March 10, 2014

Cold & Flu Popsicles with Strawberries, Kale and Thyme


We have been a hot mess of sickness in my home for these past few weeks, and my little sous chef was the last one to get it.  Since all of our weekend plans were shot, I had a little extra time to play in the kitchen.  I wanted to give my baby some relief from her symptoms, so I came up with these cold and flu popsicles.  She thought they were delicious!  I, however, loved them because of the cold and flu fighting ingredients that were used.  Just one cup of strawberries provides you with 160 percent of your daily vitamin C needs.  Kale is loaded with antioxidant vitamins and helps strengthen the immune system.  Thyme is a natural expectorant, so it will help coughs to be more productive.  Lemon is also rich in vitamin C and helps to boost your immune system.  Honey soothes a sore throat and loosens congestion.  Cayenne aids in loosening congestion and clearing your sinus passages.  While studies have not proven whether or not cinnamon helps reduce inflammation and has antioxidant effects, it sure does make these popsicles taste good!  As for the sugar, use your own judgment.  If I was making these for myself, I would have eliminated it completely.  However, strawberries aren't in season right now, so mine weren't very sweet to begin with.  Finally, the popsicles themselves will help to prevent dehydration.  



Ingredients:
Yields 8 popsicles, depending on the size of your popsicle molds


  • 1 lb strawberries, hulled and chopped 
  • 1/4 c honey 
  • Juice of 1 lemon 
  • Zest of 1/2 a lemon 
  • 1/2 c water 
  • 1/4 c plus 2 tbsp sugar, or to taste (depending on the sweetness of the strawberries themselves)
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped 
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon 
  • Optional:  Pinch cayenne pepper 
  • Pinch salt 
  • 1 packed cup fresh kale, chopped 

Directions:

In a medium sauce pan, combine the strawberries, honey, lemon juice, lemon zest, water, sugar, thyme, cinnamon, cayenne, and salt.  Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring frequently.  

Add the kale to the sauce pan and cook until it is wilted down.  Reduce the heat to low.  Process the mixture with an immersion blender or in a food processor, until smooth.  

Note:  If you would like to remove the seeds from the strawberries, use the immersion blender before adding the kale, and then strain the mixture through a  fine mesh sieve.  You may then continue on with the recipe.

Allow the mixture to cool completely.  Pour into popsicle molds and freeze until set, about 4 to 5 hours.  

Enjoy and get well soon!


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