Dizzy. If I were to sum up childhood summers in one word, it would be dizzy. Dizzy from spinning in endless circles on the tire swing. Dizzy from chasing each other round and round and round the yard. Dizzy from watching the leaves sway as I stared up into the trees from my hammock. Dizzy from the speed at which spring turned to summer, turned to fall.
With daytime TV banned and video games yet to be invented, we had only our imaginations and each other for entertainment. We chased and leapt and tumbled and climbed our way through the hot, sticky, un-air-conditioned days of summer. Mom cooled us off with popsicles made from frozen Freshie® (a Canadian knock off of KoolAid®). They were sweet, icy treats. Everyone bit the ends off and munched their way down to the stick. Everyone but me. I sucked all the flavour out the tip, and only when I was left with a pale, ice cube of a popsicle would I crunch.
These raspberry-maple frozen yogurt popsicles are a cross between ice cream and the simple ice sugars of summers gone past. Even with copious amounts of dairy, they aren’t creamy like their churned counterpart. They shatter slightly when bitten. But then again, they require no stove top, no ice cream maker and nothing more elaborate than a blender and a sieve. You can even skip the sieve.
A package of Dixie cups, some wooden sticks and a bit of freezer space will get you through the summer. The solution’s so simple it can make your head spin.
What were your favourite cool down treats from childhood?
- 2 cups plain, whole milk or Greek yogurt
- 2 cups raspberries, fresh or frozen
- ½ cup maple syrup (raw blue agave works well, too)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Place the yogurt, berries, maple syrup and vanilla extract in a blender and purée until the raspberries are smooth and all ingredients are well blended. Taste. You may want to adjust the sweetening depending on how tart your berries are.
- Place a fine-mesh sieve over a jug with a pouring spout. Strain the yogurt mixture, pressing it against the walls of the sieve with a metal ladel to extract as many of the raspberry seeds as possible.
- Pour the mixture into popsicle molds or into paper cups. If you are using molds, insert the handles and put the popsicles into the freezer. If you are using paper cups, freeze the popsicles for about half an hour or until the yogurt is firm enough to hold a wooden popsicle stick when inserted. Freeze until firm -- at least 2 hours for small popsicles, up to 4 hours for larger ones.
- If using popsicle molds, run the mold under lukewarm water and twist to release. If using paper cups, simply tear the cup off the frozen popsicle. Eat immediatley.
This recipe is adapted from Orangette who was inspired by David Lebovitz's The Perfect Scoop. Raspberry-maple is a classic Canadian flavour combination. Better than Freshie® any day.