By Becky Striepe
More from Care2 Green Living blog
(Photo: Becky Striepe)
The temperatures around here seem to keep rising! Rather than reaching for the thermostat, you can cool yourself from the inside out with a yummy summer popsicle.
Store-bought frozen treats are often full of added sugars and artificial colors and flavors, but when you whip up your own iced snacks from scratch, you have total control over what's going into that freezer and your body. Not only are homemade pops healthier, but you can get creative and whip up unexpected flavor combinations that will wow your friends and your family.
Typical popsicle molds are made from plastic, but if you're trying to keep plastic out of your kitchen, you have a couple of options:
- Paper-cup method: Pour your ingredients into a paper cup and place a tongue depressor in there. To get at the pop, just peel away the cup.
- Stainless-steel method: If you're going to for a no-waste situation, you can look into stainless-steel popsicle sets. These can be a bit pricey, but it's a one-time expense.
Whichever method you choose, here is some inspiration to get your creative juices flowing!Herb and fruit popsicles
There's a company here in Atlanta called King of Pops who creates all sorts of fun flavors from mixed juices and fruit purees. My favorite pops from his stand are the ones that combine seasonal herbs and unusual spices with juice to give the "pop" some pop.
Here are a few herb and juice combo ideas to get you going:
- Grapefruit with mint or basil
- Lemonade with basil or lavender
- Orange, peach, or mango with minced ginger
- Pineapple and mango with a teensy bit of hot pepper (the one pictured above is pineapple habanero)
A tip for making frozen treats with herbs: To keep herbs from settling at the bottom, make these in stages. First, mix the herbs and juice, stirring well, and fill your popsicle molds 1/3 of the way. Freeze completely, then fill 1/3 more. Freeze again, top them off, then freeze one last time. It's a bit time-consuming this way, but that will prevent all of the herbs from sinking to the bottom.Boozy popsicles
Combining fruit juice with organic liquors is a tasty, grown-up twist on your standard popsicle. If you need some inspiration to get started, here are a few recipes for you:
- Endless Simmer shares a recipe for apple cherry whiskey sour popsicles.
- Over at Yum Sugar, you can find a recipe for watermelon margarita pops.
- Food & Wine has a recipe for blueberry-peach tequila popsicles.
Of course, these alcoholic desserts aren't exactly health food, so you'll want to enjoy these in moderation. If you were planning on a cocktail anyway, though, they can be a fun way to cool down at the end of a summer cookout.Tea Popsicles
Iced tea is the perfect way to cool off on a hot summer's day. Why not take it to the next level and chill that tea into a tasty, summer snack ? You can get creative with different teas and juices, but here are a few suggestions to get you started:
- Chai tea with non-dairy milk and your choice of sweetener
- Green tea and mango juice
- Black tea with cherry juice or coconut milk
- Mint tea and lemonade
Do you have any favorite summer popsicle recipes? I'd love to keep the inspiration going in the comments.
More from Care2 Green Living:
- 13 Ways to Use Cucumbers
- Healthy Homemade Popsicles
- 5 Summer Drinks to Keep You Cool
- The Magic of Frozen Bananas
- Cooling Summer Epsom Salt Bath