Every Friday, a DIY expert spares us a trip to the grocery store and shows us how to make small batches of great foods at home.
Growing up, Rocket Pops were my favorite summer treat. They’re juicy, they're refreshing -- but they’re also filled with a long list of unnecessary ingredients. So I've made a fruit-heavy, lightly sweetened treat that you will enjoy all summer long -- starting with the Fourth of July. It may not look exactly like the traditional Rocket Pop, but it also won’t include made-up fruit like the infamous blue raspberry.
These are perfect for cooks of any age -- and they're especially great for the kiddos to get involved with. If you don't have an ice-pop mold, don't worry! These can easily be made using small paper cups. Just freeze the mixture as directed in the instructions, then peel the paper away just before eating.
If you want to serve these to a crowd -- say, on the Fourth of July -- but you only have one set of popsicle molds, here's what to do: make a batch of popsicles, then remove them from the molds, wrap them in parchment paper, and place them on a baking sheet in your freezer. Then make another batch, and repeat, continuing to stack them on the baking sheet until you've made enough to serve your guests.
A few notes:
- For a creamier version, use full-fat or light canned coconut milk instead of coconut water. You may need to adjust the amount of liquid you use.
- To remove the blackberry seeds: Pour the blackberry mixture through a fine mesh strainer and help work it through with the back of the spoon. The seeds should remain in the strainer.
- And feel free to use raspberries instead of strawberries!
Homemade Berry Rocket Pops
Makes four 3.5-ounce pops
1 cup hulled strawberries, partially frozen
1/2 cup blueberries, partially frozen
1/2 cup blackberries, partially frozen
1 to 1 3/4 cup coconut water, divided
2 to 3 tablespoons agave nectar or honey, divided
1 1/4 cups crushed ice
2 to 3 tablespoons lime juice
1 teaspoon lime zest
You want to start with berries that are either frozen then partially thawed, or partially frozen. In your blender, blend the strawberries, 1/4 to 1/2 cup coconut water, and 1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons sweetener. You want the mixture to be thick, so use the smallest amount of coconut water possible. And add your sweetener last to avoid it sticking to the bottom of your blender.
Empty the strawberry mixture into a bowl or glass and freeze for about 30 minutes -- it should start to thicken. Rinse your blender, then repeat with your blackberries, blueberries, coconut water, and sweetener: blend and freeze.
Rinse your blender, then blend the crushed ice, lime juice, lime zest, 1/2 to 3/4 cup coconut water, and 1 tablespoon sweetener, again adding the sweetener last and using as little coconut water as possible. Taste for sweetness. Place in a bowl in the freezer for about 30 minutes, until starting to thicken.
You want your purées to reach a texture where you can spoon them on top of one another without them mixing -- like a thick slushy. After all mixtures have thickened, fill your popsicle molds about 1/3 of the way up with the strawberry mixture. Tap on the counter to level.
Spoon in the lime mixture next making sure there are no air pockets (lightly poke with the top end of the spoon to help fill gaps), then top with the blackberry/blueberry layer and level off the top.
Place popsicle sticks in the ends (your mixture should be thick enough that they remain standing) and freeze until solid, about 4 to 5 hours.
Serve your popsicles once frozen. They may need to thaw for about 5 to 10 minutes before you're able to remove them from the molds. Grab one, and you'll feel like a kid again. Happy Fourth of July!
Photos by Ashley McLaughlin