Homemade popsicles aren't just for kids! Adults can also enjoy these icy concoctions year-round, though they're especially good on hot summer days. To get started with homemade eco-friendly popsicles, first grab yourself a nice set of popsicle molds made of either BPA-free plastic, silicone, or stainless steel. If you don't want to go with pre-made molds, gather up some of your larger shot glasses and spoons and just use those instead. Keep reading to see 6 delicious ice pop recipes that are sure to keep you cool and please the kid in you. *NOTE: Since my household is vegan and organic, all the popsicle recipes below are—no surprise—made with vegan and organic ingredients, but feel free to switch in your own conventional vegetarian ingredients if desired.
Vegan Strawberry Cheesecake Popsicles
These pops taste just like icy cold cheesecake, yet have a much lower calorie count than the real deal. This recipe is hands-down, the most popular popsicle recipe I’ve ever made at my house. As soon as the household hears I’m making them, folks conveniently start milling around the kitchen… and once they’re frozen, they’re gone in about 5 minutes flat.
- About 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons vegan cream cheese
- 1 cup dairy-free milk
- 4 tablespoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons organic lemon juice
- A good handful of fresh or frozen organic strawberries
- About a tablespoon or two of ground graham crackers per pop
- Combine your cream cheese, milk, sugar and lemon juice in your blender, pour into bowl and set aside.
- Puree your strawberries in the blender. If they’re frozen, you may need to add a bit of water.
To Assemble: These are layered pops, so a little more time consuming, but worth it.
- Sprinkle some ground graham crackers into each ice pop mold.
- Fill your mold about 1/2 full with the cream cheese mixture.
- Spoon in some strawberry puree.
- Sprinkle more ground graham crackers into the mold.
- Add more cream cheese mixture, leaving room for another dollop of strawberry puree and one last sprinkling of graham crackers.
- Freeze for at least 4 hours.
- *NOTE: If using shot glasses and spoons instead of molds (as shown in the image above), use a bit of foil over the top of the glass to keep the spoon handles upright until the pops freeze.
Mock Starbucks Vegan “Frappuccino” Pops
A few summers ago I got crazy addicted to Starbucks’ Frappuccinos. The downside: cost, for one thing, especially since Starbucks charges WAY too much for soy milk. Also, Starbucks isn’t GMO-free and I’d have to drive to get one, wasting time and gas. Thus, I started trying to whip up my own Frappuccino at home—which sounds easy—but I had a ton of failed attempts before I hit on the magic combination. After figuring the recipe out, I realized I could easily freeze my fraps into icy pops as well.
- 12 organic dairy-free milk ice cubes (I use plain, unsweetened almond or soy milk)
- 1/2 cup liquid dairy-free milk (I use plain almond milk)
- 3-5 Fair Trade, organic coffee ice cubes (more if you love caffeine)
- A squeeze of Fair Trade, organic dark chocolate syrup—optional. You can also use fruit syrup or chunks of real fruit if you’re not into chocolate, or nothing at all for a true coffee frap.
- Your first step is making milk and coffee ice cubes. I do this in huge batches all summer long.
- Once you’ve got your frozen milk and coffee cubes. Pop 1/3 of the ice cubes, plus all the liquid milk into a blender.
- Pulsate to crush the ice.
- Add another 1/3 of ice, repeat pulsating then add the last ice cubes, crush, then blend everything until smooth.
- If adding chocolate syrup, other syrups or fruit, do this during the final blending process. If your frap mixture is too thick, add a bit more milk.
- Pour the mixture into popsicle molds, freeze, then enjoy your frap on a stick.
- See an in-depth explanation of the homemade Frappuccino recipe here.
Peachy Vegan Vanilla Pudding Pops
Usually chocolate pudding gets all the applause, but this vegan vanilla pudding is a huge hit at my house, even among the serious non-vegan chocoholics. Once you add fresh peaches, it gets even better.
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch.
- 2 and 1/2 cups vanilla soy milk or other alternative milk.
- 2/3 cup organic white sugar.
- 2 tablespoons Earth Balance (vegan butter).
- 2 teaspoons Fair Trade, organic pure vanilla extract.
- 1 to 2 organic peaches, washed, peeled and chopped into small pieces (about 2 cups worth). You can also use frozen organic peaches or another fruit of your choice.
- Whisk 1/4 cup milk plus the cornstarch together. Set aside.
- Heat the rest of the milk and the sugar in pot on the stovetop.
- Heat the milk and sugar on medium low heat, stirring occasionally.
- When the milk starts to steam whisk in the cornstarch mix.
- Cook on medium high heat, stirring occasionally until thick and starting to boil (about 5 minutes).
- Turn the heat down very low and cook 5 more minutes.
- Turn off the heat and whisk in your butter and vanilla.
- Allow mixture to cool down
- Fold chopped peaches into the vanilla pudding.
- Pour into molds.
Dark Chocolate Yogurt Popsicles with Cocoa Bits
These pops have a tangy chocolate yogurt flavor and nice tiny bits of dark chocolate scattered throughout. I’ve given these to kids, but they usually claim they’re too tangy and they don’t like the little cocoa bits. However, all my adult taste testers have LOVED these popsicles.
- 1 cup organic soy yogurt. You can also use homemade yogurt.
- 1 cup dairy-free milk.
- 2/3 cup dark chocolate chips or chunks.
- Combine your yogurt and milk in the blender.
- Heat up your chocolate in the microwave until it melts.
- Use a spatula and scoop all the melted chocolate into your blender.
- Blend your mixture well.
- Pour into molds.
- Freeze right away.
- If you like, you can add some pure mint extract for a minty chocolate pop or if you like spicy chocolate, add in some nutmeg and cinnamon. Add in your extras during the blending stage.
Lime Ice Cream & Pomegranate Ice Pops
This lime ice cream is awesome and refreshing all on its own, but the pomegranate juice layer adds a super delicious and healthy kick to what might be just a plain old lime ice pop. These are also very good with pineapple juice in lieu of the pom juice. If you’re using pineapple, simply puree a cup of fresh pineapple with a tablespoon or two of water until you have a thick puree. Scoop the pineapple into your molds, then pour lime ice cream over and freeze.
- 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon lime juice.
- 1/2 cup dairy-free milk.
- 2/3 cup organic soy vanilla ice cream.
- 1 cup unsweetened pomegranate juice.
- 2 tablespoons agave or honey.
- First, combine your pomegranate juice and sweetener (agave or honey) in a bowl, and place the bowl in the freezer for about one hour until the mixture begins to get thick and icy—it should be thick enough to scoop up, but not frozen solid.
- Next, blend the lime juice, milk and ice cream in the blender until well combined.
- Scoop 2-3 tablespoons of the pomegranate juice mixture into each popsicle mold.
- Pour lime ice cream into the molds, over the juice.
- *NOTE: If you want multi-layered pops as shown in the image above, it’ll take more time. You’ll need to allow the first two layers to freeze a bit before adding another layer of pom juice and lime ice cream.
Perfect Organic Lemon Iced Tea Pops
I’d be remiss if I didn’t warn you that these lemon ice pops aren’t super healthy. They use a very traditional lemon ice tea recipe so they’re packed with sugar, BUT everything’s okay in moderation, right? One or two decadent ice pops every once in a while won’t kill you. These pops are awesome though; packed with flavor and very refreshing if you like lemon tea.
- 4 cups water.
- 1 cup organic sugar.
- 8 Fair Trade, organic tea bags of your choice. I usually use plain tea.
- 1 cup organic lemon juice (freshly squeezed).
- Tiny slices of washed organic citrus fruit, such as lemon or orange (optional, but HIGHLY recommended).
- Place sugar in large mixing bowl with the lemon juice to dissolve.
- Bring water to a boil in a saucepan.
- Remove the water from heat and place tea bags in the pan to steep for no more than 5 minutes.
- Remove the bags and discard.
- Combine the hot tea with the sugar and lemon mixture and stir well.
- Transfer into a large container and add 6 cups cold water.
- Pour tea into popsicle molds, and if you like add in some citrus slices.
- Refrigerate the remaining ice tea and serve over ice or save it for more ice pops.
All Images via Jennifer Chait