How many times do you hear “I want a popsicle!” during the course of the summer?

Summer time is time for summer treats, and although I won’t buy a single box of popsicles all winter, come summer I’ll go through at least 50. They’re a quick, easy treat and kids love them when the sun is beating down.

But have you ever wondered what’s in those store bought popsicles? I’ll skip the secrets and just go ahead and tell you that besides water, the only other real ingredient is sugar. Not just one type of sugar either – the last box I picked up had both sugar syrup and corn syrup, not to mention other artificial ingredients to give them colour and flavour. That’s not a winning combination in my book. While it’s OK for a once in awhile treat, it’s not the best option for kids if they’re asking for a popsicle every day like mine do.

This is where the Zoku Quick Pop Maker really comes in handy, and after testing it out for a week, I’m pretty sure this is one small kitchen gadget I don’t want to be without this summer.

Check out the features on the Zoku Quick Pop Maker:

  • Makes delicious popsicles in as little as 7 minutes
  • Lets you make striped popsicles, yogurt popsicles, and flavored core popsicles
  • Popsicles are a decent size, not too small and not too big
  • Easy to use and easy to clean
  • Comes in sizes that make 3 pops, 2 pops, or a single pop
  • It’s easy to remove the pops from their molds
  • Each Quick Pop Maker can make several rounds of popsicles before you need to refreeze it
  • Packaged with sticks and drip guards.
  • You can buy accessories separately to hold your homemade pops or even dip them in chocolate
  • BPA and phthalate free

7 minutes, that’s it

If you’ve ever bought a homemade popsicle mold you know how long it takes to freeze popsicles. That means if you don’t make them the night before, you’re out of luck when the kids come asking for a treat. And trust me when I say they do ask, over and over again, if the popsicles are frozen yet.

I put the Zoku Duo Quick Pop Maker to the test and it really does make popsicles in 7 minutes. There’s just a little matter of preparation first. When you unpack your Zoku you’ll see that it’s a small, toaster shaped gadget with two compartments for popsicles. To use, all you have to do is put it in your freezer and leave it for 24 hours. Make sure when you put it in the freezer you leave it on a flat surface so your Quick Pop will freeze uniformly.

When the initial 24 hours have passed, you’re good to go, and the sky really is the limit for what type of popsicles you can make. What struck me the most was how easy it is to use. I initially tried out a gatorade popsicle and set the timer. In 6 minutes and 25 seconds I was able to use the Super Tool (a green knob that attaches to the stick) and pull it out. It was perfectly frozen.

Flavours to spare

With a Zoku Quick Pop Maker you can create all of the crazy layered and flavoured popsicles your kids love, but you control the ingredients. You can make popsicles like the rockets with red, blue, and white layers, or create your own version of the creamsicle. There’s even a Pinterest page dedicated to Zoku Quick Pop Recipes, and you’ll want to try them all.

I loved the creamsicles, although they were a little trickier to make. I found if I waited until the pop was freezing for about 4 minutes and then siphoned the excess out with a straw, I could add yogurt and it would turn into a nice looking creamsicle.

Not just for kids

If you’re into clean eating or you have a restricted diet, the Zoku Quick Pop Maker will be your go-to kitchen gadget this summer. Because you can control what you put in them, you can make sure your ingredients are gluten-free, peanut-free, or just low calorie. Try adding your left over iced latte for a coffee-fueled quick pop.

Although I wanted to make the rockets for my kids, I opted to try a Yogurt-raspberry combo that was amazing. I pureed some raspberries and mixed them in with organic low carb raspberry yogurt. To thin out the mixture I used a bit of skim milk, but you could use water too.

As you can see from my Vine videos, they really did turn out perfectly. Plus, there was no added sugar or artificial ingredients. Unfortunately my kids loved them as much as I did so I only managed to get one, but it was good while it lasted.

The amount of Quick Pops you can make in one sitting depends on what type of Zoku Quick Pop Maker you have and what ingredients you use. If you use yogurt or layer, you won’t be able to make as many Quick Pops, but if you’re just using juice or a simple recipe, you should be able to fill the gadget 3 times over. For a Zoku Quick Pop Maker, that’s 9 basic popsicles in one sitting, and for the Zoku Duo Quick Pop Maker, that’s 6 popsicles.

With my yogurt recipe I managed to make 4 Quick Pops before I thought it was thawing out too much and put it back in the freezer.

Fun Zoku accessories you need to try

The best part of having a Zoku is being able to use it with all of the fun accessories. There’s a Zoku Character Popsicle Kit that lets you imprint animals, faces, or shapes, a Zoku Quick Pop Storage Case so you can store several popsicles at once, and my favourite, the Zoku Chocolate Station. We love going to Purdy’s for chocolate dipped ice cream bars, and being able to do it at home is a major plus. The Zoku Chocolate Station lets you dip your entire pop into chocolate or sprinkle and drizzle just a bit of chocolate.

Because the Zoku Quick Pop Makers can make up to 9 popsicles at a time, you might want to pick up the Zoku Quick Pop Reusable Popsicle Sticks with Drip Guards.

Now that you know how easy it is to use, I have to share a few Zoku Pop Recipes.

Zoku Nutella Popsicles

Ingredients:

1½ c. Pacific Hazelnut Chocolate Milk

½ c. Nutella

 

Directions

Whisk together the hazelnut milk and Nutella until mixed uniformly. Chill mixture for at least 2 hours.

Pour into Zoku pop slots and chill for 7-9 minutes, per Zoku instructions.

Zoku Lemon Blueberry Pops

Ingredients:

5 ounces vanilla Greek Yogurt
4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (about two medium lemons)
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
6 ounces low fat milk
zest of one lemon
2 tablespoons agave nectar
1/4 cup wild blueberries (see note below)
2 Biscoff Cookies; crushed

 

Directions

MAKE THE POP BASE
In a medium bowl, whisk together the yogurt, lemon juice, vanilla, milk, lemon zest and agave until thoroughly combined and smooth.

ASSEMBLE THE POPS
Insert sticks and pour lemon cream base filling cavity 1/4 of the way full. Spoon in about 1 teaspoon blueberries. Pour lemon base on top of blueberries filling each cavity until 2/3 of the way full. Add in a few more blueberries and continue adding the lemon base until just below the fill line. Sprinkle crushed cookies into the cavities and press them gently with your fingertips.

Let freeze completely, then remove the pops with the Super Tool and enjoy.  

It’s fast and easy to make popsicles with Zoku, and I can’t think of a better way to beat summer boredom than checking out all of the Zoku Quick Pop recipes and trying out a bunch of different kinds of pops.

You can pick up the Zoku Quick Pop Maker, the Zoku Duo Quick Pop Maker, and the Zoku Single Quick Pop Maker right now on Bestbuy.ca, and don’t forget to check out all of the Zoku accessories and other specialty kitchen gadgets too.