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how to make popsicles with or without a mold

How to Make Popsicles with or without a Mold

I’ve got something extra clever for you guys today.  There are tons of recipes out there for homemade popsicles this time of year – but not so many that teach you how to save money by making your own molds.  And don’t worry, we’ve got some gourmet recipes for you too. (We’re talking blackberry, basil & yogurt and mango coconut.)  Here’s Jodi with the goods…

I have wonderfully vivid memories from my childhood of making popsicles in the summertime. I have always loved to bake and make things, and popsicles seemed to be a fun way to combine both, since making popsicles always felt like a crafty project.

You get to blend together different fruit combinations, but I also loved the assembly part. Sticking those popsicles sticks into my creation was fun, and pulling them out of the freezer on a warm summer day was exciting and rewarding.

A few weeks ago, I purchased a popsicle mold. When I took it out of the box, I had a flash of nostalgia. It looked just like the one I used as a kid! Even though I loved revisiting that memory, when I got it ready to make some popsicles, I thought to myself … I wonder if I had to spend $15.00 on this mold, or if there was a way I could make popsicles without the use of another piece of kitchen equipment that is just going to end up crowding my cabinets.

 popsicles

It turns out that you can easily make popsicles using any plastic cup or ice cube tray you have handy. I experimented with both, and found that it was just as easy and I got the same result (minus a slightly different shape) from a mold. And the best part was that felt even more like a crafty project.

Homemade fruit popsicles are so much better than the sugar loaded ones you would buy at the grocery store.  Plus, you can come up with all kinds of fun flavor combinations that you probably wouldn’t be able to find in the freezer section. Fresh seasonal fruit, yogurt, coconut milk all make great popsicle additions, but you can also get creative by adding in different kind of herbs or citrus juices for more layers of flavor.

The first popsicle recipe I am sharing here today combines blackberries with basil, but feel free to use any kind of berry and herb combination that you have available to you. The second recipe, coconut and mango, has a delicious, refreshing tropical taste. Pineapple would make a great substitute if you cannot find a fresh, ripe mango.

I’d love to hear about your favorite fruit popsicle combinations!

DIY popsicle molds

How to make popsicles without a mold:

You will need:

  • several plastic cups, smaller are better keeping in mind the shape of the cup OR an ice cube tray (preferably, one that makes large ice cubes)
  • several wooden popsicle sticks
  • a few pieces of saran wrap

Fill the cups with the popsicle mixture. Cover with a piece of saran wrap. Make a small hole in the center of the saran wrap, and stick the wooden popsicle stick through the hole. That’s it! Then, when the pops are ready, place the cups in a shallow bowl of warm water for a few minutes and the pops will slide right out.

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Blackberry, Basil + Yogurt Popsicles

Makes: about 3-4 depending on the size of your mold / cups

Ingredients:

  • about 2 cups of blackberries (blueberries or raspberries will work as well)
  • several basil leaves, chopped
  • a teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 2 cups of vanilla flavored greek yogurt

Place the berries, basil and vanilla in a blender or food processor. Blend until you have a puree. Then spoon in the berry mixture alternating with spoonfuls of yogurt into the mold or cups (if using the cups, follow the instructions above). Freeze for a minimum of 3-4 hours, until the pops are frozen. You can always make these ahead of time and store them for about 1-2 weeks in the freezer. When you’re ready to enjoy, place the mold or cups in a shallow bowl with warm water (popsicle sticks up), until the pops are loose enough to be removed from the mold.

Mango + Coconut Popsicles

Makes: 3-4 depending on the size of your mold / cups

Ingredients:

  • 1 large, ripe mango, peeled and sliced into pieces
  • 1/4 cup of canned coconut milk (unsweetened)
  • the juice of 1/2 of a lime
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • a couple of pinches of toasted, shredded coconut

Place the mango pieces, coconut milk, lime juice, and vanilla in a blender or food processor. Blend until you have a puree. Stir in the shredded coconut. Then spoon in the mango coconut mixture into the mold or cups (if using the cups, follow the instructions above). Freeze for a minimum of 3-4 hours, until the pops are frozen. You can always make these ahead of time and store for about 1-2 weeks in the freezer. When you’re ready to enjoy, place the mold or cups in a shallow bowl with warm water (popsicle sticks up), until the pops are loose enough to be removed from the mold.

 

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Jodi Moreno is a Natural Foods Chef, Photographer, and creator of the blog What's Cooking Good Looking where she shares her healthy, clean, seasonal recipes and photographs. She's passionate about showing people that vegetables can play a main role on the plate.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Christine from Giftovus July 11, 2013 at 1:38 am

What a great post. I love the idea of the blackberry, basil and yogurt popsicles. Can’t wait to give this a try!

Reply

Silvia Medrano August 23, 2013 at 1:32 pm

What an elegant idea! I’m going to try it as a classroom snack at my kid’s preschool. As you probably know, with all the school allergies and peanut-free schools, homemade items are not allowed for classroom snacks–and I’m a chef! However, I can make anything I want from scratch in the preschool kitchen/coffeeroom. So, I will make popsicles at the beginning of the day, and hope they freeze by 1 o’clock. I’ll let you know!

Reply

Joseph Leffler March 7, 2014 at 10:22 pm

my all time fav combo is the classic Strawberry Banana. only one thing, i dont know how long to leave them in the freezer

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Jaidah Love June 23, 2014 at 1:05 pm

i like peaches and yogurt mmm good

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