Roasted Strawberry Red Wine Popsicles

The sun is warm and bright and I feel like a new person, emerging from a cocoon of winter jackets and subdued moods. Summer is nearly upon me, with only a week left of school until break. As a gift to myself, I am taking the summer off from work to travel, to breathe, to spend time in the kitchen, to remember what it feels like to have free time once again. Last year, I struggled through my summer, trying to juggle six graduate school courses in an effort to finish my master's degree and dealing with a six week long recovery from an operation that knocked me to the ground.

I hope that this year my summer will be different—curative to both mind and spirit.

Roasted Strawberry Red Wine Popsicles Roasted Strawberry Red Wine Popsicles

After a long bike ride through the woods and by the lake, my skin is warm and pink from the sun. Once I found my way back home, I collapsed on the couch, overcome by heat, and reached for one of these popsicles. It was the right choice for the right time, refreshing and sweet.

I have been on a berry kick lately, mixing blueberries, blackberries, or raspberries into my morning bowl of breakfast quinoa. After dinner, I often bring out the berries again, dipping them into melted chocolate (a vice that I find too heavenly to give up). When I was coming up with this popsicle recipe, it only seemed natural to reach for the berries once more. Mixed with a little red wine, these popsicles are as sweet as they are energizing.

Roasted Strawberry Red Wine Popsicles

Roasted Strawberry Red Wine Popsicles are a sweet, bright addition to your warm summer evenings. Strawberries are roasted in sugar and balsamic vinegar (to bring out the flavor of the berries) before mixing with sweet red wine to form these frozen treats. Since the red wine is a major component of the base of these popsicles, it is important to choose a wine that you already love and enjoy. Because of the alcoholic nature of these popsicles, they are not suitable for minors.

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Roasted Strawberry Red Wine Popsicles

Yields 6-8 popsicles, depending on size

16 ounces (450 grams) strawberries, hulled and quartered
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar (optional)
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 cup (240 ml) sweet red wine

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).

In a bowl, mix together the quartered strawberries, balsamic vinegar, and sugar. Spread evenly over a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the berry juices have thickened (but are not burning). Remove from the oven and cool to room temperature.

Place half of the roasted strawberries and juices in a food processor and process until smooth. Stir in the red wine.

Spoon the remaining half of the roasted strawberries into the popsicle molds. Evenly pour red wine mixture into molds until close to the top. Freeze popsicles for at least 45 minutes before inserting popsicle sticks. Freeze for a remaining 4 to 6 hours, or until completely frozen, before serving.

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