Posts Tagged ‘pomegranate’
Excessive heat for summer in Memphis is not uncommon. In fact it is the norm. However this summer happens to be extra hot earlier than usual. As a result of this torturous heat, turning on my oven to bake must first be justified by how much I want to sweat while enjoying whatever comes out in the end. But then I remembered that there are some recipes which require freezing instead of heating. Now that is a perfect summer recipe.
For this July 4th Holiday Recipe Club we were given the option of working with blueberries, whipped cream, and/or BBQ, which lead me straight to these popsicles. Originally they were created with wine, which sounded fabulous to me but in an effort to make these kid friendly I opted for pomegranate juice instead.
These required a little more work than popsicles I have made in the past, but were completely worth while. They really do taste just like blueberry cheesecake! The blueberry part is definitely the dominant flavor, but then you get a bite of the cheesecake and it’s magical. Everyone, young and old, enjoyed these!
Be sure to check out the rest of today’s recipes, seen at the bottom of this post.
I didn’t get as good of a shot as I had hoped for. Difficult taking pictures away from home sometimes.
One year ago: POM-Berry Ice Pops
BLUEBERRY CHEESECAKE POPSICLES
Makes eight 2-1/4 oz. popsicles
1 pint of blueberries (about 2 cups)
1/2 cup POM 100% pomegranate juice
1/4 cup simple syrup (recipe follows)
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup reduced fat cream cheese, softened
4 Tbsp of sugar
1/4 cup graham cracker crumbs (I used the cinnamon kind)
- Place blueberries, juice and simple syrup in a blender or food processor and puree. Set aside.
- Place softened cream cheese into a bowl and beat until light and fluffy; set aside. Place heavy cream into a cold bowl with sugar and, using a hand beater or whisk, beat until soft peaks form. Fold in beaten cream cheese. Portion out 1/4 cup of cream cheese mixture into a separate bowl, add in graham cracker crumbs and whisk to combine. Place each mixture into separate plastic bags and cut off a corner to create a small opening.
- To assemble, pour 1 tablespoon of blueberry mixture into each well. Squeeze half a tablespoon of cheesecake mixture on top of blueberry layer. Squeeze a small dollop, about half a teaspoon, of graham cracker mixture on top of cheesecake mixture. Continue layering and repeating until top of each well is reached.
- Cover top of popsicle form with foil and cut a tiny hole in the center of each well. Place popsicle stick through the hole.
- Place in freezer until frozen. To release popsicles, run hot water over outside of mold for 2-3 seconds
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
- Place water and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Heat and stir until sugar dissolves. Cool before using.
Source: Adapted slightly from Bakers Royale.
You know how many people say “Kleenex” as the generic term for tissue? Apparently I say “Popsicle” as the generic term for ice pop. I just realized yesterday that Popsicle is a brand name and not the term for a frozen-sugary-fruit-flavored-ice block on a stick. I have never in my life called these things ice pops, so I will continue to call them popsicles but I used the correct term in the title in case I am alone on this one.
Yesterday was day 2 at the pool (the mojito fruit dip was a huge hit Saturday, btw), but at a different friend’s house. Different venue means different treats! The menu was pretty stacked, but who can deny a popsicle (I’m sorry “ice pop”) on a hot day by the pool? I actually considered making mojito flavored ones to create a theme for the weekend, but the actual drink was already being served. So I went with fresh berries, yogurt and some POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice instead. Great combination!
I also made a tropical fruit version of popsicles.
1/2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
1/2 cup fresh or frozen blackberries
1/3 cup plain yogurt
2 tsp agave nectar (can substitute with honey)
- Process all ingredients in a blender until smooth. Pour into molds* and add top/stick. Freeze for 4 hours or overnight.
- Remove by dipping the mold in warm water briefly to ease out the ice pops.
*I used a Back to Basics Lickety Sip Ice Pop Maker. Makes four.
Source: The Spiffy Cookie original
How do you use up 8 bottles of pomegranate juice? Most of the things I have made with it so far have only used a little bit. It’s not that I don’t like it, in fact I think it’s delicious and could drink it straight up all by itself. Which made me realize I could throw it into one of my favorite Breakfast options, a smoothie! Using my typical smoothie single-serving set up, I substituted the milk for pomegranate juice, and chose blueberries as my additional fruit. A dash of honey and you’re all set!
I even served it in my childhood-favorite glass (notice how
beaten up well loved it is?). It only held half of the smoothie, but there’s nothing wrong with refills O:-).
1 cup frozen blueberries (I used fresh, frozen overnight)
1/4 cup low-fat plain yogurt
1 Tbsp honey
- Place ingredients, in the order listed, into a rocket blender. Seal with the cross blade base and pulse until well combined.
Source: The Spiffy Cookie original
Well, since I know that I am in fact NOT allergic to pomegranate, I figured I should get back to creating things with the wonderful case of POM Wonderful 100% pomegranate juice sitting in my fridge. I love stuffing things with cream cheese mixtures, so why not mix in some pomegranate?
First thing I have to say – I should have eaten these immediately. Yes they are super delicious and you really need to try them yourself, but what I meant here is that they got soggy after letting them sit awhile. For some reason it did not occur to me that the moist cream cheese would sacrifice the crunchy pretzel. After making them and sampling one in all it’s crunchy delicious glory, I stored the rest in an air-tight container in the fridge. When I went back for one later, the pretzel part was chewy. Boo!
Maybe if you covered them entirely in chocolate they would seem crunchier due to the hardened chocolate? Or what may be best, is dipping the pretzels in chocolate first, and then sandwiching them together. Yes I think that is the answer and I therefore reflect that realization below. After all, these deserve being made again because the cream cheese and pomegranate combination sandwiched between a slightly salty, crunchy, chocolate covered pretzel made for a wonderful sweet-n-salty treat.
Testimony: “I want to have sex with those pretzels.” – Bob
8 oz. Neufchatel cheese softened
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/4 cup POM Wonderful 100% pomegranate juice
1-7.2 oz. bag Snack Factory original pretzel crisps*
2-11.5 oz. bags 60% cacao chocolate
- In a medium bowl, combine cream cheese, sugar, and juice. Beat with mixer until well blended. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or until ready to use.
- Line two cookie sheets with wax paper. Over a double boiler melt the chocolate, stirring frequently. Using two forks, one in each hand, dip one pretzel crisp at a time in the chocolate, flipping to coat completely. Let excess drip off before placing on prepared sheet. Continue with the remaining pretzel crisps; refrigerate until chocolate is set.
- Spread 1 Tbsp of the cream cheese mixture onto one side of a chocolate covered pretzel crisp, sandwich together with another crisp and place back on prepared sheet. Repeat until all the cream cheese is gone. Enjoy!
Source: The Spiffy Cookie original
Let the bidding begin!!
Now for something new!
I was so excited when Ryan from POM Wonderful contacted me about sending a case of their 100% pomegranate juice. I had never actually had anything with pomegranate that I can recall, so once it arrived and chilled in the refrigerator I cracked open a bottle and took a sip. (You have to know what something tastes like before you can make anything with it after all.) This may not be news to anyone, but it’s so good!! Immediately ideas starting forming in my head of what to make with the juice. Unexpectedly, the first thing that I came up with is this pomegranate-goat cheese ball – perfectly paired with the homemade wheat thins!
I actually made a syrup from the pomegranate juice first, in order to get the right consistency once added to the goat cheese. Using the juice straight out of the bottle would’ve created more of a dip, which would’ve been tasty too I am sure. But I envisioned it rolled up in sliced almonds. And that vision turned into a tasty spread fit for any of your favorite crackers. I think it may be good on veggies too, but I somehow didn’t have any around to try it out myself.
But my story of this pomegranate creation isn’t over. After I snacked on this for a little while yesterday, I went to the gym for a quick 30 min jog. While stretching afterwards, I noticed a rash on my legs. Upon further examination, the splotches spread all the way up my legs to my hips. Now, I have no known food allergies of any kind but here I am the next day, and the rash is not going away. (Actually it is getting worse – it’s now on the top of my feet, going up my back a little, and intensified on my knees.) I really hope I am not allergic to pomegranate. I just discovered it’s tastiness! But it is the only new thing that mingled with my daily adventures yesterday. Although I did take that sip of it the day before and it did nothing to me, and I find it strange that a food allergy would react on my legs and not my throat/stomach. I may conduct an experiment on myself by drinking more POM once this rash goes away, to see if it returns.
8 oz goat cheese, softened
1 Tbsp pomegranate molasses/syrup
Honey, to taste
1/4 cup sliced almonds
- In a small bowl, blend the goat cheese and pomegranate syrup together. Add honey to taste (I used two drops).Place in refrigerator until firm.
- On a flat surface place a piece of plastic wrap. Spread out the sliced almonds in a single layer.
- Once firm, form the goat cheese into a log (or you could do a ball). Roll in the almonds until covered and gently press to ensure they stick. Wrap in the plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve. Enjoy with your favorite crackers.
1 cup POM 100% pomegranate juice
2 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp lemon juice
- In a small, uncovered saucepan, heat pomegranate juice, sugar, and lemon juice on medium high until the sugar has dissolved and the juice simmers. Reduce heat just enough to maintain a simmer. Simmer for until the juice has a syrupy consistency, and has reduced to 1/4-1/2 cup.
- Pour out into a jar. Let cool. Store chilled in the refrigerator.
Source: Pomegranate-Goat Cheese Ball is a Spiffy Cookie original. Pomegranate Syrup/Molasses adapted slightly from Simply Recipes.