Tuesday, June 10, 2008

One Wasteless Popsicle


It's hot here. I mean really hot. In a moment of weakness, I let the kids play with water last month and the resulting Riot water number? Not so good! So to beat the heat without wasting a bunch of water or turning to air conditioning, we've embraced popsicles.

It is no secret that the best way to avoid all the packaging, corn syrup, and weird additives is to make popsicles yourself. Like many mothers, I've poured watered down juice into a plastic popsicle mold, and, hours later, pulled out frozen, healthy and cheap treats for the kids.

What makes this post worthy, though, is something I discovered a few months back but didn't put into practice until today. In reading The Tightwad Gazette, Chile's bible, I came across the author's suggestion to put a splash of water into a nearly empty jam jar, swish it around and use the jam-water mixture for popsicles. (She also recommended making popsicles from almost done yogurt and overripe fruit. Puree the latter first). Now that I make all of our own jam, I'm much less willing to waste any of it just because it is stuck in the crevices of a jar. So I swished, filled, froze and licked.

How does an apple butter and water popsicle taste? Pretty darn good.

20 comments:

MamaBird said...

What a *great* idea. I also want to make some by mixing yogurt and juice - yogurt and jam might work too. And I have been ruthless inside about water usage and then let the kids play with the hose yesterday morning (sooo hot). It was insane to see all that water. I saved it in my water table to water plants with but still! Keep the hot water ideas flowing....

Joyce said...

I never thought about a water shortage meaning the kids couldn''t spend an afternoon on their slip-n-slide. Wow. Not sure how mine would have spent their summers with out the hose on constantly.

eco 'burban mom said...

Oooh, I'm not sure what my boys would think of apple butter popsicles. How I will ever get them to stop spending their babysitting cash on popsicles up at the corner store... It's a summer ritual for them. That's a great idea though, I might try this with the strawberries that will be coming in season here soon.

Chile said...

Her books are chock-full of good ideas, especially for you Moms. The only issue I have is that she apparently saves everything. Works fine if you have a huge homestead like she does. Not so fine if you have a smaller place and/or plan to move anytime soon. After reading her books initially, it took some deprogramming to be able to throw out or recycle true clutter.

I haven't made popsicles in years, but my soups often contain a lot of flavored broth from rinsing out cooking pans and "empty" jars. Not only does it use every last bit of food, it adds flavors and makes washing up so much easier!

CindyW said...

It's sort of weird that running through the sprinklers is a luxury these days in the bay area. But every so often, I succum to it when it is really hot.

I lived in Texas for quite a few years. One thing I miss is a good downpour in the summer. It's just so satisfying for some reason.

We eat so many popsicles in the summer. Thanks for reminding me to make my own.

Melissa said...

yogurt and jam sounds really good! I went for a bike ride yesterday (here in the bay area), and I was appalled at how much water was being sprinkelered(sp?) onto the sidewalks!!! In the middle of the day!!! I tried to ride through all of it to cool off a little and not make it a total waste :)

Crunchy Chicken said...

Does it work with peanut butter jars too? Add some water, sugar, shake and you've got yourself some tasty peanut pops. Fill half the mold with the peanut mixture, freeze and then the other half with your jam mixture and you have yourself a PBJ Pop.

About the jam, though, most of mine are concoctions of fruit, sugar and liquors. Hey kids! Who wants a Plum n' Port Pop?

I do, I do!

Green Bean said...

MamaBird: Right back at ya! I'm scrounging for ideas that keep us cool but don't use water or electricity. It's crazy to watch the kids outside playing on the slip n slide and knowing that we are in a drought. It's hard because that is a part of summer but how do you reconcile it with saving water. We've filled up a little pool and covered it with a tarp to prevent evaporation and bees drowning in it. When we're done, we'll use it to water plants too but, I'm with you, still . . .

Joyce: We may have the farmers' markets and the ease of changing how we commute, but we don't have the water and I'm guessing that's gonna be a big bummer pretty quick.

EB: You never know what your kids might go for but yours are much older. I always look to your blog to figure out how I'll manage life in a few years. BTW, my friend loves your blog!

Chile: I know what you mean. After reading her book, I was like, no I can still let stuff go, recycle it, freecycle it, donate it and even put it in the garbage. I cannot live in a pile of empty tins and cups that might someday have some other use. Of course, my house is tiny so I also have no where to store anything. Good tip for the other jars.

Cindy: Too true! I feel bad always telling my kids to turn off the hose in this heat. At least the popsicles make up for it.

Melissa: So nice of you to make the sacrifice! You giver you! I've seen lots of sprinklers on here too, in the middle of the day, watering sidewalks. Does no one listen to the news!?? But I will say that my neighbor who used to be very cavalier about that has really tamped down on their water usage.

CC: Yum! PB popsicles sound good. As to the ones with port and such, doesn't mom also need to cool off? and take the edge off? Know what I mean. ;-) Pass one of those pops on over here.

kale for sale said...

Clever. I was thinking I needed a new smaller spatula for the bottom of the jam jar but now I'm going to have find a popsicle mold instead and some kids. Scratch the kids. I'll eat the popsicles.

eco 'burban mom said...

Hmmm.. Crunchy, my kids are almost old enough that I would have to be careful where I put those Port-Pops. They would start a little business selling them to the kids in the neighborhood! Though I wonder if I can convert my bourbon slush recipe to a popsicle form? Scratch that - I use too much bourbon, they would never set up! :o)

Abbie said...

My brother and I used to turn everything into popsicles. Soda (gross), milk (gross), yogurt (delicious), juice (also great), and pudding (Bill Cosby?). Now I mix yogurt and fruit. I bet you could mix jam and yogurt and that would be awesome.

arduous said...

Abbie, I remember doing the same thing. We would make Coke popsicles with our babysitter. They were delicious!

Donna said...

I LOVE "The Tightwad Gazette!" I subscribed to her newsletter for years, too, until she stopped writing it. You're right, though, you have to pick and choose which of her ideas work for you. Also, she wrote it before many people realized what was wrong with our cheap consumer goods economy. I've had to change my whole focus from looking for the best deal to looking for what is right.

Allison said...

Green Bean- Great ideas. My kids are still young enough to enjoy homemade popsicles. I will definitely try.

Crunchy Chicken made me wonder if rum and pineapple juice would work as a popsicle. I bet they would go well at my next book club meeting.

Verde said...

Ya'll are too funny. I'd never thought of port pops or rum and pineapple suckers. But then again the jam jar is a new one on me!

It seems as if a wading pool that gets siphoned onto the garden wouldn't be too bad. Any lakes out there?

Green Bean said...

Whoa! Rum and pineapple popsicles? Do report back. This is all in line with the environmental church post. We want to be more fun right? Rum popsicles for everyone!

BTW, reporting back that the apple butter and strawberry jam popsicles were devoured in seconds today.

Sarah said...

I think to make a tasty peanut butter popsicle, you'd want to rinse your peanut butter jar with milk, soymilk or yogurt. We like to make smoothies with frozen bananas, soymilk, peanut butter and chocolate syrup. That mixture would make a great popsicle, too, I bet. Watery PB, even frozen, just doesn't sound that appetizing. Also, I have better luck scraping the jars with a rubber/silicone spatula than rinsing.

Chile said...

Rick Bayless' PBS show, "Mexico: One Plate at a Time", featured fruit ice pops today. Here's a link to his recipe in case you want to use it as a springboard for more variations. It looks like adding mint would be tasty and you could easily freeze extra bits of fruit here and there, collecting them to make this later.

Blogging Molly said...

we've been living on homemade strawberry lemonade popscicles (juice from trader joe's). i swear they taste like strawberry daquiris, without making me feel all rummy. can't wait to try the jam dreg popscicles - love the tightwad gazette. i read it a few summers ago and it seriously changed our life.

Green Bean said...

Sarah: Ah man! Why didn't I think of the milk or yogurt. We made a single PB popsicle when we used up peanut butter for my son's graduation sandwiches. I used water and, well, it wasn't that delish.

Chile: Awesome recipe. We even have mint growing (everywhere!) in our back yard. Thanks!

Molly: Ohhh! Yours sound good. I need to work on my combinations.

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