Popsicles may seem an odd posting choice as we head into fall, but the explanation is simple: (1) It's still in the high 80s here in East Texas; (2) I have a profound popsicle obsession (bordering on compulsion); and (3) I have passed my fixation on to Nick.
My own fixation was bred early. My mother tried (emphasis on tried) to limit our (me, sister and brother) sugar intake, to the point where she wouldn't let us eat more than half of an all-natural, co-op brand fruit leather at one sitting. One of her few exceptions was popsicles. Before entire aisles of the supermarket were filled ith copious ice cream novelty options, our co-op sold a 12-pack of all-natural fruit popsicles. (yes, I remember the exact number; we each got four popsicles.). For whatever reason, my mother thought this was a reasonable option, so we typically had a box in the freezer.
As a result, I grew up thinking that popsicles were a standard part of any diet, a staple for any home freezer. The affection intensified in college (they sold them in the college cafe; I often made it my post-library late-night snack) and I consumed record numbers while finishing my dissertation (ideal for concentrating over a tedious article, or hold with the left hand, type with the right on the computer). But my fixation reached its zenith while I was pregnant. I would drive to multiple grocery stores to get my favorite flavor du jour (tangerine at Brookshire Brothers, strawberry at the Kroger, lime & coconut from Wal-Mart) and easily eat a whole box in a day (especially in my 8th and 9th months).
It's calmed down in the years since Nick made his entrance, but popsicles remain an ever-present staple of the deep freezer. And when I saw a popsicle mold on sale at a kitchen store back in May, I realized it was high time I made my own.
I crafted a few batches (with Nick's assistance) earlier in the summer (loved them with the V-8 juice blends, and a good way to sneak some vegetables into his treats), but the mold has been sitting unused since mid-July. When I read Nicole's post (Baking Bites) for lemonade yogurt popsicles, though, I knew it was time to put it back to use.
I love yogurt even more than I love popsicles--what could be better? The addition of fresh strawberries, that's what. Up the ante with Greek yogurt, and the result is one of the most delicious popsicles--ever (that comes from both me and Nick). And they are so easy, too; the only hard part is waiting for them to freeze.
No Greek yogurt? No problem. But you will need to plan ahead for an added step: straining the yogurt. The process is a simple: strain the yogurt to remove most of the liquid. My preferred apparatus is a large coffee filter place inside a bowl or 2-cup glass measuring cup, suspended by a knife.
Depending on how much yogurt I'm straining, I may set up two to three of these rigs. Place them in the refrigerator overnight and voila, you've got thick strained "Greek" yogurt by morning. For this recipe, opt for plain yogurt for the straining process, then sweeten to taste with honey.
Purée strawberries in a blender food processor along with the powdered sugar.
Spoon half the yogurt into a bowl and stir in 2 tbsp of purée so it is stained pink. Spoon into popsicle molds, add the rest of the purée, then the rest of the yogurt. Push in popsicle sticks and freeze until solid. Makes 6 (more or less depending on the size of your popsicle molds).