Zoku Recipe and Review
July in the south is HOT! Especially in the Texas heat. While visiting friends and family there this month I got to play with the Zoku Quick Pop Maker and make some delicious frozen pops.
I had never seen one of these little cool freezers before and instantly began a love/hate relationship.
For all of you ‘gadget’ lovers, this is the product for you. For all of you practical gals (or guys), go buy the Ice Pop molds from the grocery store.
What is a Zoku Quick Pop Maker? It’s a frozen treat maker that requires no electricity and can work on your kitchen counter. It is stored in the freezer and claims to make the frozen treats in 7 to 10 minutes. I found the treats were done in around 13 minutes, for the recipe used below. The required freezing time may be altered depending on the ingredients you use (sugar, water, fresh fruit…).
Here is my honest review on the Zoku Quick Pop Maker.
Note, I do not own one myself, but would love to if someone is willing to give it to me. Also, below is a great smoothie or fruit pop recipe for using the Zoku.
There is nothing more fun when you are little than the idea of a frozen treat, especially when the outside temperature is steamy and hot and the pop will only take 13 minutes to freeze. That’s as close to instant as you can get…if it works.
My first attempt with the the Zoku was quite disappointing. Two of the three molds got stuck. I’ll explain below how this happened. The second attempt (the next day) worked like a charm. Almost made me want to buy one! Almost.
After mixing up the pop mixture (recipe below) I pulled the orange block or base from the freezer. That is where it stays stored and ready to go. It is about the size of a small loaf of bread. It has three compartments/molds to make three pops at a time. Ideally you should be able to make three sets of three pops before refreezing the base. In each mold I placed a plastic pop stick.
Six reusable plastic sticks and drip covers come with the kit. So, you have to purchase another set if you’d like more sticks. The plastic sticks have to be placed just right in the molds so the remover tool can grab them to lift out the pop when it’s frozen. If the sticks are not straight, it will not work. The pops cannot be removed when frozen. You have to defrost the entire block to get them out. It’s excruciating, especially when there are toddlers waiting nearby wanting to know when the pops will be done. This happened with my first attempt … ugh.
Apparently, the base was put up with a bit of water still in the molds. This water froze at the bottom of the molds and prevented the plastic sticks from being in place. As a result, I could not get the pops out. They were stuck until the base was defrosted enough to pull them out, in pieces. Therefore, two of the molds were useless. I ended up making one pop at a time and the block was too thawed out to freeze the last pop. So much for ‘no child left behind’.
Once the plastic sticks were set in place the pop mixture was poured into the molds. You have to be careful not to overfill and please be neat.
I set the timer for 13 minutes. Ding! The pops are ready to release. 13 minutes seemed to be the ideal time for all three batches.
An orange remover tool screws onto the plastic stick handle to help with removal of the frozen pop.
The pop easily (if it’s frozen and ready to be removed) pulls from the mold. Plastic drip guards snap onto the stick handle.
Beautiful! The kids are going crazy by this time and Mom is a hero! Yeah!…
Or, if it flops, like our first try did, the kids are really circling in on Mom, salivating and sweating…it’s not pretty. So, you may want to play it safe and wait until nap time or until the kids are preoccupied (if they are small) before trying this.
Once we got the first set of frozen pops out we put them in a baggie into the freezer and waited another 13 minutes. Once the pop mixture was used up we were ready to serve the half melted children.
The pops are quite thin, so they will freeze quickly.
The nice part about these pops is once the sides are eaten, the pop does not slide off the stick. The sticks have a raised pattern on them which allows the pops to freeze to the sticks and prevents them from falling off once the frozen goodness is eaten around the stick.
That’s a sad moment when the last bite falls to the ground because it slid off the stick. Have no fear of that happening with these pops.
The frozen pops were a hit! The children devoured them and were asking for more. Sadly we did not have enough for everyone to have another. This is not the best pop maker for those with lots of children or a crowd. For those with three or fewer, this might be an ideal treat.
The original recipe came from the book Zoku Quick Pops
. You can purchase this book when you buy a Zoku. It has lots of great ideas for pops which would be fun to adapt to smoothies. Many of the recipes can be time consuming with lots of ingredients and multiple steps, so it might not be a quick kids recipe book.
Here is our version:
We processed some frozen blueberries, spinach, a banana and some fresh strawberries with some lime juice.
We used a food processor. Whether you use a food processor or blender you may want to blend up the spinach well for those little picky eaters who may spots a green speck a mile away.
Notice we did not.
We then poured the pureed fruit into some kefir and sucanat and green juice*.
Stir this up well and you are ready to pour into the molds, or just drink.
Green Fruit Pop Treats
- 1 very ripe banana
- 1/3 cup blue berries (frozen or fresh)
- 3-4 large strawberries
- a handful of spinach
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons lime juice
- 2 Tablespoons Sucanat or natural sugar
- 3 Tablespoons Kefir
- 3 Tablespoons green juice* (optional)
- Process fruit and spinach with lime juice in a food process or or blender.
- Mix fruit with sucanat, kefir and green juice.
- Pour into molds.
*BoltHouse Farms has a Green Goodness drink that is 100% juice and vegetables.
It’s a great find when you are living out of a suitcase for a week.
I found this and kefir at the local grocery store, so I added some of both for extra nutrition and probiotics to the pops.
Feel free to alter the fruits and veggies in the above recipe to your liking. This basic recipe froze well in 13 minutes/ batch. It’s great to drink straight too.
If you are interested checkout the Zoku Quick Pop Maker at Amazon.
I hope you found my zoku recipe and review helpful.