Are you ready for frozen treats to cool and refresh you for summer? This has got to be one of the most ingenious and fun kitchen gadgets I have seen in a long time and I’m so excited to share the fun with you!
How many of you have had the experience of making popsicles with your kids? Remember calling them in to help you and how excited and enthusiastic they were – filled with anticipation? Somebody helped to measure the sugar and someone else stirred the Kool-Aid. Then you stood by with a wash cloth and spray bottle of stain remover to catch the spills as they filled the tiny popsicle molds and inserted the sticks. Then you had the delightful chore of sounding incredibly excited while stating, “Now, we’ll put them in the freezer and TOMORROW when they’re frozen solid, we’ll have a yummy treat!” The deflated and disappointed expressions at that point were hard to take. Thanks to Zoku, that never has to happen, again! We tested their Duo Quick Pop Maker and froze delicious popsicles in minutes, on my kitchen counter, with nothing but 100% fruit juice!
Nothing could be simpler or faster when it comes to frozen treats! I had three cartons of 100% fruit juice and so Sunday evening, when the grandkids were ready for a treat at Grandma’s house, I pulled the Zoku out of the freezer and in minutes I rated pretty high on the Cool Grandma meter.
The first thing to do after you receive your Zoku is to stick it in the freezer for 24 hours. We found that after it had been frozen solid, once, it didn’t require very long to refreeze, again, after making three batches of pops.
Once you’ve done the initial freeze, making the pops is simple! Set the Zoku on the counter, or any level surface, and insert pop sticks into the open cavities. Be sure the sticks are seated into the grooves designed for them on top of the Zoku.
Next add your juice or whatever liquid you will be using to make popsicles. (Carbonated beverages cannot be used in the Zoku, unless they have gone flat and no bubbles remain.) This is the point where creativity can go in a hundred different directions. You can fill the popsicle cavity completely and just wait a few minutes for your pop to freeze, OR you can fill it partially, allow that to freeze then add another layer, allowing that to freeze and then the final layer. The whole process took us about 12 minutes to freeze three separate layers and I place banana slices in the middle layer!
I found it was easier not to overfill the popsicle cavities, by pouring the juice into a container that would allow a narrower stream as I filled the Zoku. The cartons I purchased my juice in, were not conducive to filling the small opening, neatly. Using the measuring cup made it a breeze to fill!
Pops freeze completely in about 7 minutes and layered pops take only a little more time. The cool thing is that after removing the first batch of pops, you can immediately turn around and freeze another batch. You can do two to three batches before needing to refreeze the Zoku.
Did I mention before, that I bought three cartons of fruit juice, all different flavors, so we could make pretty layered pops? No one was more surprised than Grandma when each flavor was EXACTLY the same color! Even so, we could distinctly see the three different flavor layers, even if there was no difference in color. The banana slices were visible in the sides of the pops, too! This was cool, even for a Grandma who has seen about every kind of kitchen gadget you can imagine. I love the simplicity of this little machine!
I don’t need to plug it in or use batteries. I don’t have to have buy a box of 100 popsicles (with two flavors, about 40 of the 100, that no one will eat). I filled it with 100% fruit juice and fruit. It was a healthy snack and yet, satisfied the sweet tooth of the waiting grandkids and our ten-year-old. Plus, I have the versatility to make so many different types of pops — breakfast pops with yogurt, fruit, nuts or granola; dessert pops with pudding or custards, fruity snack pops like the ones we made this time. There are lots of fun options and the Zoku website can give you some excellent ideas and tips. And the Zoku blog is a wealth of recipe ideas — everything from these Spicy Mexican Chocolate Paletas, to simple Strawberry Lime Pops, or even very unique, grown-up frozen treats like Cucumber Mint Margarita Quick Pops.
If I had to select one thing I wish were different, I would have a Zoku with more cavities. Granted, the original does have three slots and they can be used up to three times before having to refreeze the Zoku, but five or six slots would allow you to freeze the number you need for a birthday party or large gathering all at once, and much more quickly. Given that I can make six dye- and preservative-free popsicles in around fifteen to eighteen minutes, though, you won’t hear much complaining from me! And Zoku has a Storage Case and extra Sticks and Drip Guards available, too, if you want to expand your pop-making ability.
We will definitely be experimenting with other ingredients and trying out techniques and recipes from the Zoku blog, but in the meantime, we just enjoyed the simple refreshing treats from our first experience with Zoku!
Enter this fun Zoku giveaway and you could be whipping up delicious and pretty frozen treats in your own kitchen, in no time! You must be 18 and a resident of the U.S. to enter. Visit Zoku online, check out the recipes on their blog and let me know which one you would most like to see demonstrated on Busy-at-Home. Leave a comment on this blog post with the name of the recipe. After you leave your comment, use the Rafflecopter form, below, to submit your entry and open the additional optional entries!
I received a Zoku Duo Quick Pop maker to test in my own kitchen and gather data for writing this review. A positive review was not required and no monetary compensation was received. The views and opinions expressed are wholly my own and based on my personal experience with the product.