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5 Healthy, DIY Ice Pop Ideas for Summer

By Recyclebank |

Homemade ice pops are wonderful because they can be made as healthy as you like.

This story is from our partner LearnVest and was originally published 5/25/2012.

Summer is almost here, and if your kids are like most (especially mine!), they’re looking forward to hot days, no school and delicious frozen treats.

There are many flavors and brands of ice cream and ice pops out there but, unfortunately, most aren’t so good for you, since many include corn syrup or sugar as the main ingredient.

Homemade ice pops are wonderful because they can be made as healthy as you like and made as easily as you wish—even if it’s just by pouring tasty, vitamin-packed juice into an ice cube tray and adding a toothpick when it’s almost frozen.

Or, you can get creative. These five homemade ice pop ideas are so colorful (even tropical!), your kid will love them. Plus, they include real fruit and fruit juice, they don't take more than 10-15 minutes to prepare and you can freeze them overnight.

And the price is right. All you need is one mold to get you through the whole summer. If you have a couple of ingredients on hand (like soy milk, bananas, strawberries and frozen yogurt), one of our options will get you 100 pops at only $0.15 per pop!

Of course, if you're pressed for time, our partner LearnVest has also found the healthiest store-bought options on the market.


  • Intro to Ice Pops

    Mold Price: $6 for an eight-pop tray

    Suggested Recipe: Chunky Watermelon Pops

    Ingredients:
    3 cups watermelon chunks (seedless)
    1/2 cup store-bought watermelon juice, such as Minute Maid watermelon juice
    A handful of blueberries or cut kiwi (optional)

    Directions:
    In a blender, puree watermelon chunks and juice, leaving some small chunks of melon if desired. Divide the liquid evenly into the ice pop molds. Add blueberries or kiwi, if desired. Insert the handles and freeze for at least six hours, or overnight.
    Run the molds under hot water for 30 seconds, if necessary to unmold.

    Makes eight 2-ounce ice pops.

    Why we love this mold: KidCo Healthy Snack Frozen Treat Trays are BPA free and have small handles, which make them a great option for babies and toddlers just learning how to eat cold treats on a stick. Refreshing!
  • Old School Smoothie

    Mold Price: $5 for 100 pack of Dixie cups; $5 for 50-count wooden freezer pop sticks

    Suggested Recipe: Strawberry Banana Milkshake Pop

    Ingredients:
    1 cup soy milk
    1 cup strawberries
    1 large banana
    1/2 cup ice
    1 scoop vanilla, non-fat frozen yogurt
    1 cup diced mangoes (optional)

    Directions:
    Liquefy all ingredients in blender for 30-45 seconds and pour mixture into ice pop molds. Insert wooden freezer pop sticks into each mold when liquid starts to freeze.

    Makes about six ice pops, depending on size of mold.

    Why we love this mold:

    Classic Dixie cups with wooden freezer pop sticks are the perfect economic molds to try out the DIY method and see if it's right for you. At just $0.15 per pop, you really can't go wrong.

  • Groovy Cool

    Mold Price: $12 for set of six

    Suggested Recipe: Tropical Dream Pops

    Ingredients:
    2 cups fresh or canned pineapple chunks
    1 cup Goya passionfruit nectar
    1/4 cup sugar, or to taste
    1 teaspoon shredded coconut or coconut milk per mold (optional)

    Directions:
    Blend all ingredients until smooth. Taste for tartness and add more sugar or juice if desired. Add in shredded coconut or coconut milk, if desired. Pour liquid into molds and insert tops. Freeze six hours or until frozen. Run pops under hot water for 30 seconds to help unmold.

    Makes six 3-ounce ice pops.

    Why we love this mold: The Tovolo Groovy Ice Pop Mold is smartly designed so that the pops slide out easily when frozen. The durable, BPA-free plastic and sturdy base allow for less spills during prep work and freezer time.

  • Swirly Sweet

    Mold Price: $15 for a set of four

    Suggested Recipe: Black Cherry and Grape Lemonade Pops

    Ingredients:
    1 cup Welch's Black Cherry and Concord Grape juice
    1 cup fresh squeezed or not-from-concentrate lemonade
    Sugar to taste
    Handful of honeydew melon chunks, sliced small (optional)

    Directions:
    Blend juices in a blender or whisk together in a medium bowl. Taste for tartness and add sugar as desired. Add honeydew melon chunks if desired. Pour liquid into molds and insert handles on top. Freeze for six hours or until frozen. Run pops under hot water for 30 seconds to help unmold.

    Makes four popsicles.

    Why we love this mold: Orka Ice Pop Molds are great for making and enjoying frozen treats while minimizing the mess--each mold has a handle that serves as a drip catcher. Plus, who wouldn't love a final product that looks like a soft-serve ice cream cone?

  • Push It Up

    Mold Price: $14 for a set of four

    Suggested Recipe: Layered Raspberry Orange Cream Pops

    Ingredients:
    1/2 cup vanilla ice cream
    1/2 cup raspberries
    1/2 cup whole milk
    1 tablespoon sugar
    1/4 teaspoon vanilla
    1 cup orange juice
    Raspberry sherbet and/or orange sherbet to layer on top (optional)

    Directions:
    Divide vanilla ice cream evenly into each mold and push down to bottom of mold until packed tightly. Add raspberry and/or orange sherbet, if desired. Puree raspberries and pour into mold. Blend milk, sugar, vanilla and orange juice and our mixture into each mold. Freeze for six hours or until frozen. Run pops under hot water for 30 seconds to help unmold.

    Makes four popsicles.

    Why we love this mold: Norpro Silicone Ice Pop Makers are the perfect mold for creating layered pops, like vanilla ice cream on the bottom and frozen orange juice on top. The conical shape makes it easy to slurp the last drop from the mold and the fact that each set comes with four different colored pops means no more fighting over which pop was yours!
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  • Gina L. 1 year ago
    I am sure this idea wont work with beer bottle. If you glass jars (with or without) lids, take an old doily and glue it carefully to the outside. You then put a candle in the jar and see how wonderful it gives off light. You can treasure this for a long period of time. When it is too dirty or the doily is falling off just make a new one recycle the old buy soaking it until the decorative items fall off.