I was asked by the ever so lovely people at Kitchenware Direct to pick something from their amazing array of products to review and test run on the blog. Having done a beautiful pasta machine giveaway in the cooler months, a cool treat churning device was the next logical step. So the good people at Kitchenware Direct sent over a spunky Zoku Quick Pop Maker. A series of unfortunate incidents followed the arrival of the pop maker. The weather turned dark and gloomy. It poured buckets. A virus slowly crept into our throats and rendered us all into distant cousins of Kermit the frog. I knew then that the contraption that had arrived was no ordinary machine. It was to be feared and revered.
When the croaks detached themselves from our genetic makeup, it was time to whip up some cool treats and cheer our now human throats up. The only time I ever read instructions is when it is a kitchen gadget, a reasonably tricky one at that. You didn’t think I would read instructions for a coffee plunger, did you? I hate instruction manuals that seem to have every other language in it with English buried amongst words that look like strange alien latin. I also hate instruction manuals that are crammed with words, words and more words. How about a diagram for people like me who go into short circuit mode with line after line of just words. So the little instruction booklet that came with the Zoku Pop Maker was a big hit with me, it was punctuated by diagrams, hooray!!
The Zoku Pop Maker is a very striking piece of kitchen gadgetry. You have to applaud its aesthetic value. It is a sexy little thing, compact, no bigger than your medium sized lunch box with a white body and a bright orange rim. It reminded me of those limited edition chubby, Japanese vinyl toys. Using it is no rocket science, which is what endeared me to it. You leave the main unit (which hardly takes up any space) in your freezer for 24 hours.
When you are ready to make your pops, bring it out. Insert the pop sticks in the 3 cavities, pour in your liquid, drop in bits and pieces (fruit, lollies, sprinkles, cereal) and set your timer to 9 minutes. When the timer rings, fix the big fat orange tool on the pop stick and turn clockwise till you feel it loosen. Pull it out. Voila! A spectacular looking pop. You can also attach a drip lip at the bottom to catch the leaky pop as you slurp yourself to oblivion. You can make 3 pops at once and 6 to 9 pops in that 18 minute span before you will need to put the unit back in the freezer. I reckon it is perfect for playdates and parties. Kids and adults will have a blast. I hear there are all kinds of tools available to make real fancy Zoku pops like zigzag layers, geometric patterns and more exciting stuff.
Now the fun bit. Rivs, who is a wise 7 year old, gave it a go. He did it! It was that easy. He made a Sustagen and sprinkle pop (yep, the vitamin rich energy drink he has in the morning before school, converted into a cool icy pop for a after school treat on a hot afternoon). My kids are crazy for Vanilla Sustagen. So the recipe I am sharing today is for Vanilla And Strawberry Pops. But you can experiment with other healthy options like Milo pops, yogurt and muesli pops, soy milk and oat pops or more sinful adult only versions like Irish cream milky pops, sangria with fruit pops etc.
VANILLA SUSTAGEN & STRAWBERRY POPS
(Sustagen is a nutritional energy drink by Nestle)
500ml full cream milk
6 to 8 tablespoons Vanilla Sustagen
1 cup, finely sliced fresh strawberries
desiccated coconut, sprinkles, melted chocolate for dipping and coating (optional)
Mix vanilla Sustagen with milk until smooth. Following the instruction in the Zoku booklet, pour vanilla milk in the pop cavities. Drop some sliced strawberries and pour more milk. Keep alternating till filled to the arrow line. Wait 9 minutes and remove pops. Roll in desiccated coconut or sprinkles if you like. Enjoy!
WIN ONE FABULOUS ZOKU QUICK POP MAKER!
The Zoku Pop Maker comes with the base unit, 6 pop sticks, 6 drip lips, one screw tool and the very nice instruction booklet. And because I love you guys so much, I convinced the good people at Kitchenware Direct to give one fabulous Zoku Pop Maker to one very lucky reader. To win this amazing gadget, all you have to do is be an Australian resident and follow the instructions in the contest box below. The contest will run for a good few days, and you will have an option of entering once daily too. So go nuts!!