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Abrazos! xox Penny

Monday, July 11, 2011

Berry Chilled

A picture is worth a thousands words. Holy cow and I hear we are headed for lots more of the same hideous heat!! And so, yesterday, when my mom reminded me that Williams-Sonoma was having a free ice cream class, I hot-footed it up there to meet a pal. Such a sweet, cool, blissful hour!

I am a scratch cook and used to make ice cream from scratch as well. My, how things have changed!! I do not have a lot of sophisticated kitchen equipment, except my new turbo-charged blender. Just the basics, most of which are 40-60 plus years old, including an "old-fashioned"...geez...hand-cranked ice cream maker. You know, the ones you pack in layers of ice and salt and crank for quite awhile to get the frozen goods? One guest there said he had heard of those. I guess the proper term for them is now "vintage" or perhaps "antique". The little beauties they have to make ice cream now are amazing. Just no paddle to lick, which was half the fun.

Anyway, I wanted to share some tips. Ice pops can be made from any juice...less sugar-y, the better and layered with a combination of juices if you like. You can swirl in berries, yogurt, little bits of fresh fruit. I feel sure you could still use little paper cups for freezing instread of the molds.(See note below). Here is a simple taste treat I learned...freeze chai tea and use a cinnamon stick as the popsicle stick. Insert it when the ice-y mixture is set enough to support the stick, but not frozen solid yet. Oh yum...sounds de-lish.

Pretty fancy ice pop* (from Internet) the orange drip catcher!

Here is a recipe from Heidi Swanson for Berry Ice Pops. You can use any frozen berry or fruit, organic berries are a must. Do use high quality, organic, full-fat yogurt for these to have the best mouth feel, taste and health value. Siggi's from Iceland seems the perfect choice! If you are not a dairy eater, do try some of the non-dairy yogurts. If you have kiddos, these are ideal to make and keep everyone away from those overly sweet, full-of-dye, chemically-enriched, commercial pops. Feel free to add a little honey to sweeten to taste.

Berry Ice Pops

Puree 7-8 ounces frozen berries. Add one cup of yogurt and mix well. Taste. Add honey (or even real maple syrup) to taste. Use remaining 2 1/2 cups of yogurt (maybe add a dash of vanilla or honey) to fill 8 4-ounce molds* or paper cups 2/3's full. Top with berry mixture and swirl just enough to create a pretty pattern. Freeze. Makes 8 4-ounce ice pops.

*Note: with all the concern about plastics, I would be very sure that if you opt for those cute plastic ice pop molds, ask if they are BPA-free. It should be in writing on the pop's packaging, too. Otherwise, avoid them, especially if you are pregnant or giving these to little ones. "Cute" could be very costly to your health!!

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