3 Ingredient Creamy Lime Pops

Citrus season on Burgeson Family Farm always starts with the lime harvest. Before the very hot summers have faded to the crisp days of autumn we treat ourselves to cool lime-centric drinks on the porch in the evening: gin and tonic, greyhound and margarita cocktails and sparkling water on ice with generous wedges of lime plucked from the tree just minutes before. When I walk by the trees, laden with fruit, it is almost impossible for me to resist grabbing a lime, scratching the aromatic rind and inhaling the intoxicating aroma. We load our car with bags of limes to sell at the farmer’s market and farm stand at Garden Earth Farms, our sister farm in Santa Rosa, and the drive to deliver is like 2 hours of aromatherapy.

limes with flowers

Limes on the trees at Burgeson Family Farm. Note the bees are at work pollinating a new crop which will be ready in the spring. It is uncommon for us to have 2 crops in one year but it looks like it will happen this year.

This is the pop recipe that “started it all”, the pop obsession in our family. Lime pops are so cool, creamy and tart; it takes only 3 ingredients and minutes to make the mix, and to me they are more satisfying and delicious than a key lime pie.  This recipe will work with any limes, either the small little Key limes with their intense acidity and aroma and multitude of tiny seeds, or the big juicy seedless Bearss limes, or even store bought supermarket Mexican limes.

key and bearss limes

Key limes on the left and Bearss limes on the right

(Many people think that only key limes are yellow but all limes will turn more yellow when they are very ripe. Note the Bearrs limes are actually more yellow than the Key limes.)

If there is a farmer in your area growing limes, I urge you to  buy some at least once to make this, or your cocktails, with them.  Most of the limes in the grocery stores are shipped from Mexico, and they are far from freshly picked. The oils in the zest of a freshly picked lime add so much to the flavor of this recipe. You may want to keep one on hand to “scratch and sniff” for a pick me up.

3 Ingredient Creamy Lime Pop Recipe

For this recipe you need only 3 ingredients:

Limes (4-5 large ones or about 10-14 small ones)

1 can of sweetened condensed milk (14 ounces) (I use organic)

1 ½ cups of non-fat Greek yogurt (I use organic, usually either Straus, Clover or Wallaby because I have actually seen their farms and “happy cows” as I travel about Northern California)

Finely zest the rind from the limes. I love this little tool, a microplane grater, for making a very fine zest:

microplane grater rind

You should have 2 Tablespoons of zest. Note the beautiful fine zest this tool makes.

a fine lime zest

Squeeze the juice from enough limes to make ½ cup.  This handy citrus juicer makes that task a breeze.

juicing limes

Put the juice and zest in a bowl. Stir in the condensed milk.  Add the Nonfat Greek yogurt and mix well. I use a hand whisk. You can also whip it in a blender which will make the mixture fluffy and the pops will be more light and creamy once frozen.

whisking ingredients

(I like to mix it in a measuring cup with a pour spout for easy pouring into the molds).

Note: These are high in protein and low in fat (see the analysis below). If you would like the recipe to be even higher in protein and lower in sugar and fat, you can add more of the Greek yogurt. That can be done according to your taste, as it will make them tart.  They also will be a bit less creamy.

Pour the mixture into the popsicle molds. This recipe will make 10 popsicles of about 1/2 cup each.

filling pop molds

If you don’t have molds you can use small paper cups, but I urge you to consider buying some popsicle molds. They are the most used piece of kitchen equipment we have purchased in a long time. For more about popsicle making and molds take a look at this other blog post I have on pops.

Put the popsicle sticks in the molds.

insert sticksDon’t shove the sticks all the way to the bottom. That will leave a short stick for eating. The mixture should be thick enough to suspend the sticks at the right depth. If not, freeze for awhile and then insert the sticks about halfway into the molds.

Now put the molds in a flat spot in your freezer and patiently wait for at least 4-6 hours for them to freeze completely all the way through. The sticks must be completely frozen in the middle of the pop.

To remove the popsicles from the molds put some very hot water in a glass. (I heat the water in the glass for a minute or two in the microwave). Dip the pop in the hot water for 10-20 seconds or so, until it slightly releases from the sides of the mold. Now squeeze the mold a bit to loosen the pop, hold the pop with the handle facing down and slide it out of the mold. If it does not come out easily, do not pull too hard on the stick or it might come out of the pop. Instead, heat it in the water again until it releases easily.

You can refreeze the pops on a tray until they are very hard, so they don’t stick together, then store them in a container or plastic bag in the freezer. They theoretically will last a long time, but practically speaking, it is doubtful they will be around all that long. They are that good.

pops

Creamy Lime Pops

Nutrition Analysis per Pop (Makes 10):

152 calories, 6 grams protein, 24 grams carbohydrate, 3 grams fat, 2 grams saturated fat,

© 2015. Dayna Green-Burgeson RD, CDE. All Rights Reserved.

www.californiamediterraneandiet.com

California Winter Garden Tour

I love winter vegetables, but we have seldom managed to grow a good winter garden . The challenge of a winter garden is that you should start thinking about planting winter vegetables in August, when you are drowning in tomatoes and other summer produce, and the days are so hot you cannot imagine ever desiring a hot meal of hearty winter greens. That, combined with the last days of summer vacation for Adrian (who is a retired  schoolteacher) seemed to prevent us from ever getting it together enough to plant a winter garden. Finally, this year, with Adrian’s recent retirement, he has had the time to really enjoy the garden and plant and tend to it year round. We have been harvesting the bounty of these plantings in the past few weeks, and sharing meals with our son who is home on leave from the U.S. Coast Guard. He spent 8 months in the arctic ocean on the polar icebreaker Healy, eating mostly frozen and canned vegetables and fruit so our fresh salads and home grown fruits and vegetables have been met with rave reviews. The timing was perfect.

I thought I would give you a little garden tour. We have had good weather for a winter garden, as the days were sunny and clear.  There was very little rain, so we did water much more than usual.  I took these photos a few days ago, before a cold front and rain storm came in. Most of the produce seems to have survived the weather,  but we did harvest all of the caulilower except one of the heads before the freeze. The one we left looks like it is ruined from the cold. However all the other vegetables seem to be holding up okay, and we did have a great salad last night from the greens we picked yesterday during a break in the rain storms.

Broccoli raab is a new favorite vegetable in our family.  I cook it the same way that I cook chard and other greens. https://californiamediterraneandiet.com/recipes/cooking-chard/ . If you want to make a main dish out of it, saute some onion and spicy turkey Italian sausage in olive oil, then scoop in the par-boiled broccoli raab and saute it for a few minutes. Finally add cooked pasta and stir it up well and serve. This has become one of our favorite quick entrees.

Broccoli Raab

Unfortunately, we did not harvest some of the broccoli raab in time, and it flowered. However, we left it in the garden as the bees were going crazy over it. The bees seemed to be very active this winter due to the warm weather, but there are only a few plants flowering right now.

Broccoli Raab with bee

Mesclun salad mixes contain a variety of lettuces and spicy greens such as mustard and arugula. They have a bitter bite due to the mustard and arugula, which can be an acquired taste. Mesclun mixes are good in salads containing fruit, nuts and cheeses to balance the bitterness. The greens can be cut over and over again and they will grow back.

Mesclun salad mix

Little gem lettuce is another household favorite. It is crisp, yet tender with a buttery mild flavor.  It is good served it in a simple salad with a mild dressing such as green goddess, or as an alternative to romaine in a caesar salad.

Little Gem Lettuce

Kale is a very nutritious vegetable that can be added to soups, stews and pasta dishes.Lacunato “dinosaur” Kale

Cauliflower can be roasted in the oven using the same method as roasted Brussels sprouts. https://californiamediterraneandiet.com/recipes/cooking-chard/.  It can then be served hot or cold.

Cauliflower

Raw broccoli makes a great southern style salad with mayonnaise, bacon and raisins. Broccoli is also great roasted with olive oil in the oven, or sauteed in the same manner as broccoli raab, chard and other greens.

Broccoli

Peas, onions, shallots and garlic are planted in the fall for a spring harvest.

English peas (Will be harvested in the late spring)

Shallots (will be harvested in the late spring)

Garlic (will be harvested in spring)

Another interesting experiment that has worked out well is a bacon avocado tree which we planted about 3 years ago. Bacon is a fairly frost tolerant variety. We got 6 avocados from our little tree this year! I love bacon avocados in a salad with little gem lettuce and a creamy green goddess dressing.

Bacon Avocado

And of course we continue to harvest our citrus which we also sell from our little farm.

www.burgesonfamilyfarm.com

Our Owari Satsuma mandarins get sweeter after a mild freeze. They are at their sweetest right now, at over 13 percent sugar measured with a brix refractometer.  They skins of ripe Satsumas are very thin and fragile however, and may not hold up well to this long period of wet weather we have entered.

Owari Satsuma Mandarins

Oro Blanco pommelos are incredibly sweet. They are sometimes huge, but a lot of the large size is due to the thick skin. Inside, they are usually the size of a grapefruit but much sweeter and juicier. They are eaten like a grapefruit.

Oro Blanco Pommelo

Meyer lemons are a sweet lemon and tend to be more frost tolerant than other lemon varieties.

Meyer Lemon

Key limes are small, very tart, with a pronounced lime flavor. They have small seeds. The famous key lime pie is easy to make and delicious.

Key Lime

Bearss limes are called bartender’s limes. They are very juicy, with no seeds. They are ready to harvest when they are green, but will turn yellow as they continue to ripen and become more sweet. They are fabulous in lime cocktails such as margaritas. You might want to try a mandarin margarita, made with Satsuma mandarin juice and Bearss lime juice.

http://burgesonfamilyfarm.com/2012/01/15/mandarin-margarita-recipe/

Bearss Lime (bartenders lime)

We have 3 varieties of blood oranges: Moro, Sanguinella and Tarocco.

Blood oranges

Come back often for more recipe ideas using this beautiful winter produce.

© 2015. Dayna Green-Burgeson RD, CDE. All Rights Reserved.

www.californiamediterraneandiet.com