium size pot and bring contents up to a simmer.
- Simmer until the sugar is dissolved, stirring occasionally.
- Add tea bags to the syrup and continue to simmer for 3 minutes, or as indicated on the tea package.
- Remove pot from heat and stir in strawberries.
- Allow the mixture to steep for 30 minutes.
- Remove tea bags, squeezing out any liquid back into the pot.
- Stir in lime zest and juice.
- Fill ice pop molds with mixture.
- Freeze 8 hours or overnight.