The best thing about popsicles—aside from how refreshing they are on a hot, sticky summer day—is how easy they are to make at home.
“Popsicles are such a fun vehicle for creativity. They’re bright in color, they’re delicious in flavor [and] you can do different textures with them,” says Becca Katz. She likes theming them to a holiday or occasion, like summer. “You can do a popsicle that’s watermelon flavored but also looks like a watermelon,” she says.
Katz is the co-founder of COOK KITZ, a new service delivering weekly kid-friendly cooking projects throughout the summer. A graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education in New York City, Katz cooked up the idea (pun intended) for COOK KITZ with her sister, Valerie Zweig of Prescription Chicken in Washington, D.C., when Katz moved back to Maryland this year.
At first Katz thought she could be culinary “camp counselor” over the summer and teach people how to cook in their own homes. After brainstorming a bit, the sisters decided they could give families everything they need to master easy-but-delicious recipes on their own.
From mid-June through mid-July, COOK KITZ is offering eight weekly kits with free delivery across the DMV. Inside each kit, which cost $54.99, is a base recipe plus instructions for three variations of the recipe and pre-measured ingredients for four servings. There’s also an education packet with suggestions for parents on how to assist kids of different ages in the kitchen and access to online “how-to” videos.
“While we want to teach really great skills, we don’t want to make the recipes really difficult so that people can’t figure out how to do them. We want them to be fun and educational and really great way to pass the time when you’re looking for something to do,” says Katz.
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As a special treat for our readers, Katz and Zweig are sharing the July 4th-themed ice pop recipe featured in the COOK KITZ “Popsicle Party” kit. These patriotic ice pops are a festive and tasty upgrade from the homemade pops you’ve been making by freezing store-bought fruit juice in a plastic mold.
Red, White and Berry
A COOK KITZ July 4th Popsicle
Yields about 6 ice pops
1 1/2 cups strawberries, hulled
2 bananas, thinly sliced and frozen
(about 1 1/2 cups total)
1 cup vanilla Greek yogurt
1 1/2 cups blueberries and/or blackberries
1. Blend strawberries and 1/2 cup frozen bananas until smooth.
2. Pour strawberry-banana mixture 1/3 of the way up the popsicle mold. Tap molds to evenly distribute and freeze for 15 minutes.
3. Rinse out blender, add yogurt and 1/2 cup frozen bananas and blend until smooth.
4. Remove popsicle mold from freezer and pour yogurt mixture an additional 1/3 of the way up the mold.
5. Place back in the freezer for another 15 minutes.
6. Rinse out blender again and puree blueberries (and/or blackberries) with the remaining 1/2 cup frozen bananas until smooth.
7. After the second layer hardens slightly, fill mold to the top with berry mix.
8. Carefully place popsicle stick in mold and return to freezer. Freeze popsicles until completely frozen, at least 4 hours.
Note: If using frozen fruit, you may need to add a bit of liquid (water or milk) to help with blending. Use caution, as you want the mix to be pourable but thick. Additionally, you can add honey or agave for a sweeter ice pop.