INDIANAPOLIS - Summertime in our household means being outside —a lot. Between grilling, gardening, biking and many other activities, keeping hydrated is a priority. One summer tradition I've incorporated into our family that quenches even the pickiest taste buds' thirst is popsicles.
Break the mold
Spying a box of Fla-Vor-Ice in the freezer was a sure sign when I was growing up that summer was upon us. But most ready-made frozen treats contain a staggering amount of high fructose corn syrup and man-made dyes, and I'd prefer to keep those out of my freezer whenever possible.
The easiest popsicles can be made straight from fruit purée. Simple and sweet, just choose the fruit you want, blend and freeze. As easy as refilling an ice cube tray , you can have fresh, frozen treats in mere hours.
But as easy as it is to make those, it's practically as easy to experiment with your flavors, and even make some just for adults.
Twinkle's favorite DIY freeze-pops:
Watermelon-Jalapeño Freezer Pops
3 cups fresh red or yellow watermelon, cubed
¼ cup honey
¼ cup fresh lime juice
1 large jalapeño pepper, halved and seeded
2 tsp. lime zest
Handful of watermelon seeds (if you buy seeded)
Combine the first four ingredients in a food processor or blender, and process until pureed. Stir in lime zest and seeds. Pour into popsicle molds. Freeze approximately 6-7 hours or until firm.
Coconut Lime & Pineapple Pops
1 ¾ cup of coconut milk
¼ cup of honey
1 4 oz. can crushed pineapple in pineapple juice
¼ cup lime juice
2 tbs. lime zest
Combine the first four ingredients in a food processor or blender, and process until pureed. Stir in lime zest and pour into popsicle molds. Freeze approximately 6-7 hours or until firm.
Just Peachy Pops
About 4-5 ripe peaches, halved and pitted
Juice of 1 lemon
¼ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
¼ cup honey, or to taste
¼ tsp. vanilla extract
Add the peaches to a food processor or blender and blend until just chunky. Stir in the remaining ingredients and pour into popsicle molds. Freeze approximately 6-7 hours or until firm.
Break the mold
There are several ways to make your own molds if you don't have any on hand. You can use the small size red solo cups or paper cups with popsicle sticks, muffin pans or even ice trays. If using cups, place the amount of cups you want to use on a sheet pan.
Pour your liquid into the molds, place a piece of saran wrap over the tops and poke in your popsicle sticks. The saran wrap will keep the stick in place while the pops freeze.
Of course, if you are going to make a lot of these on a regular basis, then I suggest investing in some reusable molds. Better for popsicles on the fly and definitely better for the environment.
For more on food and for more recipes check out twinklevanwinkle.com.
Twinkle VanWinkle was born in a small town in Mississippi. A life-long lover of music, media and food, she grew up following those three things along her path. She has almost 20 years of professional cooking under her apron strings, feeding thousands of friends, family and other folks while working in restaurants and bakeries in Oxford, Miss. She baked 300 apple pies for the "Oprah Winfrey Show" and appeared on "The Best Of..." in the same year. Along with producing dynamic entertainment content for LIN Media, she is a mother, musician and social media fanatic.
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