Photo: Copyright Zoku, LLC. All images used with permission.
Make gorgeous, delicious and healthy pops in less than ten minutes with the Zoku Quick Pop Maker
BY MAGAZINE COO MARGO MAIER-MOUL
Recipes for Lemonade Ice Pops and Cherries & Cream Pops below
I remember when pouring orange juice (from concentrate) into a plastic mold and waiting an eternity until the next day to enjoy my frozen treat was my idea of a homemade pop. Not any more!
Homemade ice pops have finally catapulted into the 21st century with the introduction of the Zoku Quick Pop Maker. We were thrilled to have the opportunity to review this delightful instant gratification device and found it to be exactly as advertised: an easy, fun and creative way to make healthy, beautiful and whimsical frozen treats in about ten minutes.
Seriously. Ten minutes.
The basics and beyond
The Zoku Quick Pops maker comes in two sizes: the original three-at-a-time, or the newer “Duo” two-at-a-time model, and both work the same way. Put the unit in your freezer for a thorough 24 hour chill down and when you’re ready to make the pops, you simply put the sticks in the unit, pour in your pop mixture, and let them freeze. In about the time it takes to do three rounds of sun salutations, the pops are done. Use the special super tool to remove them (turn clockwise a little bit more than you think you have to until the pop releases), snap on a drip guard, and enjoy the fruits of your very modest labor!
It’s good for two (or three if you’re quick and practiced) batches, without the use of electricity or re-freezing. In our testing, the first batch took about ten minutes, slightly longer than the 7-9 advertised minutes. The second batch took a bit longer and we dared not make a third. However, we believe that if our freezer were kept closer to the 0 degrees Zoku recommends, our freezing times would be faster and we could have achieved a third batch.
Instant gratification is not the only benefit of the high-speed freezing of the Zoku; it also allows for advanced pop techniques. Layering and striping of different flavors. Garnishing and designing with bits of fruit or nuts. Swirling, marbling and angling various layers. Making “core” pops with a filling on the inside. Some of these techniques are made easier with tools such as the Zoku fruit wand or angle tray, but a sharp knife, tweezers, a steady hand, and practice will also do the trick.
The bottom line is that we adore this super fun, super easy, well-designed and high performing product. Once you own one, you’ll never believe you lived without it.
It does what it says it does: makes frozen pops quickly and easily. Their Quick Pops recipe book is full of great recipes, creative techniques, and inspires exploration and experimentation. The portion size is perfect for a snack or light dessert. The pops themselves are delicious and refreshing and can be super healthy if made with fresh organic fruits and minimal sweetener.
There really aren’t any cons
The only possible drawback to the Zoku method of pop making versus the so-twentieth century way of waiting overnight for your pops to freeze is that you can’t make big batches for hoards of neighborhood kids or hungry party guests. (I can live with that in exchange for a spontaneous and healthy treat after work or a light dessert using what I probably already have in the fridge.)
There may be naysayers who think that ice pops are only to be enjoyed during the hottest days of summer. To them I suggest Pumpkin Spice Latte Pops, Cranberry Orange Pops and holiday decorated Pepperment Pops.
In other words, we’re looking forward to healthy frozen treats all year round and to having fun making them!
Plus it has great accessories
Kids-at-heart, creative types and gadget geeks will want to snap up the Zoku Tool Kit, with specialized pouring cups, a siphon (for filled pops), the fruit wand (for decorating) and angle tray (for fancy layering). Party throwers will want the freezer Storage Case to store up to six pops safely in your freezer for future consumption.
The ultimate playmate for the Zoku Quick Pop Maker is the Zoku Quick Pops book by Jackie Zorovich and Kristina Sacci. One thing we love about homemade pops is being able to control the quality of ingredients and the amount and type of sugar. Jackie and Kristina are not only be strong advocates for healthy and fresh ingredients, but their emphasis on fun and creativity is truly infectious. The book includes tips and clear instructions for layering, filling, marbling and decorating your pops. With over 40 recipes, from fresh & fruity Lemonade (recipe below) and Just peachy, to ultra decadent treats like Chocolate Coconut Cookie Mayhem, there is something for everybody. Vegans, don’t despair! Almond, soy or rice milk can be substituted where dairy products are called for.
The Zoku blog is also a great source of free and inspiring ice pop recipes.
Lemonade Quick Pops
Excerpted from Quick Pops by Jackie Zorovich and Kristina Sacci. Copyright © 2010 by Zoku, LLC. Excerpted by permission of Zoku, LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
1 cup (8 oz) water
3 Tbsp sugar
1/4 cupe (2 oz) fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup (2 oz) pure orange juice
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
Lemon slices, cut 1/8″ thick (optional)
MAKE THE LEMON BASE
Stir together the water and sugar until sugar has dissolved (1-2 min.). Stir in the lemon juice, orange juice, and vanilla.
ASSEMBLE THE POPS
Using the Zoku Fruit Wand (p.12) or tweezers, apply the lemon slices to the walls of the pop maker molds. Insert sticks and pour the lemon base until you reach the fill line. Let freeze completely, then remove the pops with the Super Tool and enjoy! Repeat with remaining pops. Yields 6.
Cherries and Cream Quick Pops
Copyright Zoku, LLC Images & recipes used with permission.
Escape the heat with the cool and refreshing Cherries and Cream Quick Pops! The melding of cherries and cream, topped with chocolate is a winning combination! So indulge yourself with these delicious pops!
Makes 6 Pops
FOR THE CHERRY BASE
6 ounces fresh pitted cherries
½ cup Greek vanilla yogurt
½ cup whole milk
1 tablespoon granulated white sugar
FOR THE QUICK SHELL
2/3 cup (4 oz) semisweet chocolate chips
1/3 cup (2 ½ oz) refined coconut oil
MAKE THE CHOCOLATE QUICK SHELL
In a double boiler over barely simmering water, whisk together the chocolate and coconut oil until the chocolate has completely melted. Remove from heat and let cool completely before applying to pops. Yields 3/4 cup of Quick Shell.
MAKE THE CHERRY BASE
In a blender, combine cherries, yogurt, milk, and sugar. Blend until throughly combined and smooth.
ASSEMBLE THE POPS
Remove Zoku Quick Pop Maker from the freezer. Insert sticks and pour the Cherry base into each cavity until you reach the fill line. Let freeze completely and remove the pops with the Super Tool. Repeat with remaining pops.
ADD THE QUICK SHELL
Hold a pop flat side facing up, use a small spoon to drizzle Quick Shell onto the pops. Wait a few seconds for the shell to harden and do the same to the other side. Enjoy!
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© 2011, The Magazine of Yoga, LLC.