Raspberries and basil – sounds like an odd combination, and I was reluctant myself, but we have an abundance of basil in the garden this year, so I gave it a whirl. And I love the results. These simple, summery, 4-ingredient raspberry basil yogurt pops are not too sweet and not too tart, and the anise-like flavor of basil nicely compliments the raspberries. You could certainly omit the herb and make plain raspberry frozen yogurt pops, but I urge you to try it with the basil for a delicious change.
While developing this recipe, I noticed that many popsicle recipes involve making a sugar syrup, and those containing herbs require steeping the herbs in the syrup, rather than adding them directly to the pops. But I wanted something with no cooking, for a hot summer day, which is when fresh basil and raspberries are in season. And, after making the recipe detailed below, I am not sure why anyone bothers with syrups or steeping. Frozen yogurt fruit pops come out just fine when the sugar is simply blended with the yogurt and the fruit. And, the green specks of chopped herb look beautiful while imparting great flavor. Sometimes simple is better. So here it is, very simple, summery, and scrumptious, 4-ingredient raspberry basil frozen yogurt pops.
About the Ingredients for Raspberry Basil Yogurt Pops
Use fresh, perfectly ripe raspberries for best flavor, but frozen berries can be used if necessary. I mash the berries gently because I like to have some chunks in the pops for a rustic texture. But you can mash more vigorously, or even puree and strain, if you want a very smooth, refined texture.
Use fresh basil. Do not substitute with dried basil because it has a different flavor. I used sweet basil, the Italian type. There are many other types, like Thai basil and lemon basil, which would impart a different flavor to the popsicles.
I use whole milk plain yogurt. Low fat yogurt will not taste as rich. If you are concerned about the saturated fat content of whole milk yogurt, use yogurt made from milk from grass fed cows. Studies, such as this one on the relationship between grass in the cow’s diet and milk fat composition, show that higher grass consumption increases beneficial fats and reduces harmful fats in milk.
For sweetened yogurt, you would have to reduce the sugar, but you’re on your own there, as I have never made these pops with sweetened yogurt. Strained (Greek) yogurt would probably be fine, but the texture of the pops might be a little different.
Raspberry Basil Yogurt Popsicles Recipe
Makes 11-12 three ounce popsicles.
- 3 cups raspberries
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 cups plain, whole milk yogurt
- 1/3 cup loosely packed, finely sliced basil leaves
- In a medium bowl, gently mash the berries with 1/4 cup of the sugar, and let sit while you prepare the other ingredients.
- In a large bowl, blend the yogurt with the remaining 3/4 cup of sugar.
- Add the basil and the berry mixture to the yogurt mixture and stir to blend well.
- Pour into popsicle molds and freeze.
Have you used herbs in pops or ice cream? What herb and fruit combinations do you like? Feel free to leave your questions and ideas in a comment below!