Popsicles! The quintessential kid treat from summertime.
Popsicles trigger my memories:
- the chiming music of the ice cream truck
- begging my mom for a quarter to buy a bomb pop (remember those red, white, and blue popsicles?)
- all the neighborhood kids racing to the truck when it finally stopped and elbowing each other for who would be first in line
- sticky popsicle juice melting and dripping down my chin and onto my t-shirt and all over my hands
- the sheer and utter joy of summertime freedom and of youth
What happened to those ice cream trucks? I never see them anymore. (For that matter, what happened to the summertime freedom and youth?)
No fear. I can now make my own popsicles at home. Very designer popsicles, as a matter of fact.
And far healthier than the commercial versions.
Enter these fruit and yogurt pops. I saw tons of recipes around the 4th of July for red, white, and blue popsicles, but this particular recipe reduced the amount of sugar, which appealed to me. Honey replaces some of the sugar, and it tastes light and refreshing as a result.
Since my Tovolo ice pop molds only house six pops and the recipe makes more than that, I just kept the leftover popsicle mixes in a covered container in the fridge and refilled the molds every time we polished one off. When the leftovers got down to one fruit flavor and the yogurt, I gently mixed the two together, making for a pop with heavy traces of fruity sweetness throughout the popsicle versus layers of flavors.
A few notes about these ice pop molds: LOVE ‘EM! Last year, I bought the inexpensive ones at Bed, Bath, and Beyond. Argh. Didn’t work so well. Too cheapo.
This year, I discovered the Tovolo brand via other food bloggers. I love that I can take the molds out of the base one at a time; hence, when they are empty, I can store them back on the base even if the base is still in the freezer. I love that the caps on the molds fit so snugly. No freezer burn from exposed ice cream. The caps don’t come apart from the pops when you pull the pops from the mold–big plus since the cheapos tend to fall apart.
I just run the pop under lukewarm water for a bit, then gently twist and pull until the pop comes loose. Yes, it’s a bit of work but nothing major.
One thing I don’t like: when you get toward the end of the popsicle, it slides into the deep cap and unless I grab a spoon, it’s too hard to get to the last of the frozen treat. Again, not a big deal.
I am so excited to try other flavors and combos for the popsicles that I think I may just have to order another popsicle mold.
One more memory: did anyone else ever hitch a ride on the back of the ice cream truck, unbeknownst to the driver, and take a spin around the block? And get yelled at by the driver when he discovered you? Ah, the sheer and utter joy of summertime freedom and of youth.
Berry & Yogurt Swirl Pops
- 1/2 pound (1 1/2 cups) strawberries, hulled and quartered
- 2 tbsp. honey
- 1 tbsp. sugar
- 2 tbsp. lime juice
- lime zest, from one lime
- 1/2 pound (1 1/2 cups) blueberries
- 1 tbsp. honey
- 1 tbsp. sugar
- 2 tbsp. lemon juice
- lemon zest, from one small lemon
- 2 cups Greek yogurt
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 pod vanilla bean, cut in half lengthwise and seeds scraped with knife, or use 1 tsp. vanilla bean paste or use 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- In a food processor, purée strawberries with honey, sugar, lime juice, and lime zest, Transfer to a small bowl.
- In a food processor, purée blueberries with honey, sugar, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Set aside in a small bowl.
- In another small bowl, whisk together yogurt, honey, and vanilla bean seeds (or paste or extract).
- Pour the 3 mixtures, alternating, into ten 3-ounce ice pop molds, making 3-5 layers in each. With a skewer or thin-bladed knife, swirl mixtures together in an up-and-down motion. Insert ice-pop sticks and freeze until solid, 2 1/2 – 3 hours.