Thursday, June 30, 2011

Fruit Ice Pops

There's nothing new about this idea, but if it's been a while since you were a kid, you might need to be reminded how much fun popsicles are to eat! I recently purchased a Zoku Ice Pop Maker and have been creating elaborate fruit-based pops ever since. Juicy, sweet summer fruits pureed in a blender with a bit of water (sometimes mixed with milk or fat-free half & half for a creamy pop) is all you need to do. If you desire more sweetness, add a small amount of sugar, agave nectar, honey or Splenda and you're ready to freeze! You don't need a fancy pop maker, just use paper cups and crafts sticks and in a few hours you'll have delicious, low-cal frozen treats to cool you off.

Here are some of my favorite pops:

Pineapple Coconut: Puree fresh pineapple, water, a few tablespoons of pineapple or orange juice, 1 tablespoon of shredded coconut and a few drops of coconut extract in a blender. Freeze until firm.*

Caramel Apple: Mix together apple cider and a small amount of caramel syrup. Freeze until firm.*

Strawberries & Cream: In a blender puree fresh strawberries, water, and 1 teaspoon of sugar or Splenda. Set aside 3/4 of the mixture. Add milk or fat-free half & half to the remaining puree. Fill pop mold part of the way with the strawberry puree and partially freeze (about 1 hour). Fill the mold with the strawberry cream mixture and continue freezing until firm.*

*If using a Quick Pop Maker, some sugar needs to be added to the mixture for optimum release, although only a small amount needs to be added. I've had excellent results using a combination of sugar and Splenda in my puree mixtures.

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