No, I wouldn’t have thought of putting watermelon, apricot and basil together, but hey, I wanted a cold drink, and I was out of mint, so I substituted what I had at hand: a few sprigs of fresh basil growing in a pot on my front porch.
Some of my unusual combinations are real clunkers (ask my kids), but this one works. I love it so much I’ve been buying fresh apricots, cutting them up, and storing them in my freezer. Watermelons are available all summer, but fresh apricots disappear midsummer. I want to enjoy this freeze all summer long.
I’ve made this freeze multiple times this summer, and it always tastes great. Watermelon, apricots and basil are summer flavors, so maybe they just like each other.
Watermelon doesn’t have much fiber, so I freeze it to give this refreshing drink a little more heft. Cut up the watermelon (I did this with a strange gadget my cousin, Susan Morris, gave me for Christmas), cover and put it in the freezer for at least two hours. You can freeze the apricots for an even thicker freeze.
If your watermelon is very sweet, you won’t need any sweetener. I add a little liquid stevia because I like sweet smoothies, but my kids leave it out.
Fresh basil is a bit finicky. You have to keep buying it or keep planting it, else it starts tasting like licorice, not a flavor I enjoy. I bought a basil plant at the supermarket, snipped the leaves regularly, but its flavor waned in about a month, so I replaced it.
Lemon basil would be a great flavor in this freeze too, but alas, I have none. I didn’t plant any this year, and it’s almost never available in the supermarket. I’m too fearful of The Virus to venture out to the garden center. If you have or can buy some, please do. Lemon basil is one of my favorite herbs, along with lemon verbena (also a great combination with watermelon).
Watermelon, Apricot, Basil Freeze
Watermelon plus fresh apricots and a few sprigs of fresh basil are summer flavors that compliment each other in this refreshing freeze.
- 8 cups watermelon chunks
- 2-4 large fresh apricots, pits removed
- 8 large basil leaves (about 1/8 cup)
- 1/2 teaspoon liquid stevia
- 1-2 cups ice
Put the watermelon into a bowl, cover, and place in the freezer for at least 2 hours. Skip this step if you wish, but your freeze will be thin.
Remove watermelon from the freezer, put all ingredients into a blender, ice on top, and blend until smooth.
You need not use the specified amount of each ingredient. The combination of flavors is what matters in this freeze. If I have a lot of watermelon, I double it. Ditto with apricots. Don't overdo it on the basil or stevia, but you can add as much ice as your blender will tolerate.
Start with a watermelon, any size will do.
Cut it in half.
Then cut the halves in half.
If you have one of these gadgets, well, you’re in luck. Otherwise, use a melon baller or cut up the watermelon with a knife or spoon. It needn’t look pretty because it’s going to be blended.
Cut up the watermelon using the gadget.
It makes cute little sharable squares of watermelon.
All done. Use any extra watermelon squares in a salad or for snacking. Cover and put the watermelon in the freezer for at least 2 hours.
Fresh apricots should have a slight give, but should not be mushy.
Cut the apricots in half, and remove the pits. You can freeze the apricots if you wish.
A few sprigs of fresh basil leaves will enliven this freeze with sweet basil flavor.
Don’t forget stevia and ice, as much as your blender can handle.
Put all ingredients in the blender, ice on top, and blend away.
The resulting freeze will be frothy or thick. Frozen ingredients will yield a thicker freeze.