May 17, 2012

Banyan Café: Valencia Orange Cream Pops

It's May, and we've got a tree absolutely bursting with ripe Valencia oranges that really need to be picked and processed. Valencias ripen a few months later than Navels and I'm sure they were ready last month, but I just didn't get to it. So yesterday I plucked about 15 pounds of fruit from the branches. That was only about a third of the bounty, so there's more work to do.

Valencia oranges

Once I picked them, I had to deal with them! Valencias are best as juicing oranges, so I broke out the juicer.

The ol' Sunbeam works just fine for me

Forty-five minutes later I was staring at a colander full of half-orange peels and about a gallon of juice. Now, our family will drink some OJ in the morning, but not that much.

Fresh OJ

Time to make popsicles! Given that it's been approaching the 90s in Davis this month, the popsicle idea was a hit with the kids. After tinkering with various combinations, this is the recipe we like best:

What you need:

1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1 small container (6 oz.) vanilla yogurt
a splash of vanilla extract (experiment with other flavor enhancers if you're feeling adventurous)
Superfine sugar (amount depends on the sweetness of your juice & how much sugar you want the kids to have; substitute honey if you prefer)

Ingredients for Valencia orange cream pops


Combine all ingredients in a large measuring cup and whisk together. Pour into popsicle molds and freeze (time will depend on your freezer temp and your popsicle molds.)

Popsicle "batter" going into the molds

If you use your own oranges, these popsicles cost about 15 cents a piece, even using high-quality yogurt. Compare that to anywhere from 75 cents to $1.50 per popsicle if you buy organic fruit pops at the store, and you're looking at a serious bargain snack. Opting for larger containers of yogurt makes the pops even cheaper. Better yet, make the yogurt yourself! (I'm not quite there, but if you want to try it, Erica at Northwest Edible Life has a great DIY yogurt post.)

These treats get two thumbs up from the whole family, which is saying something around here.

The kid and kid-at-heart enjoying pops on the porch

If after making popsicles you find yourself with extra OJ (I know I'm not the only one in town with a tree still full of oranges!) try freezing it in 1-cup portions; then you can make popsicles all summer long--yum!


  1. Let's try SOY yoghurt to see if results are similar.
    Perhaps sweeter - - -

    1. Yes, I was thinking of that for when you guys are here! I'm sure the Co-op has a few different things we can try to make them dairy free.

  2. Hi! Where did you get your popsicle molds? I was just wondering what to do with all the fresh squeezed juice, as it tends to ferment quickly.

    1. The ones in the pictures are about 30 or 40 years old, from my mom and probably vintage Tupperware. :) I do have another set by Tovolo ("Groovy" model) that works well and is available both on Amazon or at Davis Ace Hardware (in the summer, at least.)