Saturday, June 16, 2012

Best Popsicle Recipe EVER!

Black Cherry Popsicle
I live in east central Indiana.  Our weather is very unpredictable except for July and August.  It will be hot, it will be humid and there will be NO breeze or rain.  It's virtually an outdoor sauna, there is no dip in the temperature when you step into the shade.  You are drenched with sweat by the time you walk from your front door to the mailbox.  And we would love to trade it for a dry heat.  So in the summer we look for ways to stay cool and for yummy cold treats.  These popsicles are combination of several recipes I've tried and they turn out awesome every time.  It starts with a basic recipe and you can create variations from that.  It costs less than $2 per batch and makes 16-20 popsicles.  Last summer I got another brand of flavored gelatin for 20 cents a box, Koolaid was on sale for 10 cents a pack, there's about 50 cents in the yogurt and about 50 cents for the sugar.  Much cheaper than purchased gourmet popsicles that average $1 each.  :)  

Basic recipe:
1 small box flavored gelation (aka: Jello)
1 pouch of unsweetened soft drink mix that makes 2qts (aka: Koolaid packet)
2 cups sugar
2 cups boiling water
2 cups ice cold water
1 cup plain or vanilla yogurt (This is important because it creates a creamy texture so it's not rock-hard when you bite into it.) (If yogurt grosses you out, use heavy cream instead, although it's a bit more fattening.)
1. Mix gelatin and drink mix in a large mixing bowl.
2. Pour boiling water over the mixture and stir quickly with a wire whisk.
3. Add sugar and stir until dissolved.
4. Add cold water and stir.
5. Whisk in yogurt.

6. Pour into popsicle molds and freeze. 

(note: using a ladle and a small funnel is helpful and less messy.)

7. Once frozen, place popscicle mold in a bowl of warm water for 30-60 seconds to release popscicles for eating.  ENJOY!

Tip: If your kids have lost the handles that come with the molds, cover them with a stiff plastic wrap, such as press-n-seal kind, with a sharp knife cut a small slit in the plastic wrap - smaller than your popsicle stick - and insert the sticks. The plastic wrap will keep them upright and if you cut the slits smaller, you can push them in as far as you want instead of them being all the way to the end.

The great thing about this recipe is that there are now Jello flavors that match Koolaid flavors.  You could also add chopped or pureed fruit, use complimentary flavored yogurts instead of plain yogurt, or throw the entire mixture into an ice cream freezer and make your own sherbet.  Place 1-2 scoops of sherbet in a glass and top with sparkling fruit juice or lemon-lime soda.  You could also add flavored liquors for a more grown up treat. 

Our favorite combinations:
  • Black Cherry Jello, Black Cherry Koolaid, Cherry yogurt (or plain yogurt and diced black cherries)
  • Island Pineapple Jello, Orange Koolaid, add mashed banana and/or crushed pineapple with the yogurt (This is my personal favorite)
  • Berry Blue Jello, Berry Blue Koolaid
  • Wild Strawberry Jello, Strawberry Kiwi Koolaid, strawberry yogurt instead of plain
  • Strawberry Jello, Strawberry Lemonade Koolaid, strawberry yogurt instead of plain (I saw a strawberry lemonade Jello, but haven't tried it yet.)

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