popsicles

Honey Lavender Popsicles

My mother has been reiterating a message recently over our phone calls -- "Always take care of yourself. Your health is most important." I'm convinced my mother is Confucius in a disguise you see, she'll often repeat these deep life lessons in simple 1-2 sentence structure that are seemingly so simple yet deafeningly profound.

A few examples:

"Take care of your eyes. Sit too close to TV, read in dark, you go blind."

or

"Skin is most important on woman. You no take care of skin, you old very fast."

and certainly my favorite...

"You eat too much, you get fat."

 

It's easy to become caught up in the natural groove of things -- living in these modern busy lives of ours, we often set aside our health on the back burner. It takes a lot of time, discipline, and maintenance to eat healthy, exercise daily, and somewhere in between, to find free time for yourself.

But should it be that way?

The power of stress is often understated, yet it has become such a prominent part of our every day lives. We all owe ourselves the commitment to stay respectful towards our bodies -- be good to your body and it will be good to you. Sometimes things are just as simple as that.

The weather has been beautiful here in Texas. Our garden is in full bloom, including our lavender that served as inspiration for this recipe. Originally this was made as an ice cream but I decided to go with a lighter version in popsicle form and replaced the sugar and cream with honey and a bit of condensed milk. It's soothing and dreamy in every regard. Enjoy!

 

Honey Lavender Popsicles
Recipe Type: Desserts
Author: Joy Zhang
Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: 15 mins
Total time: 20 mins
Serves: 6
A delightful mixture of honey and lavender makes this popsicle soothing and dreamy. Perfect for Summer!
Ingredients
  • 2 cups purified water
  • 1/4 cup dried lavender
  • 3 T organic condensed milk
  • 2 oz fresh honeycomb or honey
Instructions
  1. Place water in small pot over medium high heat and bring to boil. Add remaining ingredients and stir until dissolved. Remove from heat and steep for 15 minutes. If you want a stronger lavender flavor, steep for 20-30 minutes.
  2. Strain in a container with a lip to make pouring easier. Taste and adjust accordingly. Pour into molds and freeze. Because the mix is very light, the sticks may float. Simply hold them in place using foil and a little creativity. You can also wait 30 minutes or until semi frozen to put the sticks in place.

 

Honey Yogurt Berry Pops

Happy 4th of July folks!  The biggest Summer holiday that celebrates all the important essentials-- swimming, BBQing, soaking up the rays while sipping on some ice cold beer lemonade.  Are yall feeling me?  Aside from getting a day off work, 4th of July is actually one of the most important holidays in America as it celebrates the legal celebration of the Thirteen Colonies from Great Britain.  Pretty big deal guys, without the the Declaration of Independence America wouldn't be the land of dreams and opportunities known to so many people today.

With that in mind, we must be sure to celebrate her marvel and grace that is America.  Raise your glasses this year and celebrate your patriotism to the US of A -- be loud and be proud for being an American no matter what race, color, or religion and make a vow to be the best citizen you can be.  What we have here is beautiful and we should always take the time to cherish and appreciate what our founding fathers have done for us.  I hope you enjoyed that Independence Day PSA, I felt really patriotic after watching Team America last night: I am officially ramped up for this weekend.

Honey Yogurt Berry Pops
Recipe Type: Dessert
Author: Joy Zhang
Serves: 8
Bring on the fireworks, slather on that sunscreen and party hardy with family and loved ones. And if you're experiencing the same sweltering hot weather as we're having in Texas you'll appreciate this recipe for Honey Yogurt Berry Pops. It's a healthy way to stay cool and it literally takes a few minutes to make. I used the Norpro popsicle molds and they worked great, I recommend letting the pops defrost for 3-5 minutes before trying to pop them out.
Ingredients
  • 2 cups 0% Greek Yogurt, I used Fage (Chobani will work as well)
  • 1/2 cup raw honey
  • 1 cup mixed berries, washed (blueberries, strawberries, blackberries)
Instructions
  1. Blend yogurt and honey together in a large bowl. Fold mixed berries in. Transfer into a container with a spout so the mixture can be poured into popsicle molds. Fill popsicle molds close the top and put in popsicle sticks. Freeze for 3 hours or overnight.
  2. You can use any of the remaining mixture and blend it with some ice for a yogurt berry smoothie!

I love the wholesomeness of this recipe -- just 3 simple ingredients: fresh berries, fat free Greek yogurt and raw honey.  It truly is simplicity at its finest.  Since Greek yogurt has a thicker and creamier consistency and flavor than regular yogurts, these popsicles taste absolutely decadent without the guilt.  Using honey as a natural sweetener, it adds a nice floral body to the yogurt and brings out the sweetness of the berries even further.