Professional chefs have a lot of rules they live by. Three of the most famous are probably:
- A sharp knife is a safe knife
- If you've got time to lean, you've got time to clean.
- First in, first out.
My personal favorite, though, is "Don't throw cash in the trash."
No matter how carefully you shop, inevitably there comes a point when that beautiful produce you so carefully picked over at the farmers market is no longer Instagram worthy. Maybe it's a peach that never quite ripened before it got mushy, or that half pint of strawberries that got lost in the back of the fridge, or the banana your toddler hid in the tupperware cabinet.... a week ago. You might be tempted to chuck these poor specimens in the trash, but take a closer look at them and you'll see two things: dollar signs and possibilities. It's time to put your money where your mouth is and get creative.
Overripe fruit is often discarded because its appearance and/or texture is less than perfect, but this is when the fruit's natural sugars (flavor) is generally at its peak. The best way to capture this fleeting moment of perfection is with your freezer. In the wintertime, I individually freeze berries or pieces of fruit on a sheet pan and then bag up for later smoothie goodness, but summer calls for fun frozen treats- popsicles.
Homemade popsicles are a super easy and very budget friendly way to use up all those stragglers in your produce drawer. A family favorite in my house is the Greek yogurt creamsicle.
Greek Yogurt Creamsicle
Start with about two cups of overripe fruit. I had about a third of a pound of bruised strawberries and one very squishy golden kiwi.
Puree your fruit with the sweetener of your choice to taste. I used honey, but you could use granulated sugar, fructose, or agave nectar. I pureed the kiwi and the strawberries separately so I could "swirl" the popsicle.
Sweeten 1 1/2 cups of yogurt to taste, and transfer to a piping bag for easy mold filling. I used non-fat greek yogurt for its low water content (more water = an icier pop), and rich mouthfeel. Fill your molds by alternating thin layers of the yogurt and purees and gently swirl with a skewer to create a marbled effect. I'm using the Tovolo Star Popsicle Molds that we carry at The Chopping Block.
Freeze for 3-4 hours or until solid. To release, dip the molds into warm water until the popsicle is able to slide free. Time to enjoy!
Popsicles can be just for adults too! Here's a fun summer boozy pops recipe, adapted from People’s Pops.