Snack Attack #1: Strawberry Lemonade Popsicles

Did you see Joy the Baker’s recent popsicle post? The one where she mentioned that her popsicle molds come from the dollar store?


You mean I don’t have to win one of those fancy $50 molds (because there’s no way I’m buying something that expensive) to make popsicles?! You mean I can make them with a mold that costs a dollar?! Or even WITHOUT A MOLD AT ALL?!

Have you ever had one of those moments where you realize you’ve been lulled into some weird advertising-induced hypnosis? You start wondering how you could possible make ice cream without purchasing a hundred-dollar KitchenAid attachment. How in the world people wash their floors without the latest souped-up super mop. How people subsist without a dishwasher. How people can brave the harsh elements without a trendy coat in this year’s style. How people made pasta before pasta machines, bread before bread machines, pie crusts before food processors.

This dude calls it “lifestyle creep,” where luxury items slowly start to seem like necessary components of a happy life. And of course companies don’t mind — they want it that way!

This other dude talks about how companies have created a “culture of unnecessaries” (thanks to Dena for these links).

I think those dudes are right on. It doesn’t mean I’ll stop buying Coke Zero or eating out every now and again, but it is a call to step back and examine.

Maybe it has to do with being really poor right now (I’m really poor right now, y’all), but I’ve been waking up and noticing these assumptions I’ve fallen into over time. Maybe I don’t need to eat out so much. Maybe I can do without new dishes and props for photos, and instead just rearrange the ones I have. Maybe I don’t need to buy the fancy shampoo. Maybe now is not the time to cook with GruyΓ¨re (cry).

And maybe I don’t need the $50 popsicle mold before I can have some good ol’ fashioned summertime snacking fun.

Sure enough, my dollar store had mini popsicle molds. The sticks that came with the mold were kind of useless, but the store also sold regular old craft sticks. Popsicles for $2? Count me in.

I decided to create some Strawberry Lemonade Popsicles because I love the tangy, sweet mix of berries and lemon. These are yogurt pops, so they’re creamy and indulgent. It’s still about as hot as the surface of the sun in Charlotte (I decided this while sweating through my church clothes and trying to put air in my tires last Sunday), so icy treats are still welcome even as September approaches.

Want a salty snack to go along with these sweet pops? Stay tuned for Snack Attack #2! So delectable!

I have two questions to end with today: What’s your current favorite snack? and What unnecessary things have you been lulled into feeling like you “need”?

Strawberry Lemonade Popsicles

Recipe by: Adapted from Our Best Bites and The Kitchn
Yields: about 18 of my mini-popsicles, and probably about 9 regular sized popsicles

Lemonade Layer Ingredients:
1 1/3 cups lowfat yogurt, plain or vanilla
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
5 tbsp sugar

Strawberry Layer Ingredients:
1 pint strawberries, cored and quartered
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 cup plain yogurt

First, make the lemonade layer mixture. Heat the lemon juice in a small, microwaveable bowl for around 45 seconds (give or take, depending on your microwave) and dissolve all the sugar into it. Pour this mixture into a medium bowl with the yogurt and whisk until smooth. Refrigerate until ready to assemble popsicles.

Make strawberry layer mixture. Place the strawberries, water, and sugar in a medium saucepan and bring to a bowl. Simmer for around five minutes until the strawberries are soft. Pour this mixture and the lemon juice into a food processor and pulse until almost pureed, but not liquefied. Chill in the refrigerator until cool, and then whisk the yogurt into the strawberry mixture until well combined.

Assemble the popsicles. Use a teaspoon or tablespoon (depending on the size of your molds) to carefully spoon alternating layers of lemon and strawberry mixture into your molds. If you typically like your lemonade more sweet than tart, use more strawberry layers than lemon. If you prefer more tart than sweet, use more lemon layers than strawberry. Freeze overnight. To unmold, dip molds into warm water and gently pull popsicles out. Serve immediately (or wrap in wax paper and place in ziplock bag to store in freezer).

P.S. You know what’s funny? No one ever makes apple popsicles, pumpkin popsicles, cinnamon crumble pops. I think at some point in my life, I need to make fall popsicles. We’ll sit by the fire in our parkas and enjoy them together. Who’s with me?

P.S. 2 — A bonus for you: my tweets during this popsicle endeavor. You should follow me on Twitter for fun behind the scenes play-by-plays!

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53 responses to “Snack Attack #1: Strawberry Lemonade Popsicles

  1. I’m with you! Let’s make FALL POPSICLES! Let’s brainstorm flavours. Yesno?

  2. Meagan

    These look amazing!! Before I read te post o thought to myself ” I really NEED Popsicle molds!! I have been looking online at them and was proud that I didn’t spend the $50. My favorate treat right now would be oatmeal cookies :).

  3. I love the idea of fall popsicles! We eat ice cream in the winter don’t we? Why not popsicles?

    Excellent point about all the things we don’t really need. I was just talking to my baby sister the other day about all the kitchen things she doesn’t actually need. I’ve got a ridiculous collection of kitchen gadgets, and since she’s just setting up house for the first time (newlywed) she feels like she’s way behind. I just remind her that I’ve gone over the deep end, and people were making food for centuries without all this stuff. You don’t actually have to have a stand mixer and a hand mixer and an immersion blender and a food processor and a mini-food processor and a food mill and a mandolin and 4 different graters and a meat grinder and…well, you get the idea. And yes, I really do have all those things. And I use them all, but really, it’s more than a little ridiculous. Besides, she can just borrow mine. πŸ˜‰

  4. loved this post! I am all for doing it yourself if you can. I am constantly telling myself to step back and just use whats on hand…it’ll take you by surprise what you can do at home without buying anything. πŸ˜‰

  5. You are so darn creative! These look delicious. I imagine that these taste like a combination of strawberry and lemon Italian ice! Or even better, Bomb pops! Please tell me my assumption is correct! :p Either way I want one! And apple Popsicles sound delish! I say let’s do it! πŸ™‚

    As for your questions, I have 2 current favorite snacks: Hummus and pita chips (a staple in my diet) and pretty much anything covered in dark chocolate dreams, or simply dark chocolate dreams scooped out of the jar with a spoon! πŸ˜‰ And for things I (think I) can’t live without, of course the answer I’m sure is on everyone’s list, a cell phone; definitely a dishwasher (put these hands in dishwater? I think not!); and brand name toothpaste. For some reason it’s been ingrained in me that toothpaste is something you just don’t skimp on.

    • Julie

      The dishwasher is a big one for me because of my OCD… I would have serious trouble having to touch dirty dishes every day!!

  6. LaraQ

    Love the shape of your molds and can just imagine the yumminess of the popsicles you’ve described. πŸ™‚

    Do you really have to cook the strawberries, though? I make frozen strawberry/banana smoothies right now with honey, orange juice and regular yogurt and wondered if I could just toss that into the molds instead.

  7. More often than not, less is definitely more! No need to always buy the latest and greatest, because we already have more than we need. And as far as food goes – a just picked ripe strawberry, or a perfectly crunchy, sweet carrot pulled out of the ground is often more satisfying than the most expensive meal in a fancy restaurant. Would love one of your fabulous popsicles right now! πŸ™‚

  8. Eris

    I really want an ice cream maker, but I don’t think I need it. Also, I think I am so much better without one, because I would be experimenting with flavors all day and end up with stomach ache for so much sugar and ice. Dish washers in my country aren’t popular, and only people with lots of money have one… The rest of us still wash them by hand, using gloves or lots of cream in order to not have horrible hands for all the water and detergent xD

    When cooking, I do almost everything by hand, except meringue, for wath I use a hand electric mixer. I love kneading bread! And I really can’t imagine feelling the joy I feel while cooking if I am not in contact with the ingredients. feelling the butter in my hands when I make a pie crust or cookies. The flour when I sprinkle it in the dough to knead the bread… those things are beautiful to me.

    For my favourite snack right now… I’m obsessed with nuts, dried fruits and candied fruits! I bought some delicious candied strawberries and kiwis… yum!!! I eat them with peanuts to balance the sweetness of the fruits.

    To end, I think that there is no bad buying things that make your life easier, if you have enough money for them. Is that why they are luxury things, and not nescesary things

  9. Now if you think about it, these popsicles were actually LESS than $2 because you are not just going to make one batch (I mean, I hope you’re not because these look downright fabulous) but MANY. Way to shake yourself of the hypnosis all of us consumers are under!

  10. F

    I am wary of dollar store plastics having BPA.

    • Julie

      You’re right, F — if that’s something you’re concerned about, you should check in before buying. Personally, I use tupperwares and such and haven’t yet started adjusting to avoid BPA. I’m behind the curve, I know!

  11. I have that feeling ALL the time. About many of the same things, too! Food processors, fancy mops, dishwashers… It’s weird to have absolutely none of them at this point in time, but also kind of refreshing. It’s interesting to think about how people got along “back in the day…” I can’t even imagine a world without the internet!

    My favorite snack for now is, coincidentally, ice pops. But not badass homemade ones like yours. I’m talking about the cheap, cheap, cheap ones (that they probably also sell at the dollar store) that come in, like, a pack of fifty. They’re pretty good, but I think these would be better πŸ™‚

    • Julie

      I know what you mean, Kaitlin — I feel better when I resist certain “unnecessaries” than if I give in. Even having the convenience of the item doesn’t take away the slight unease at having indulged unnecessarily.

      Yay ice pops!

  12. Emma

    I had never even heard of stand-mixers until I started using the internet for recipes. I don’t think they’re at all common in my country. But it feels like almost all American recipes, even just for something simple like cake, involve using your stand mixer. I’m not knowledgeable enough to know when the electronic mixing is really ‘needed’ (ie, it’ll take forever and your arm will fall off) and when it’s just habit/laziness on the part of the recipe author and is no more than I do every week with elbow-grease and a wooden spoon. This prevents me making the vast majority of recipes from American blogs/sites (though to be honest, the gigantic portion sizes are a common barrier there too). And it’s also convinced me I need a stand mixer!

    (I’m also really amused at the surprise you can buy cheap lolly-moulds. I grew up with things like this and am astounded that anybody would *want* to spend $50 to make a couple of ice lollies. Even these: are extravagant at about $10, and they’re absolutely adorable!)

    • Julie

      I don’t think using an electric mixer is either habit or laziness in many people’s case. I was thankful to receive one for my birthday and get joy out of using it to make longer, more involved recipes. I feel it helps me do more, more efficiently.

      Also, when it comes down to it, you can make popsicles with some sticks and some plastic cups. As I mentioned, I blame an advertising stupor πŸ™‚

      One thing I feel is really important is not to judge other’s excess — but your own. Every now and then I gripe about someone who buys clothes every day or has a new car every year, and then I remember that the fact that I have multiple outfits or drive a car at all makes me privileged compared to so many others. As soon as we start feeling superior and smug, we’ve missed the goal of humility and self-examination, and I think we have to take ourselves down a notch. Just my two cents!

      • Emma

        From your response I think maybe my comment did not come across in the way I meant it to. You asked what unnecessary things we have been ‘lulled’ into thinking we need, and to me the answer is “a stand mixer”. I was, I’ll admit, a little careless with my use of the word “laziness”. I did not contest that they must be a wonderful convenience when making longer, more involved recipes. I think I probably didn’t make my point very clear. Let me think how to reword this…

        If I were to read a recipe for a classic Victoria Sponge which uses a stand mixer, I would know “oh that’s fine, that’s totally possible by hand”. If I were to read a recipe which says “using the dough hook, mix with your stand mixer for 10 minutes on high” then I would know “whew, that sounds far too much like hard work by hand”. But the vast majority of the time when I’m looking up a recipe, I don’t have that background knowledge or context. It’s not always obvious from the recipe itself how much work the stand mixer is replacing. There’s a difference between “can” and “have to”. To take a slight deviation from stand mixers: You can make shortcrust pastry in a food processor. You do not have to. But if you don’t *know* that it’s simple by hand and you see a recipe which says “put flour and butter in a food processor, pulse until it resembles breadcrumbs” how would you know that you can recreate that action with your fingertips. Thus I end up feeling like almost every baking recipe I see *needs* a stand mixer because it *uses* a stand mixer and thus *I* need a stand mixer. When at this point in my life I just don’t.

        (Maybe I can sum this up with a single experience. When a friend of mine received a stand mixer, her response was to celebrate “now I can make cookies” – she had never made any by hand. Whereas with my cultural background, stand-mixers non-existent and handheld ones used solely for cream or eggwhites, it hadn’t even occurred to me you *could* make cookies that way. Does that make more sense?)

        • Emma

          Ok, why didn’t this show up the first three times I refreshed the page wondering where my comment was? Please disregard this one, I reworded slightly before reposting. (It’s late at night here, I can’t brain well.)

          • Julie

            How often I feel like I can’t brain well! πŸ˜‰

            It DOES make sense, Emma — I know what you mean! I think particularly if you grow up in a family that, say, always buys their clothing, you can be mystified once you realize that some folks *make* theirs — same with mixers, as you say. Some people might not realize that much is possible without owning one. I got ya!

  13. We are in the process of moving from a 3-bedroom house to a 2-bedroom condo, so I have been reminded pretty frequently of items we have purchased because we “needed” them, and now have no use for and need to unload. Seriously, did we really need to buy all this crap? Um, no. I am having fun getting rid of everything, though. It’s kind of liberating.

    Good job on the dollar store popsicle purchase! These look delish!

    • Julie

      Thanks, Suzy!

      I know EXACTLY what you mean about liberating! Sometimes I just ship a ton off into the garbage and Goodwill and feel SO much better. Have to remember THOSE times when purchasing!

  14. Love your pops and your dollar store molds! My favorite snack right now? Cheese and apple I think. Apple pops would be intriguing!

    • Julie

      Funny story, Betty — the boyfriend and I used to think it was SO weird to eat cheddar on an apple pie (we hadn’t heard of it until we were both adults). Then we tried it. YUM!

  15. You are so right on cutting back on things that seem so neccessary but really just end up throwing money out the window.

    These popsicles look amazing and I am so going to try with my non baking cooking self to get my tush in gear and make them.

    My kids will love you…and me!

  16. Yum! I love the combination of berries and lemon too. I’ve never made popsicles but I’ll bet this would be fun for Little Butt and I to do together.

    Currently I’m obsessed with Laughing Cow low fat spreadable cheese with pretzel sticks. I eat a couple of these a day. So yummy!

  17. I totally missed the popsicle trend this summer. I am going to have to get me some molds and make these for after school snacks. Better late than never! These look delicious!

  18. Love the popsicles! In other news; I gave you an award at my blog! Go check it out :).

  19. Well, right now I’m fighting the urge to buy a book reader, you know, the kindles and nooks of the world. I obviously don’t need one so I’m not sure why it keeps calling my name.

    Fall popsicles sound tasty! Can’t wait to see what your salty snack is.

  20. I have SERIOUS lifestyle creep. I am probably every marketer’s dream. I’m a sucker for packaging, and I do have tools in my kitchen that only serve one purpose. I haven’t bought that fancy pop mold yet only because I think it’s silly that it only makes 3 pops at a time. And no, I don’t have the money for these things, but I keep buying them anyways.

    Strawberry lemonade pops – yet another fancy, delicious idea!

    • Julie

      I know JUST what you mean, Megan! Especially with food ads/commercials, I often tell Mike that advertising was MADE for me. I’ll see a commercial for a sandwich or a dish at a restaurant and literally feel like I must go immediately. Ha! Good thing I SOMETIMES have self-control πŸ˜‰

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  22. This look so cool. I love the two colors and the flavor combination. I’m too broke to live a “creep lifestyle”, but not from previously living one. That’s what happens when you have kids the suck your money like they do your time. πŸ™‚

    • Julie

      Thanks Naomi! I hear ya on the kids — I’m sure that kind of puts a damper on any “creeping” πŸ˜‰

      My “creep” is actually usually the small stuff that adds up, so I have to keep my eye on my Walmart/Target One-Spot/Dollar Store/Grocery purchases to make sure I’m really SAVING money by going there and not just *buying more.*

  23. Yep, I saw Joy the Baker’s post on that, too! Funny how cheap great buys can be, huh? Well, her post made me realize I could go buy cheap molds and your post now reminds me that I REALLY need to go get me some molds — some cheap molds! Thanks for the post (and for visiting my site!).

  24. I’m a sucker for popsicle molds- I think I have like 5 different kinds. They’re just so much fun.

    These pops sound so refreshing. I love the pink and yellow together too.

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  26. Oh these look lovely, Julie! Even though it’s September, it still feels like August here in New Jersey and these would be divine on a sticky afternoon. πŸ™‚ Maybe I’ll have a go!

    Thank you for the link & so glad that you enjoyed the posts!


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