I wanted to try making a really pretty rainbow ice pop, even though it meant using artificial coloring. So today I did, and I learned a few things:
1. One drop of red food coloring makes lemonade pink, not red.
2. There are two tablespoons in an ounce, not three.
3. My tablespoon measure is wildly inaccurate.
As a result of all of these lessons, I came up with an ice pop that was really pretty, but not exactly a successful rainbow:
I think I need to try this one again. I don’t know why, but I am obsessed with making a pretty rainbow pop. I don’t think I can rest until I work it out.
Since I made those red, white & blue ice pops last week, I’ve been thinking about making a full-on rainbow ice pop. Trouble is, I don’t really like using artificial colors to make ice pops. I (and my kids) get enough of those in our daily allowance of Cheetos and there doesn’t seem to be much point to my adding more. So I decided that for my first try at a rainbow ice pop, I needed to at least try to make the majority of the colors come from actual juice. That means a lot of different juices:
Cherry juice for red, orange juice for obvious reasons, pineapple juice for yellow, green smoothie for green, lemonade and food coloring for blue, V-8 Fusion for purple. I decided y’all didn’t really need to see indigo.
You’ll note that there’s no blue juice there. For one thing, I ran out of the blueberry smoothie I had last week. For another, no fruit or fruit juice I”ve ever used actually comes close to the color blue I associate with the rainbow. So I abandoned my principles a little and used some blue food coloring. And while I was at it, I colored the V-8 juice for the purple, too. The actual juice, while purple-ish, had too much of a red tint for what I wanted.
The pop turned out pretty, though not as vibrant or clean as I’d wanted:
I wish the green had been a less muddy color, specifically. But still, not bad for a pop made mostly out of unsweetened fruit juices. One of these days, I’ll try it the artificial way just for comparison’s sake.
I’m back! Did you miss me? Probably not, thanks to my wonderful MYSTERY GUEST BLOGGERS!, who swooped in and made a pop for me last night while I hunkered down and tried not to get sick. They did a great job, and it was nice to wake up this morning and giggle through their post instead of feeling guilty that I skipped a day.
Anyway, It’s the first of July, so I’ve decided to prepare for the upcoming holiday by making red, white and blue ice pops. First up, a healthy, juice based version:
Berry blend smoothie for the red layer, lemonade for the white layer, and a blueberry smoothie for the blue layer.
I used two ounces of each juice for the three pops, but didn’t measure otherwise. They came out pretty even, in spite of that:
Honestly, these came out looking more like neopolitan ice pops than patriotic ice pops. The blueberry layer, in particular, was more brown than blue. But they still looked nice and the kids who ate them assured me they tasted good anyway.
We have fresh raspberries again today (well, had, anyway. Raspberries do not tend to last in a house with three kids). Anyway, I managed to hide a few from the kids for a second attempt at making an ice pop with fresh raspberries:
Since I hadn’t liked the berries in last week’s chocolate raspberry ice pop, I decided to try something a little different today. Instead of using just plain raspberries, I crushed them first with a little sugar. I didn’t want to puree them because I wanted to maintain that chunky, fresh-fruit texture. But crushing worked nicely. I used all of the raspberries you see in the photo above and probably 1.5 teaspoons of sugar to make one ice pop.
I like how the berries stained the lemonade pink but also kept their own integrity. However, I think I put a little too much sugar in the raspberries. The popsicle was a little too sweet. Still, the crushed berry/sugar mixture was much nicer than just plain raspberries. I think I’m on the right track.
In all honesty, today’s pop was more about using up the last bits and pieces of last week’s produce delivery than about any specific recipe, but despite that I really like what I came up with:
These are the last of the last of this season’s strawberries. Bye-bye until next year!
I pureed a handful of each of the berries with about an equal amount of lemonade. I deliberately left the puree rough — I wanted chunks of fruit in my ice pop. The high proportion of lemonade to fruit in this recipe made that thickness possible ( a straight fruit puree would have been too hard to pour if I’d left it chunky).
This pop worked really well. Al three flavors blended well enough that I really couldn’t detect a dominant flavor. It was a light, sweet and happy popsicle.
Horrors, y’all! I forgot to turn off my camera last night when I pulled the photos off of it, and when I went to make today’s pop, my camera was dead. So no photos in today’s post. You’re just going to have to use your imaginations.
Anyway, I made an amazing sangria today (this one). It was lovely and delicious and, well, I’m a cheap date these days. So I decided to make a nice, sedate ice pop tonight.
I used Mint Medley tea, sugar and a hefty splash of lemon juice. I’ve never actually made mint tea before, and I was startled to see it brew up red. I wasn’t sure about how much sugar to add — I needed enough to made the pop biteable, but not so much that it would taste horrible.
As the pop froze, the red color changed to a very pretty rosy pink. It looked nice, but there’s something odd about mint flavor in a pink pop.
Not that there was much mint flavor on display. Once frozen, this pop was all about the lemon. The first few bites were refreshing and pleasant, but it quickly wore thin. I didn’t finish it. Next time, I think I’ll brew the tea stronger and skip the lemon entirely.
Every summer, when the peaches come, I buy them by the boxful. I made pies and cobblers and baby food and, of course, I freeze a bunch. But the one thing I’ve made last year that made the biggest impression on my kids was peach lemonade. I think I made it from scratch last year, blending peaches, lemon juice, sugar and water. This year, when she begged for it, I went simpler and just blended peaches into the bottled lemonade I always have on hand. As I was making it, I realized it’d make a great ice pop. So:
I don’t have proportions for this one, as I just froze some of what I made for drinking, but I can tell you I used a rather high proportion of lemonade to peaches (at least 2 to 1).
These were delicious and summery. A perfect way to use a bunch of fruit.
While I still had the carrot juice, I decided I needed to try at least one more pop using it. I wanted to see if it would mix as nicely with lemonade as it did with orange juice:
I actually made three pops this afternoon — the lemonade one for today’s post, and two orange-carrot ones for the kids. I wanted to see if they’d figure out what they were eating, and whether they’d like it. It took my six-year-old about 30 seconds to guess that her pop had carrot in it, and another split second to decide she liked it. The three-year-old ate her entire pop, but then claimed she hadn’t liked it so I should make her a chocolate one.
That could be because of what she saw me do to this pop:
Namely, I took two bites, melted the rest in the sink and opted for a chocolate pop left over from last night, instead. Turns out lemonade doesn’t blend terribly well with carrot juice. It’s better than the straight carrot pop, but the lemon is completely dominated by the carrot. The resulting pop just wasn’t very good. From now on, I’ll stick with the orange juice blend.
Some days, there’s a decidedly seat-of-my-pants flavor to my pop making (hmm. That doesn’t sound quite right). Today was one of those days — I was busy preparing for a barbecue we’re having tomorrow, and I didn’t have time for any pop premeditation. Next thing I knew it was 10:45 pm and I hadn’t even gotten started.
Luckily, I always have lemonade and fruit on hand, all one really needs to make a fun ice pop:
I’ve wanted to try fresh blueberries in pop for a while, but was waiting until they came into season. I happen to have six pints in my fridge right now, so it was easy to grab a handful and throw them in the Zoku with some lemonade.
The finished pop wasn’t much to look at:
It tasted good, though. The blueberries froze, but not too hard to chew. They just ended up as little pockets of berry flavor hidden throughout the lemonade. It would be fun to try these with a dark juice, so they’d be hidden little gems.
This week, I had the rare treat of having two of my favorite fruits in season, locally, at the same time. The kids and I have been eating strawberries all month, and now blueberries have shown up in my produce box. I figured I’d take the opportunity to make them into an ice pop:
I pureed a handful of each berry with a splash of lemonade. The blueberries didn’t blend in smoothly and the mixture turned out more red than purple, but it still looked good. And so did the pops:
This pop tasted ok, but to be honest, they didn’t turn out as I’d hoped. I didn’t really intend for these to be a lemonade-centered pop (as those of you who saw this post before I edited know). I wanted the berries to shine through, but in this pop all you could really taste was lemon. I am going to have to try this one again, with plain sugar and water instead of the lemonade. Tune in tomorrow…