I planted lemon balm in my herb garden last summer. I planted lemon balm because last June 14th when our local greenhouse closed for the summer (so the employees could tend their own expanding gardens) they were giving the remaining plants away and I would never/could never abandon a live plant.
My garden is typically a 50/50 mix of intentional plants and orphan plants that are given to me by friends and closing greenhouses. I’m both not picky and continually surprised by what pops up the next year. When the lemon balm came back this spring I was overjoyed with its return. If you’ve never seen, or better yet, smelled lemon balm you are in for a pleasant surprise. The scent and flavor is lemony of course, but also minty and green grassy with a hint of thunderstorm. It makes a down right sophisticated glass of iced tea and is completely sublime frozen into popsicles.
Which brings me to the importance of this post—It’s Popsicle Week!! Billy Green of Wit and Vinegar has brought together a gazillion food bloggers to show off their best popsicle creations (as if you didn’t know) and my, my are things getting frosty.
I dedicate my creation to my favorite Mexican paleta flavor–Limón. Paletas de limón are like eating limeade concentrate with a grapefruit spoon, equal parts super-intense and super-refreshing. Add to this the gentle flavors of lemon balm and you have pure summer magic.
Don’t forget to check out the Popsicle Week page all week long for an ever expanding list of popsicle flavors. So far my favorites include Cinnamon and Toasted Almond Dulce de Leche Cheesecake Pops from An Edible Mosaic, London Fog Pops from Erin Made This, and Vegan Sea Salt Caramel Coffee Pops from Dula Notes but there’s going to be like 100 more—which ones are your favorites?
- 1 packed cup lemon balm leaves, divided
- 2 cups water
- 2/3 cups granulated sugar
- 4 (1-inch) strips lime zest
- 1 cup fresh lime juice (about 5 large limes)
- Combine half the lemon balm leaves, water, lime zest, and sugar in a medium saucepan. Set over medium heat and bring to a boil; stirring until sugar dissolves. Cover, remove from heat, and let cool.
- Thinly slice remaining lemon balm leaves. Strain sugar mixture into a 1-quart measuring cup or bowl. Add lime juice and sliced lemon balm leaves.
- Pour into popsicle molds using the measuring cup or funnel and freeze until solid, about 4-5 hours. If you want the leaves to be dispersed in the popsicles, give them a stir every hour for the first 2-3 hours or until too hard to stir.