Cooling, Calming, Yummy Herbal Popsicles



Isn't that just what our children (and we) need on a tediously hot afternoon? These are super easy to make. There are a number of different herbs you can use (mint, catnip, chamomile, rose, elder flowers, lavender, etc.) but I prefer hibiscus and lemon balm. Each herb has its own specific properties that may be more or less desirable for you and your family (search the Fab Herb Blogs listed on the right for more, or check out my two favorite herb books for families: The Family Herbal by Rosemary Gladstar and Naturally Healthy Babies and Children by Aviva Jill Romm). The hibiscus gives the popsicles a beautiful dark pink hue and a wonderful tartness that is just perfect for high summer days. It is also cooling, as is the lemon balm, which also relaxes the nervous system and promotes digestion.

What I do is cut the herb teas half and half with organic apple juice (fresh squeezed and not pasteurized would ideal, darn that juicer for breaking and being so expensive to replace...).

Soooo, here's the haps:

1. Make the herbal infusions (long steeping teas). I use cold water for the hibiscus and hot for the lemon balm. I let them sit for at least 4 hours, sometimes overnight. Fresh or dried herbs work. I gather lemon balm from the garden and get hibiscus at the store.

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2. Strain out the herb and combine the teas in a container with half its volume left empty.

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3. Add juice.

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4. Pour into molds. (A funnel is a counter top's best friend here, although as you can see I usually end up spilling it all over anyway).

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5. Freeze.

6. Look adorable while enjoying your popsicle with your new friend Juniper.

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I really like always having these ready to go in the freezer. If I have something I need to get done, Mycie will sit happily in her high chair for up to 20 minutes eating one. Or if she is having a late afternoon it's-way-too-hot meltdown, a popsicle is sure to calm her down (both because of the cooling and calming properties of the herbs, and because it gives her something delicious and fun to focus on). A mama's best friend.

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