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Homemade popsicle treats for young and old

Calling all cooks

PEXELS PHOTO

Remember those lazy summer days of youth, when for a little bit of pocket change you and your best pal could enjoy icy popsicles from the corner store. We’d sit on the porch steps, licking frantically, sticky juice running down our arms.

Those corner stores may be gone, replaced by mini-marts, but times haven’t changed all that much. Kids, even grown-up ones, still love those frozen treats on a stick, which now come in an expanded array of exciting flavors, especially if they’re homemade.

There’s no special equipment required, just a blender for some, your favorite fruits, a bit of fruit juice, or some dairy. For adult pops substitute flavored liqueur for some of the juice or dairy (I’d like a coffee pop, spiked with a little Kahlua.) Use chocolate instant pudding mix to make creamy fudgesicles or be creative using any pudding flavor. You can also prepare sugar-free varieties using no calorie sweetener in place of sugar.

Popsicle molds are readily available but little dixie paper cups and popsicle sticks work well, too. When filling cups remember to leave 1/4-inch headspace to allow for expansion during freezing. Insert sticks when the pops are partially frozen then freeze till solid. To eat, simply unmold or peel off the paper and enjoy.

Strawberry Banana Pops

(Change-out fruits and juices to make a variety of flavors)

1 pint fresh or frozen unsweetened strawberries

1 ripe banana

1/2 cup orange juice

1/2 cup milk

2 T. sugar

10 (3-ounce) paper dixie cups

10 popsicle sticks

Directions: Place strawberries, banana, orange juice and milk in a blender and blend until smooth. Add sugar. Pour mixture into paper cups, Freeze. When partially frozen, after about 1 hour, insert sticks and continue to freeze. Makes 10 pops.

Fudgesicles

1 small package instant chocolate pudding

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

2 cups milk

Directions: Combine all ingredients and whisk well until creamy. Pour into paper cups and place in freezer. When partially frozen insert sticks and continue to freeze. Makes 6 to 8 pops.

Root Beer Float Pops

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup evaporated milk

4 cups root beer, regular or diet

Directions: In small saucepan, over medium heat, combine sugar and evaporated milk and bring to boil, stirring constantly, cooking till mixture thickens slightly. Remove from heat and slowly stir room temperature root beer into the milk mixture. Pour into 24 pop molds or dixie cups. Freeze till solid, 8 hours to overnight inserting sticks when pops are partially frozen. Makes 24 pops, depending on size of molds.

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