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Frozen Four

4 ways to upgrade your homemade ice pops for summer
Photo: Michelle Sun/Tasting Table

Ice pop flavors are a divisive topic. Take, for example, the highly scientific poll I conducted by asking for my coworkers’ favorite flavors: Opinions ranged from cherry to pistachio chocolate to “Can you make an ice pop out of Champagne?” (which, yes, you can), and the winner by far, lime green Fla-Vor-Ice.

Store-bought options are aplenty, but homemade gourmet ice pops allow you the freedom to put exactly what you want in the mix, and nothing more. If you still need convincing, the blogger world even has a week devoted to them. Here are four ways to ice pop your way through summer.

① Freeze your greens.
Whether you DIY or buy bottled, juice is just glorified water—meaning it’ll freeze. It’s also debatably the most enjoyable way to sneak in your daily dose of fruits and vegetables. Ranging sugar levels mean various blends will freeze differently, so play around with your favorites. If you want to make it creamy, just add the milk or yogurt of your choice.

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② Make breakfast even faster.
Freeze a whole batch of smoothie-inspired pops, and you’ll have a refreshing grab-and-go breakfast for weeks—perfect for those days when contact with the outdoors feels like it will melt your face off. Try this recipe for creamy chai-almond ice pops: To make ten 3-ounce ice pops, blend 1 cup of almond butter with 2 cups of almond milk, 2 tablespoons of loose chai tea and 2 frozen bananas. Pour, freeze and eat for breakfast—chocolate drizzle optional. Another pro tip: Freeze your overnight oats to make them even cooler than they already are.

③ Break free from the mold.
Take the chance to experiment with different ingredients, because anything you love unfrozen, you’ll likely enjoy frozen as well. Take pickle juice: Freezing this into healthy ice pops is just one more way to use up any remnants of the surprisingly beneficial liquid.

But we mean break the mold in a physical way, too. You don’t need fancy ice pop molds to make a treat for summer—try muffin tins, paper cups or shot glasses. You can even use a loaf pan to make sliceable ice pops.

④ Layering isn’t just for winter.
Can’t decide which flavor pop you want to make? That’s fine—try them all. Those layered firecracker pops are everyone’s favorite for a reason. Try layering a yogurt parfait straight into your ice pop mold (granola included) for an on-the-go snack. Or channel your inner artist for one of these colorful ombré pops.

Still looking for more inspiration? Peep this video from the humor duo Rhett & Link. (But take their word for it and stay away from the sawdust pops.)

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