May 24, 2011

Popsicles — juicy frozen fruits on a stick — a taste of summer


It’s a beautiful May morning with bright sunlight and a clear blue sky. Glancing out the glass patio door, I see the frangipani tree in full bloom in my little garden with the fragrant white flowers and glossy green leaves dancing to the rhythm of the balmy breeze. The house is quiet but for the sultry music playing in the background. I am sitting by the desk, fingertip to keyboard, in an attempt to script my wayward thoughts. Just so you know, this is one of those months when I don’t have enough energy to keep up with the pace of things. To begin with, I was feeling a bit blue on the occasion of my young brother’s anniversary (May 1 per Gregorian calendar), and then I was literally down with a bad case of virus. Now that I’ve almost recovered, it’s another matter -- I’m on the run every minute of the day! Wonder what I’m hinting at? Okay, you see, my brother is in town. I haven’t seen him in over three years -- with him living in the southern hemisphere, in Australia, and a distance of over 7400 miles separating us. All the more reason I’m relishing every moment of the reunion. Besides, with his arrival, I was instantly able to break free of the ho-hum days with great vigor. Now, I’m cooking a ton, spoiling the boys with new treats, and—photographing my way to happiness. Cooking, entertaining and clicking too. Of course.
I have far too many images, ready and waiting, and wonderful recipes--not yet drafted--that I’m eager to share with you. But, even before I snap out of my plans, I know it sounds way too ambitious. Because, between the cooking, chatting, entertaining and socializing, I end up with little or no time to write. And I can’t very well blog with just images and empty words, can I? So, that’s the set back. And I’m working on it.

With that transition, let me move on to the frozen treats. No, not ice-creams, but ice pops, or popsicles.
Summer is the time for flipflops, hammock on a beach, ice-cold drinks by the pool, and….golden afternoons enjoying juicy popsicles!

Everyone loves popsicles—the quintessence of summer.

Tasty. Juicy. Refreshing. Hydrating. And, incredibly cooling.
There’s no better way to beat the heat than suck on a homemade ice pop, enjoying many perky summer flavors with childish relish and perhaps a sense of silliness—if you know what I mean. Popsicles make me smile in reminiscence. It reminds me of being a kid; of truly happy times. The thrill of listening to the jiggling bells of the ice-cream seller pushing his cart down the street in front of my house, in India; the childish delight and sense of triumph on holding on to my own colorful pop; the gleam in the eyes while licking deliciously sweet juicy drips under the sweltering afternoon heat. Aha! Don’t you have similar memories?
Equipped with some craft sticks and fancy molds, these frozen treats are a breeze to make. A simple, fun way to forget the weather. You can experiment with flavors, colour and shapes all summer long. It’s amazing.

So, with the temperatures soaring, I’ve been on a major popsicle kick. With real fruits. Strawberry, mango, watermelon, and still more to go. I made them creamy, I made them zesty — YUM.

If you don’t have a ready-made popsicle mold, not to worry. Use paper cups, silicon cupcake molds, ice trays or even drinking glass to make your frozen treats. Wooden stirrers, cocktail sticks and plastic spoons would make great handles. Now, while mixing the ingredients for your pops, remember that frozen flavors will be muted, so don't hesitate to make it slightly sweeter and tarter than you normally prefer.
 
Watermelon Ice Pops

Ingredients

2 cups seedless watermelon chunks
5 tablespoon lime juice, or to taste
4 tablespoon sugar, or to taste
dash of salt
popsicle mould

Directions

Blend all the ingredients together until completely smooth. Taste and adjust flavors as needed. Strain through a sieve and pour into popsicle molds; insert handles. Freeze 5 hours or until set, preferably overnight.

To serve, run the molds quickly under warm water for 15 seconds and then gently twist the stick to release. Serve immediately. Remember the golden rule: lick, don't chew!

Strawberry Pops

Ingredients

1 cup strawberry, washed and hulled
sugar, to taste
2 teaspoon plain yogurt
silicon ice tray

Directions

Blend all the ingredients together until completely smooth and pour into the ice tray. Cover with foil and freeze 30 minutes or until almost firm, and then insert wooden sticks into center or corner of each pop, depending on the shape of the mold. This was a bit tricky with my heart shaped molds, but it was fun and the result was stylish. Return to freezer and freeze for additional 5 hours or until set, preferably overnight.

Remover from trays and enjoy them immediately before they are too melted!
Mango Popsicles

Ingredients

2 cup mango chunks, peeled and pitted
sugar, to taste
¼ cup vanilla yogurt
¼ cup water
silicon cupcake molds

Directions

Blend all the ingredients together until completely smooth. Taste and adjust flavors as needed. Strain through a sieve and pour into individual cupcake molds and cover with a foil. Freeze 30 minutes and then insert wooden sticks into center of each pop, over the foil, while still soft. Return to freezer and freeze for additional 5 hours or until set, preferably overnight.

For multilayer pops, pour one layer into the mould, freeze for an hour, and then pour the second layer. Return the molds to the freezer until set.

Remove from freezer, peel away foil and serve immediately, with or without molds. And oh, don’t forget the napkins!

These recipes are as versatile as the summer days are long. Chose any seasonal fruit in your kitchen, pimp it up with citrusy, creamy or herbal flavors, get the kids to help you layer contrasting colors, and have great fun discovering your new favorites. My elder boy loved the strawberry flavor and young one loved the mango popsicle. My favorite was the delightfully zesty watermelon pops. My hubby's too.

Alrighty, have some fast freezing fun with the family, keep smiling and stay cool!

84 comments:

  1. Omg, colourful and fantastic pops, love that heart shaped pops especially,soo cute..Prefect for grown up kids like me..

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  2. Loved browsing thro' ur space and enjoyed the wonderful recipes. Your clicks are too good and glad to follow u to instantly enjoy them as u post :):)

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  3. Refreshing, attractive & perfect summer treat!!
    Prathima Rao
    Prats Corner

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  4. I was imagining myself eating those colorful sorbets..love those heart shaped ones d most..:)

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  5. marvellous! the second pic is wowsome...oh so summer!

    i think your readers are forever gonna ask you abt your photographs...tht bit on the silhouette freaked me out!!

    i don even know if it's foam board or a form board lol!

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  6. So colourful. You have brought back good old school memories, nash. Must have been years since I tried one of these. Loved the post and the pics.

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  7. Fantastic clicks and great frozen dessert! My favorite goes to the heart shaped ones.....

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  8. woderfully clicked .....yum!

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  9. Gorgeous popsicles! And awesome clicks :)

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  10. I will take a couple of each of those! Amazingly inviting pics - Eye candy!

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  11. Beautiful and colourful popsicles, wish I could grab one.

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  12. OMG..looks awesome,lovely clicks dear...refreshing and a real treat.

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  13. A great treat to eyes...love to have one from each..:)

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  14. Wow,wonderful photography! SO calming and perfect treat for the summer too!

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  15. Ok now send some my way , it's too freakin' hot here , as usual amazing pics , you will have to teach me how to click awesome pics like these , I am useless at it .

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  16. wow superb clicks as usual......and refreshing popsicles for summer.......

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  17. super refreshing cool sticks...thanx for the recipe...love all the pictures...its really a virtual treat...amazing pictures...crystal clear...too goooood :)

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  18. kissssing.blogspot.com

    for anyone with a love for photography...

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  19. wow.......amazing.......feels like being a kid........

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  20. Awesome!! awesome...Clicks superb!!!

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  21. Tempting and irresistible pops... Perfect for the summer...

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  22. Amazing to see these pics love them for his summer!!!

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  23. Simply extraordinary... so beautiful.. love your writeup and your clicks..
    http://krithiskitchen.blogspot.com
    Event: Serve It-Chilled

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  24. oooh my they look very tempting...love all the different shapes! as summer comes along, I am surely going to be making them too!

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  25. hey dear awesome clicks...appreciate ur idea of using cupcake mouls ....wow recipe sounds soo sooo simple and the result can make anyone surprise.....keep it up

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  26. Looks delicious flavors and colors are there. I am in .

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  27. Awesome!! Fabulous...Clicks superb!!!

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  28. I have an award waiting for you in my space....

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  29. Loved the colours and the photographs. What ever superlatives I use would be an understatement :)

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  30. wow fantastic Popsicles !! loved the heart shape ones !!

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  31. these looks wonderfully flavoured delicious

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  32. lovely and very colorfull post apt for the season

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  33. Awesome clicks...I knw how hard is to click popsicles n icecreams...and u've done justice to all the clicks....yummy looking popsicles

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  34. Now you are making me hungry :) all pictures look awesome.

    Vardhini
    VardhinisKitchen

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  35. Wow! This summer treat is heavenly! I'd grab one!

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  36. Awesome clicks as usual!!! Love all the different shapes!

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  37. I’ve been thinking about making this for a while now and yours looks so good!! Great work!!

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  38. very tempting and fabulous popsicles. remember my child hood days when my mom makes such posicles with RASNA.

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  39. Great thirst quenchers all off them look fabulous.

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  40. Wow so irresistable & colorful popsicles..

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  41. mm...remembering my childhood....i'm loving it

    You hv got very wonderful sapce....
    plz visit my space when time permits...
    I'm ur happy follower now......

    DeepthiDigvijay
    Good Food Recipes
    Coffe With Me Deepthi

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  42. aw I LOVE the heart ones! I cant wait for it to heat up a bit and make some pops

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  43. First time here..u have a wonderful space with mouthwatering recipes n pics... Happy to follow you..Visit mine as time permits...
    Sunanda's Kitchen

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  44. Hi there, everyone! I'm so glad you stopped by to say hi -- you made my day!

    I hope you try them and let me know your favorite flavor! :)

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  45. Woww..a good treat for children in summer,u have lovely recipes,thanx for sharing.

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  46. it is indeed summer in a bowl...all the pics look gorgeous nash..esp the heart ones..love it :)

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  47. lovely... my daughtie is behind me .... the moment she saw this...:) the pictures looks so tempting to have some them..right away..!!!

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  48. One of the best things to have around for this sultry heat ~ I somehow associate the Popsicles with the fun innocent times of childhood!
    I really liked the cute heart ones very much :)
    US Masala

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  49. Stunning I say.. Wow.. popsicles look so so so good and that too the clicks are making me drool instantly :) yummmmmmmmmmmm :)

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  50. thanx for putting the write-up. Indeed, now we seem to rely more on Coke etc for beating the summer heat. Lets go for Frruits-Naturally Yum!!

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  51. Hi there! I’m so happy to hear from all of you...:)

    A big welcome and high-five to my new readers!

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  52. I am totally in love with this colorful popsicles... Beautiful clicks as always..

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  53. aahaa..these are super dooper nice ideas..great,thanks a bunch for sharing with us..a big hand for you..clappppppping

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  54. Brilliant idea and presentation. Awesome colors in those popsicles!! Would luv to have one:)

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  55. wow u have a wonderful blog ....... i was searching for the Popsicles recipe from long time .... mostly tomorrow i will doing this .. lovely tempting pictures ...... thanks for sharing ...

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  56. WOW what an array of popsicle? Don't know which one to look at, beautiful clicks.

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  57. Gorgeous Nashi! You blow me away! Thanks for your kind words on my Oreo birthday cake for Ria. I really appreciate your feed back on my photos as I REALLY want to improve and be atleast 10% as good as you are!

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  58. Girls! Thanks a bunch for your wonderful comments. Always makes me smile to see you here...:)

    Magpie, come on, I'm sure you'll do better than me!

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  59. This is so good. I think i just missed it:(....just dumped a whole lot of melon in to the bin...if i had seen this eaarlier, i would have made them in to these gorgeous beauties. Ur pics, speaks alot. BTW, i loved the look of ur rogan josh..I will try it next time, my recipe too is from pressure cooker book:)...try it w/o using pressure cooker...tastes much much better...pressure cooker kills the taste partially...

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  60. Loved Loved Loved your posts....esp the photos. was looking for any photography hints but I thought I can ask you :)))
    you are talented!

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  61. pretty pretty yummy looking popsicles
    do drop in to see my blog when time permits

    Cheers,
    Binitha
    yourstastefully.blogspot.com

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  62. The different shapes are so wonderful. Makes eating popsicles even MORE fun, if that can be possible. ;)

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  63. Wow..these ones are just amazing. Bookmarking!!

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  64. Cute popsicles! Perfect when it's hot outside.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  65. Shabs: Thanks for the tip, will sure try the slow cooking when I have the time :)

    Nesrine, Binitha and Carolyn: Thanks so much for stopping by to say hello -- much appreciated!

    Taste Junction: Have fun and enjoy!

    Hi Rosa, yep, this's a great treat to beat the heat!

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  66. wow! these looks so fun and good! thanks for sharing! I found your blog through a link party! I am your newest follower and would love it if you would check out my blog and follow me too! Thanks!
    -Nikki
    http://chef-n-training.blogspot.com/

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  67. Hey Nikki, welcome! Thanks so much for popping over and for your kind support. I'm off to check out your space... :)

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  68. What fun pictures! All of your photos are just so pretty. I want to try to make some of these pops with my little guy. Thanks for coming by to share! Have a great weekend.
    Katie

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  69. Your photos are beautiful and these ice pops look adorable and delicious! You have a really nice blog. I'm your newest follower! You can check out my blog too if you'd like. :)

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  70. Hey Katie, I hope you make them soon and enjoy them!

    Hi Lisa, thanks for your lovely words and kind support! It's always fun to check out another new site - see you there soon!

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  71. wOWW.. They look soo yummy... I want them too :D I have to bookmark this recipe. :D

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  72. Hi :) I loved this idea and linked it at my blog for a Yummy-Tummy series I run every Wednesday.
    http://mindfull-meanderings.blogspot.com/2011/07/yummy-tummy-wednesday-10.html

    I Hope you don't mind putting up your pics on my blog.. do let me know else I'll take them down. I have added a link to this post.

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  73. @Kitchenaffaire: Yes, you should try it. It's so easy and yummy!

    MindfulMeanderer, thanks for the note. I'm happy you liked the pops and posted it in your series :)

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    Replies
    1. Hi there,
      Where can I get these moulds in Doha?
      Thanks for a fabulous and yet easy recipe :)

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    2. Hi Nihan, I got the heart shaped mould and popsicle mould from Airport Rawanaq. The silicone cupcake mould is from Marks & Spensers. You should also check out Al Shaheen store, they do have a variety of silicone moulds. Don't hesitate to write to me if you have questions, good luck!

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    3. Hi Nashira,
      thanks for your prompt response. I'll try these places for the moulds.. also, I've been looking for these sticks but have been unable to find them. Would you please tell me where to get these?
      Thanks again :)

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    4. Again, check out Rawanaq, they have pretty much everything for dirt cheap prices. I'd also suggest scouting around Daiso at Hyatt Plaza. Tavola store in Royal plaza is also a good haunt, they sell Wilton products, but on they're on the expensive side.

      Do let me know if you end up making popsicles :)

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  74. Hi!
    What a lovely blog you have! Beautiful pictures! This recipe seems easy to make too!!!!

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  75. Hello usha. Thanks for popping over and sharing your thoughts. Hope to see ya around :)

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  76. best frozen n timely clicks .....iam loving it...n the ideas of making different shapes of popsicles is so good...thnx for ur inspiring words on my blog...i know that my pic is not that good( using just 7 pixel digi cam) but ur words encourages me for making some better clicks in future....-
    Meena's Kitchen

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  77. Oh My God !!! The best blog i have ever seen in my life!!!! i will try ur dishes!!!

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    Replies
    1. Aww thanks for the sweet comment Sherly, you are too kind! Oh yes, plz do try the recipes :)

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  78. Looks yummy yum yum yum... I really like your blog. "HONEST"

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A million thank you's for stopping by, taking the time to connect, and coming back to visit again. I genuinely appreciate each of your kind thoughts, lovely words, love and support. Happy, happy to hear from you, and hope to see you again!

♥ Nashi