Friday, June 17, 2011

Rocket Pops

I don't think anyone would argue that summertime as a kid was one of the best times of your life.  Hot days at the beach, warm nights playing outside, not a worry in the world.  I have very fond memories of my summers as a kid, and now as a mom I get the pleasure of watching my son enjoy this glorious time of year.  When I was young, I loved hearing the loud, obnoxious tunes of the ice cream truck.  You could hear it from five blocks away, and me and all my friends would impatiently wait until he turned down our street.  We would all run to him, screaming, hoping he would see us and stop.  My favorite ice cream truck treat was without a doubt the bomb pops.  Red, white, and neon blue, and so darn good.  The red layer was my favorite so I was always sad that it was at the top.  Patriotic, festive, and delicious- they were the ultimate frozen treat.

Fast forward 25 years and I still love popsicles.  They have become one of my son's most requested treats as soon as the weather heats up.  I make him all kinds of frozen concoctions; yogurt popsicles, fruit pops, and homemade ice cream.  With Fourth of July right around the corner, my thoughts wandered back to the summers of my youth, and I knew I had to make him rocket popsicles.  One problem-  I wasn't about to give him the rocket pops I grew up on.  A huge heaping of corn syrup, plus a zillion dyes and additives- not the kind of food I want him eating.  But I wasn't about to deny him his favorite frozen treat on a stick either.  I had to recreate the rocket pop- make a healthier version, with some nutritional value, and no crazy additives.  I use fresh fruit in mine, full of antioxidants and vitamins, and while they might not be the brightly colored ones I remember from my youth, they are delicious and I can feel good about giving them to him.  Plus, he LOVES rocket ships, so you can imagine the look on his face when I pulled out a tri-colored popsicle in the shape of a rocket!  Oh ya, mom scored some points today!

Rocket Pops

Strawberry Layer
2 C fresh or frozen strawberries ( you can also use watermelon or raspberries)
3  T agave syrup or 1/4 c granulated sugar

Put strawberries and sweetener into food processor and blend until smooth.  If using frozen strawberries, let them sit out until slightly defrosted before blending in food processor.
Spoon strawberry mixture into popsicle molds ( you can also use paper cups) about 1/3 of the way up.  Freeze for 30-45 minutes.

Lemon Layer
1/2 C water
1/4 C sugar
1/2 C fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/4 C orange juice
1/4 t vanilla extract

Bring water and sugar to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat.  Stir until sugar is dissolved.  Remove from heat and add lemon juice, orange juice, and vanilla.  Let cool to room temperature.  Pour into molds over strawberry layer, about 2/3 way up the molds.  Freeze until almost frozen, about 30-45 minutes.

Blueberry Layer
2 C frozen blueberries, defrosted slightly
3 T agave syrup or 5 T sugar

Place blueberries and sweetener into food processor and blend until smooth.  Spoon over lemon layer, leaving a little room at the end of your molds, as the popsicles will expand slightly when frozen.  Place sticks in and freeze until solid.

I used Tovolo's Rocket popsicle molds, they are BPA free and have a great rocket shape but any rocket shaped mold will work, as will paper cups.  If using paper cups, just layer and freeze according to the recipe, then peel off the paper when you're ready to eat!  Because all molds are different, you may have some fruit purees leftover.  You can refrigerate the fruit purees and use them as a topping for yogurt, ice cream, oatmeal, or waffles.

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