Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Hot Weather Treats

This is actually what was originally the second half of the last post, which was quite a doozy. I guess I got carried away with having REAL TIME to update. Now, I was really stoked on the last post because some of the party plans were rad and the popsicle recipes ruled, so I decided to split it into two posts. If you missed it, the last post is about summer fun (edited to reflect less on my plans and include more tips for your own plans, BY THE WAY), and this one is about popsicles.


Doing all these fun things in all this hot weather requires some serious fuel. Cue: popsicles. I picked up some molds at Bed, Bath, and Beyond, but they're sold just about everywhere in the summertime. The cheapest I've found them are at Ikea, but you can make your own using cups and popsicle sticks or even tableware. (Pro tip: if you're making DIY molds, putting tinfoil with holes poked for the sticks helps keep the sticks straight while the popsicles set.) I'm really stoked on the molds I chose because they've got this little built-in straw at the bottom, so once the popsicles get melty, I can just slurp up the juice without fear of it encasing my hands. I don't know where my life was before I made my own popsicles.

When I make popsicles, I use a fatty base like coconut milk or nut cream (cashews or macademias pureed in water), then add all sorts of pureed fruit. A fatty base gives the popsicles a super creamy texture and prevents them from being total ice blocks that aren't remotely edible until they've been outside the freezer for at least twenty minutes. I really want to try putting pureed frozen bananas and soymilk in my popsicle molds. Then you could remove it from the mold, dip it in chocolate, and re-freeze it on a wax-papered cookie sheet. (It might also be possible to re-insert it in the mold but I suspect that would be very messy.) My hunch is that this is a more decadent update to chocolate-dippled bananas, so it's something I need to try. I did a google search and found these inventive (though yet un-tried) popsicle recipes, which make me really excited and inspired for summer popsicle experiments:

from Mormom Chic

+ 12 oz can fruit nectar (strawberry and peach work great!)
+ 12 oz tropical Sprite
+ 1 cup crushed or shaved ice

01. Mix well, pour into molds and freeze. The crushed ice seems to help the pop retain its “sparkle.”

from Hub Pages

+ 1 c red beans
+ 2 c coconut milk
+ 1 - 2 c evaporate organic cane juice or brown sugar
+ crushed pineapple (optional)

01. Wash and sorts the beans and then soak them for several hours in 5 cups of cold water. This step is essential. Soaking wakes up the beans, increases their nutrient content, and removes the enzyme inhibitors that make them hard to digest. Discard any beans that rise to the top of the water during the soaking process.

02. Once the beans are soaked, drain the water and place them in a heavy bottomed saucepan on the stovetop. Add two cups of water and bring to a boil. Once the water has boiled turn the heat down to low and stir in one cup of sugar. Allow them to simmer for an hour, stirring occasionally. You may need to add more water before the end but be careful not to add too much, we want to have most of the water absorbed by the beans and very little liquid left over. When the beans are very soft remove them from the heat.

03. Let them cool little bit. You can mash them up a bit with a fork if you like. Once they are cooled somewhat you can pour them into the blender and add the milk. Blend it all together until smooth. Taste it so see if it’s sweet enough for your liking remembering that sweetness is harder to taste in frozen foods. It should be just a bit sweeter than you want it to be. If using pineapple, fold it in the mixture. Then pour it into the popsicle molds and freeze.

from Tree Hugging Family
+ half a cantaloupe
+ handful of cherry tomatoes
+ 1/4 c chopped mint, basil, or lemon balm
+ 1 - 2 c plain vegan yogurt

01. Blend cantaloup and tomatoes until just chunky. Stir in the herbs and yogurt, pour into the molds, and freeze.

from Recipe Goldmine
+ 10 oz jar maraschino cherries
+ 12 oz can frozen lemonade concentrate, partially thawed
+ 1/4 c water

01. Put a colander or strainer in a bowl. Pour cherries into the strainer, saving the juice in the bowl. With a sharp knife, carefully cut the cherries into little pieces. Put half of them plus the lemonade, water, and leftover juice into a blender and puree. Stir in the reserved cherry bits, then pour into the popsicle molds and freeze.

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