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 promised y’all a healthy pop today, but I’ll confess that until this afternoon, I was stumped as to what I should make. Strawberry season just ended, and we’ve already devoured the blueberries from our produce box this week. Luckily, I passed by my favorite orchard today and noticed they were open. So:
Local peaches! In season, the first week of June! Oh, happy day.
I was tempted to do a straight peach pop, but I was worried it would go brown. So instead, I pureed a medium-sized peach with a generous dose of orange juice (at least 1/4 cup). As it happened, I ended up with exactly enough base for 3 pops.
While the pops were freezing, I took a few photos of my peaches (dirty!), sipped a flute of champage, and belatedly realized that I could have made a Bellini pop today. (guess what you’re getting tomorrow, if the champagne lasts that long?)
This pop was wonderful. I was worried the orange juice would overpower the peach, and it was stronger than I’d have liked. But the fresh peach flavor still shone through.
And I still have a small army of peaches left. Tomorrow, I make jam! And maybe some cobbler. Perhaps a pie. I love peach season.
I asked yesterday for ideas on making carrot juice into a more palatable ice pop, and commenter Donnelle suggested mixing it with orange juice. So I did:
I used equal parts of each, and of course tried the combination first. It tasted pretty good, so I poured it in.
Y’all, this was SO much better than the plain carrot! The OJ sweetened things up considerably without obscuring the taste of the carrot juice. And the carrot juice softened the intense sweetness of the OJ. They were like the peanut butter and chocolate of juices! Unlike yesterday’s fiasco, this pop was a pleasure to eat. Thanks so much for the tip, Donnelle!
I also received comments and messages suggesting adding ginger to the carrot juice. As soon as I get my hands on some ginger, I’ll give that one a try.
A college classmate of mine noted on Facebook that this past weekend marked the 15th anniversary of our college graduation. Once I finished shrieking in horror that I’m actually that old, I started feeling nostalgic. Which led me to thinking about hanging out in the dorms, when our biggest worry was whether we’d be able to jigger our schedules to get Fridays off. Which led me to thinking about parties, and drinking, and one of the first “real” drinks I ever liked, the Fuzzy Navel. If you haven’t heard of it, it’s a rather sickly sweet concoction of orange juice and Peachtree liqueur. It’s both awful and delicious.
As it happens, we still tend to keep Peachtree in the house, so my immediate thought was that I had to make a Fuzzy Navel popscicle:
Just opening the Peachtree bottle was like stepping back in time. I could almost hear No Doubt playing in the background as I made this pop.
As usual when I make alcoholic ice pops, I used a half an ounce of the liqueur to 1.5 ounces of orange juice. I let the pop freeze for more than the customary 10 minutes, partially because I wanted to make sure the alcohol was good and frozen and partially because I got distracted doing dishes and forgot about my pop.
No worries, though. The ice pop came right out of the Zoku, frozen nicely:
When I tasted this pop, I think I went into shock a little bit. I think I have found the perfect summer ice pop. Somehow, freezing the fuzzy navel drink de-emphasizes the sickly sweetness of the Peachtree while simultaneously taking the tart edge off of the orange juice. What’s left is a wonderfully textured pop that’s perfectly balanced between sweet and tart, with the flavors of orange and peach (well, peach flavoring) shining through. I could totally see myself stretched out on a chaise lounge, reading a book and slurping on one of these babies. And the fact that they’re not suitable for kids? Well, that only makes it that much better.
Strawberry season is rapidly drawing to a close around here, so I’m still trying to enjoy as many of them as I can before they’re gone. And more strawberries for me means more strawberry ice pops for you:
Strawberry and orange isn’t a flavor combination that you see often, but I thought it was interesting enough to give it a try. I sliced the strawberry into circles in order to be able to fit more into the mold (It made sense in my head), and because I thought they’d be prettier that way. Seeing how it came out, I kind of wish I’d thought to to cut notches into the strawberry slices, to make little hearts. That would have been really cute. But still, the pop came out really pretty:
Though the pop was pretty, it wasn’t very good. It was just…too much. Too sweet, too tart, too everything. The strawberry and the orange flavors did each other no favors, obliterating the unique flavors of each and replacing it with a generic but overwhelming tartness. This is one combination I probably won’t try again.
My two youngest children are still sick, so we’re still all about hydrating over here. But at least I can make that hydration pretty:
I wanted to do a pop that was different tones of the same color, so I chose lemonade, pineapple juice and orange juice. I propped the Zoku up on a book and poured my layers. They came out cute:
Lemonade on top, pineapple in the middle, orange on the bottom.
These days, I rarely make a full batch of pops, but I did for these. They were fun to make and to eat, despite the fact that they were just made of juice. Sometimes, simple is really all you need.