If you've been following Joy In Our Journey.com for any length of time now, you probably realize that I'm regularly on the lookout for great tasting, truly healthy recipes for my family - and for my sweet tooth. ☺
I recently hosted a Zoku Holiday Pops Party because I've enjoyed using Zoku products in the past. While I did use recipes that contained sugar at the party, I'd like to share some healthier options for making delicious frozen treats.
Are you ready? Here you are!
(To pin any of these recipes, hover over the images and the "Pin It" button should appear.)
The recipes below were made using the Zoku Quick Pop Maker, which is so much fun because popsicles are easily made in 9-12 minutes - woot!
If you don't own a Zoku Quick Pop Maker, consider one! They are a lot of fun to use with children. I think the younger children who attended my party had the most fun of all!
I've adapted these recipes to work for a healthy, low-carb eating plan like Trim Healthy Mama, since those are typically the types of recipes I share here.
- 9 ounces orange juice; divided use
For the cranberry sauce:
- 6 ounces fresh cranberries (about 1-1/3 cup)
- 4 ounces orange juice (½ cup)
- ½ cup granulated sweetener (like Swerve Sweetener or Truvia)
- zest of one orange
MAKE THE CRANBERRY-ORANGE BASE
- In a medium saucepan over medium heat, dissolve sweetener in ½ cup orange juice. Stir in the fresh cranberries and cook until the cranberries begin to pop, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat and place sauce in a bowl. Cranberry sauce will thicken as it cools. Place in refrigerator for at least two hours.
- Remove Cranberry-Orange Sauce from the refrigerator and place into a blender. Add in 6 ounces of orange juice and blend until smooth (mixture will be slightly thick).
ASSEMBLE THE POPS
- Remove Zoku Quick Pop Maker from the freezer. Insert sticks and pour about ¾ ounce of cranberry-orange base into each cavity; allow layer to freeze completely.
- Pour ½ ounce orange juice into each cavity directly on top of the cranberry-orange layer; allow layer to freeze completely.
- Pour another layer of the cranberry-orange base up fill line in each cavity (approximately ¾ ounce per pop); allow layer to freeze completely.
- Remove the pops with the Super Tool. Repeat with remaining pops.
Makes 6 popsicles.
- 2 teaspoons instant espresso powder
- 2 tablespoons warm water
- 2 tablespoons granulated erythritol-stevia based sweetener like Swerve Sweetener or Truvia
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- ¼ cup pure pumpkin puree
- ½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1/2 cup cold water
- 1/2 cup (4 ounces) heavy cream
MAKE THE PUMPKIN SPICE LATTE BASE
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the instant espresso granules with 2 Tbsp. warm water until granules have dissolved completely.
- Whisk in the sweetener, vanilla, pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice, cold water, and heavy cream until thoroughly combined and smooth.
- Chill mixture (if not chilled, pops will take longer to freeze).
- Remove Zoku Quick Pop Maker from the freezer. Insert sticks and pour the pumpkin spice latte base until you reach the fill line.
- Let freeze completely; then remove the pops with the Super Tool.
- Repeat with remaining mixture.
Makes 6 popsicles.
- 1 cup (4 oz) fresh or frozen raspberries
- ½ cup (3 oz) fresh or frozen blueberries
- ½ cup (2 oz) fresh or frozen blackberries
- 2 oz light rum (optional)
- *½ cup simple syrup (1/2 cup sweetener, dissolved in 1/2 cup boiling water and cooled)
MAKE THE BERRY MOJITO BASE
Combine all ingredients in a blender. Pulse the machine until the mixture begins to smooth, but still has a little texture to it.
ASSEMBLE THE POPS
Remove Zoku Quick Pop Maker from the freezer. Insert sticks and pour the Berry Mojito base into each cavity until you reach the fill line. Let freeze completely and remove the pops with the Super Tool. Repeat with remaining pops.
*The amount of simple syrup you use will vary depending on the sweetness of the berries.
- 1 cup heavy cream, divided
- 2/3 cup water
- 2 Tbs. instant espresso powder
- 1/4 cup granulated sweetener like Swerve Sweetener
In a saucepan over low heat, combine and heat 2/3 cup heavy cream and water (but do not boil). Whisk in espresso powder and sweetener until dissolved. Remove from stovetop and let cool slightly, about 10 minutes. Stir in 1/3 cup heavy cream. Refrigerate until cool, stirring occasionally to prevent a skin from forming.
To assemble the pops, remove Zoku Quick Pop Maker from freezer. Insert sticks into the pop maker molds and pour in the cooled coffee base until you reach the fill line. Let freeze completely; then, remove the popsicles with the Super Tool and enjoy. Repeat to make the remaining pops. Makes 6 pops.
Healthy Slushes and Milkshakes - yum!
For my Zoku Holiday Pops Party, I made two different slush recipes for my guests: Peppermint Latte Slush and Oregon Chai Slush.
The Oregon Chai Slush is so simple that it really doesn't require a recipe: follow the directions on the box of Oregon Chai Concentrate (with sugar/honey or sugar-free version) to make chai. When chai mixture is cooled, pour 1-1/4 cups of chai mixture into frozen inner core of Zoku Slush & Shake Maker.
- 1/2 cup cream
- 3/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup powdered sweetener of your choice (Swerve Sweetener or Truvia)
- 2 to 4 shots freshly brewed espresso or espresso powder dissolved in water (see directions on container of espresso powder)
- 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. peppermint extract, or to taste
Whisk the cream, water, powdered sweetener, espresso, and peppermint extract until the sweetener dissolves, about 2 minutes. Remove Slush & Shake Maker core from freezer and place in frozen cup in holder. Pour Peppermint Latte Slush mix into Slush & Shake Maker; stir until thick.
A few years ago, my daughters and I watched an online video of the Zoku Quick Pop Maker . . .
. . . and we were enthralled! How much fun could it be to make our own healthy (or sometimes not-so-healthy) popsicles at home on the spur of the moment? Like in 7 to 10 minutes?
And even if the sweeter, "unhealthy" pops weren't something we made all the time, we could control the ingredients, using honey, agave, or other natural sweeteners in our frozen treats. Yum!
I'm thrilled to be hosting a Zoku Holiday Pops Party in my home this coming weekend, thanks to Tryazon. I'll be demonstrating how to use a variety of Zoku frozen treat dessert products for Christmas treats and for year-round frozen dessert treats. And of course, there will be lots of laughter, Christmas music, snacks, and possibly a few surprises for the guests!
Want to know why I've agreed to review Zoku's frozen dessert makers for you all?
The main reason is that I think you should all know how easy it can be to make healthier, homemade frozen treats for your family, containing natural, health-promoting ingredients, without:
- food coloring/artificial colors
- artificial flavors
- "natural" flavors (which are usually not natural at all)
- chemical whitening agents like titanium dioxide
- artificial sweeteners
- loads of sugar
Now, keep in mind that some of the recipes and options I'm going to make will contain sugar, but at least I can control the amount of sugar and calories in these frozen desserts.
The second reason I agreed to demonstrate and review these Zoku products is that Zoku has come up with some pretty nifty tools since the original Zoku Quick Pop Maker became available in 2009! I thought it would be fun to give these a try and let you know how well they work (or don't work).
Here are the Zoku products I'll be demonstrating for my guests:
If you're looking for a unique gift for your children or grandchildren - or the children on your block of the neighborhood, the Zoku Quick Pops Maker or Slush & Shake Maker are going to be a hit with them all. ☺
And my daughters are a testimony to that. Their friends love the popsicles and treats made with their Zoku Quick Pops Maker!
I'll send out an update with photos of our party and how these products worked for making quick, fun desserts for Christmas. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised at what amazing, fun dessert treats can be made with Zoku products. We were!
Ballroom dancing, anyone?
I've always loved watching ballroom dancing, but have never participated in it.
I once took my teen daughters to a homeschool ballroom dancing event, and they absolutely loved it! They were provided with some instruction before the actual dance took place. It was beautiful to watch!
My days of watching ballroom dancing, though, are over! I've been able to use DanceCrazy's new Ballroom Dance Mastery DVDs in our home these last couple of weeks, and I've found it easy to follow the instructors. While I'm not ready to dance in public yet (!!!), this has been fun and a good form of exercise.
I still need to practice quite a lot, but I'm learning something new! That's always fun. Here's a bit more about DanceCrazy's Ballroom Dance Mastery System - and then the giveaway!
Designed for beginners, DanceCrazy's 7-DVD set is designed to take you step by step through the entire learning process of all the major social Ballroom Dances.
I started with DVD 1, which showed me the fundamental Ballroom Dancing concepts of timing and footwork. I've got a good sense of timing, since I'm a musician, but the footwork? Ack! ☺ I've got a lot to learn still! Ha!
The 7 DVDs in this set cover the Foxtrot, Waltz (2 DVDs), Swing (2 DVDs), and Rumba (2 DVDs). I really like the fact that with these DVDs, I can go back and review as often as I want, so maybe by the time I reach 50, I'll have some of these dance moves down. I can hope, right?
Each DVD is over 2 hours in length, with over 12 hours in the full DVD set. The actual lessons are detailed, containing closeup photos and step-by-step "picture in picture" format so it's quite easy to figure out the dance steps.
Ready to practice some Ballroom Dancing?
The Ballroom Dance Mastery System contains a wide variety of instructional ballroom dancing videos that use a step-by-step approach to make learning easy and manageable, even for the complete ballroom dance novice.
Every step, every motion, and every aspect of Ballroom Dancing is taught to you by expert instructors.
The Ballroom Dance Mastery System is available on Amazon for $37 (their current special price at the time of this review). It can also be ordered over the phone by calling 1-877-507-3403.
Here we are ~ the Ballroom Dancing Mastery DVD set GIVEAWAY!
Entrants must be 18 years or older;
only U.S. residents are eligible
to enter this giveaway.
I will select the winner of this prize using Random.org
(via this Rafflecopter entry form).
Many thanks to DanceCrazy and Tomoson for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.
Meet Missy and Gus!
Want to know what I've been busily enjoying this month? Meet our two new kittens, Missy and Gus, who were abandoned and left to die.
We now are the proud owners of four cats: two adult females who are about 4.5 years old (we've had them since they were 8 weeks old), and two new kittens, ages 12 weeks, that we've had for three weeks now.
Here are two photos of Missy and Gus when they arrived at our home at about 9 weeks of age:
My friend, Heather, who used to work at a local animal shelter, discovered these two little ragamuffin cuties abandoned in a baseball field park where she regularly walks her dogs.
They were scrawny as anything, and about 7 weeks of age, from what the veterinarian thought after examining them.
They both had an upper respiratory virus which causes sneezing, wheeziness, and runny eyes and nose, much like a common cold that we humans get from time to time.
After three trips to the veterinarian, two rounds of antibiotics and eye cream, and lots of loving care by Heather and her family - and my family, they are finally doing so much better! We realize that they may deal with this upper respiratory virus their entire lives, or that they may be carriers of it throughout their lifetimes, but we took them knowing that this may be the case.
We initially thought they were part of the same litter of kittens, but now, we're not so sure. Missy is definitely 1-3 weeks older than Gus, based on what the veterinarian observed with their teeth on their most recent visit. It's possible they have the same mother who was possibly impregnated twice within a couple of weeks' time, but we're just not sure. It's also possible that they were from completely different litters but bonded together due to the need to survive.
Anyway, THIS is why you haven't heard from me as much this month. ☺ I've been holding and loving these sweet babies a lot, as well as making more of a priority to spend time with my teen daughters and husband.
I do have some blessings I can share about these kittens:
- They came litter-box trained and have had zero accidents so far!
- They are used to being around dogs, so when we dogsit for friends, it isn't a problem.
- They love to snuggle up in our laps. LOVE!
- They sleep almost all night long, allowing us to sleep.
- Our two older cats are tolerating them fairly well now. That was a concern at first.
- Gus, the long-haired cat, loves to be brushed. This was pretty important to us because of his very long hair. If he couldn't tolerate being brushed, that would mean he would be shaved to look like a lion or a poodle every June!
I'm wondering if any of you have ever rescued abandoned animals and raised them as pets? How has it gone?
The only training we are really needing to work on right now is that these kittens were fed some "people food" as babies, probably by visitors at the baseball park where they were living, so they can be a little bit of a pest when we are eating our meals. I don't blame them; they were starving for quite some time. So sad! I do know I won't need to vacuum up the kitchen as often because they are the little crumb-gobblers that come running when they hear me in the kitchen! Ha!
We've made a strong effort with our older cats not to ever feed them people food, and that has worked really well because they think our food is "gross"! They only want their own cat treats and cat food. So we'll have to work on these little babies and retrain them to stick to their own cat food.
But other than that, we're enjoying our little sweethearts. ♥♥♥
I hope your Thanksgiving was blessed, and you are focusing on the hope of CHRIST-mas. ☺
This post was originally published on http://www.JoyInOurJourney.com. If you see this posted elsewhere, it has been illegally scraped, and I'd love it if you would let me know. Thanks!
Hi! I'm Julieanne!
You'll find me in the kitchen
trying new Trim Healthy Mama recipes, loving God, and carrying out that love as I bless my husband and teen daughters.
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