Fruity Ice Pops

We’re on the countdown to our vacation in Nova Scotia. In one week we’ll be on a layover, happily drinking and eating to pass the time – who cares that we have to spend 5 hours in an airport…We’re On Vacation!!! By next Friday we’ll be spending Canada Day in Truro, NS. Me: soaking in all the sights, smells, and sounds that the East Coast has to offer. Kyle: reminiscing of his childhood spent growing up in such a rich part of our country. I can not wait. I’ve pumped myself up for things before and been disappointed, but I have a sneaking suspicion that nothing can prepare me for the wonderful holiday we are about to have.

The one thing I’m hoping for though is that the weather changes. Right now, it’s cold, rainy, and miserable in Nova Scotia. And we’re living in one of the hottest places in Canada. I know, it’s a shocker. The North is known is for being the Land of the Midnight Sun – not the Place to Get Your Tan On. I adore the heat – and I really don’t want to be heading out of this place to go somewhere colder. That’s just not what we do here. We leave our little Capital City to escape the cold.

While I’m a akin to reptiles and prefer my settings to be hot as opposed to cool, I realize that most warm-blooded people start melting this time of the year. This is when most people shut down, lose the will to exert the tiniest bit of energy, for fear that simply lifting a finger will break them into a drenching sweat. I however just start to find my midnight-sun groove and don’t run out of steam until September. While the oven is taking a break for a couple of months, the blender, food processor, and BBQ get to take centre stage. Grilling up summer feasts, preparing summer soups, and blitzing up fruit for drinks and icy treats. I can’t get enough of the fresher tasting produce (we don’t have the luxury of farm-stands and farmers markets up here) and my mind goes into overload with all the different ways to prepare it.

Getting back to icy treats. I know you want them this time of year. And making your own takes very little time at all. You get to control the sugar and you know you’re eating real fruit. Of course you could leave the fruit out entirely and just make your own chocolate pops. Or coffee ones. Really anything you can get into a fluid form and jam into an ice-pop mould.

I made these fruit-based (and a little alcohol-based) ice pops over the weekend. When I knew I’d need something to cool myself off while lounging on the balcony. It’s simply of matter of throwing everything into the food processor (or blender), straining through a fine-mesh sieve, pouring into the moulds, and freezing for at least 2 hours. Done. It’s even simpler if you can get someone to clean up the mess for you. (Alas, I was still alone at the time these were made – but not for long, as Kyle returned early this past Tuesday!)

I’m sharing the recipes for two flavours I made. But experiment with whatever you have on hand. Peaches would be amazing. Citrus juices would be especially refreshing. These two fruits though – Strawberries & Watermelon – are the epitome of Summer for me. And I seem to have an abundance of both this time of year, so I need every possible method to use them up before the heat gets to them first.

Watermelon Ice Pops

4-5 slices of watermelon (you can see the size of slices I mean in the photo)
juice of 1 lime (if it’s not very juicy, use 2)
1/4 cup simple syrup (recipe follows)

Throw everything into a food processor or blender. Process until the mixture is liquid and there a very few chunks left. Place a fine-mesh sieve over a bowl (preferably one that is easy to pour from). Pour the watermelon mixture into the sieve, and with the back of a spoon, work out as much of the liquid as you can. You can skip this step, but your ice pops may not hold together as well – plus the texture won’t be as appetizing. Pour the mixture into the moulds and place into the freezer for at least 2 hours.

To serve, place the moulds into hot water for about 30 seconds to loosen them up.

Strawberry-Mint Daiquiri Ice Pops

1 lb strawberries, sliced
juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup simple syrup
4 oz. coconut rum
2 Tbsp fresh mint, chopped

Place the strawberries, lemon juice, simple syrup, and rum into a food processor or blender. Process until the mixture is liquid and there are very few chunks left. Place a fine-mesh sieve over a bowl. Pour the strawberry mixture into the sieve, and with the back of a spoon, work out as much of the liquid as you can. Stir in the mint. Pour the mixture into the moulds and place into the freezer for at least 2 hours.

To serve, place the moulds into hot water for about 30 seconds to loosen them up.

Simple Syrup

1 cup water
1 cup sugar

Combine water and sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and stir until the sugar dissolves. Allow the mixture to cool, then transfer to a clean container. Will keep refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.

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