Friday, June 17, 2011

Popsicle Test Kitchen

photo by Ali Schalop (Samantha's sister), pretty, right?

In our June newsletter we discussed many of our favorite summer treats. While we mentioned some of our favorite store-bought brands, we’re huge fans of making your own popsicles. You can control the ingredients assuring they’re all pronounceable, organic and fresh. You can also get creative testing out flavor combinations.  If you haven’t made popsicles before it’s pretty simple you blend ingredients together and pour them into the molds. Leave ½ inch of space at the top as they’ll expand with freezing. The hard part is waiting the 4 hours it takes for them to set (truth be told one impatient 9 year old and I found out 3 hours is fine for the small molds). Our fantastic summer interns Sam and Brittany conducted a popsicle test kitchen last week.  Here are their results:

Brittany used the Tovolo Jewel Pop Molds available at Whole Foods Market and at Zabars in NYC.  We got the idea from Nourish and Flourish when she talked about these ring-pop like molds (fun). Samantha used the Tovolo Groovy Pop molds. Both are BPA free and easy to clean. We had them rate their creations on a scale of 1 to 4 “pops”.

Both recipes were easy and not very time consuming. However, I found the product a bit difficult to pour into because of the shape. Also, the molds were a bit small. I preferred the pina colada popsicles over the blueberry yogurt popsicles.

Pina Colada Pops 
Fresh  pineapple, a banana, ½ cup unsweetened coconut flakes.
The pina colada popsicles were delicious. The flavor was tropical and the banana gave it a smooth almost ice-cream texture.
 I would rate the pina colada a 3.5 out of 4. 

Blueberry Yogurt Pops
1 cup frozen blueberries, Siggi’s vanilla yogurt, agave nectar.   
 The blueberry yogurt popsicles were a bit tart. I did not love the vanilla flavoring. It needed more sweetening. 
All in all, I would rate the blueberry yogurt popsicle a 1-2.

I had one major hit and a couple of misses.

Avocado Coconut Pops
We had high hopes for these from the tiny morsels blog:
1 ripe avocado, 3/4 cup light coconut milk, 1 tablespoon agave nectar filtered water, as needed
 This sounded good but seemed to have too much coconut milk, 1 give it 1 pop.

Healthy Veggie Pops
This recipe was from nature moms blog:
Baby spinach blended with strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, 1-2 tablespoons of raw agave nectar, and fresh squeezed orange juice.
These were perfect! I give them 4 pops.

I made Sam’s Veggie pops and I cannot tell you the delight I was filled with when my boys asked for “Spinach Pops”. I also added some fresh mint because everything is better with mint. We had some testing at our house too with Blueberry Lemonade Ring Pops and Watermelon, Lime (zest) Groovy Pops. I can see making post-workout pops with a little protein and even happy hour (I vote sangria) pops as well. Sara, at nourish and flourish,  called herself a ring pop addict, I may become a frozen pop fiend before labor day.
What’s your favorite flavor pop? Have you made your own pops? Any flops? What can we do to improve this avocado dessert situation? I’m on a misson.


  1. YUM! What a fabulous treat idea. I am buying me some molds! My mom and I used to make home made popsickles - not nearly as healthy, I think we froze kool-aid, but they were my favorite thing. Thanks for the idea!

  2. Nice treat ideas. I am buying some molds. It will be fun to do these and different ones with my little one. :)

  3. I am so glad you two are going to "test" this out. This was my first popsicle experience and I couldn't believe I would waste $ on store brands after trying. Please report back with your results and recipes.

  4. You know I am a Popsicle lover, and will be making and sharing some more creations this summer with our Zoku Popsicle maker. These ring pop molds are really fun-something I'm sure my kid a would love. The veggie pop sounds like a good one to try and Sangria sounds fun too:-). Happy TGIF ( and last day of school for my kiddos)!

  5. Love the veggie pop idea. My boys love chocolate almond milk pops.

  6. I used to make my own popsicles all the time when the teenager was younger. Somehow the molds got lost over the years. I'll have to get some new ones. All the recipes sound wonderful!

  7. wow what fun I need to start doing this again

  8. I hate waiting too...I saw Zoku Quick Pop maker at Sur La Table. Pricier than the others but keep the base in your freezer and you can knock out 9 pops at a time - within minutes. (and the price of an impatient 9 year old's time is high, so well worth it). Full disclosure - haven't tried it yet, I already had well exceeded my original intent for going there ("I just need a colander but let me get a set of cookware instead").

    Regarding avocado pops, saw a recipe that increased avocados to 2, and used simple syrup & lime juice. I think if you increased the # of coconuts to 2 and substituted 2 parts water 1 part coconut milk for the coconut milk, added a splash
    of lime and the agave, it might be less cloying.

    Thinking Sur La Table might see me again this weekend...

  9. Thanks Jen, I love Sur La Table. What cookware did you get? I will try your avocado pop suggestions. If you have any winners with your new Zoku, come back and post.

  10. these look so great! thank you for sharing ......enjoy the weekend!

  11. I am doing some classes and store tours all about getting kids to help in the kitchen, I should definitely bring up these popsicle molds (which we do actually sell where I Work!). I tried adding kale to a smoothie, then adding it to my popsicle molds, but I could taste the kale, and it was GROSS, but next time I'll try spinach! I think the taste is much more subtle.

  12. Hi Gina:
    It's funny, we tested these as adult items for clients but my kids, which makes sense, got very involved in the whole "mixology" process. I think the greens depend on the green and the blender. Kale pops makes me smile but I guess we don't want kale bits in our teeth after dessert. Try spinach let me know what you think.

  13. So pretty! You're inspired me to dig out those old popsicle molds that have been packed in a box for the last few years!

  14. Pina colada pops! Yum!
    I am going to have to try this out. Thanks for sharing.

  15. I have a fabulous and cheap popsicle mold I bought at Target and Maya and I love to make the most random combinations. The greatest part? Maya totally thinks they are dessert, even if they are full of fruit.

    Thank you for more great recipes to try this summer Lauren!