When the summer heat starts to kick in, there is no more refreshing treat than a popsicle, and making your own in your freezer offers plenty of benefits for the eco-minded family. Making your own homemade popsicles is fun, saves money and is better for your health, you wallet, and the environment than the packaged, store-bought variety. Most importantly, homemade popsicle making is easy, creative and fun activity for kids in the summertime. From the best popsicle molds to recipes, here's how to get started...
Homemade popsicles are a family essential during the summertime! They’re icy cold, refreshing for kids and adults — and making them from scratch offers many eco-friendly perks. If you’re new to making homemade ice pops, read on for everything you need to know about making popsicles — from BPA free ice pop molds to yummy organic recipes!
WHY GO HOMEMADE?
To save waste: Store bought ice and yogurt pops come with so much packaging. You’ve got the pops with a stick, wrapped in paper, or worse, plastic, and they’re contained in a box (often not recycled content). When you consider how many boxes of popsicles your hot household goes through in a summer, it’s a staggering amount of waste. Homemade ice pops eliminate this concern.
To go organic and save money: You can buy organic pops, but they’ll cost you. If you want the best, healthiest pops for kids, make them yourself. It’s less expensive to buy a jug of organic juice, or a quart of organic yogurt and freeze it with fruit, then it is to buy a box of ready made organic popsicles. Homemade pops don’t have added junk like chemicals and artificial colors. Lastly, homemade ice pops are the perfect way to use up food. We all know that wasting food isn’t green or thrifty. You can freeze almost anything and kids will literally lick it up – leftover organic carrots (blended well), pudding, watermelon, and more.
To introduce kids to green: Kids love ice pops and kids are also like little sponges. They suck up green know-how fast. Reusable ice pop molds and homemade organic ice treats are great ways to work green topics into your family lifestyle. It’s a situation even little ones can grasp – i.e instead of tossing paper in the trash, we use reusable molds! Kids also love hanging out in the kitchen; it’s fun for them, and ice pops are easy enough that your kids can help make them
WHAT SORT OF MOLDS TO USE:
- Look for BPA-free plastic or silicone popsicle molds, both non-toxic and safe for kids.
- Don’t get molds that require sticks. That’s a waste of both resources and money.
- Get singular molds if you have a choice. Kids have an easier time getting ice pops out of singular molds. If you buy the molds which make a tray of ice pops, you’re going to be on ice pop duty all summer long.
- Tovolo Popsicle Molds (shown above) are a favorite at our house. BPA-free, single ice pop molds that are easy to pop open, and last forever! Plus they come in an array of fun colors and shapes and are dishwasher safe. Two other good mold choices include SiliconeZone Silicone Freezer Pop Molds and Lekue Silicone Ice Pop Molds (shown below) – both non-toxic silicone.
HOW TO MAKE HOMEMADE ICE POPS:
You can scour the web, look through cookbooks, or simply experiment. The coolest (no pun intended) thing about homemade ice pops is that you can honestly create any flavor you like. If you get one bad batch, it’s not a huge loss. Two good resources include this handy guide: 32 Unique Homemade Popsicle Recipes & Ideas and the book Pops!: Icy Treats for Everyone. Note: if you find a recipe that looks great, you can always switch out conventional ingredients for organic.
Have fun with it! You really can’t go wrong when it comes to ice pops! Share your favorite homemade ice pop flavors in the comment section below…