Snacks

Strawberry Gelatins -adapted from Everyday Food, 2006-
gelatin
I’ve been making these little gems every year since 2006. Not only is this recipe incredibly easy, the fruit is raw. Cooking fruit changes it; not in a good way. After I packed a strawberry gelatin in my son’s lunch bag, I received requests for the recipe.

I tried to replace the gelatin with Agar Powder, but found that Agar Powder was not flavorless. Worse, it’s flavor was, in a word, unpleasant. I haven’t tried Pectin; if Pectin turns out to be a suitable substitute, I’ll publish the updated recipe.

Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 pounds strawberries
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 packages (1/4 ounce each) unflavored gelatin

Wash and slice the berries. Combine the berries with the sugar and lemon juice. You could puree this mixture using a blender or food processor; I like to use a food mill . A food mill removes most of the seeds. You should have 3 cups of berry puree. If not, add water to achieve 3 cups.

Use a small sauce pan and 1 cup of water to dissolve the gelatin. Heat the water and gelatin, medium heat, until the gelatin is no longer visible and tiny bubbles appear at the side of the pan. DO NOT allow the water to boil.

Add the gelatin to the berry puree. Pour into serving containers. Sometimes I add thin slices of berry to the top, but this step is not necessary. Refrigerate.

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My kids were won over by these fruit and yogurt pops; they look as good as they taste.

I’m not foolish; I know that my popsicles have to compete with commercially produced popsicles. Supermarket popsicles have one goal, to be chosen by kids. Bright colors, a lot of sweetener, and festive packaging appeal to kids and marketing people know it. I want my popsicles to be a yummy AND healthy treat. And I want MINE to be chosen by kids.
I gotta tell you, when the kids were small it was easier to make things attractive to them. They simply didn’t know about all the choices in the supermarkets.

I’ve been freezing Smoothie drinks for years. Any blend that makes a tasty Smoothie is just as good frozen in a popsicle mold. But the colors are pale. My kids like colors to be bold and bright.

I should also mention sugar. As a rule I make low sugar foods. While it’s true you can make popsicles low sugar; just puree ripe fruit and freeze. But the resulting popsicle will be hard…not as hard as an ice cube, but hard.

Strawberry & Yogurt Pops

Ingredients

  • 1 cup whole-milk yogurt
  • 3 cups fresh, frozen, or home-canned fruit
  • 2 Tablespoons jam
  • 2 tsp honey or sugar
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice (optional)

Macerate the fruit in a sweetener, honey or sugar; from 30 minutes to 8 hours.
Crush fruit and 2 Tablespoons jam in a food mill (or process in a food processor)
Drain the yogurt to make it as thick as it can be. Sweeten to taste. Add vanilla if you’d like.
Fill freezer pop molds alternating fruit and yogurt. Freeze overnight.

 

Making a better freezer pop mold


I finally had to replace my first set of freezerpop molds.
I opted for larger molds, mainly because my kids have outgrown tiny popsicles.
We were surprised and disappointed when removing the pops from there molds the stick pulled right out, leaving the frozen treat behind. Yep, the kids were holding empty sticks…such sad faces.
The new molds were different than the old in size and shape, but most importantly the sticks were not perforated. The only set of molds we had ever used, to this point, had sticks with small holes. Presumably the holes helped anchor the popsicle to the stick.
Using an electric drill it was simple to add holes in the new popsicle sticks.

Blueberry & Banana Pops

Ingredients

  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 3 cups fresh, frozen, or home-canned fruit
  • 2 Tablespoons jam
  • 2 tsp honey or sugar
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice (optional)

Macerate the fruit in a sweetener, honey or sugar; from 30 minutes to 8 hours.
Crush fruit and 2 Tablespoons jam in a food mill
Puree bananas with 1 teaspoon lemon juice.
Fill freezer pop molds alternating fruit and banana puree. Freeze overnight.

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apple sandwich
Secretly I call this, the *I didn’t make any bread* sandwich. My kids like to find this sandwich in their lunch bags, and don’t seem to miss the bread.

Ingredients

  • apple slices
  • peanut butter
  • raisins

This is too simple to write a “method,” other than to say;
Blot the apple dry, because the peanut butter will stay in place better on a dry surface.
And, smear peanut butter on both apple slices, because the raisins will act like ball bearings if you don’t.

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