I have been attacked with an obsession. Have you heard of "King of Pops"? They are a wonderful popsicle company here in Atlanta... fresh, healthy, sometimes seasonal, creative, and VeRy delicious! ... But.... at $2.50 a pop (;-) my husband is less than thrilled by the fact that I consider having stumbled upon one of their cute carts around town feels like enough of an occasion to celebrate with a popsicle for everyone (that means more flavors to taste!).
So, to relieve family tensions and appease my unending popsicle craving, I have accepted my challenge--- to make deliciously creative and healthy-ish pops of my own. My first attempt was so yummy the fam titled me the "queen of pops". It was blueberry, lemon/limeade, mint...uummm! As the King of Pops says,"frozen happiness on a stick"!
Here is a mold like the one I just got... I like that it is smallish and you can make 8 in the tray at a time. One thing that slowed me down with popsicle making before was waiting until all the pops were eaten to start a new set and then having a hard time keeping up with the sticks. I just bought 150 popsicle sticks for $2.50 at Michaels, so we shouldn't have that problem anymore. You just wait an hour or so after putting them in the freezer to put the sticks in -- that will keep the stick centered. I am pulling them all out and putting them into a ziploc when they are frozen that way I can start a new batch before the previous batch has been consumed.
Now, as far as recipes go, the internet (and some cute books) seems to be full of options. I read a few to get ideas (and looked at the flavor list on the King of Pops website)... but then I just added stuff until it seemed right. I think it needs to seem plenty sweet as a liquid in order to be sweet enough frozen.
My Blueberry Mint Lemon/Limeade was a generous handful of frozen blueberries, maybe 1/4 cup of plain yogurt, 2 cups Country Time lemonade (premixed), lime juice, and a few sprigs of fresh mint -- tossed it the blender and poured in the mold.
For the Salted Chocolate Banana, I melted about 1/3 cup dark chocolate morsels in about 2 cups whole milk, added about 1/8 cup coco powder, 2 ts flour, 1/4 vanilla yogurt, bit of sugar, and sea salt to taste. I put a few chunks of very ripe banana into each pop mold and poured my chocolate mixture on top.
My Tropical Treat is about 2/3 cup canned pineapple, 3/4 cup pineapple juice, 1 cup orange juice,a handful of grapes, and a dash of honey blended in the blender and poured over kiwi slices.
When my basil has really taken off you can bet I will be incorporating it into the mix!
All these measurements are approximate and you will have to adjust them to the amount needed to your popsicle molds, but I hope I have given you some inspiration and a feeling of freedom to freeze up some happiness in your home ;-)
:::edited to add--- I had a conversation with a King of Pops seller... I was digging for tips and figured out that they boil the fruit puree to make it have a more concentrated flavor... and they have a super yummy flavor- cookies and cream. It is chunks of actual chocolate chip cookies floating in a sea of frozen "cream" I know that they use sweetened condensed milk to make that "cream"... maybe that is all they use, maybe they do something to it, I haven't had the chance to experiment with it yet.
Guaranteed to turn your pouty child into a happy child ;-)