We've been ordering CSA baskets recently and I've been enjoying the weekly surprises we'll get. It challenges me to use ingredients I otherwise wouldn't buy and kinda takes you out of your fruit and veggie comfort zone. It's nice. It helps us eat more vegetables and you get to be more involved iwith your community.
Last week we got a couple cantaloupes in our basket. To be honest, I've never been a fan of cantaloupe on its own. The flavor is great, but for me, it's more of a textural issue. It's always a little mushy and they just sit in those fruit salad bowls looking all dilapidated and sad. Now that Winter is behind us, I felt it was only natural to start pulling out my popsicle molds. This recipe is straightforward -- you blend up cantaloupe with a little mint and simple syrup and freeze. If you want, you can dip them in cinnamon sugar before serving -- it adds a nice textural crunch and life can always use a little bit more sugar on top.
CANTALOUPE MINT POPSICLES
(makes 12-14 popsicles)
- 1 cantaloupe, deseeded, skinned and cut
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup sugar
- large handful of mint, cleaned
- cinnamon sugar for garnish
First, start on your mint simple syrup. Grab a small pot and add 1 cup of water and 1 cup of sugar. Mix and make sure that all of the sugar is wet. Place onto stove top over medium high heat and bring to a boil (about 3-4 minutes). You can stir a couple times in between to make sure all the sugar is dissolving. Remove from heat and throw in the mint. Steep for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, cut your cantaloupe and place the pieces in a blender. Strain the simple syrup but keep the mint leaves. Add the simple syrup with the cantaloupe and blend until it becomes a smooth puree. Add the mint leaves and give it a couple quick blends. This way you get some nice chunks of mint and it helps retain the cantaloupe's natural color.
Pour mixture into popsicle molds and place into the freezer. After 15 minutes add the popsicle sticks and freeze overnight. You can skip this step and directly place the sticks into the popsicles after pouring if you are strapped for time.
To serve, remove popsicles from the mold and dip the tops in cinnamon sugar. Feel free to serve these in a glass of sparkling white wine, a Muscato would work well here. To store, place popsicles into resealable sandwich bags and place in freezer. These popsicles can last for up to 6 months.