Summer Berries + Coconut Cream Popsicles
EXCELLENT NEWS: It's popsicle week!!!
Every year, Billy from Wit & Vinegar leads us in a weeklong celebration of all things popsicles. Bloggers from around the world create, photograph, and share unique and delicious popsicle recipes--check out Billy's popsicle week page and the #popsicleweek hashtag on Instagram to see all of this year's amazing pops! There's a strawberry rhubarb pie one that I have my eye on, and actually I just found a fresh mint and chocolate chip pop too, so basically this never-ending list of gorgeous popsicles means that I am going to be a nonstop popsicle making shop for the rest of the summer and I'm 100% okay with that.
This is my first year participating in popsicle week because last year I was in the middle of my big move to the east coast, and twelve hour per day car rides are not wildly conducive to the art of popsicle-making. I'd have to say that so far my feelings about popsicle week 2018 are a general vibe of YAAASS QUEEN, but this reaction might be partially because I just binge-watched both seasons of Queer Eye on Netflix and Jonathan Van Ness's very cute, super bubbly voice pops into my head every time I come across another beautiful new popsicle. It's also because who wouldn't get that excited about an entire week dedicated to the mass creation of delectable frozen treats?!
Popsicle week came just in time this year because temperatures seem to be hot hot hot pretty much everywhere. It was 96° today with a heat index of 112°, which is straight up bananas. In fact, as I'm writing this at near midnight (whoops, so much for going to bed at a reasonable hour) it's still 82° with 92% humidity, and my Colorado mountain girl brain can't comprehend nights that steamy. So this has been your unrequested late night Charleston weather report, thanks for tuning it and we'll see you next time. Now back to you, popsicles.
My contribution to this year's popsicle week are these Summer Berries + Coconut Cream Popsicles. I've never made popsicles before, so I wanted to go pretty classic for my first go. I decided on strawberries and blueberries because we're in such a beautiful time where strawberry season is here and blueberry season is bopping right along, and these fruits are so sweet and perfect right now. Also, they make the prettiest, brightest colors that just scream summer to me!
Where I did get mildly adventurous was with the addition of coconut. I haven't worked a whole ton with coconut cream, and I can't say that I remember buying a can of coconut milk before deciding to use it in this recipe. I didn't realize that the liquid and cream separate in the can, so I was surprised and delighted to find coconut cream on the top when I opened it. I liked how these turned out with the cream even better than the milk that I originally planned on using, especially when whipped together with the fruit in the blender. It gives the finished popsicles an extra creaminess and infusion of coconut flavor that pairs nicely with the sweetness of the summer fruits. I definitely want to play around with using coconut cream in more recipes after making these.
There are rose petals in most of these pictures, so I want to be clear: there are no roses in these popsicles! By all means, go wild and sprinkle on some edible rose petals if that strikes your fancy. I don't mean to limit you, just clarify that they're not an ingredient you need to have in order to make these popsicles! I grabbed some petals from the rose bushes outside because they were so gorgeous and colorful and I thought they'd look pretty in photographs. (And hey guess what? I was right!)
Now that I've caught the popsicle-making bug and seen the wide world of possibilities (Popsibilities? Popsiclebilities?), my mind is already racing with ideas for popsicle week next year. They were just so much fun to make! From what I can tell, most popsicle recipes seem to be pretty low stress and easy, which just makes their vibe that much chiller. If you've never made them before, this recipe is a good one to start out with because it requires minimal ingredients, takes very little active working time, and is simple to pull together. You don't even need to purchase a popsicle mold--I used paper cups instead and it worked like a charm! Even if you're a popsicle pro, you'll still enjoy these delicious pops. They're sweet, summery, and refreshing, with the added bonus of a tiny crunch from the unsweetened coconut flakes.
Happy summer solstice, happy popsicle week, and happy Summer Berries + Coconut Cream Popsicles day to you all! I hope you get to soak up the sun on these long summer days and munch on some frozen popsicle goodness to help handle the heat. :)
Summer Berries + Coconut Cream Popsicles
Makes: 5 popsicles
Takes: 15 minutes + 8 hours freeze time
- 2 cups strawberries
- 2 cups blueberries
- 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut cream from 1 can unsweetened coconut milk
- 2 tsp. lemon juice
- 2 tsp. honey
- 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
- Open a can of coconut milk and scoop the cream out, leaving the coconut liquid behind (in most canned coconut milk, the cream and liquid will have separated and the cream will be at the top).
- Cut the green tops off of the strawberries and put them in a blender with 1/4 cup coconut cream, 1 tsp. lemon juice, and 1 tsp. honey.
- Blend for a minute, or until the mixture is completely smooth and all fruit chunks are gone.
- Pour the strawberry-coconut mixture into a glass and set aside, using a spatula to scrape down the sides of the blender.
- Put the blueberries and the other 1/4 cup coconut cream, 1 tsp. lemon juice, and 1 tsp. honey into the blender.
- Blend for a minute, or until the mixture is completely smooth and all fruit chunks are gone. Note: This mixture will be a little thicker than the strawberry one.
- Pour the blueberry-coconut mixture into a glass and set aside, using a spatula to scrape down the sides of the blender.
- If you have a popsicle mold, you can use that. Otherwise: On a baking sheet, set out 5 disposable paper cups.
- Pour 1/4 cup of the strawberry-coconut mixture into each paper cup. Pour 1/4 cup of the blueberry-coconut mixture over the top of the strawberry-coconut mixture in each cup. Then, dip a fork into each cup and very slightly swirl the fruit mixtures together.
- Sprinkle unsweetened coconut flakes over each cup, covering what will become the base of your popsicle.
- Tap the baking sheet against the counter a few times to even out and settle the popsicle mixtures in their cups. Put the baking sheet with the popsicles into the freezer.
- After 2 hours, take the popsicles out and insert a popsicle stick into the middle of each. Put them back into the freezer.
- Freeze for a minimum of 8 hours, or overnight.
- Take the popsicles out of the freezer and either remove from their molds or rip away the paper cups. Enjoy that fruity, creamy, coconutty taste of summer!