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The Healthiest Popsicle You'll Ever Eat

The chefs at the Ranch at Live Oak show us how to indulge the right way.

The Healthiest Popsicle You'll Ever Eat
Courtesy of the Ranch at Live Oak

Remember that scene in The Notebook when Ryan Gosling tells Rachel McAdams, "It wasn't over; it still isn't." (Swoon.) That's how we feel about summer. The leaves are changing, the air is chilling, and the first day of fall has come and gone, but the warmest season will always hold a soft spot in our hearts. What better way to show our devotion than by embracing its most beloved symbol, the popsicle. But not just any popsicle: one that soothes both our body and our spirit, one lick at a time.

The Ranch at Live Oak has you covered. California's most famous luxury wellness retreat—which counts celebrities like Mandy Moore, Minka Kelly, Lea Michele, and Julianne Hough among its guests—specializes in detoxifying vacations that put the kibosh on everything from meat and alcohol to cellphones. In its first cookbook, the resort's chefs include a host of healthy alternatives to your favorite bad-for-you foods, from Caesar salad to, yes, popsicles. Because you've got to start somewhere, and why not with an icy treat you want to eat whether it's warm out or not?

Watermelon, Lime, and Hibiscus Ice Pops

Makes 6

Ingredients
- ¼ cup dried hibiscus flowers (see Note)
- 2½ cups watermelon chunks (from about 1¼ pounds watermelon or ½ mini watermelon)
- ¼ cup raw agave nectar
- ½ teaspoon lime zest
- 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice

In a small saucepan, bring ¾ cup water and the dried hibiscus flowers to a simmer. Turn off the heat and let stand until cool. Pour through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl.

In a food processor, blend the watermelon chunks until liquefied. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve lined with muslin into a pitcher; discard any solids. (You should have about 1½ cups watermelon juice.)

Stir the hibiscus water, agave nectar, and lime zest and juice into the watermelon juice. Pour the juice mixture into ice pop molds and freeze until firm, about 7 hours.

Each ice pop 64 calories (kcal) • 0 g fat • 0 mg cholesterol • 16 g carbohydrates •
0 g dietary fiber • 0 g protein • 1 mg sodium • 308 IU vitamin A • 11 mg vitamin C • 4 mg calcium • 2 mg iron

*You can buy dried hibiscus flowers (also known as sorrel) in Indian, Latin, Caribbean, and Middle Eastern markets. If you can't find it, try substituting Celestial Seasonings Red Zinger tea.

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