The Popsicle Project: A Girl, A Blender and Lots of Frozen Treats

Banana-mango-strawberry-papaya popsicle, anyone?
Banana-mango-strawberry-papaya popsicle, anyone?
Kelso Cooper

Earlier this summer I was invited to a potluck; not knowing what to bring I hit the internet searching for ideas. I wanted to make something simple that everyone would like and being a professional crafter I knew that if it didn't also look great the jokes would be endless. After all, I did make macaroni necklace for a friend recently--and by "necklace" I mean full on tribal style collar--so a macaroni salad of some kind would just not do.

In my searches I found that homemade popsicles are pretty hip right now and the molds are everywhere from the dollar section at the local craft store to this $50 insta-freeze version from Williams-Sonoma. I decided on popsicles--a fresh raspberry vanilla recipe--and went on my way. While I got many compliments on both the look and taste (and the sign I crafted to sit on the table with the food since they were in the freezer) I knew I wanted to make some changes.

After the jump: Favorite recipes, popsicle tips and more! 

Somewhere along the line my eyes lit up saying "OF COURSE... fresh fruit popsicles!" I'm sure every kid has made orange juice and probably every other type of juice popsicles but they're always so hard and crystal-y that it's less tasty and more just fun to do. I, of course, was looking for tasty-fun so I experimented with fresh fruits, which is great because there are no unnecessary added flavors or sugars that you'll find in most store bought versions. Yogurt also became a big part of my mix but use organic so that there are no added flavors there either. Some fruits blend up nice and thick (mango, papaya, banana, etc) and make frozen pops a bit softer but the combination of fresh fruit and yogurt, that I now use every time, makes them soft and smooth rather than the hard crystals of my childhood (some things you just don't want back.)

The ingredients!
The ingredients!
Kelso Cooper

Popsicle mixing is kind of like an experiment which is why I call it "The Popsicle Project." You try a little bit of this, some of that and maybe even more of this. Fruits are all different sizes so these recipes are all kind of approximations, I could tell you to get a large banana or a medium sized mango but you'll also have to go with what's available so that's not always possible. I'd recommend adding the majority of the fruit then doing a little taste test. If it taste like banana for example (that one tends to take over) just add the rest of your fruits and maybe a bit more to make up for the missing banana. But if it's Taste Test Success, blend in your remaining fruit and move along your way. It's always a good idea to test before freezing so you'll be satisfied with the end result. I've tested and tried multiple different flavor combinations at this point; below are a few of my favorites.



Each recipe makes 4 pops. Freeze for 4-5 hours until firm, run molds under warm water to remove frozen pops. Inaddition to the ingredients listed with each recipe, you'll need...



  • Blender or food processer
  • Funnel (optional) 

  • Pop molds

Banana Mango Strawberry Papaya
(This one makes me say "Bango Strapaya")

The Popsicle Project: A Girl, A Blender and Lots of Frozen Treats
Kelso Cooper
1/2 banana

1/2 mango

1 oz strawberries (3-4 medium berries)

1 oz papaya

3 oz organic vanilla yogurt (so there are no artificial flavors)

•    Blend banana, mango and 4 Tbsp (2 oz) yogurt until mostly smooth.
    •    Pour into molds about 2/3 full leaving room for the next layer, wipe inside edges clean if necessary.
    •    Blend strawberries, papaya and remaining 2 Tbsp yogurt until mostly smooth.
    •    Slowly pour over first flavor to create a second layer.
    •    Gently add sticks and freeze.

TIP: use a funnel when transferring juice to molds; it's both cleaner and easier when making layered or plain pops

The Popsicle Project: A Girl, A Blender and Lots of Frozen Treats
Kelso Cooper

When first starting out I was disappointed I couldn't get the juice to be completely smooth while blending. But after a few taste tests I found small fruit chunks to be quite the treat when frozen and have since experimented a bit with actually adding  larger chunks of fruit like thin slices of banana, kiwi or even blueberries.

Orange Peach Banana Blueberry
(My personal favorite)

The Popsicle Project: A Girl, A Blender and Lots of Frozen Treats
Kelso Cooper

2 oz orange juice (not from concentrate) 

1 yellow peach

1/2 banana

1 oz blueberries

3 oz organic vanilla yogurt (so there are no artificial flavors)

    •    Blend orange juice, peach, banana and yogurt until mostly smooth.


    •    Pour into molds leaving room for a few blueberries.


    •    Add 7-10 blueberries to tops remembering to leave room for sticks.


    •    Add sticks and freeze.

The prep.
The prep.
Kelso Cooper

There are a ridiculous amount of combos you can make when you think about all the different fruit flavors and layering techniques you can use. A simple one flavor pop is refreshing in this heat wave but you can add fruit slices or even a second or third layer to make them pretty. Sometimes the layers not only look nice but also add a different texture like the strawberry layer in the Mango Strawberry Blueberry. That middle layer may look similar to the rest of the pop but the texture is different and a noticeable change while eating.  

Mango Strawberry Banana

The Popsicle Project: A Girl, A Blender and Lots of Frozen Treats
Kelso Cooper

1/2 mango

3 1/2 oz strawberries

1 1/2 oz blueberries

3 oz organic vanilla yogurt (so there are no artificial flavors)
    •    Blend mango, 2 oz strawberries, blueberries and 4 Tbsp (2 oz) yogurt until mostly smooth.
    •    Pour into molds filling just under half way, wipe inside edges clean if necessary, set extra aside.
    •    Blend remaining strawberries and yogurt until mostly smooth.
    •    Slowly pour strawberry mixture into molds creating a second layer.
    •    Slowly pour remaining mixture into molds creating a third layer.
    •    Gently add sticks and freeze.

TIP: Use a measuring cup to measure out each layer to avoid overfilling and getting uneven pops or having to wipe down molds.

Overall home made popsicles were a huge hit; they got me through that first potluck and several times since then. They look and taste great AND are easy to make, no ones been able to give me a hard time about them yet. Although, I was thrown someone else's ball of tin foil and asked to make a jacket. I'm still working on the jacket. In fact, I'm still working on The Popsicle Project, there are so many combinations!

Kelsey "Kelso" Cooper is a member of the Long Beach Craft Mafia (who's been featured on our cover before!). To find out more about her and her handmade goods, you can visit her website
, Facebook, 
or at LongBeachCraftMafia.com.


Sponsor Content

301 Moved Permanently

Moved Permanently

The document has moved here.

Newsletters

All-access pass to the top stories, events and offers around town.

  • Top Stories
    Send:

Newsletters

All-access pass to top stories, events and offers around town.

Sign Up >

No Thanks!

Remind Me Later >