How does one freshen up a homemade ice pop? By adding curry, avocado or Campari to the mix! The New York Times’ Mark Bittman shares fun, easy-to-make popsicles that will help you cool down this summer. Pick up some plastic molds and enjoy these truly unique combinations:
Cherry vanilla: Purée 2 cups pitted cherries, 3 tablespoons sugar, 2 teaspoons lemon juice, 2 teaspoons vanilla and water as needed to get the machine going.
Strawberry basil: Purée 2 cups hulled and quartered strawberries, 3 tablespoons sugar, 2 teaspoons lemon juice, 2 tablespoons basil leaves and water as needed.
Peach ginger: Purée 2 cups chopped fresh peaches (peeled or not), 3 tablespoons sugar, 2 teaspoons lemon juice, 1/2 inch fresh ginger and water as needed.
Tomato cucumber: Purée 1 pound tomatoes, 1/2 small seeded cucumber, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar, 1 garlic clove, 1/2 cup water and plenty of salt and pepper.
Coconut curry: Purée 2 cups coconut milk, 1 inch fresh ginger, 1 tablespoon curry powder, 1 small hot fresh chili, 2 tablespoons lime juice and salt and pepper.
Avocado cilantro: Purée 2 ripe avocados, 1/4 cup lime juice, 1/2 cup cilantro leaves, 1 1/2 cups water and salt and pepper.
Orange Cream: Whisk together 2/3 cup whole milk, 1 1/3 cups orange juice, 3 tablespoons sugar and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla until the sugar dissolves.
Chocolate chili: Cook 2 cups milk, 6 ounces chopped bittersweet chocolate, 3 tablespoons sugar, 1 tablespoon cocoa powder and 1/4 teaspoon chili powder over medium-low heat, stirring, until smooth. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Cool slightly before freezing.
Banana peanut: Purée 2 medium bananas, 1 cup milk, 1/4 cup sugar, 1/4 cup peanut butter and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon chopped roasted peanuts into each Popsicle mold before adding banana mixture.
Mojito: Make simple syrup as described. Purée with 1/3 cup rum, 1/2 cup mint leaves, 1/3 cup lime juice and 1 cup water.
Grapefruit Campari: Make simple syrup: cook 1/4 cup sugar and 1/4 cup water over medium-low heat until the sugar dissolves. Combine with 1 1/2 cups grapefruit juice
Fennel Pernod: Make simple syrup as described. Purée with 2 cups roughly chopped fennel and 1/2 cup Pernod or other anise liqueur.
Unique as these pops are, some may not be for everyone -- at least not for Matt, who sampled the avacado cilantro flavor as Bittman demonstrated live on TODAY how easy the ice pops are to make.
"Oh no, Mark, no," Matt exclaimed, reaching for something to drink after just a tiny nibble. "That is -- OK, that's different."
"Well, you can't please everybody with everything," Bittman said good-naturedly. "There are people whose palates are sophisticated enough to appreciate this."
"OK, fine, I'm a caveman," Matt retorted.
As Ann Curry and Natalie Morales joined him in TODAY's Kitchen, he was quick to offer them tastes of the avocado cilantro pop. The verdict? A hung jury.
"I like it," Ann said. But Natalie made a face: "I don't like that one whatsover."
Watch the video:
New York Times columnist Mark Bittman shows how to make childhood favorite of ice pops with grownup flavors, including fruity, savory, creamy and boozy.