Finally, it's warmer out, the grass is green, and that cool ocean or pool water is calling your name. So long winter: It’s time to pack up the coat, strap on the suit, and indulge in icy, refreshing treats all season long. And what better treat than an ice pop? We mean the super-easy, custom-designed, homemade kind. Using your own molds and only two ingredients, you can make these popsicles the night before you want to eat them, then let them freeze overnight. Pack them into a cooler for your beach day, and slip them out of their molds when you're ready for a snack.
Since each pop mold holds different amounts of liquid, the recipes below serve as a proportion guide; you can easily adjust the portions to your own tastes and the size of your molds. My local grocery store had basic molds that hold about 3 ounces of liquid, but you can also find other BPA-free options and fun shapes online. No matter what, it's hard to go wrong. Just eyeball it, and improvise away. Recipes and photos below by Rachel Johnson.
Sweet Tart Popsicle
Peel and thickly slice one kiwi fruit; drop two kiwi slices (or however many will fit) into the molds and fill with pomegranate juice. The sticks should slide easily into ripe kiwi fruit, but slice the kiwi thinner if you have any trouble. Freeze for 6 hours.
Sweet Thai Tea Popsicle
Brew a pot of really strong black tea, using more tea bags than usual, and let cool. Pour a tablespoon of sweetened condensed milk (or more, depending on how sweet you like it) into the mold and fill the rest with tea. You can leave the pop the way it is for concentrated, condensed-milk sweetness on the top, or stir the tea and milk together inside the mold to distribute the flavors. Freeze for 6 hours.
Afternoon Pick-Me-Up Popsicle
Fill molds with one part sweetened vanilla almond milk and one part coffee. Use strong leftover coffee (cooled down to room temperature) or pre-made cold brew coffee concentrate in these pops, depending on your acidity/caffeine preference. Freeze for 6 hours.
Caribbean Breeze Popsicle
Not everybody has a coconut-yielding palm tree just chillin’ in our backyard, so we need these coconutty pops in our lives. Blend 2 ounces frozen mango chunks with enough water to turn into a puree. Distribute evenly among molds, fill to the top with no-sugar-added coconut water, and freeze for 6 hours. Pineapple or passion fruit chunks work great as well.
Creamy Pomelo Popsicle
To create a marbled look in these pops, drop 2 teaspoons of vanilla Greek yogurt into the molds and fill halfway with grapefruit juice. Freeze for 20 minutes (leaving off the stick/handle), or until semi-solid. Drop another 2 teaspoons of Greek yogurt and fill to the top with grapefruit juice. Affix the popsicle stick to the top and freeze for 6 hours.
Frosty Beer Popsicle
Fill pop molds halfway with a refreshing wheat beer, and fill the remaining half with lemonade. Beers that work well for this recipe include Blue Moon or Shock Top Wheat Ales (avoid flavored beers). Freeze for six hours, or until solid. The alcohol in these pops might make them icy; try opening the beer 30 minutes before you make the pops, since letting it go flat a bit will help.
Tropical Sway Popsicle
In the same vein as the Caribbean Breeze pops above, these have a tropical flair with a creamy twist. Drop pineapple chunks into popsicle molds and fill to the top with sweetened coconut milk, then freeze for 6 hours. You can also use mango chunks in this recipe, or—even better—both.
After-School Special Popsicles
You don’t have to be a kid to enjoy these pops, because chocolate milk is for everybody. Drop banana slices into pop molds and fill with rich, whole-milk chocolate milk, then freeze for 6 hours.
For those looking to get their probiotics in while indulging in a sweet treat (preferably on a lounge chair), these kombucha pops are just the thing. Fill each mold with desired amounts of blueberries, fill to the top with blueberry-flavored kombucha, and freeze 6 hours.
Sweet Southern Popsicles
Everyone’s got an opinion on iced tea, but Southerners like it real sweet. Brew your own, or buy a bottle and fill each pop with equal parts sweet tea and softened lemon sorbet. Stir to swirl and freeze for 6 hours, or until solid. Enjoy!
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