How much do I love shopping at Costco? So much so that I had to institute a Costco rationing to stop us going there every week and spending money on things we don’t need purely because they’re ‘cheap’ at the warehouse store. We used to go to Costco and the grocery store every Thursday whether we needed anything specific or not. I realized this was costing us a lot of money (duh) so I looked over our financials and started making cuts wherever I could, starting with less shopping.
To make money one must save money. Saving is far more important than earning because earnings change but the money you already have doesn’t. There are loads of resources out there for how to save and what you should save, where to invest, where to spend; budgeting in general. The conventional wisdom is to have three months worth of savings so if something catastrophic should befall your income, you’d be okay for three months. Other simple hints are cutting the cord on cable and using an over-the-air antenna, changing phone companies to one of the new discount services that use big name towers at cut-rate prices, and stopping resource leaking: unplug chargers when not in use, make sure faucets are not dripping money down the drain, turning off the lights. It’s all really easy once you start and one of the easiest ways to start is to just think about your spending and where it could use a trim.
I have always been pretty thrifty and have saved money since I was a child when I had a little box into which I put every dollar I was given. I used to get $20 from my Grandmother every birthday, every holiday, every time I saw her…she was a real spendthrift. There’s this story about how she lost something like five or ten cents while doing my Grandfather’s bookkeeping in the 1960s and never forgot it because that was the only time she ever lost track of a red cent! I have a bit of that; there have been mass purges of receipts when I decided it was finally safe to discard them after a year. I’ve also had a lot of help from my parents who let me live with them to save money and paid my tuition for culinary school (a community college, but still). Getting the money is straightforward, keeping the money is a bit more nuanced.
What does this have to do with mango popsicles? In our enthusiasm over being at Costco a couple weeks ago, we bought a jar of sliced mangoes because it was definitely cheaper than buying fresh mangoes and I love mangoes…
Seemed like a good idea, but alas, jarred mangoes have a funky texture and are oddly tart, like they’ve been pickled or something, which they haven’t, so not awesome. Josh said he’d eat them because I refuse to eat anything nasty no matter the waste factor, but I knew that wasn’t going to happen, so I made mango popsicles with coconut cream and coconut flakes.
The first step is to toast sweetened coconut flakes. This can be done in the oven by preheating to 325˚, spreading the flakes in a single layer on a sheet pan, then baking for about 8 minutes, stirring halfway through. It can also be done on the stovetop by heating the pan over medium, adding the flakes, and toasting for 5 to 10 minutes depending on how much you’re toasting. Stir every minute for even browning.
While the coconut is toasting prepare the other ingredients. If you’re using fresh mango, pit and peel three to four mangoes, and cut into quarters. Some recipes include sugar, but it’s mango: it’s sweet enough. If you want sweeter, I suggest adding pineapple, which I did here because I had a can of pineapple in the pantry that had no other destiny. I used canned coconut cream, which is mostly the thick cream atop a can of normal coconut milk with just a little bit of liquid, but normal canned coconut milk to your taste is fine. I got everything into my blender and blitzed it to smooth. I added the coconut flakes at the end, which were toasty brown and nutty.
Mango Coconut Popsicles
In a blender, combine:
3 or 4 fresh mangoes, pitted & peeled OR a 28 oz jar of prepared mango slices
1-15 oz can coconut cream OR 2-15 oz cans coconut milk
1/2 c. cubed pineapple
Blend until smooth, then add:
3/4 c. sweetened coconut flakes, toasted
Blend to combine
Carefully pour into popsicle molds and freeze for 8 hours until solid. To remove, allow mold to warm slightly on the counter, then extract a popsicle. Refrigerate any extra and add to the mold as you remove solid popsicles. This recipe could also be frozen in an ice cube tray, then coarsely blended again to make a granita. Or blended to nearly smooth, mixed with coconut rum, and served in a glass with a coconut-dipped rim. It could also be eaten as-is with a spoon or in a squeeze pack for kids. Or mixed into yogurt or oatmeal. Try a few things and report back about your favorite uses.
They are delicious and the toddler likes them, so big win for jarred mangoes.