The Block Island Times
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Icy treats full of every kind of flavor

By Becky and Mike Ballard | Jul 10, 2012

When our first grandchild was born, some kind friend gave us a small, self-help book on grandparenting with a fun, light touch, describing it as: “The handbook to help you be the best grandparent and really enjoy your grandchildren.” You’ll have to ask our grandkids if we have been “the best,” but we seem to find ourselves just wanting more and more time with each one of them.

Along with tips like “Teach them to like bugs” or “Help them start a scrap book,” the best piece of advice in this book (which was also the title) was “Always have popsicles.” Our 15-year-old grandson was recently remembering the first ones we made out of lemonade, and hoping there would be more in the freezer this summer.

Once you begin to look around, you’ll find that popsicles have become quite trendy. They’re going in the same direction as cupcakes, and it’s easy to see why. An icy cold popsicle is so refreshing this time of the year, full of good flavors and nutrition. Almost anything liquid can be made into a frozen pop-on-a-stick. Most are on the sweet side, but what about a V-8 juice popsicle?

You can take popsicles way beyond frozen Kool-aid or even our favorite lemonade ones to the exotic extreme, like something called an Electric Green Popsicle made of bananas, pineapple and spinach — and why not? Other unlikely but delicious combinations are orange, peach or mango with fresh ginger; and grapefruit or pineapple with fresh basil.

The accompanying recipes make enough mix for about eight popsicles, based on the size of popsicle mold we have —  each popsicle is ¾-inch thick, 2 inches wide and 3 ½ inches long. Our molds come with a lid that fits over the top. The lid has holes to help keep the sticks in place. A caution is to be sure all the pops are frozen with the sticks pointed in the same direction. For some you will need to mash the ingredients together in a blender; others can be stirred together in a bowl.

As a tip, if popsicle molds are not on hand, try using paper cups with teaspoons for handles. Just adjust the amount of mixture according to the size of the cups.

So what is your pleasure? Watermelon? Blueberry? Chocolate/banana? We all have our favorites.

 

Two-Color Watermelon Lemonade Pops

2 ½ cups cubed, seedless watermelon

1 ½ tablespoons lemonade mix (Country Time or similar brand)

3/4 cup water

Place all ingredients in a blender and whiz until smooth. Pour into eight popsicle molds. Freeze at least five hours or until completely solid.

 

Honey Blueberry Yogurt Pops

2 cups plain Greek-style yogurt

1/3 cup honey

1 cup coarsely chopped blueberries (thawed, if frozen)

Combine ingredients in a mixing bowl with a lip. Pour into eight popsicle molds, and freeze at least five hours or until completely solid.

 

Pineapple Pops

1 small pineapple, peeled, cored and cut into 2-inch chunks

¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

½ cup sugar

Place pineapple and lemon juice in a blender or food processor. Whiz until smooth. Add sugar and process one minute more or until sugar dissolves. Pour mixture into eight popsicle molds and freeze at least five hours or until completely solid.

Note: If you have only six molds, the remainder of the mixture can be frozen in a metal bowl and served as sherbet.

 

Strawberry Buttermilk Pops

2 cups low-fat buttermilk

¼ cup light corn syrup

1 ¼ cups coarsely chopped strawberries

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl with a lip. Spoon mixture into eight popsicle molds and freeze at least five hours or until completely solid.

 

Chocolate Banana Pops

3 ripe bananas

¾ cup milk

¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

3 tablespoons honey

Measure all ingredients into a blender and whiz until completely smooth, scrape down sides and whiz again. Pour mixture into eight molds and freeze at least five hours or until solid.

 

Chocolate Banana Pops

3 ripe bananas

¾ cup milk

¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

3 tablespoons honey

Measure all ingredients into a blender and whiz until completely smooth, scrape down sides and whiz again. Pour mixture into eight molds and freeze at least five hours or until solid.

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