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Popsicle Love

By Liz Pearson, July 19, 2013  |  Meet the Blogger  |  More Posts by Liz Pearson

When it comes to summer heat, only icy treats will do. In sun-blitzed Texas, give me slushies, ices, snow cones (raspas here in San Antonio) or a double scoop of mint chocolate chip. This time of year, I’m a popsicle-a-day kind of gal.

Cherry Ice Pops

Cherry Ice Pops

I make most of our popsicles at home. That way, I can vary my ingredients depending on what’s tip-top and on sale. Homemade popsicles are as simple as it gets; just purée, pour, freeze. I taste as I go, adding fresh lemon or lime juice when things get too sweet, or something creamy like buttermilk, yogurt or a big dollop of pudding.

With popsicles made at home, I can also dial up (or down) the decadence. My new favorites are these Double Melon Mint Pops and Banana and Brown Sugar Popsicles with Sour Cream – extra easy and loaded with fruit. I recently served rich, dulce de leche yogurt popsicles (nonfat Greek yogurt puréed with jarred dulce de leche, a splash of heavy cream and a hefty pinch of salt) for an adult’s birthday party, and chocolate-and-hazelnut popsicles (low-fat buttermilk puréed with chocolate-hazelnut spread, toasted hazelnuts and bittersweet cocoa powder) after an elegant summer supper, both to some big whoops and hollers. 

Some advice to get you started:

  1. Before you pour, arrange room in your freezer for the molds to sit flat. Otherwise, you’ll have the freezer open for ages just before you put in the pops.
  2. Watch out for that brain freeze.

Peach-Mango Popsicles

Peach-Mango Popsicles

Tricks of the popsicle trade:

  • Drop chopped fruit, nuts, crushed cookies or swirls of caramel into popsicles as you pour. Depending on the purée, some may settle to the bottom, but it won’t hurt the taste.
  • Layer colors, letting the first layer freeze, then pouring more on top. Try this with the double melon popsicles, above, puréeing the two melons separately.
  • Add creaminess with avocado, silken tofu, coconut milk, sour cream, almond butter, buttermilk, pudding, frozen yogurt or ice cream.
  • Adjust the texture to suit you. Pulse the fruit mixture instead of pureeing to make popsicles little chunkier. Or try this irresistible trick: chop watermelon into tiny cubes and spoon into molds, gently packing it in, and then freeze. No puréeing needed, and so refreshing.
  • Invent new molds. Any ice cube tray, small cup or bowl works as a mold. Cover snugly with foil, and then gently push your popsicle stick through the foil to help keep it in place.
  • At a loss for ideas? Try apricot and peach with grapefruit zest, limeade with rosemary, strawberries and coconut milk, puréed cantaloupe layered with rice pudding, green grapes with basil, or cherries puréed with lemon pudding.

Have you made popsicles at home? Share your favorite flavor combinations and freezing tips in the comments section below.

Category: Food & Recipes




Laura says ...
This looks so good and healthy. I'm going to try it. Thanks.
07/24/2013 1:07:24 PM CDT
Sterling says ...
where did you get your molds? I've not found any that look as good as yours. Thanks.
07/24/2013 9:48:13 PM CDT
Stacy says ...
Great ideas to try! Our family favorite homemade popsicles are: fill blender with 1 can coconut milk, I can water, 3 frozen bananas and fill the rest of the blender with frozen strawberries. If I have one, I add an avocado as well. Pour into molds and freeze. Even my 1 year old can't get enough of these.
07/25/2013 8:51:24 AM CDT
Jeanne says ...
Where can I find the Popsicle molds pictured in the article. Thanks
07/25/2013 11:16:00 AM CDT
Heike says ...
Love it
07/31/2013 11:06:58 AM CDT
JILL AZZARA says ...
07/31/2013 11:31:42 AM CDT
Reggie Owen says ...
07/31/2013 12:21:39 PM CDT
Pam says ...
thank you for sharing these look so good!
07/31/2013 12:55:28 PM CDT
lo ja says ...
mmmm, yeah, I really like this one - good way to pack in fruit/veggie healthy treat - a good for grown-ups too!-)
07/31/2013 1:11:20 PM CDT
Jacqueline A Church says ...
My ice pop tips: 1. Just picked up new BPA free molds at Marshall's on Boylston St. 2. Have read that placing sticks in one hour after freezing helps them release with the sticks in place. 3. Boozy pops are great grownup treats. Watch proportions: too much booze slush = not pops. 4. Iced tea spoons are great for scooping out boozy slush. ;-)
07/31/2013 1:28:31 PM CDT
Pat Hendriks says ...
I too am looking for some good molds to use for popsicles. I got some Martha Stewart ones at Macy's last year, but they are very small and extremely hard to use. I'd welcome pointers to ones like you've shown in the blog.
07/31/2013 1:58:49 PM CDT
Rany says ...
Can whole foods buy in the moulds for purchase? cheers.
07/31/2013 2:27:49 PM CDT
Marcia says ...
I made these with blueberries because cherries are too high in sugar. They were pretty good, after they thawed a bit, it let the creaminess of the yogurt come through. I found our holders at Amazon. There were 8 total and they came with a stand. Made it much easier. Wish there were recipes that were really low in sugar and I'd love to find one for a plant-based fudge bar - yum! These are worth making and quite refreshing.
07/31/2013 2:46:02 PM CDT
Dorothee McCaskey says ...
(TupperWare used to sell these ice pop molds - you must not be miserly in cost as "cheap" ones do NOT work!) Used to give these to my elementary aged children as they walked to school in tropical climate...I made pops using some CUSTARD style yogurt, thinly sliced bananas, coconut flakes, pureered berries of any sort that were frozen... at times I'd spread nutty peanut butter OR our favorite Nutella on the sides of popcycle mold, then pour in juices along with fruits...VERY TASTEY with Nutella (chocolate + hazelnut!) Pineapple juice + coconut is also very good. Note: a banana IS very heavy & rich so don't overload each mold with bananas only. Almond milk IS good to puree with frozen fruits. Enjoy!
07/31/2013 3:01:06 PM CDT
Laura says ...
I use these molds from Amazon. They look similar to the ones in the picture above. Love them, very easy to use. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0002IBJOG/ref=oh_details_o03_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
07/31/2013 3:11:34 PM CDT
eileen says ...
My fave grown up popsicle treat: Bloody Mary-sicles. I make an extra intense and spicy mix with a tomato/veg juice, horseradish, lime juice, Worcestershire, celery salt, tabasco and then add a smallish amount of vodka (too much and they won't freeze!)...and enjoy.
07/31/2013 3:30:51 PM CDT
chris says ...
Try coconut milk, some almond milk and chopped dried mango..mmmmm
07/31/2013 4:08:56 PM CDT
riter says ...
You can find molds at Amazon.com, EBay & Target, but my favorite is from IKEA. The have a 6-pop holder with reuseable molds & sticks for only $1.99.
07/31/2013 4:14:08 PM CDT
Megan says ...
Check Amazon for the Norpro Ice Pop Maker. Looks like the popsicle form in this article.
07/31/2013 4:57:10 PM CDT
Billie Bakhshi says ...
I make fudge pops using coconut milk, ghiradelli chocolate powder (unsweetened and found at WF) & agave nectar (for the lower gylcemic index.) I put it through the blender to throughly work the chocolate in, and pour into molds. They consistently freeze into layers...some more coconut, others darker chocolate. Kinda cool...and a huge hit with the kiddos.
07/31/2013 4:57:44 PM CDT
Nina says ...
Would love ideas about how to boost the protein in these popstomakethem a healthy breakfast option in the summer when everyone is too hot to eat.
07/31/2013 6:05:51 PM CDT
Anne says ...
Where can I find popsicle molds that will make it reasonably easy to remove the popsicles when they are frozen? I have two different types,neither of which work very well in that regard.
07/31/2013 6:50:33 PM CDT
PC says ...
Does anyone have a recipe for sugar-free banana popsicles? I had gastric sleeve surgery in April and I'm on a high lean meat protein, low carb diet. Can't have anything high in sugar or with sugar added. I CAN have sugar-free popsicles though. My problem now is finding them in flavors that aren't too tart. (Surgery totally jacked up my tolerance of some foods)
07/31/2013 7:46:43 PM CDT
EB says ...
I got a mold from Bed,Bath and beyond, and it looked exactly like this. i never got around to using it, so I'm thinking of selling it on Ebay since It's been too long to return it to BBand B. I got it 3-4 years ago, so I'm not sure if they still sell that style, but you might want to check BBandB.
07/31/2013 8:30:18 PM CDT
Barb says ...
I have some great molds, but need to buy more popsicle sticks. Any ideas on where to get some?
07/31/2013 9:48:43 PM CDT