RECIPES: HOMEMADE POPSICLES INCLUDING S'MORES POPS, STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE POPS

Popsicles and summer just go together, don't they? One of my favorite childhood memories is racing to the house for some money the minute I heard the popsicle man's music playing and then racing to be first in line! You'd have such a big decision to make: Dreamsicle? Bomb Pop? Watersicle? Or maybe a fudgesicle? Today, you can make those and many other favorite flavors... even exotic flavors that you can freeze into ice pops! These are some of my favorites that you can make using any device you have for freezing. Even a plastic cup will do the trick! Happy Summer!

Sixteen homemade popsicle recipes Martie Duncan

WATERMELON LIME POPS

3 cups cubed seeded watermelon
5 tbsp agave nectar
4 tbsp fresh lime juice

Use a blender or immersion blender to puree watermelon. Pass through a strainer to remove any remaining seeds or pulp. Add the agave nectar and the lime juice. Stir together. Pour into molds and freeze according to directions. If you are using cups, allow the mixture to set up for 30 minutes, then add the popsicle sticks. Freeze at least 6 hours. Run under warm water for a few seconds to release the pop from the cup or mold.

 Berry Strawberry Pops and Pina Colada Pops

Berry Strawberry Pops and Pina Colada Pops

BERRY STRAWBERRY POPS

4 cups fresh strawberries, rinsed, hulled, and sliced

1/4 cup agave nectar (or sub 1/3 cup sugar, which you have to stir to dissolve)

1 tbsp lemon juice

Use a blender or immersion blender to puree strawberries until smooth. Strain to remove any pulp or seeds. Add the agave nectar and lemon juice to the purée; stir well to combine. Pour into molds or cups. If you are using cups, allow the puree to set up for 30 minutes and then add the popsicle sticks. Freeze for at least 6 hours or until firm. Run under warm water for a few seconds to release the pop from the cup or mold.

PINA COLADA POPS

1 cup milk

1/2 cup fresh or canned pineapple

1/4 cup agave nectar

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon coconut extract

In a blender or using a immersion blender, whir together all the ingredients. Pour into molds and freeze according to directions. If you are using cups, allow the mixture to set up for 30 minutes, then add the popsicle sticks. Freeze at least 6 hours. Run under warm water for a few seconds to release the pop from the cup or mold.

 You can use the recipe for Watermelon Vodka Pops to make Watermelon Margarita pops, too. Simply exchange the vodka for tequila.

You can use the recipe for Watermelon Vodka Pops to make Watermelon Margarita pops, too. Simply exchange the vodka for tequila.

WATERMELON VODKA POPS

4 cups cubed seeded watermelon
5 tbsp. agave nectar
1/4 cup watermelon flavored vodka

Use a blender or immersion blender to puree watermelon. Pass through a strainer to remove any remaining seeds or pulp. Add the agave nectar and the vodka. Stir together. Pour into molds and freeze according to directions. If you are using cups, allow the mixture to set up for 30 minutes, then add the popsicle sticks. Freeze at least 8 hours. Run under warm water for a few seconds to release the pop from the cup or mold.

FROSTY GINGER PEACH

3 medium peaches, peeled and sliced

1/2 cup peach nectar (canned; find in the International aisle of the store)

3 T. plain yogurt

2 t. crystallized ginger, grated

1 1/2 t. agave nectar

1 t. fresh lime juice

Puree everything in a food processor, blender, or immersion blender until smooth.  Pour into molds and freeze according to directions. If you are using cups, allow the mixture to set up for 30 minutes, then add the popsicle sticks. Freeze at least 8 hours. Run under warm water for a few seconds to release the pop from the cup or mold.

BELLINI POPS

Same as above but delete the yogurt, agave, and the ginger. Add 1 1/2 cups Prosecco and increase the peach nectar to 1 1/2 cups.

 Make festive Red, White and Blue ice pops for the Fourth of July or any Patriotic holiday.

Make festive Red, White and Blue ice pops for the Fourth of July or any Patriotic holiday.

RED, WHITE & BLUE ICE POPS (looks like a Bomb Pop)

Use red, white and blue Kool-Aid or Gatorade to make these. I usually prefer lemonade for the white layer.

Fill the cups or molds 1/3 full with the red layer first. Allow to set for 30 minutes.  Add the white layer by gently pouring over the top of the red layer. Allow to set another 30 minutes and repeat with the blue layer. Add the popsicle stick and freeze for 6 hours or overnight.

VANILLA BEAN LEMON POPS

2 cups fresh lemon juice

1/2 to 1 cup vanilla bean infused simple syrup* (taste it- sweeten it to your taste!)

3 cups ice

Whir all ingredients together in a blender until smooth. Pour into molds and freeze according to directions. If you are using cups, allow the mixture to set up for 30 minutes, then add the popsicle sticks. Freeze at least 8 hours. Run under warm water for a few seconds to release the pop from the cup or mold.

MINTY MOJITO POPS

2 cups fresh lime juice

1/2 cup mint infused simple syrup

3 cups ice

Fresh mint leaves for garnish (optional)

Whir all ingredients except the mint leaves together in a blender until smooth. Pour into molds, add the mint leaves to the wall of the mold and freeze according to directions. If you are using cups, allow the mixture to set up for 30 minutes, then add the popsicle sticks. Freeze at least 8 hours. Run under warm water for a few seconds to release the pop from the cup or mold.

* To make the infused simple syrup: Bring one cup sugar and one cup water to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Once it comes to a boil, turn off the heat. Add the mint OR the seeds from one vanilla bean pod (slice down the middle, not cutting all the way through and use the tip of your knife to remove the seeds) along with the pod to the hot liquid. Allow to cool completely then strain the mixture and chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour before using.

MOCHA-LICIOUS COFFEE POPS

 1 1/3 cups milk (use 2% if you have it)

1/4 cup sugar

1 T. instant coffee or espresso powder

1/3 cup heavy cream

In a medium saucepan, heat the milk over low heat and whisk in the coffee and sugar. Let cool slightly and add the heavy cream. Chill for at least an hour; stir occasionally or cover the top with plastic to keep a skin from forming on the top. When you are ready to make the pops, just pour into plastic cups or popsicle mold and freeze according to package directions. Freeze at least 8 hours. To remove, run the mold or cup under warm water for a moment.

 You can make a delicious grown up treat by pouring chilled Kaluha over Mocha Coffee Pops!

You can make a delicious grown up treat by pouring chilled Kaluha over Mocha Coffee Pops!

FUDGEY CHOCO POPS

1 cup water

2.5 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped ( you can sub cocoa- just add 1 tablespoon butter if you do)

1/3 cup sugar

pinch salt

1/3 cup milk (use whole or 2%)

1 T. heavy cream (or you can use half and half)

1/2 t. vanilla

1/8 t. instant coffee (or you can use leftover strong coffee)

Put the chopped chocolate, sugar, and salt in a saucepan over low heat. Whisk in the water, a little at a time as the chocolate melts and the sugar dissolves. Once the chocolate has completely melted, remove from heat. Whisk in the coffee, vanilla, milk, and cream. Chill and cool completely.

When you are ready to make the pops, just pour the mixture into plastic cups or popsicle mold and freeze according to package directions. If you are using plastic cups, allow the pops to set up for 30 minutes and then insert the popsicle sticks. To remove, run the mold or cup under warm water for a moment.

 Delicious S'mores Pops combine two of summer's best treats: Fudge-sicles and S'mores.

Delicious S'mores Pops combine two of summer's best treats: Fudge-sicles and S'mores.

S'MORES POPS

Fudgey-Choco Pops recipe above*

20 mini-marshmallows

1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs

Small plastic or paper cups

Popsicle sticks

In the bottom of a plastic cup, put a small amount of the graham cracker crumbs, about 1 teaspoon for each cup. Add about 1-2 tablespoons of the chocolate mixture and 4 marshmallows, top with another  teaspoon of the chocolate and use a spoon to press the chocolate into the marshmallows. Tap the cup on the counter to make a dense layer. Continue layers as necessary to fill the cup, leaving 1/4" at the top. Allow to set up for at least 30 minutes and add a popsicle stick to each cup. Allow to freeze for at least 4 hours.

 Easy to make Strawberry Shortcake Pops make the perfect ending to a summer get-together.

Easy to make Strawberry Shortcake Pops make the perfect ending to a summer get-together.

STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE POPS

2 1/2 cups Vanilla Greek Yogurt

1/2 cup cookie, biscuit, or shortcake crumbs (I used Nilla wafers)

1 1/2 cups strawberry puree* from fresh strawberries

Small plastic or paper cups

Popsicle sticks

Make crumbs with the Nilla wafers for quick shortcut- just put the cookies or biscuits in a plastic bag and roll a rolling pin over them to make the crumbs.

Wash half the strawberries. Eat one to see how sweet they are. If they are really sweet, you will not need any sweetener. If they are not, add a small amount of sugar or agave nectar to sweeten them slightly. Use a blender, food processor or an immersion blender to whir the strawberries into a thick puree. I like pieces of the fruit in mine so don't blend it too smooth.

Put the yogurt in a bowl and mix in the crumbs.

Create the first layer of the pops by spooning the yogurt mixture into the bottom of the plastic cups. Tap the cup to release any air bubbles. Place on a cookie sheet and put them into the freezer for 30 minutes to set the first layer.

Add the strawberry puree to create the second layer. Put back into the freezer for 30 minutes.

Add another layer of the yogurt to create the final layer. Place a popsicle stick in the center of each cup.

Freeze for at least 5 hours or overnight if you want them really frozen before serving.

Some images courtesy of Arden Ward, Arden Photography