Ideas for Delicious Summer Ice Pops

Ice popIn the hot weather we've been having, my love for ice pops has blossomed once again. The start of summer has brought so many beautiful, fresh fruits at the farmers' markets and in the supermarket, so when I see them, my imagination goes wild with thoughts of new pop flavor combinations. People are always impressed with a delicious, homemade, and interesting ice pop and let's not forget that they can even be healthier than ice cream!

To get started, here are a few quick tips for DIY fancy pops:

  • It's really all about the simple syrup. Dissolving the sugar into water (equal parts of each) to sweeten your pops makes all the difference in texture and the way the pops freeze. For pops with spices, infuse the syrup with the spice by simmering it all together for a few minutes. Try with cinnamon sticks, peeled fresh ginger, star anise, black peppercorns, or even a little lavender.

Related: Tastiest Low-Calorie Frozen Treats

  • For visual effect, you can create different flavor layers. Try with Red, White & Blue for July 4th! A strawberry or raspberry mixture, then a sweetened yogurt or buttermilk mixture, then a blackberry or blueberry mixture. Just allow the first layer to freeze for an hour or so before layering on the white, and so on for the next two layers.
  • Chunky or not chunky? You can certainly leave in the seeds of fruits like raspberries or blackberries, but if you want an easy-to-eat and more attractive pop, just strain them through a mesh sieve before pouring into the molds. You don't even have to puree all the ingredients if you like pieces in your pops.
  • And yes, ice pops can be healthy! Only use as much simple syrup as you want to achieve the right sweetness and balance. The less sugar, the harder they will freeze though, so keep that in mind. It helps to taste the mixture before freezing, so you can add more syrup if you like.

Related: Frozen Drink and Smoothie Recipes

Here are a few fun, new flavors to try, but the possibilities are endless:

  • Cinnamon, Blueberry & Yogurt (My dad eats this in a bowl for breakfast every day!)
  • Arnold Palmer (half iced tea, half lemonade, a true classic)

Related: Taste Test: Frozen Fruit Bars

Fruit combinations will satisfy kids:

  • Strawberry or raspberry and lemon
  • Peaches and berries
Have you made ice pops at home? What are your favorite flavor combinations? Let me know in the comments.

- by Jessica Fox

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