Remember when frozen colored sugar water was the only kind of ice pop you could get? They certainly were fun to eat—not to mention refreshing—on a hot day. You’d sit on the front stoop or, (if you were lucky) in a lawn chair on the grass, and time would seem to stop while you concentrated on your popsicle. Those were good times and timeless moments of goodness!
But while you were growing up, so were the ice pops. Recent years have seen an explosion of popsicle creativity, from the emergence of simple natural fruit ones (inspired by Mexico’s long tradition of chopped fresh fruit pops) all the way through to specialty pops that can cost ten dollars or more—each—at an exclusive artisan shop.
01 of 07
Basic Strawberry Paletas
Paletas are Mexico’s iteration of the ice pop, and probably no other country does these frozen treats better. Mexican ice pops are chock full of fresh, natural fruit, requiring you to chew on your popsicle in addition to melting it with your mouth. These are so easy to make and so delightful to eat that you simply cannot miss this simple treat.
02 of 07
The three main ingredients in these treats is processed in a blender to make a vitamin-packed, thirst-quenching delight. The strawberry seeds can be strained out before freezing, if desired, or the whole mixture can be left “rough;” the result, in any case, is nutritious, full of fiber, and eye-opening delicious.
03 of 07
Mexican ice pop makers have been producing cream-based treats for a long time, and one of the most popular is the fresas con crema or strawberries with cream version. Try this recipe for something that is seriously good to eat. Not low-fat and definitely not low-carb, but oh-so-worth-the-calories!
04 of 07
If you are still laboring under the false idea that ice pops are just for kids, here’s where that notion stops. These popsicles contain real strawberries for flavor, color, and vitamins, and real champagne for a festive punch. They are boozy pops with just a little class.Continue to 5 of 7 below.
05 of 07
Get your antioxidants in frozen form! Picky eaters don’t need to be told that they are eating vegetables... but if you want all of these for yourself (and you well may), you just might want to mention to the kids that these are healthful spinach pops. Of course, when they see you enjoying them so much, they may get suspicious and try to surreptitiously steal a bite…
06 of 07
Okay, so there are no berries in this recipe, but watermelon is red and sweet and delicious. Frozen treats don’t get any easier to make than this; these popsicles have just one ingredient: watermelon. Of course, if you want to get a little fancy, you could add one more, such as lime juice or mint leaves. This is probably the most refreshing ice pop on this page.
07 of 07
The popsicle recipes above are, of course, only the tip of the iceberg. Let them be a jumping-off point for your own inspiration; after trying a couple of these, make up some of your own, and even develop your own special signature flavor.
If you’re not feeling especially creative, do an internet search for paletas or find a recipe book for frozen treats (several very good ones exist); wonderful recipes are out there. It’s easy to find versions that are good for all sorts of different diets: vegan, gluten-free, organic, low-calorie, high antioxidant, low-fat, Kosher, good fat, dairy free, juice fasting, high fiber, tree and ground nut free, diabetic friendly, and just plain omnivore. Don´t miss the alcohol-laced "poptails," too. And then there's the whole other category of ice pops for pets, such as these for your parrot.
Most of all, remember that even though ice pops used to be pretty much just for kids, nowadays they are for everybody!