For as long as I can remember, I’ve hated oranges.
Not just a turn-your-nose up and politely decline kind of hate. Mine borders on a phobia.
I can smell an orange coming from half a mile away. The scent invades my airspace with the same ferocity as teenage body odor, Ax body spray, or teenage body odor being concealed by Ax body spray.
This hatred doesn’t appear to be rooted in nature or nurture. My dad loves oranges, and having been forbidden to eat them in his own home, he used to go for a drive just to enjoy his illicit citrus, as other mothers and fathers did the occasional cigarette.
When he returned home, I would refuse to hug him, smelling the scent on his hands, and greeting it with a look of spite that is usually reserved for a much more reprehensible vice.
To this day, I don’t like touching oranges. I have never eaten an orange segment. And if a client tried to pay me to peel an orange, I would probably refuse. I have morals!
The only two orange-related foods I’ve ever managed to stomach were Orangina and Creamsicles. The former had just enough carbonation for me to think it was a soda, and the first time I had it was in Paris (I believe everything tasted better in France, even orange things). And I put up with the latter because of the vanilla ice cream I was rewarded with for making my way through the thin fruity glaze.
My mom used to stock some organic imitation brand of these creamy popsicles, probably as a means for my dad to get his orange on, and for me to get my ice cream on in the same sitting, under the same roof, with no one having to wash their hands afterward. But when I did manage to get my paws on another type of creamy popsicle, it was much preferred. And the enthusiasm probably did warrant some hand washing.
A few months ago, the fabulous new cookbook Glow Pops hit my doorstep. Not only did it get me excited for Frose and all manner of healthy hedonist summer treats, but it also nearly blew my mind with the world of healthy pop possibilities.
Liz Moody breaks up the book into sections for Fruity, Creamy, and Savory, among others. And after surveying the troops on instagram to choose between the Avocado Lime, Neapolitan and Chocolate Rosemary flavors, I decided to go rogue and make my own version of the Mango Chili flavor.
The color and texture reminded me of my childhood Creamsicles, without the orange-flavored shell that necessitated a good dose of vanilla ice cream to make it enjoyable. The ripe mango gets rich and creamy when pureed, but to give it that extra hint of richness, I decided to add a small can of coconut cream, thereby getting the best of both worlds (fruity + creamy…and with the chili powder and lime zest, a little savory too).
It’s at long last popsicle season on the East Coast, but I wasn’t all too upset to leave the 90 degree heat for a more temperate 70 degrees in LA. I’ll be enjoying the sunshine and eating some non-homemade popsicles in these parts until Friday. If you’re in town and have some free time Thursday night, come join me at my big triple book celebration!
In the meantime, I will be dreaming of these creamy, fruity, zesty, sweet and spicy pops. I can’t wait to get home and make more! Read on for the recipe, and if you’re in the market for more healthy ways to line your freezer with treats that the whole family will love (even orange haters like myself), go pick up your copy of Glow Pops!
From one healthy hedonist, to another,
Creamy Chili Mango Popsicles
- 2¼ cups cubed , fresh mango, from about 2 mangos
- ¾ teaspoon chili powder
- Zest and juice of 1 lime
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup water
- One 5.4 ounce can coconut cream optional
- Blend together all the ingredients until very smooth.
- Pour the mixture into molds and freeze for 1 hour, then insert sticks and freeze for at least 4 more hours, or until solid.