I scream; you scream; we all scream for ice pops! No, really, ice pops, the healthy refreshing cool treat of summer.
It’s finally summertime, and while some might scream for ice cream, others prefer a healthier, faster-to-make chilly treat. Enter homemade ice pops.
If you’re just starting to dabble in the ice pop arena, here are a few tips and a fun beginner recipe.
Start simple. The most basic pops don’t require a recipe or a mold. Just make a combo of your favorite fruit juice. Pour your liquid into 3-ounce paper cups. Cover the cups with plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Insert a wooden craft stick through the wrap or foil to hold the stick in place.
Don’t rule out vegetable juice pops. Pick veggies that are a little on the sweet side like beets and carrots. Consider using fresh herbs in your blend: cucumber, lime, and mint.
Texturize your pops by adding chunks of fresh fruit, thinly sliced dried fruit, nuts and even cooked grains. These ingredients will sometimes sink to the bottom of the pops; to prevent this, fill your mold partially with liquid and freeze partially. Add your ingredients in a layer or stir them in and add the rest of the liquid before returning pops to the freezer.
Freezing time varies depending on your base (creamier bases take longer), what kind of mold you are using, and the efficiency of your freezer. Generally expect to wait a couple of hours.
Remember liquid expands as it freezes. Do not overfill your molds.
Fruit loses some of its sweetness after freezing, so if you have a big sweet tooth, consider adding a little sweetener before you freeze. Liquid sweeteners tend to work well. Some granulated sweeteners can result in a grainy texture if they are not fully dissolved.
Ice pops will keep for about four weeks if you wrap them tightly. Beyond a month, however, they start to lose some of their flavor.