Balsamic Basil Berry Reduction

As you can likely tell from the picture, this recipe leads to anything and everything that is not healthy or paleo. But, never fear, the occasional treat is just good for the soul – especially when it is this delicious. (Granted, I may need to work just a little bit harder at CrossFit tomorrow to work off the sinfully delicious calories.)

Every Sunday, I have the pleasure of watching the new season of Dexter with my dear friends, the Inmans. This week I decided that ice cream with some sort of delicious topping was what I wanted to have for dessert so I got creative with some berries that I had in the freezer. The following recipe has been taste-tester approved and passed with flying colors. Even a berry-hater thought it was “good for what it is” so I’m going to call that a win.

This berry reduction was fantastic on the vanilla bean ice cream I served it with but would also be good on top of pancakes, waffles, cereal, or hell, just straight out of the pan. Enjoy!


Balsamic Basil Berry Reduction
Cook time: 10-15 min.
Serves 4

What you need:

  • 2-3 c. berries (frozen or fresh) – I used strawberries, blueberries and a few cherries
  • 1/2 c. water
  • 3 T. lime juice
  • 3 T. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 T. vanilla
  • 1 t. cinnamon
  • 2 T. honey
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 4 T. white sugar – I added this because I thought it would help it turn into a syrup. I’m sure if you don’t want to use processed sugar, you could add a bit more honey instead.
  • approx. 1 T. fresh basil, finely chopped


  1. Combine all ingredients EXCEPT the basil in a sauce pan over medium-high heat.
  2. Bring it to a boil. When it comes to a boil, turn the heat down so you don’t burn it and stir continuously.
  3. When the berry mixture has reduced down to the consistency of a syrup and easily coats the back of the spoon, turn the heat off.
  4. *optional* If you want a less chunky reduction, take part or all of the berries and put them in a blender or use an immersion blender.
  5. Stir in the basil after you turn the heat off. Let the reduction cool for a few minutes.
  6. Spoon generously on top of your dessert or breakfast of choice!

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