Herbology 101: Meagan’s Herb Popsicles for Crooked Recipes

Hello, All!

Farm Update: Things are great! The tomatoes as setting fruit, I found some itty bitty squashes under some plants, we are tackling the weeds one row at a time. Lettuces are phasing out and the beans are slowly taking hold. People are really digging the teas, and I’m spending my tiny amounts of down time with some pretty awesome growers and friends. Life is beautiful.

And having friends who want to write blog posts for you is probably, like, the coolest thing ever. We have a couple in the queue for ya, but here’s Meagan and these freaking amazing popsicles she’s been making with our herbs!

I spent a good part of the winter lying around Meagan's apartment looking through her box of recipes. Seeing these make me giddy.

Liz Note: I spent a good part of the winter lying around Meagan’s apartment looking through her box of recipes. Seeing these make me giddy.

I love Saturdays. Before, Saturdays were the day I wanted my mind to turn off and I wanted nothing more than to sit and do. absolutely. nothing.

Now, I look forward to enriching my Saturdays. Today, I got up, went to the gym, then headed to the farmers’ market in East falls to spend time with Liz and the lovely Nancy from McCann’s farm and enjoy coconut+black sesame pops while I got to chit chat with people about new and interesting flavor and food pairings. It made me all the more excited to share this recipe with you.

Not to mention we’re now officially in summer and we need any and all excuses to have popsicles!

The recipes I have today can be done one of two ways. The variation with blueberries is absolutely heavenly. I was greatly inspired by a non­vegan recipe for blueberry hyssop ice cream at Crumb Blog (http://www.crumbblog.com/2010/08/i­scream­you­scream­blueberry­hyssop.html). You could easily make this into a very vegan ice cream by letting the “custard” cool completely, then following the instructions for your ice cream maker. You may need to fiddle with the recipe, as I haven’t tried it that way yet­­, but I definitely plan to!

Before we get to the recipe, though, let’s talk about hyssop anise.

It’s possibly one of the most beautiful perennial herbs. Hyssop anise is neither hyssop nor anise, and is in fact part of the genus Agastache­­ or, rather, mint. It does taste like a combination of mint and anise, which is amazing and intriguing. It’s tall (3­-4 ft), has a square stalk with large mint­-like leaves and stunning blue/­purple flowers that shoot right up to the sky. The herb itself is actually a native wildflower and its cultivation GREATLY benefits honey bees! Beekeepers have been planting hyssop anise near hives since the mid­-19th century once they noticed their bees flocking to the flowers in the wild. Hummingbirds love it, as well as butterflies.

And I’m sure you’ll love it, too!

If ya'll ain't following @asteraligator on the Gram, you should be.

If ya’ll ain’t following @asteraligator on the Gram, you should be.

Hyssop Anise­ Lemon Pops

3-­4 handfuls of hyssop anise leaves (about one bunch)
Lemon zest (1­-2 lemons, depending on size and depending on your taste for lemon)
Juice of 1­-2 lemons (again, depending on taste. I like meyer lemons for this, but it’s not necessary)
1 14oz can full fat coconut milk
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup sugar (I used turbinado, but you don’t have to)
1 ⅓ cup water
Variation: ⅔ cup blueberries

1) In a small sauce pan bring sugar, water and leaves and bring to a low boil until sugar is dissolved, about 5 minutes. You don’t want the leaves to get burned in the process, so keep the heat low.
2) Once sugar is dissolved and the liquid begins to smell strongly of hyssop anise, remove from heat and strain into a bowl of to the side. add lemon juice.
3) remove ⅓ of the liquid from your can of coconut milk, mix with corn starch and put the rest of the can in your saucepan over a low heat. Once it starts to get warm (not boiling), add the hyssop lemon juice mixture, stir well.
4) Add lemon zest (and blueberries if you’re going to add them). Stir.
5) Then the reserved coconut milk/corn starch to what’s in the saucepan and stir continuously until it starts to thicken. It will get REALLY thick. Don’t worry! If you start to get clumps of gelatinous goop, turn up the heat ever­so­slightly and stir until they’re gone
6) Remove from heat and continue stirring for a few minutes. Pour into your molds. Add your sticks or mold toppers and freeze for at least 6 hours.
7) ENJOY!

Additionally, I think this herb would go great with mullberries, blackberries, peaches, apricots and plums! Feel free to try new combinations and let me know how it works out!

Thanks, Meagan!

Next up: Our friend Adam shares a garlic scape kimchi! Stay tuuuuuned.

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