Red Clover and Saskatoon Berry Pops
What better way to cool down in the summer than with homemade popsicles, especially with freshly harvested fruits and herbs.
I partnered with Katelyn Landry @forijthrills to explore and create a new wild popsicle recipe. Starting with what's in season we made a tea base-pairing Red Clovers with the lovely buds of wild chamomile. In order to have a nice consistency to our popsicles that isn't too icy hard we blended in Saskatoon Berries. It added a lot of sweetness and a nice shade of dark purple, making the popsicles equally beautiful as they are delicious.
The Saskatoon berry, once grew in such abundance in the Saskatchewan region that it inspired the people of that area to take on its name. However, it is also referred to as Serviceberry, shadbush, bilberry, and prairie berry, les poires, and sugar plum. They resemble wild blueberries in size and shape and although the fruit of this native shrub may even taste like blueberries, Saskatoons berries are more closely related to the apple family. Harvesting seasons range between late June and mid-July.
Saskatoon berries are rich in phenolic acid and anthocyanin - antioxidants that help neutralize free radicals and slow oxidative damage in our bodies. Saskatoon berries are also rich in vitamin C, with one cup of berries providing 36% of the recommended daily value. Vitamin C supports collagen production, helps heal wounds, helps our bodies absorb iron, and also acts as an antioxidant.
Both the leaves and flowers of red clover are edible however the flowers are most often more preferred. Red clovers are the tastiest of all clovers species. The flower head is about 2-3 cm in diameter and consists of numerous tiny flowers. These flowers are tubular-shaped and spread outward in different directions. Each flower has 5 narrow petals that are pink or purplish-pink, transitioning to light pink or white toward the base of the flower head. They start blooming in late spring and can be seen blooming right up until October.
Red clover is a rich source of isoflavones - estrogen-like chemicals that are also found in soy and other plants. Some research has suggested that taking red clover isoflavones may reduce symptoms in menopausal women. The concentration of isoflavones found in red clover when used in its natural form (not concentrated in a supplement) is generally safe. However, those with estrogen-sensitive conditions such as female cancers, endometriosis, or uterine fibroids should speak to their primary health care provider before using red clover.
1 cup red clover petals, rinsed
2 tbsp honey, or to taste
2 cups Saskatoon berries
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1. In a pot, bring 3 cups of water to a boil.
2. Remove the pot from heat and place the red clover petals in the water to steep. Set aside to cool.
3. Once the water is cool enough to handle, pour through a strainer to separate the clover petals. Add 2 cups of the clover water to a blender along with the saskatoon berries, lemon juice, and honey (you may have to do this in batches depending on the size of your blender) and blend until the berries are smooth.
4. Pour through a strainer to separate the berry seeds then pour into popsicle molds. Place in the freezer for several hours or overnight. Keep frozen.
5. To remove from the popsicle mold, simply run the outside of the mold under warm water for a few seconds and pull out the popsicle.
Yield: ~ 6 popsicles depending on the size of your molds.