The temperatures are hitting record highs (in fact, all 50 of the United States have set new record highs this month alone) and we are all trying to keep cool by hook or by crook. Some may take a trip to Alaska, others might walk around with a wet towel over their heads, but we Krrb folk are going to hang out near the freezer and make our own popsicles right about now.
All you need is a freezer, some fruit or juice and a good imagination to come up with some real winners. We’ve scoured the web, done some of our own taste testing and returned from the field with our 10 favorite popsicle recipes to get you going. Super fresh, inexpensive and really simple to make, these babies are sure to put a smile on even the most sunburned among us. It’s also a great project to do with the kids, not only because it’s fun, but it keeps them away from the Mr Softee high fructose corn syrup overload that is so often associated with the season!
Here’s what you need to get started:
First you need the mold, and there are really two ways you can go here – homemade or store-bought.
If you’re buying molds from a store, you’ll want to consider what they are made of. For both eco and health reasons, the stainless steel or BPA-free plastic models are the way to go. We prefer the plastic molds because the reusable stick is part of the whole shebang, thus eliminating the bother (and waste) of using new wooden sticks each time. But the stainless ones are pretty cool too. You can’t really go wrong.
If you’re going to go the make-your-own route, you’ll need to find two basic parts: the cups and the sticks. For the cups, we suggest re-using those mini yogurt containers (the perfect size, and, if you have kids, you probably have some in your fridge right now.) You can also use paper cups, which are the easiest option but aren’t super eco-friendly unless you use the compostable ones, and they can get a bit pricey.
If you happen to have metal baking tins laying around, they work, too. Just stay away from glass, for the obvious if-you-drop-it-it-will-break reasons as well as the less obvious fact that liquid expands when it freezes, and can potentially crack or even break the glass, rendering the pops inedible.
For sticks, you can either buy traditional wooden popsicle sticks or go au natural and forage for small twigs.
To hold the handles in place while the pops are freezing, just cover the cup/mold with plastic wrap or waxed paper and poke a hole through for the stick.
The most straightforward way to go is to pour some delicious fruit juice or fresh fruit puree into the molds that you so carefully selected, throw them in the freezer for a few hours, take them out and voila, frozen heaven on a stick! You can make them as simple or as complex as you like – check out these ideas to get your juices flowing:
White Pine and Blueberry
This one’s a bit more labor intensive, but the sophisticated taste combination takes the whole popsicle thing to a whole new level. (See photo above) Thanks, Martha.
So there you have it. There should be something here to get your juices flowing. Use these ideas as starting points for your own cooling concoctions. And if you come up with any masterpieces, be sure to leave us a comment and let us know!