A pop a day keeps boredom away!

Posts tagged ‘frozen fruit’

Day 105 — Blueberry Cheesecake Ice Pops

I really like the pairing of cheesecake with fruit. It makes me feel virtuous. So I had to end Cheesecake Week with a nice, fruity pop:

I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to add frozen blueberries to an ice pop. They’re a staple in our house, especially in the winter. And they’re usually nice and small, which makes them perfect for dropping into the Zoku ice pop molds.

I tried to use a lot of blueberries, since I wanted that to be the dominant flavor of the pop, with the cheesecake playing backup. You can’t see how many blueberries are in the pop at first glance, but there were plenty:

I didn’t mean for the blueberries to end up all lined up in the pop like that, but that’s how it turned out and I kind of like it. And I kind of like this pop, too. It’s a totally different vibe from the more decadent pops I made with this same base, and a good illustration of the versatility of the ice pop maker.

Day 90 — Strawberries & Cream Ice Pops

For today’s pop, I decided to have my cake and eat it too — healthy fruit, with a touch of decadence:

I have always liked the look of ombre fabric, so I decided to try to evoke that with this pop. I layered it, starting with pure strawberry puree and adding more sweetened cream with each layer, until I ended up with a final layer of just the cream. I made the layers 2 teaspoons each, but I probably could have made them larger to good effect.

As you can see, I ran into some technical difficulties with the early layers. The strawberry puree was really thick and didn’t want to pour smoothly. Next time, I will thin it out with some water.

These pops tasted great — just like strawberry ice cream.

And with that, I’m on spring break! See y’all on Easter.

Day 86 — Yogurt-Mango Ice Pops

Today, for the first time in a while, I made ice pops for the kids. They wanted something fruity and I felt like making something creamy, so:

Not pictured -- about a teaspoon of sugar

I thinned the yogurt (3 ounces worth) with about two tablespoons of the cream, and added a teaspoon of sugar just to take the edge off the yogurt’s tang. Then I poured the pops in two-tablespoon stripes. I wanted the pops to have three wide stripes, but for that two tablespoons turned out to be a little much, and the last stripe was narrower than the first two.

I really love these little bags of fruit purees. They’re really all fruit, but they taste great and make pop making ridiculously easy. They’re not even that much more expensive than buying bags of fruit. I usually pay between $3-5 for a 12-16 ounce bag of frozen fruit, and I can get these 3-ounce bags of puree for $1 each on sale or $1.25 normally. It’s well worth it to be able to use real fruit with no effort at all.

Day 84 — Strawberry Peach Ice Pops

Today’s pop is all about fruit. A while back, I’d mentioned the little bags of fruit purees I had found at the grocery store, and I decided to use a few today:

I chose peach and strawberry, and I wanted to get a nice, nearly-vertical dividing line. So I tilted my Zoku to as extreme an angle as I thought I safely could, and propped it up with a package of baby wipes (who need to buy special accessories when you can use any old junk you have on hand?)

Oh, that’s why:

Thick puree + poor technique + improvised tools = ugly pop. Still, it is a nice, tasty treat. And 100% fruit (no sugar), so quite healthy. So not a total failure.

Day 81 — Creamy Mandarin-Pineapple Ice pops

Today’s pop was loosely inspired by ambrosia salad, one the my favorite childhood treats. It’s a concoction of pineapple, mandarin oranges, coconut, marshmallows and sour cream. Sounds disgusting, but if I recall correctly, the flavor more than lives up to its name.

Anyway, I’d bought a package of pineapple puree recently, and had been casting about for ideas on how to use it. Tonight, I happened to notice we had mandarin oranges in the pantry and decided to make a simplified version of an ambrosia ice pop (of course, this means that someday I will make a full-on ambrosia pop. Consider yourself warned.)

I used about half of the pineapple puree, about half of the 4-oz cup of mandarin oranges (drained) and a rough tablespoon of sour cream. I pureed everything together and poured. This recipe only made enough for two pops, so if you try this at home, adjust your amounts accordingly.

After I poured my pops, I tasted the leftover puree, and got worried. Not to put too fine a point on it, but it was not good. The sour cream was too prominent, the oranges almost entirely missing. But what was done was done, so I decided to wait and see how the finished product turned out.

I”m glad I did. I don’t know why, but this pop tasted completely different frozen. The sour cream made this pop very similar to ice cream in texture, and added a dose of richness. The fruit was nicely balanced and not too sweet. Overall, a much more successful pop than I’d anticipated.

Day 78 — BLueberry Ice Pops

I realized today that it’s been a long time since I made a nice, basic fruit pop. Seems that as soon as I started waiting until the kids go to bed to make my pops, I took an immediate turn for the decadent and haven’t really looked back.
But it’s (almost) spring, and any week now we’re going to start getting local produce again after loooong months of eating nothing but apples, oranges and bananas. So I decided to look forward today and make something fruity.

I started with a nice, large handful of frozen blueberries. I added about a teaspoon of sugar and at least two tablespoons of water, and pureed it all up. The blender I used was a little tiny Baby Bullet, so I ended up with only enough puree to make two pops:

These pops were great: icy, simple, and not too sweet. They’re a good reminder of why I have a Zoku in the first place.

Day 51 — Lemon-Raspberry Swirl Ice Pops

Having discovered that delicious coconut yogurt the other day, I was champing at the bit to see if the brand’s other flavors were nearly as good, so:

Lemon yogurt, milk, raspberry sauce

The raspberry sauce was leftover from breakfast Sunday morning, and is nothing more than frozen raspberries cooked down with a splash of lemonade. We ate it over pancakes, then I hoarded the rest for pop-making.

This was my second attempt at a “swirl” pop and as you’ll see below, I still don’t have a useful technique down. If I stir enough to evenly distribute the swirl flavor, it generally just blends into the base. I suspect that if I had left the yogurt thicker I would have had a more successful swirl effect, but I didn’t want to take the chance that these pops would stick.

They turned out nice enough, if not exactly how I’d envisioned them:

As for flavor, they weren’t as fantastic as the Pina Colada pops from last week. The lemon flavor was nowhere near as pronounced as the coconut had been, so the pop pretty much tasted like creamy raspberry. Good, but not all I’d hoped they would be.

Day 46 — Chocolate Covered Strawberry Ice Pops

Oh, y’all, I had so much fun making today’s pops! I’d been plotting them as a Valentine treat for days, so I was seriously bummed when my Zoku was temporarily out of commission yesterday.

But today everything was set, and so:

Frozen strawberries, chocolate, shortening. Not pictured: sugar and water

I started out making a strawberry puree. Since this was definitely meant to be a dessert pop, I added about a tablespoon of sugar to my cup or so of strawberries, plus about 1/4 cup of water to thin out the puree.

I poured the pops using my Valentine’s present from my wonderful husband. He noticed how much I liked my two-cup OXO measuring cup for pouring pops, so he got me two smaller ones so I don’t have to keep washing it out between layers of pops (they have these great pointy spouts that pour really neatly). I love that boy.

Better than any box of chocolates could be.

While the pops were freezing, I mixed up the chocolate. The Zoku blog has a recipe for a chocolate mixture that hardens when it gets cold, and I adapted it (I didn’t have the coconut oil the original recipe calls for, so I used shortening).

Once the pops were frozen, then the fun started. I dipped one on chocolate, I drizzeled one with a spoon, and I used a snipped-off sandwich bag to pipe designs on the third. They each turned out very different, but all really cute:

From left: drizzeled, dipped and piped.

I can’t even tell you how much fun I had decorating these pops, especially the one using the bag to pipe the chocolate on. I liked it so much that I doodled a little heart on my dipped pop.

I feel so artistic now.

The pops were almost as much fun to eat as they were to decorate. I ate the dipped one, and the mixture of chocolate and strawberry was all that I’d hoped it would be. The chocolate did tend to break off of the pop in sheets, but I expect that the drizzled and piped pops won’t have that problem.

Day 38 — Blueberry Acai Ice Pops

I was browsing the grocery store the other day when I came upon a shelf of packaged fruit purees. They seem tailor-made for ice pops — just fruit, unsweetened, in small portions, and best of all, inexpensive. Moreover, they came in interesting flavors, such as acai:

I confess I had no idea what acai is, except that it seems to be popping up in a lot of juices all of a sudden and is often hawked as rich in antioxidents. I figured it was worth a try so I bought it, then came home and looked acai up on the web. I confess, my only goal at the time was to figure out how to pronounce acai (it’s ah-sigh-ee, apparently). I learned that acai berries are the fruit of a palm tree and that their pulp is not actually sweet.

Given that information, I decided to blend my acai puree with blueberries and a generous spoonful of sugar. The resulting puree was a rich, dark purple that just begged to be decorated. I used apple slices to make cut-out stars for my pops:

I love the contrast here.

As to taste, have you ever had a really, really oaky Chardonnay? You know how it leaves your mouth all dry with kind of a woody aftertaste? These pops tasted like that. They needed a much higher ratio of blueberries to the acai. I didn’t finish mine, but as usual my girls finished theirs without a hint of complaint.

Day 34 — Peaches & Cream Ice Pops

During the winter, we go through a lot of frozen fruit in my house. Peaches are among my favorites, since they’re flavorful, they thaw fast and they don’t turn everything they touch purple. I like to mix them into yogurt, and if I’d had a chance to make pops today while the kids were awake, I’d have done that. But since I waited until after they went to sleep, I figured I could get away with a less-healthy version:

I pureed a handful of thawed peaches with a generous splash of lemonade, then used my basic vanilla recipe for the “cream” layers. As usual, I had some difficulty pouring the layers neatly until my husband dug through our junk drawer and found this:

We've lived in this house six years, and I have never noticed that we own a tiny little funnel.

These pops turned out cute. I’m glad I opted for several small layers, because that way I was able to get a little of each layer into each bite.

I love that the thickness of the peach puree gave me slightly slanted, tiger-ish stripes. They weren’t neat, but they did look interesting. Plus, they tasted great. I’m looking forward to trying more combinations of frozen fruit and cream.

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