FIZZING STRAWBERRY LEMONADE CUBES (raw-vegan)
As you all know, strawberries are my favorite fruit. I take that back— RIPE strawberries are my favorite fruit. I think I am spoiled because I live in a state that grows them, so only ripe will do! The other day I found some beautiful ripe organic strawberries at the market and ended up buying 8 pounds of them. Well lucky for me I need to eat these up and lucky for you I am going to post the recipes that I make with them. I thought I had spring fever bad this winter; now that the weather is warming up, I REALLY have it BAD! Not only do I have spring fever but I am looking forward to the summer too. In fact the weather is so nice today, I am on my patio writing this article. One of the things that reminds me of warm weather is FIZZING STRAWBERRY LEMONADE. The sweet flavor of ripe strawberries and the tang of lemons all fizzing in sparkling water….HEAVEN!! The best thing about this recipe is that I can make large batches of these cubes and keep them around for when the moment arises (like right now). This is also a GREAT non-alcoholic beverage idea for brunch or that summer get together; even the kids love them. So next time you are planning a party or want a taste of fresh strawberry lemonade, be sure to have these around. CHEERS!
A CHEF’S TIP: I used silicon square ice cube forms that I got from the local kitchen gadget store. Square cubes make a great presentation and they melt evenly. Each form has 15 cubes and they are easy to pop out when done.
MAKES 30 CUBES THAT SERVES 10 (multiply accordingly)
2 silicon square ice cube forms 15 cube capacity each
8 to 10 large ripe organic strawberries, wash well
2 cups small chunked ripe organic strawberries
1/2 cup water
10 (approx) small organic lemons… you will need 1 1/3 cup fresh organic lemon juice and the zest of 6 of the lemons (reserve the zest of the remaining 4 lemons for another recipe)
1 cup raw organic sugar
120 ounces(4 liters) of natural unsweetened and unflavored room temperature sparkling water
In your blender, blend on high the strawberry chunks and water for 2 minutes. Use a metal mesh strainer and strain into a small saucepan. Add the lemon juice, lemon zest and sugar into the saucepan. While stirring constantly on low heat, bring this mixture up to 100 degrees (use a calibrated thermometer to be sure) and hold at this temperature for 15 minutes while continuing to stir constantly. Remove from heat and set aside, this is your base. Cut the leaves and stems off of the large strawberries and lay them on their side. Make thin slices and then quarter the slices. Place these pieces in the ice cube forms filling each cube 2/3 full, lay 1 piece in the bottom and stand the others up offset and top with another piece. Be sure not to lay them stacked on each other, you want the base to fill the gaps in between the pieces. Now fill the cubes with the base to the top of the form. Gently tap the forms to release any air bubbles. Lay forms on a flat surface in your freezer and freeze 24 hours. Remove the frozen cubes from the forms and place in a sealed freezer container, return to the freezer until ready to use (up to 1 month). When you are ready to serve: place 3 cubes in a 16 ounce glass, allow to set at room temperature for 15 minutes and top with 12 ounces (1 1/2 cups) of sparkling water, give it a few minutes to melt a bit and slowly sip away.