Today’s pop is one I’ve been plotting since about 10 minutes after I got my Zoku. Gazpacho is one of my favorite summer treats, and I thought it’d be really great to have it extra-icy. So when I finally made my first batch of gazpacho for the season, I knew I had to make the pop.
I don’t have an ingredients shot, but gazpacho contains cucumbers, onions, garlic, green pepper, parsley, red wine vinegar, tomato juice, olive oil and salt. We use the recipe in the Joy of Cooking, with some minor tweaks.
I like my gazpacho pretty smooth, so I didn’t process it any further for these ice pops. That was probably a mistake, since pouring it into the Zoku was a little tough. It all worked out, though, and no problems with sticking:
The first half of this ice pop was delightful. Cold, intense, interesting. About halfway through, though, the garlic started catching up with me and the pop went from delicious to somewhat tedious. I didn’t finish it. Much as I love gazpacho, I guess it’s better off eaten from a spoon instead of a stick.
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.
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.
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.
They can’t all be Nutella pops, y’all.
A few days ago, a friend asked me why I don’t make more veggie ice pops. True, I did make a Green Monster ice pop way back in the beginning, but since then I have stuck largely to fruit and other sweets. She wanted to know where the sugar snap pea pops were. Since I had no inclination to liquify sugar snaps, I tried this instead:
Now, truth be told, I don’t like carrot juice. It’s just a little too weird for my taste. And it probably would have been a good idea to use this with some other juice the first time I tried it, just to ease me into it. But I was feeling lazy, so I just poured and waited:
The husband tried it first and had this to say: “It’s hard. Tastes like a carrot.” After the obligatory “that’s what she said” joke (though actually, I prefer an old-fashioned, Lorelai Gilmore “Dirty!”), I tried it. It wasn’t really that hard (dirty!). It had the same consistency most juice pops have — not soft, but easily bitten. And it tasted like a carrot.
If you like carrot juice, this pop will make you happy. But on its own, carrot juice makes an unappetizing ice pop. I’m willing to try this mixed with other fruits or juices, though. Do any of you know if carrot juice plays well with others? If so, do you have any combinations to suggest?