Nothing says summer quite like a popsicle, especially the home made variety. I am not a huge fan of conventional popsicles; I have done quite a bit of research into artificial flavours and colours and am simply not comfortable putting all of that junk in my body (and more importantly, the bodies of my kids).
I still remember getting popsicles as a kid, I was always asked if I wanted an orange one, a pink one or a purple one. This could be because colour coding simplified the whole process, but I always felt the flavours were just a vague approximation of the fruit they were supposed to resemble, so this was more fitting somehow. Here in Victoria we are lucky enough to have gorgeous artisanal popsicle makers at Kid Sister, which we are known to frequent, especially when days are hot and everyone is clamouring to get outside.
I think the most important argument for home made popsicles is the enjoyment of coming up with a recipe, and then making them together. My daughters get very creative in the kitchen, my eldest recently came up with a special tea involving strawberries and mint – which would incidentally also make an excellent popsicle. It is a great way to make use of fresh summer fruit – and flex your creative juices at the same time. I love to see what kinds of crazy combinations we can come up with, using ingredients we excavate from the fridge or our CSA box.
All of the popsicles pictured above were made using a Zoku Popsicle Maker; I was disappointed by the small capacity (3 popsicles at a time for a family of 5 doesn’t work so well) and the extensive re-freezing time for the unit had me return to the tried but true old school metal popsicle moulds for a second batch of the Basil Lemonade Popsicles.
Here are three quick and simple popsicle recipes that we have made and thoroughly enjoyed over the past few weeks:
Watermelon Popsicle with Lime and Smoked Sea Salt
1 small seedless watermelon
⅛ tsp smoked sea salt
½ lime, juiced
I went simple with this recipe prep, and mixed watermelon chunks with the sea salt and lime juice in my Vitamix. I then poured the mixture through a mesh strainer, for a smoother consistency and poured the finished juice into my Popsicle moulds.
Smoked sea salt is a beautiful compliment to the sweetness of the watermelon and the tanginess of the lime – I was really happy with how this turned out!
½ cup coconut sugar
½ cup filtered water
Small handful fresh mint
3 small cucumbers
4-6 limes (about ½ cup lime juice)
Combine the coconut sugar and filtered water over low heat until the sugar is fully dissolved.
While the simple syrup is cooking, juice the mint, cucumbers and limes (without the peel). If you don’t have a juicer, you can blend the mint, cucumber and peeled lime in a blender and strain it through a fine mesh colander, nut sack or cheesecloth.
Whisk together the fresh juice and simple syrup, and let the mixture cool to room temperature before pouring it into your popsicle moulds.
Basil Lemonade Popsicle
As above, combine the coconut sugar and filtered water over low heat until the sugar is fully dissolved. Remove from heat, and add the basil, allowing it to steep for a couple of minutes in the simple syrup.
Process the basil simple syrup and lemon juice in a blender, and let the mixture cool to room temperature. Pour into popsicle moulds to set.
Depending on how many popsicle moulds you have, you may or may not have leftover liquid. All of these popsicle bases work really well combined with sparkling water for a cool and refreshing summer beverage.
What is your favourite popsicle recipe? I am always looking for new recipes to try and would love to hear all about it below!