Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Strawberry Pineapple Paradise Pops- Zoku Review

Strawberry Pineapple Paradise (recipe below)
See those yummy popsicles? They are primal and Paleo friendly. I made them in less than ten minutes start to finish. The recipe is posted below! You don't need a Zuko Quick Pop Maker for them, but it's fun using one. Thanks to Swagbucks I earned enough Amazon gift cards for a Zoku Quick Pop Maker. Have you heard of Swagbucks? If you haven't signed up or don't know about it click on the Swagbucks on the right hand side of this blog. I don't hunt for codes, I only use their tool bar to search to earn swagbucks that I trade in for Amazon gift cards. 
On to the fantastic Zoku. I've wanted one of these since last summer. Probably longer than that! When I finally was able to save enough from Amazon I looked into them and the reviews were good, but some were iffy. People had issues getting the pops out of the machine, that and reviews were saying that you could only get two to three batches at once. I decided to check it out anyway. I. LOVE. THIS. MACHINE. You keep it in the freezer and it makes popsicles in about 7-8 minutes. Really.
Cherry Berry Pops- recipe coming soon. Those are real cherries in there!

Once out Zoku arrived I cleaned it up and put it in the freezer. I didn't even let the girls know it had gotten here because we had to wait a full 24 hours for it to freeze. My first time using the machine was easy peasy. I made Cherry Berry Pops (Primal friendly)- and even with the addition of fun fruit pieces on the side I got three batches of pops- not bad for our first time! I did have one pop we pulled out too early and just the stick came out. No biggie, I prepared myself for a learning curve. I actually didn't think we would have any pops that first night, but it was a success. Strawberry Lemonade pops with two layers was my next flavor, then Chocolate Pudding pops with chocolate chips. (I'll be blogging these later.) I'm able to get four batches of pops made each time I use this machine- 12 total. I could probably get more if I only had more sticks! Each batch took around 7 minutes the first time, 10 the second and each time I added a few minutes, since the machine warms with use. To maximize the use I put the machine back into the freezer after filling it each time. A little trick I learned from someone on Facebook. 

Chocolate Pudding Pops- not icy, creamy! Recipe coming soon.

In addition to the machine and extra sticks I also got a storage case. The storage case holds 6 pops upright, you can see the picture in the link below. It's awesome. You could put the pops in a plastic container, which I did for our extras but they get sticky on each other. Some people use plastic bags- but the way the girls have been eating these I didn't want to have to keep washing bags or replacing them. A plus is that the pops don't touch the sides of the case at all.

I would love to get the Zoku Quick Pop recipe book. But so far I haven't used any recipes on their blog yet! Maybe I'll have to go through those first. I love that I can use any recipe I have, believe me- you'll be seeing these HERE, soon enough. These Honey Berry Pops also, posted originally HERE, also primal friendly- if you do dairy.

Some "Cons", I only have two. I know people have complained about the cost of this thing, but really. I can make healthy or not so healthy popsicles for my family in about 8 minutes. It's fun, hardly any clean up and quick. Worth it to me, I would have bought one this summer regardless. Okay, that and maybe maker that did six pops at a time would be awesome too, but I suspect the cost would skyrocket.
  1. - I love this little machine BUT there's no cover for the top! I hate storing it in the freezer without something covering the top. I put it in a bag, but I'm hoping the Zoku people will consider making a lid that snaps on top to protect the machine from getting things stuck in there and what not. I'm odd like that.
  2. - My oldest DD dropped the storage case with pops in it while putting them in the freezer. Three of the prongs that hold the pops upright broke off. I think maybe it could be made a bit more sturdy. That being said I went on amazon to leave a review for the company BOOMDEALZ. They have 100% positive reviews BTW, and this is why- they rock. I let them know that their shipping was fast and the products arrived nicely packed. But if they could pass on to the Zoku company that maybe the storage case could be improved on. Mike from BOOMDEALZ got back to me that day and by the next day he had talked to corporate and a new case was on it's way to me. Ummm, really? Who does that? So awesome. Not what I expected at all. Maybe we had a bum case, who knows. But I'd buy from this seller again!
One more thing about "cons", it's recommended that you do not use artificial sweeteners in this thing. The sugar helps it release from the mold. To me this is NOT a con, I don't do artificial sweeteners and I don't feed them to my family. Any natural sugars, honey, maple syrup, fruit sugars will do in this machine. Doesn't have to be a lot either.

My tips for using the Quick Pop machine-
  • Let it freeze for the full 24 hours before you use it.
  • Make sure whatever you're going to put in it is cold also.
  • Make sure the sticks- especially the tops are clean and dry, you'll be using the little hole on top to remove the pops with the quick tool.
  • Make sure the quick tool is clean and dry.
  • To get more batches out of the machine- fill each mold to the line, then put it in the freezer.
  • Don't over fill the molds. Overfilling makes it hard to screw the quick tool on top of the stick and pull the pop out. This must be the problem most people have, I've only had ONE pop not come out right.
  • I don't have the nifty Zoku tools set, which I'd love. But anyway. I don't have one so when I decorate with fruit I use chopsticks to place the fruit on the sides of the molds.
  • I use a turkey baster to remove any extra liquid from the molds. This would probably work for filled pops.
  • A measuring cup with a spout or a small funnel helps get the ingredients into the mold without a mess.
  • Don't stick your tongue in the frozen molds. Have you see A Christmas Story? The thing is cold, don't do it, don't let your kids put wet fingers in there either- same concept.  Though probably less dramatic. :P

Strawberry Pineapple Paradise Pops
My husband who doesn't like coconut loved these. He said he likes these because they are creamy and not too icy.
Measurements are approximate- It depends on how many batches you can get out of your Zoku, how many dixie cups you have or how many popsicle molds you have to fill. Next time I Make these I'll get weights because i do realize measuring a cup of strawberries or a cup or pineapple chopped is not going to be a solid measurement.
1/2 cup Thai Kitchen Coconut milk- no preservatives s it's primal/paleo friendly, linked below.
1/2 cup fresh pineapple chunks or pineapple in it's own juice
1/2 cup fresh strawberries- chopped
2-3 tablespoons pineapple juice- if you don't want to use this try So Delicious coconut milk or even water
1-2 tablespoons honey- one was plenty for us
Put this in a blender and blend it. Make it as smooth as your want or leave chunks. I like chunks. Take a taste. Once these freeze they will be a little less sweet. Adjust the sweetness, add pineapple etc to your liking.
Freeze this in your popsicle molds and you're done! If you have leftover just drink it.
You can add nuts or coconut flakes to this also!

*This review was not endorsed in any way*

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