Popsicles, paletas, ice pops or lollies – what ever you call them where you are from, they are a fun and simple to make all summer. We are about 2 weeks into summer now and I’ve probably made about 10 different flavors already. We’ve taken them to the beach and on hikes in coolers, shared with the neighbors or the tennis kids after a hot match, but mostly it’s great to have something on hand for hungry kids to snack on. They disappear fast!
First, you need a pop mold. There are a lot of options out there. We have this fancy one from Zoku, but I mostly use this simple one below. Mostly because it makes 10 pops at a time and we like lots of pops!
There are some unhappy reviews on Amazon about this one, but we bought it a small local kitchen supply store so it may not be exactly the same brand selling on Amazon. The trick to this one and others like it is to try to put the sticks in as straight as possible – perfect job for kids. Also you’ll need sticks, a lot of sticks… did I mention we like a lot of pops?
In a pinch you can use a small dixie cup with a popsicle stick. We don’t bother worrying about sticks being straight if we use cups, they’ll be in our tummies soon enough.
Once you have your mold, fill it with water and figure out how much fruity good stuff you’ll need to make. Mine holds about 3 and 1/2 cups. You can blend your ingredients before you pour it into the molds for a smoother consistency or stuff the molds with fruit before you pour in the liquid, but the fruit usually floats.
Now for the ingredients. It’s kind of silly following a recipe but I use at least 1/2 liquid to 1/2 fruit. We’ve been experimenting with herbs from our garden, the summer bounty of fruit, spices from the cupboard and something sour – mostly lemons or limes. If they need an extra sweet touch you can use maple syrup, dates, a couple drops of stevia or whatever sweetener works for you. If we need something creamy we’ll use some homemade coconut milk. I usually make it myself just to save money but any milk that fits your allergy will work.
My last tip is make sure you taste it before you pour. Sometimes it just needs some sweetening up to make it work.
Here are some flavor combos that we have been playing with:
- Raw Cacao, coconut milk, dates, acai
- Hibiscus tea, orange juice, mint
- Strawberry lemonade
- Mango lemonade
- Mango, lime, chili
- Watermelon, lime, strawberry
- Watermelon lemonade
- Pluots and coconut water
- Cilantro, watermelon, lime
- Coconut milk, banana, cinnamon, cardamom
- Cherry, lemon, blueberry
- Lavender lemonade
Ingredients we are looking forward to playing with: peaches, apricots (maybe grilled first), more mint, rosemary, oregano, camomile, blackberries, strawberry and rhubarb, blueberry and rhubarb, turmeric, matcha, and more chocolate experiments.
If you have a favorite flavor, share it in the comments! – and let us know what you call ice pops.