Popsicles are great summer treats for both kids and adults alike. After a hard morning of play, your little ones will be more than happy to cool off by taking a popsicle break  – and you will be glad for a moment of relative calm.

You can easily buy a box or two of popsicles to keep in the freezer, but it’s more fun to gather the kids and make your own. By making your own popsicles, you get to learn about exactly what ingredients go into popsicles. It’s easy enough to pour juice (orange, grape, cranberry, apple, pomegranate, pineapple, mango) into ice cube trays and throw them into the freezer. Once the juice has begun to solidify (a slushy consistency), you can insert wooden popsicle sticks. After the juice cubes are frozen solid, they become mini ice pops. You can use this method with Dixie cups, too. Pour the juice into the cups, allow them to partially freeze, add popsicle sticks and wait until  the juice becomes frozen solid. Just peel the cup away when ready to eat.

Of course, there are any number of popsicle molds you can buy. Tovolo offers several styles, including stars, rockets and dual layer molds. There is even a ring pop mold. Look for Tovolo products in department stores and supermarkets. Williams Sonoma carries a new popsicle maker by Zoku that freezes popsicles in approximately 7 minutes!

With such fun shapes, you and the kids can get creative with flavors, too. Berries, stone fruits, and melons all can be used to make popsicles. Just puree about 6 cups of your choice of fruits with about a ½ cup of water or juice and pour into the molds. If it strikes your fancy, you can add a tablespoon of honey for sweetness. Add a cup of yogurt for a creamy consistency.

What’s your favorite homemade popsicle concoction? Log in and share a comment with us!

– Hsiao-Ching Chou

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