Cooking Tip Thursdays is dedicated to making time in the kitchen quicker, easier, and just plain better…
There’s nothing worse than spending money on an overpriced box of popsicles only to find them jam-packed with high-fructose corn syrup, preservatives, artificial flavors, red dye #5 or blue dye #8. If you’re looking for a healthier and cheaper alternative, then a homemade popsicle is your answer. This fun and easy activity is great for kids of all ages. And by kids, I mean grown adults that enjoy popsicles just as much as any 5 year old. Here are a few simple tips to create the perfect homemade popsicle in no time at all. Because really, is there anything better than an ice-cold healthy treat on a hot, sweltering day?
- Buy popsicle molds: Sure, an ice-cube tray with a toothpick in it will work, but you’re much better off spending a few bucks on a legit popsicle mold. Trust me, they’re a game-changer. Tovolo makes my hands-down favorite molds. They are reusable and come with a snap-in base to hold the popsicle upright in the freezer. The handle also doubles as a “drip pan” to catch the juice as it melts. And another bonus, most come BPA-free. The Zoku popsicle maker that freezes super fast (can you say popsicles in five minutes?) and allows for endless creative options is also a great choice.
- Decide on your popsicle recipe: There are a few ways to approach the popsicle creative process. You could start first by finding a recipe and following that, you could get crazy and experiment with whatever ingredients and leftover fruit you have on hand, and lastly, you could turn your favorite daytime smoothie into a refreshing late night popsicle treat. Any summer fruit or berry (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, peaches, bananas, kiwi, citrus, watermelon, pineapple or cantaloupe) will taste great when mixed with a little natural juice, dairy or nut-milk…and the occasional pinch of sweetener. If you do prefer to add a sweetener, agave nectar and honey work best consistency-wise.
- Gather your ingredients: No need for explanation here…
- Blend it up: Simply toss your ingredients a blender and let it go. You want to create something that is smoothie-like in texture and just thin enough to pour, but not too thin so that it has a runny, watery consistency (which will yield nothing but a large batch of bland popsicles). Popsicles molds are generally 3-4oz., to make a dozen you would want to make approx. 3 ½ – 4 ½ cups of mixture.
- Fill popsicle molds: Pour to the top of each mold, making sure to wipe up any spills on the tray before you freeze.
- Freeze for at least 3-4 hours: I know it’s tempting, but don’t try one until they’re properly frozen. Doing so will only get you a slushy mess.
- Enjoy! Once popsicles are completely frozen and ready to serve, run hot water on the main part of the mold and jiggle the popsicle stick to loosen. Your delicious popsicle should pop right out.