Popsicles! I don’t think there’s a more welcome treat when the weather gets hot and we have had some hot weather lately. You don’t need anything fancy to make a good popsicle, just a container to freeze it in, a stick so you can hold it and a liquid to freeze, but here are some tips to a foolproof popsicle.
Your liquid needs to be sweet unless you want a rock hard popsicle. Think about the texture of an ice cube versus a nice, icy popsicle. You probably don’t want a popsicle that you can’t bite into so add a little sweetener. The sugar prevents it from freezing quite as hard. A popsicle that’s just frozen tea will be hard like an ice cube but my husband made some sweet tea pops last week that were perfect! Adding sweetener doesn’t mean dumping in cups of sugar. You can still make a healthy popsicle. Add some fruit juice, fruit puree, a little honey, or just a bit of sugar. There are plenty of options.
You don’t need fancy popsicle molds. Use what you have! Little cups work great and I once went to a birthday party for a toddler where the host made itty bitty popsicles using ice cube trays and they were perfect for little hands- and mouths! When filling a popsicle mold, or container, be sure to leave a little space at the top because your liquid will expand as it freezes. If you’re using something other than a commercial popsicle mold, you’ll need to use something for a stick. You can buy popsicle sticks or just use spoons. Whatever you choose, wait until your popsicles have been in the freezer for a couple of hours before you insert them. By then the top of your popsicles will have frozen a little and you can poke the stick into the middle and it’ll stay right there where you want it.
Experiment with flavors! This is the best part of making your own popsicles. Combine flavors, mix fruits, add herbs. Add large chinks of fruit to a puree for a great popsicle with lots of texture. Make stripes of different flavors but pouring in a little bit of one flavor, letting it freeze, then adding another. Mix pureed fruit with yogurt or milk for a creamy popsicle or thin it with a little water for an icy one. Use what’s in season for the best flavor and enjoy! The internet is full of amazing popsicle recipes and here are a few to get you started, whether you want some simple recipes, interesting combinations that will impress kids and adults alike, or some really unique combos that are probably best suited for the grown-ups. I think the savory tomato cucumber pops from that last link might be next on my popsicle agenda.
Think outside the popsicle mold. Frozen fruit makes a great treat. My kids can eat frozen blueberries by the bowlful, I know many people love frozen grapes and frozen banana pops like in the photo above are a classic, easy treat. Also, consider letting your pets in on the popsicle fun with these fun dog popsicle recipes!
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