It is 68 degrees, there is a slight breeze and tulips are blooming in the front of the house. Last year at this time we were still in a cold snap and I was trying to figure out which rose bushes had been killed from the early and long winter. This week I have been hearing lawn mowers all over the neighborhood and even the chimes of the ice cream truck. That means only 1 thing, it’s popsicle season!
Living in the desert where it reaches over 90 degrees on a daily basis after the middle of June, we go through frozen treats quite a bit.The Schwan Man gets a lot of our ice cream business, but homemade treats are so much cheaper and healthier for everyone.
Make your favorite smoothie in the blender. Green tea smoothies work just as well as a fruit smoothie as will a homemade frappuccino, mine uses yogurt and frozen fruit. Something about being in the form of a popsicle makes the kids try flavors they would normally turn their nose at. The only thing I change is I try to keep them as thick as the blender can handle. The less liquid use means fewer ice crystals in the popcicle.
I have small plastic cups that Jello sold many years ago, but bathroom sized Dixie cups work just as well. Ice cube trays are nice for little ones who don’t eat very much at one time. You can even use yogurt cups as long as the open end is larger then the bottom. The added benefit is they are disposable and you can make a lot for when friends come over.
Fill the cups up with the smoothie leaving 1/2 and inch at the top. This allows for expansion as it freezes and keeps it from running over the sides.
Insert a stick into the smoothie about halfway down. If it is pushed all the way to the bottom of the cup it will stick out the top when eating it.
I have often seen recipes that suggest using plastic spoons but I don’t. I find they tend to break and create very sharp edges. You can find sticks in the craft section at Wal Mart that work far better. Pictured below is the traditional popsicle stick and another that has wider ends. I like the second one better as it gives more for the frozen smoothie to hold onto as it freezes.
They will freeze in just a couple of hours because the smoothie was already half-frozen itself. To store place the cups into a ziplock bag so they don’t take on any nasty freezer flavors. If they don’t pop out of the plastic cups easily just run under hot water for 2 seconds and they will. If using a paper cup just rip it off and toss. Do not leave the popcicles exposed for very long as the freezer can dry out the popcicles. If you know it may be awhile before you can get back to them, cover with cellophane.
What is your favorite flavor smoothie to try?