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Goji Berry Ice Pops and My "Captain Cooked" Giveaway Winner!

Posted Aug 18 2010 3:00am
I must confess, I am in a bit of a cooking, blogging funk the past couple of weeks so please pardon my lack of frequent posting. I have been living on the leftovers of the few things I have cooked, and otherwise it has been a rotation of popcorn, green salads, watermelon, organic pluots from the co-op, and pieces of pan-toasted millet bread with yellow tomato slices and Hawaiian salt--easy and good but nothing too interesting to blog about! I think it's a combination of the humid weather, being busy with work and school and whatever little mood I have gotten myself into. I am sure I'll snap out of it soon. ;-)

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention the ice pops. I have been eating lots of ice pops, mainly from my friends at OnoPops who keep making so many darn delicious, creative flavors of paletas with all local ingredients, that it is impossible for me to not stop by the booth and see what's new. This last weekend it was Watermelon-Hibiscus (I now know exactly what to do with all the dried hibiscus I still have in my pantry), Star Fruit-Lemon Grass, and Mountain Apple-Rose, plus I *needed* to throw in a Mexican Chocolate too. Yum! So probably the last thing I needed was more ice pops, but when I saw a recipe for Goji Berry Pops in a great little raw cookbook I bought, " Alive in 5: Raw Gourmet Meals in Five Minute s " by Angela Elliot, I had to try them.

Considered to be one of the most nutritionally packed fruits, goji berries (also known as wolfberry), are chock full of amino acids (19), carotenoids, Vitamins C (more than oranges) B & E, and 21 different trace minerals. Traditionally they are considered to be a food that promotes longevity and strength and boosts the immune system function. They are fairly tart--kind of a cross between a cranberry and sour cherry and I happened to buy a big bag of them from Chinatown and was in need of using some of them up. For the ice pops, the goji berries are soaked overnight in filtered water then dumped in the blender with some fresh-squeezed orange juice (and in my case, a Tablespoon of local honey--what can I say--I like sweet-tart more than just tart.), and then they are frozen in popsicle molds.

Elliot says, "Goji berries are so nutritious, it's impossible to eat too many of them."

Goji Berry Ice Pops
From "Alive in 5"
Makes 6 or more pops)

1 cup goji berries
2 cups filtered water
1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice

Place the goji berries in a bowl, and cover them with the water. Let soak in the refrigerator for 8-12 hours. Place the goji berries and their soak water in a blender. Add the orange juice, and process until smooth. Pour into popsicle molds and freeze.

Note: The trick to making these lovely pops quickly is to always have goji berries soaking in water in your refrigerator.

Notes/Results: Different but pretty good--they grow on you. My first bite I wasn't that thrilled about, but as I ate more, I liked them better and even found them kind of oddly addicting. They have sort of a tart-fruity-earthy taste to them, if that makes any sense. With all the vitamin C and other nutrients in them, they are a good-for-you snack and a good way to cool down on a humid day. I would make them again, but I might try mixing them with another dried, soaked fruit for a taste variation. Fun to try, but OnoPops can rest easy that they won't have any competition from me!

And now what you were probably really reading this blog for... The winners of my "Captain Cooked"--Hawaii-based foodie mystery giveaway. I got to choose two lucky winners who will each receive a copy of the book, signed by author S.P. Grogan, plus a few fun mystery ingredients to help them cook from it. (I like saying mystery ingredients, plus I still have to get them together but I'll let you know what goes in the packages.)

So I put in all the entries (up to 3 per person depending on how many entries they did) and shook them up in a little steamer basket and (drumroll please)....drew two little slips of paper out of the basket.

And the winner was...

girlichef and...girlichef! OK, I don't know what kind of weird voodoo, mojo, funky vibes that Heather was putting into the air for this drawing but I need me some of that because I drew her name TWICE! Too funny! I really did shake the basket with the lid on and everything!

Since Heather can only read one copy, I shook the basket again, reached in and this time drew...Kim from Liv Life !

So our two lucky winners are girlichef whose setting for her foodie mystery seems well-planned. She said, "Um, do you know that I toss the idea of where my culinary mystery would be located. Often. Since I do plan on writing one someday, I'd probably set it in Michigan... having grown up there and all, I know the "feeling". The people, the land, the secrets and mysteries, the nooks and crannies!!! Or else Nothern Indiana...perhaps it'd cross over since they're border states. OOOOOHHHH!! So excited ;)"

And Kim from Liv Life who said, "For my foodie mystery I'd love to be in the South Pacific with all the fresh fruits, fish and coconut... amongst the swaying palms of course...!"

Congratulations ladies! Please email me with your shipping addresses and I'll get your packages out to you ASAP. I expect to see some fun cooking going on after you read the book! ;-)

Thanks to everyone who entered--I really had fun reading all your comments about your foodie mystery settings! I promise to read all your books!

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