I bought fresh raspberries at the grocery store the other day. To be honest, they aren’t something I usually buy fresh. We eat a lot of berries in our green smoothies but frozen tend to be the best price and easiest to store. The disadvantage to this though is that the flavour of any one fruit isn’t really appreciated. They over-shadow each other and sadly, raspberry usually gets labeled as that sour berry that leaves those annoying seeds in your teeth.
Oddly enough, I have many fond memories associated with raspberries. The first bite of them after not having had them in so long took me right back to my Granny and Papa’s backyard in Scarborough. The summer afternoons we’d spend out there as kids. Playing, eating, gathering together with cousins, aunts, uncles, friends and relatives from near and far. My granny didn’t actually have a raspberry bush. It belonged to the neighbours on the other side of the chain-link fence. My younger brother and I would grab plastic Tupperware bowls from the kitchen, crouch down low and reach our fingers through the holes in that fence to pick only the ripest, rosiest ones off the bush. Looking back I’m not even sure why we bothered to get the bowl. Most of them went directly from the plant to our mouths. The odd time we’d smash them and make ‘raspberry jam’. More often than not though I preferred to eat the berries as is, one by one. Place it on the tip of my tongue, open side down, and squish it flat against the roof of my mouth. This is the best way to enjoy them. Savouring it’s sweet, slightly tart, summery flavour slowly and softly. Chewing? Not even an option.
I’m not sure whether this neighbour ever knew. To this day I bet they had no idea that those raspberries growing along the fence of their mostly neglected and unused backyard are associated with one of the most wonderful, delicious memories of my childhood. Memories also involving Sunday drives in the city, sunburns, side ponytails, jelly shoes, backyard wrestling, the smell of my Granny’s pot roast wafting from the windows of her little house on Craiglee Drive and the sound of her voice in her Irish accent saying “Don’t be picking too many of those raspburries now or the neighbours’ll be cross with ye!”.
I’m always seeing such unique and delicious sounding recipes on Pinterest for various delicious frozen treats and that inspired me to create my own freezer dessert on a stick. I incorporated two of my favourite flavours – raspberry and lime and also made them with the potential to be raw, vegan, dairy free, refined sugar free and paleo friendly. Why? Because I think everyone should enjoy these. Including my own kids who I hope will have some of their own special food related memories because of the things I make.
Luscious Raspberry Lime Freezer Pops – makes 6 large bar style popsicles
– 1.5 cups fresh raspberries
– 1 can full fat coconut milk
– Juice of one lime
– 2 tsp pure vanilla extract (optional)
– 1/4 pure maple syrup or honey.
Pour entire contents of coconut milk into a blender along with the vanilla, lime juice and maple syrup or honey. Blend well until mixture is smooth. Add whole raspberries and blend for a few seconds more. Longer if you want your popsicles smooth, or blend for a shorter time if you want visible fruit chunks. I prefer a little chunk
Pour mixture into popsicle moulds and freeze until bars are solid. When ready to eat, remove from freezer and enjoy!