It’s July, and you know what that means. Hot, sunny days that morph into muggy nights.
Even after a dip in the pool or a run through the sprinkler, you and your kids are probably hot. You need something cold and tasty to cool off.
We have the answer: homemade ice pops.
While it’s easy to pick up a box of pops at the grocery, it’s almost as easy — and way more fun — to make them in your own kitchen, especially if you have little hands to help. All it takes is a handful of ingredients, a blender or food processor to whirl them into a freezable liquid, and some sort of mold with a stick.
It could be as simple as blending some fruit with a little sugar in water and popping the mixture into the freezer, or you could spend a few hours layering different colored purées into a striped masterpiece.
Why go to the trouble? Making ice pops at home allows you to control the amount of sugar in the treats and also puts the kibosh on artificial flavors and preservatives. Plus it allows you to add your own creative touch in the form of herbs and spices.
Websites such as Amazon have dozens of plastic and silicon molds in all price ranges and colors, and you’ll find them at big box stores like Target, too. You can also make ice pops in any type of freezable container. Think paper Dixie cups, spare ice-cube trays, plastic drink cups or even yogurt containers.
Almost any fruit or vegetable that can be puréed can be turned into an ice pop. If you want fresh and fruity, go for strawberries, peaches, melons or tropical fruits such as pineapple or kiwi. Think spinach, carrots and roasted beets if you’re trying to get a serving of vegetables into your kid.
For an adults-only treat, add some alcohol and a flavored simple syrup to re-create your favorite frozen cocktail — for instance, vodka and ginger-infused syrup for a Moscow mule pop. Just know that doing so will lower the melting point of the mixture, resulting in a softer ice pop.