By Elke Probkevitz
There was a hint of summer this week—did you feel it? If not summer, then definitely spring, which makes us giddy with excitement over the chance that the warm weather will stick around for a while. With warm weather come cool treats like ice cream and ices. Making homemade ice cream can be complicated with preparing the base and using special equipment, but making homemade imitation Popsicles is much simpler. All you need are the molds and a good recipe, and you’re ready to go. Here are some recipes for you to try as soon as you feel the need for a sweet cold treat.
To keep the stick centered in the ices, fill the molds and put them in the freezer for 30 minutes to an hour before inserting the stick halfway through. Freeze until solid, at least 4 hours. To unmold, place the molds under running water to loosen.
Watermelon mint. Combine watermelon, sugar, and a little orange juice in a blender. Place a mint leaf into each mold and pour watermelon mixture on top, then freeze.
Berry lime coconut yogurt. Smash some fresh or frozen berries mixed with lime juice and a little sugar. Combine coconut milk, Greek yogurt, and a little more sugar. Make sure to leave streaks and swirls when mixing together.
Orange Cream. Combine orange juice, heavy cream or coconut milk, honey, and vanilla. Use orange concentrate for a stronger orange flavor. Use vanilla ice cream instead of the cream or milk for an even creamier, richer ice pop. Alternatively, you can use peach instead of orange for peaches-and-cream.
Red, white, and blue. Purée strawberries with a little sugar. Separately purée blueberries with a little sugar. Whisk together plain yogurt and a little sugar or agave. Pour three mixtures into ice-pop molds, alternating to create layers. Optionally, you can swirl layers carefully using a skewer in an up-and-down motion.
Blood orange coconut cream. Combine unsweetened coconut milk with maple syrup. Combine juice of a lime and juice of a blood orange or other orange. Layer sweetened coconut milk, sliced strawberries, lime zest, toasted coconut, orange-lime juice, and unsweetened coconut milk.
Mango lassi. Blend ripe mango, Greek yogurt, milk, sugar, and a pinch of cardamom in a food processor until smooth. Alternatively, substitute chopped strawberries for mango and honey for cardamom.
Strawberry cheesecake. Combine cream cheese, sour cream, confectioners’ sugar, and milk in a food processor until combined. Add fresh strawberries and pulse to chop. Pour into molds and top with crust made of graham-cracker crumbs and melted butter, and press down gently to adhere before freezing.
Nutella fudge. Combine frozen bananas, cocoa powder, chocolate-hazelnut butter, and vanilla in a blender. Pour into molds and freeze.
Cookies and cream. Dissolve sugar in water. Add sour cream, milk, heavy cream, and vanilla. Stir in crumbled chocolate wafer cookies before freezing. v
Chocolate-Covered Strawberry Ice Pops
2–3 cups fresh or frozen strawberries
½ cup cold water
1–2 Tbsp. sugar, or more to taste
2 oz. dark chocolate, chopped
4 tsp. coconut oil
Pour strawberries, water, and sugar into a blender and blend until smooth. Taste for sweetness. Pour into ice-pop molds and freeze at least 4 hours or overnight.
Combine chocolate and coconut oil in a small bowl and microwave, 15 seconds at a time, stirring in between until completely smooth. Let cool until ready to use.
Dip frozen ice pops into chocolate mixture and let harden before serving.
Want to learn how to cook delicious gourmet meals right in your own kitchen? Take one-on-one cooking lessons or give a gift to an aspiring cook you know. For more information, contact Take Home Chef personal chef services by calling 516-508-3663, writing to elke@TakeHomeChef.net, or visiting www.TakeHomeChef.net.