We learn most lessons in kindergarten: it’s kind to share, paint is for your hands, naps are essential (as are cookies and milk), and while playdough isn’t tasty, if you eat some, it won’t kill you either. But today’s pearl of wisdom hails from beyond the childhood homeroom and from nature itself. Or bears more specifically.
Beyond preventing forest fires, bears know what’s up when it comes to preparing for the winter months. As summer closes up shop, they stock up. They hoard, they save, the pluck the best of what the warm days had to offer and make sure its canned, pickled, and jammed for the barren weeks ahead. Or, you know, packed in a cave or whatever they do. Turns out, I’m not a bear expert.
And while some people (not bears) choose to preserve the sweet taste of corn, juicy tomatoes, ripe peppers, or stone fruit, I personally have my eye on something more nostalgic. Root beer floats. They are the quintessential summer treat. Creamy, crisp, and sweet. And while they are best enjoyed on a hot summer day, after a BBQ, while watching the sun set on a lake, they are equally delicious in front of a fire, after a bowl of soup, while watching reality TV.
So what’s the best way to enjoy root beer floats throughout the summer without taking up too much freezer space, you ask? That’s easy. Root Beer Float Ice Cube Pops.
Let’s start with the float itself. You can always go classic and mix some low-sodium coconut ice cream (So Delicious or other coconut based products are best) with low-sodium root beer (the 365 Whole Foods Brand and Hansens sodas are best). But because we are dealing with ice cubes here and we want the ingredients to be evenly dispersed, you can also sub coconut-based yogurt for the ice cream. It makes for easier mixing. Either way, the ingredients are few and tasty.
Then, grab a spoon, an ice cube tray, and a measuring cup with a spout. Mix one can of soda with one cup of yogurt (or two big scoops of ice cream). And pour. Place the ice cube tray into your freezer for 20 minutes or so. And once the pops have started to firm up, place popsicle sticks into the center of each cube. (Note: To make tiny sticks, simply cut the regular kind in half).
Finally, keep them in the freezer until you need a bite of summer. Then, simply pop them out and eat them for dessert. Or, taking a cue from Tracy at Shutterbean (who knows how to mix a little booze with her frozen treats) use these pops for a playful happy hour and plop the popsicles straight into a glass of cream soda or even vanilla vodka if you want to get crazy and are of age and healthy enough for a splash of alcohol.
And for those needing to watch phosphorous intake or just looking to get a little creative, remember that you can make your Float Pops with any ingredients you want. Try freezing cherries, coconut, and yogurt and then add these fruity cubes to a glass of sparkling water. Or any of these other creative combos offered by Food52.com.
And that my friends is how bears get their summer kicks during the winter months.
Enjoy. Chow on.