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Watermelon – Lemon Basil Ice Cubes

July 12, 2011

I got the brilliant idea of freezing fruit and herbs together from these flavored ice cubes and these popsicles at I can’t believe I’ve never thought of this before!

But, to be 100% honest with you, I had a dilemma over whether to post these or not. I scheduled the post, I canceled the post, I hemmed and hawed. Fortunately, my master’s degree is in counseling, and I remembered a strategy from a book somewhere along the way that said: when you’re deciding between options, you do not always have to choose one way and forge ahead. You can instead explain your reasoning to your client, readers, or audience, and bring them in on both sides of the conundrum.

So, for starters, my husband (my favorite co-chef and advisor) does not think they are blog-worthy. He thought they were odd. And I never want anyone who reads this blog to feel like I am posting weird stuff that no one would want to serve or eat! I know I am offended when restaurants serve me something so low-quality that I wouldn’t serve it at home (in fact I hold a grudge against a local restaurant for doing just that), so I wouldn’t want y’all to feel that way here at Granola Meets Grits.

But, on the other hand, I do think these are inventive and open up a world of interesting possibilities, and I liked them well enough. The collaborative part of me thought that maybe if I posted them, a reader would have an idea of how to improve them and we might get somewhere better. The foodie side of me liked that they added some new flavors to a plain glass of water, and that they were refreshing and unusual. The practical side of me liked that they were a quick, easy way to use up watermelon in our fridge and lemon basil from our plot. Nonetheless, it is possible that my taste buds just have low standards when it comes to easy, practical, healthy foods. And it is also possible that I like water, tea, herbs, and variations on non-sugary beverages more than the average person.

So,  long story short: these make kind of an herby, slightly fruit-flavored glass of water. Use your best judgement in taking them or leaving them, and you may want to try them yourself first before you plan to serve them to your mother-in-law or any judgmental friends you happen to be entertaining. :)

I like the way the lemon basil smells and works here, but if you don’t have access to it (I wouldn’t either if it wasn’t for Red Rubin Nursery) or if you feel like a different flavor palate, you could easily substitute regular basil or mint. There must be a million different pairings you could explore! You could probably even blend it up into a slushy ice once it’s frozen if you wanted to as well.

And here is a great tip: if you put the water in your glass first and then add the ice cubes (instead of pouring the water over the cubes), your drink stays more nicely clear a bit longer before it turns a muddy pink color.

Watermelon – Lemon Basil Ice Cubes

  • 3 cups watermelon chunks + juice from bottom of bowl
  • 1/4 cup lemon basil leaves (go up to 1/2 cup if you want a stronger herb flavor)
  • juice of 2 large lemons

1. Combine all ingredients in blender or food processor. It may take some poking and prodding in your blender to get things moving, but once you do it whirls into liquid very quickly.

2. Pour into ice cube trays and freeze until solid; overnight worked well for me. My batch filled about a tray and a half.

3. Serve in water, sparkling water, or gently flavored iced tea (maybe a white tea or a basic fruit flavor like raspberry). Start with only a few cubes in your glass, then add more to taste.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

AGG July 12, 2011 at 3:33 pm

I was just reading about all of the great health benefits of Persian Melon white teas, and now I think I will try them, and make some ice cubes with some honeydew melon to add in. I’m not sure how the lemon basil will mix, but I’ll try a few ice cubes with that combination, too.


Sharon July 12, 2011 at 6:07 pm

Great idea! I bet honeydew will be delicious! Maybe mint would go well with the honeydew flavor too. You will have to tell me how they turn out!


Karen July 12, 2011 at 9:54 pm

I like the idea of your fruit and herb ice cubes. So many martinis are shaken with ice and I think the cubes would work well and not dilute flavors. A martini may not be healthy but the cubes would go well in many health conscious drinks and water.


Sharon July 12, 2011 at 10:23 pm

What a fantastic idea, Karen! I love it. And, even if a martini is not “healthy,” we all have our splurges and these would certainly add a unique twist to an alcoholic beverage. If you find a flavor combo that works well in a martini or other drink, please let me know. I’m not sure this one would be great with alcohol without a little tweaking, but hey, maybe I’m underestimating it! Thanks for the great idea.


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