Popsicles are a classic treat of summer. I love summer when the weather is warmer and life is sometimes more simple than during the hustle and bustle of the school year.
We spent one of the first days of summer vacation running through the sprinkler and eating popsicles. I’ve made many popsicles over the years, mostly to avoid the added sugars and artificial flavorings. I love giving my family foods that not only taste good, but supports healthy bodies as well. Our taste buds naturally love the flavors of natural fruits and veggies. Nothing beats the sweetness of locally picked strawberries, blueberries, cherries and more. What’s growing locally by you? We’re fortunate to have local strawberry picking down the road from our home, here’s one of my kiddos on one of our trips to a local farm.
Over the years I’ve collected and tried many popsicle molds and recipes, some work a little better than others. My kids always devour anything I make in the molds, the hardest part is waiting! These recipes are easy ones that have become staples in our home during the lazy days of summer. You can easily adjust the recipes to your liking with different fruits, juices and add ins like nuts and chocolate 🙂
I’ve come to favor a few types of popsicle molds. I like Tovolo and Cuisipro, they’re a stronger plastic than cheaper varieties. They’ve held up for years, only my Cuisipro push-up set has a few pieces that got cracked. I probably won’t replace the pop-up mold. It was fun, but it’s tricky to set up and get a good seal on the pieces. You can see I’m missing a couple of the handles, as the kids take them outside to eat they don’t always make their way back into the kitchen. They probably landed in the sandbox or beach toys :).
This CuisiPro Rocket Pop Mold is my favorite for making Fudge Popsicles
These pops are super easy to make with milk or milk substitutes of your choice. I’m the only one in my family allergic to cows milk so I made them with almond milk this time…..shhh the kiddos didn’t even notice!
Years ago I discovered store bought fudge pops have artificial colors and flavors. These are so easy to make, it’s similar to our homemade hot chocolate recipe we make all winter except we add arrowroot powder to thicken it like a pudding before you pour it into the molds. I’ve used natural pudding mixes like Otekers before but had to discontinue that since we discovered two of us have corn allergies and the pudding mix is made with corn starch.
2 1/4 C whole milk, almond or coconut
1/4 C coconut sap sugar
3 T cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla
2 T arrowroot powder
pinch of salt
Heat up all ingredients until warm and thickened. Cool slightly, stirring constantly to prevent top layer from solidifying. Pour into molds, dropping in add ins if you’d like: walnuts, dairy free chocolate chips, chopped fruit. Freeze 12 hours.
My absolute favorite popsicle maker is the Zoku unit that makes popsicles in about 20 minutes. You have to keep in the freezer for 24 hours ahead of time. We just keep ours in the freezer all the time so it’s ready to go any time. You can typically make 2 sets of pops before it warms up too much, so our 3-unit pop maker can make 6 in less than an hour. You could fill the Zoku with any of these recipes. Here’s one we made with some instant Green Tea Powder.
Strawberry Green Tea Mint Popsicles
3-4 fresh strawberries sliced
3 packets of crystalized Green Tea, I used Pique Tea
1 C purified water or almond milk
Optional: couple of drops of stevia to sweeten
Dissolve green tea in water or milk, adding stevia if you’d like. Add strawberries to molds, then pour green tea into popsicle molds. Freeze 12+ hours unless using a Zoku like I did in this video.
A Zoku pop maker is really convenient. You keep the mold frozen (24 hours before the first use) so it’s ready to make pops when you are. After you pour your mix into the Zoku, they are ready to eat in about 20 minutes. It’s perfect for those days when you’ve run out of your popsicle supply and the kids are asking for more on that sweltering day. Watch this video to see me make my green tea popsicles in the Zoku:
Need some more inspiration?
I just discovered these cool DIY Freeze Pop molds that are like skinny ziplock bags. There are re-usable ones, but honestly, my kids are happy with the disposables. We try not to create much garbage in our home, but this is one of those exceptions I like to make if our current molds are already filled or they’re in the dishwasher. I just used a simple yellow funnel from the grocery store to pour the juice inside. Some of my kids are drawn to the shiny, colorful freeze pops. You know, the ones that are just flavored sugar water with artificial colors that cost $5 for 100 at the local drug store. I swear it’s just the bright colors. So I was determined to make some healthy ones and did end up finding some natural food colors because I wasn’t sure how blue the blueberries could be.
I was inspired by the bright blue pops made at Green Smoothie Gourmet. The natural freeze pops at 84th and 3rd were beautiful and gave me an idea to make my favorite juicing combos into frozen treats. These wholesome freeze pops can be just as colorful, made with whole fruits and veggies. I made this batch after juicing one day. I was on a roll and ended up making several flavors, some are my favorite juice combos from Outpost Natural Foods in Milwaukee. They are an Oasis for many in the area where you can fill up on yummy fast food made with whole foods. Have you made homemade popsicles? What are your favorites?? Leave me a note and link in the comments!