Did you get to try the rainbow bagel in New York? Or the rainbow grilled cheese in Hong Kong? Or maybe some overachieving baker in your life has whipped up the ubiquitous rainbow cake that keeps popping up in Pinterest feed? Ya. Me neither. I’m not entirely sure what the appeal of unnaturally coloured food is but there is something fun about eating something that looks like it popped out fully formed from the world of Lisa Frank. If you are too young to get that reference I think My Little Pony is the more current reference for those born after 1995. Or maybe this nihilist Lisa Frank Tumblr?
(And speaking of rainbows, I think that right now we all need more rainbows in our life.)
While I do like the notion of eating garishly coloured food they mostly require a shit ton of artificial food dyes which is kind of a bummer. Not that I make that much of a conscientious effort to avoid artificial food dyes (it would seriously impair my gummy bear habit) but my countertops are way too porous to be splashing this stuff around. Soft & Scrub is expensive. Also I vividly remember a wedding where they served very vibrantly coloured macarons and all the guests were smiling for pictures, completely oblivious to their scarily stained teeth and lips. I imagine many of those post-macaron pictures requires some serious editing.
So for POPSICLE WEEK 2016 (I feel like it has to be written in all caps because in my head you have to yell it) I had been entertaining the idea of making a rainbow coloured popsicle using natural ingredients without food dyes. And the missing piece of the puzzle was blue. How do you make naturally coloured blue? Blueberries are way too purple, and um…there are no other foods I can think of that are blue.
Luckily the answer hit me when, at Moon Juice in LA, I spotted a bottle of a pale baby blue concoction. The secret ingredient was spirulina. Turns out although spirulina powders and pills appear dark green when mixed with liquid they turn a bright blue, probably due to the blue-green algae in there. Problem solved 😎
To round out this superfood rainbow popsicle we have a creamy cashew and coconut base (it’s vegan!) blended with strawberry (red), mango turmeric (yellow), matcha (green), spirulina (blue), and blueberry raspberry (purple).
That’s right. Screw orange*.
*Not really there was just enough going on here sans orange but if you don’t want to disrespect the color wheel like that, carrot juice and orange beets make a pretty orange-y orange.
RAINBOW POPSICLES (VEGAN)
- ½ cup raw, unsalted cashews
- 1.5 14-oz cans or 600ml full fat coconut milk
- 2 tablespoons of coconut oil, room temperature
- 5 packets of stevia or 5 tablespoons of light-coloured honey (like orange blossom)
- 5 strawberries – red layer
- 1/2 of a mango cubed and 1/4 teaspoon of ground turmeric – yellow layer
- 2 teaspoons of matcha powder – green layer
- 1/4 teaspoon of blue spirulina powder
- 2 tablespoons of blueberries and 2 tablespoons of fresh raspberries – purple layer
- Soak the cashews in water overnight or 8 hours.
- Drain the soaked cashews and blend them with the coconut milk, coconut oil and sweetener of choice. A high powered blender helps but you can also just blend it for a long time until completely smooth.
- Pour out the blended cashew coconut cream and divide it equally in 5 containers.
- Blend each aliquot with the ingredients specified for each colour; blend the strawberries with the one of the portions, mango and turmeric with another portion, matcha with another portion, spirulina with another portion and the blueberries and fresh raspberries with the last portion. Blend each portion until completely smooth. Adjust colour by adding more of the ingredients if necessary. Rinse the blender in between doing different colours to prevent muddying them.
- Once you have all 5 coloured portions: If you want a more blended tie-dye-esque look simply layer each coloured portion in the popsicles molds as desired and then insert popsicle stick. Freeze for at least 5 hours.
- For a more segmented look (as in the pictures) pour one layer in the popsicle mold, let freeze for at least 20 minutes and then repeat with other colours, freezing after each layer. To insert the popsicles stick, heat the sticks in hot water for a couple minutes and then push it through the filled popsicle mold. The heat will help it get thru the bottom layers that may be more solid at this point. Freeze for at least 5 hours.
It’s pretty timely that the week of POPSICLE WEEK 2016 also happens to be the week we’re having temperatures over 100F in Southern California! I think I have just enough popsicles to last me thru the heat wave 😎😎😎
More POPSICLE WEEK 2016 goodness:
Mango Pandan Popsicles – The Funnelogy Channel
Chocolate Passion Fruit Pops – Kitchen Konfidence
Strawberry Campari Popsicles – Apt. 2B Baking Co.
Pink Drink Popsicles – The Pig & Quill
Funfetti Cake Pops – i am a food blog
Rainbow Froyo Pops – How Sweet Eats (rainbow pops ftw)
Mango Chili Popsicles – Fig + Bleu
Shanghai Mung Bean Popsicles – Le Jus D’Orange
Blueberry Coconut Milk Popsicles – Beer Girl Cooks
White Chocolate Basil Popsicles – Sprouted Roots
Boston Cooler Pops – Wooden Spoon Baking
Peanut Butter Cup Popsicles – Donuts Dresses and Dirt
Kahlua Coconut Cream Affogato Popsicles – Yes to Yolks