In the past, I’ve mentioned that I’m the type who craves frozen confections in the winter just as much as in the summer. There’s just something about frozen sweets that makes me incredibly giddy. Since that’s such a nice way to feel, I try to indulge my little craving as much as I can, without messing with the wallet & thighs (I’ve lost 57 lbs since last June and want to keep up the momentum!). As they say – and as has always been my motto, “Everything in moderation.”
One way of achieving this is to prepare a fun frozen treat of my own and really making it count. Rather than having some Ben & Jerry’s or some other indulgence I can get any time, lately I’ve been making good use of seasonal fruits and turning them into fabulous cold things. Don’t get me wrong – I love the work the big ice cream giants do; I’ve just come to grow fond of creating my own flavor combinations using ingredients they don’t often recognize.
Since citrus season is still in full swing, I’ve been turning every sunshiny orb I’ve come across into a granita, sorbet, or popsicle. It’s a fun way to make my citrus purchases last a little longer, and gives me the chance to address my sweet tooth issues without falling into the chocolate trap (which, I must admit, has been easier said than done ever since these cookies came back into my life!). Last week I scored a pound and a half of lovely blood oranges for just $1.75 at ye olde farmer’s market, and I knew the minute I placed them in my bag that they’d soon be turned into dessert.
This time around, I wanted something a little creamy. But lately my medical issues have gotten the best of me, so the idea of making ice cream from scratch sans maker seemed a little too ambitious. It’s not like it’s difficult work, but this method can be a bit tedious and requires a fair amount of babysitting. Not having gone the popsicle route in a long time, I figured this was the perfect solution and set about making my very first blood orange creamsicles.
I was originally going to make a straight blood orange creamsicle, but I had some fresh strawberries that needed prompt attention and thought the flavors would complement each other nicely. Taking cues from my blackberries & cream popsicles, I decided to make this the super easy way with my last can of La Lechera (which, if you’re interested, is my official recommendation for the best sweetened condensed milk out there – not to mention the most affordable!). I added a little bit of nonfat milk to help keep things a little icy (ergo, more solid), but they’re still rich, smooth & deliciously creamy.
No blood oranges where you live? No worries! Substitute regular oranges, or even mandarins or tangerines, and you’re good to go. These are sure to be a hit with the kids, and are a nice alternative to the usual flavors out there. And at just $0.75, they’re sweet on your wallet, too. ;)
Strawberry-Blood Orange Creamsicles (makes 8-10 servings; total cost per serving: $0.75)
1 c chopped strawberries
3/4 c blood orange juice
1/2 t lemon or lime juice
1/2 c milk
1 can sweetened condensed milk
Popsicle molds, ice cube trays, small paper cups
1. Using a hand blender or regular blender, puree the strawberries, blood orange juice and lemon juice until smooth. Add the milk & sweetened condensed milk and puree again until smooth & creamy.
2. Pour the creamsicle mix into popsicle molds or prepared ice cube trays or paper cups. Add the sticks and freeze for about 2-3 hours, until firm. Remove from popsicle molds (you may need to run cool water over the molds to help loosen each popsicle), and enjoy!