COOKING WITH JESSICA KARLEY: Make your own summer popsicles
Popsicles are a soothing, cool, summertime treat. I often forget about them or pass by them in the grocery store, and it wasn’t until a five-minute-long conversation with my 4-year-old that I remembered why they were so good.
His eyes got an extra twinkle as he looked up at them and said “But Mom! They are so … good! There is cream, and sugar, and strawberries, and butter, honey, and sugar in them! They are so tasty!”
He might have been a little bit off on his ingredient list, but he was so certain they would be the best option for an after-dinner treat. I got to thinking that they are not that difficult to make, and it would be a fun experiment for us to work on this summer.
Popsicle molds can be found in a lot of places, but if you are looking for a wide variety of shapes and materials, take your search to the Internet. You can find plastic, silicone and metal molds in classic shapes such as twin pops, twists, cones and even bomb pops.
If you are looking for an inexpensive way to create popsicles, fill paper Dixie cups with the filling of your choice, insert a popsicle stick and freeze. There are so many possibilities! (OK, maybe I got a little excited about popsicles, too.)
Now, what flavors were we going to try? Because of the kitchen goddess status I had received after I blew three little minds by putting the box of yogurt tubes in the freezer, I knew that a frozen yogurt pop would be a guaranteed winner in my house. I also asked for opinions on what other flavors to try.
There was a rather loud response for lime because, according to the 4-year-old, everyone loves lime. They love them because “they have cream, and sugar, and strawberries, and butter, and lime in them.”
I decided to go with a different recipe for my lime flavor, mainly because I don’t think butter would work well in this frozen dessert recipe.
As for a lime-flavored pop, we eventually agreed that a coconut lime popsicle would make all of us happy. This flavor could not be easier. We used unsweetened coconut milk and lime-flavored gelatin mix.
Whisk the lime gelatin powder into hot coconut milk, let the mixture cool, pour it into popsicle molds, and place them in the freezer until solid. To remove the coconut lime pops from the molds, we simply placed them under hot, running tap water for about 10 seconds. They released perfectly, and sets of green lips were pretty proud of their efforts.
The next flavor was my choice. I decided we would try Blackberry Yogurt Pops. I really wish that there was more to tell you about this popsicle, other than it was simple and delicious, but that pretty much says it all.
We made the mix for the popsicle in the food processor by pulsing fresh blackberries, vanilla Greek yogurt and agave nectar until combined. We removed the mixture, placed it into molds and followed the same steps as the lime pops.
I have saved my personal favorite for last, though. Raspberry Cheesecake Popsicles are a truly delicious way to enjoy the fresh fruits of summer in an icy cool treat. Cheesecake-flavored pudding mix is the base, so you know it has to be good. Add fresh-picked raspberries and a touch of lemon zest to brighten the flavor. One thing I learned in this popsicle-making adventure is that it couldn’t have been easier, and the variety of flavor combinations is endless. What a great way to beat the heat of summer!
Coconut Lime Popsicles
1 small package of lime gelatin mix, regular or sugar free
2 cups unsweetened coconut milk
Place the coconut milk in a microwave safe bowl and heat until almost boiling. Remove from microwave and whisk in gelatin powder until smooth. Chill in refrigerator until at least room temperature. Fill popsicle molds until within ½ inch from the top of the mold. Place tops on and freeze until solid: about two or three hours, but will depend on the size of mold you are using. To remove the popsicles from the mold, run under hot tap water for 10 seconds.
Raspberry Cheesecake Popsicles
1 small package of cheesecake pudding mix
1½ cups half and half or whole milk
1 cup fresh raspberries
1 teaspoon lemon zest
Combine the pudding mix and half and half in the food processor and blend until smooth. Add raspberries and lemon zest and pulse until combined. Fill popsicle molds until within ½ inch from the top of the mold. Place tops on and freeze until solid: about two or three hours, but will depend on the size of mold you are using. To remove the popsicles from the mold, run under hot tap water for 10 seconds.
Blackberry Greek Yogurt Popsicles
2 cups vanilla Greek frozen yogurt
3 tablespoons agave nectar
1 cup fresh blackberries, rinsed
Combine the Greek yogurt, agave nectar and blackberries in the food processor and pulse until combined. Fill popsicle molds until within ½ inch from the top of the mold. Place tops on and freeze until solid: about two or three hours, but will depend on the size of mold you are using. To remove the popsicles from the mold, run under hot tap water for 10 seconds.