*sigh* I stopped buying popsicles because of the high fructose corn syrup and switched to sugar free. I stopped buying sugar free popsicles because all the artificial flavors, sweeteners and colors were creating a reaction that was just as bad. There are a very few brands of fruit juice bars that do not have corn syrup in them. And the girls do love them. The only trouble is, they have 18g of sugar per bar compared to the 8g in a popsicle! So I prefer to make our own juice pops as often as I can. I must say, since I got it over a year ago, it is my firm opinion that the Zoku quick pop maker is one of the best inventions ever. You know how those freezer bowls work for ice cream makers? This is the same concept. The mold stays in the freezer and then you can have finished, hard frozen popsicles in 12-14 minutes. It also teaches the girls how to be patient. They don't even watch the mold anymore, they just wait for the timer to go off. ☺ But it also means I don't have to plan ahead 8 hours to have a frozen treat! Another nice thing about the zoku is that the pops look pretty big but actually only hold about ¼ cup of liquid. So each pop turns out to have about 6.5g sugar. (In this case.) Now that, I can live with. (One caveat: you cannot make sugar free pops - they will not release.)
Well, after walking home from school today in the 88ºF heat (which is warm for the pacific northwest), it was definitely time to make some frozen pops. I recently made a trip to Costco and picked up some things I don't usually have on hand and had never tried before. Some really tasty Odwalla strawberry lemonade - no corn syrup, yippee! They were demoing it as a starred item - once it's gone, it's gone. It has a thicker consistency because it's made with strawberry puree. Pretty good stuff, has a nice pucker to it. I also got some nice organic raspberry kefir with which I am pleased as well. So I figured I could add a hint of probiotics to the pops and slow down the absorption of that sugar by adding a little dairy/fat into the mix. I'm sure you could use coconut milk kefir for a dairy free option. I just used a 3:1 ratio of juice to kefir and the girls loved it. Maybe I'll try half and half and see if they still release well. They should, there is almost as much sugar in the kefir as the juice!
Frozen Strawberry Lemonade Kefir Pops
makes 4 zoku pops
¾ cup strawberry lemonade
¼ cup raspberry kefir
Mix in a liquid measuring cup and pour into the molds. Since the zoku only makes three at a time, you can either drink up the fourth portion or wait to freeze it in a second batch. (Yes, you can get two batches out of the zoku, the second just takes a few minutes longer.) Or you can freeze in your favorite frozen pop mold or dixie cups for 6-8 hours or overnight.
(Personally the time savings and versatility of the zoku has been so very worth the $50 price tag for me; I would be willing to get a second one if I had the need and the freezer space!)