Icy pops and other ice treats are as much a part of summer as bar-b-ques and swimming. These wonderful summer treats can also be nutritious and tasty. Homemade pops allow control of the sugar content. They’re so good, kids won’t know they’re getting a portion of their daily vitamins and minerals in every treat. There are even a few flavour combinations here for adults, too.

The items need are: pop molds with or without permanent sticks, a blender or food processor. The basic ingredients for almost all recipes are: quality coconut milk (optional), juices, fruit or berries, herbs (fresh is preferred), lemon or lime juice, and your favourite sweetener. The coconut milk adds fat so the pop is easier to bite and has nice mouth feel.

For kids

Kids will like simple recipes with flavours such as strawberry-banana, fudge and whey-protein pudding, or lemon-lime coconut. The basic receipe is fruit and coconut milk as needed to make a thick puree. Blend until smooth then pour into pop molds. Freeze until solid. When making pops with plain or flavoured carbonated water, less is better than more. Too much water will make the pop icy rather than bite-able.

For adults

Adults will appreciate a more sophisticated flavour profile such as a fruit and herb combinations. Recipes such as peach and fresh basil or blackberry and oregano are reminiscent of artisanal pie fillings. If the fruit is tart, add a small amount of sweetener. Fresh herbs are better because the flavours will be brighter but dried herbs will rehydrate in the slurry as its freezing. Coconut milk is always optional but it adds a nice creaminess to the pop, if that’s what you like.

Unique flavour combinations

Here are some wonderful and surprisingly delicious combinations of fruits, vegetables, and herbs from the best-selling book, The Flavor Matrix by James Briscione. Some strong flavours, like olives or beets, are intended to support or compliment rather than compete with the fruit. Start with a small amount and add more until you’re happy with the taste.

  • Any type of berry with basil, cumin, or olives (or olive oil)
  • Any citrus fruit with cilantro, ginger, sage, peanut butter, or chopped pecans
  • Pureed grapes (or juice) with dijon mustard, pumpkin, or beets (fresh)
  • Apples or pears with olives, basil, sage, or peas
  • Stone fruits with lemongrass, capsicums, sage, or beer (alcohol-free so it will freeze solid)

Veggies and protein powder too

Some of these recipes contain vegetables such as pees or pumpkin. A sugarless pop for a summer breakfast on the go is extra nutritious when you add protein powder. Whey or vegan protein powder can be added with a full scoop containing about 30g of protein, or 50% of daily needs. Add one scoop per pop to the mix for energy all day.

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