Summer eating: Homemade popsicles!

There’s nothing like an icy-cold treat to take the edge off the summer heat about now. Popsicles are great — frozen and ready when you need one, they’re a perfect snack-on-a-stick. Sure, you can find good popsicles — and great paletas(Mexican ice pops) — around town, but have you ever tried making them from scratch?

Start with a liquid base: water or fruit juice work well, or try milk or cream for a touch of richness (a little yogurt or buttermilk will add a little extra tang). Then feel free to combine flavors for a custom pop. Mashed ripe summer fruit are a given, though you can also get creative adding a touch of fresh herbs (bright mashed mint, perhaps a touch of basil), chopped chocolate, even nuts. For a little heat, try steeping your base with dried chiles to give it extra punch. 

For ideas and recipes, click on the links below, and check out the recipe for orange, buttermilk and mint pops I demonstrate above. Cheers!



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Video credit: KTLA

Popsicle and paleta recipes:

Orange, buttermilk and mint pops

Total time: 15 minutes, plus freezing time

Servings: Makes about 6 to 8 popsicles, depending on the size of the mold.

1 cup full-fat Greek yogurt

1 cup buttermilk

1 cup orange juice (about 3 oranges, juiced)

3 tablespoons honey

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/4 cup fresh mint, chopped

1. Place the yogurt, buttermilk, orange juice, honey and vanilla in a blender. Blend until smooth. Stir in the mint, then re-cover the blender and pulse briefly to combine.

2. Divide the mixture evenly among the pop molds, pouring so that you leave about one-half inch of headroom at the top. Once they are filled, tap the molds gently against the counter, allowing the liquid to settle evenly into the molds and dislodging any air bubbles that may have formed. Cover the molds and fit with popsicle sticks, if necessary. Freeze the molds until completely firm, at least 5 hours. For easy unmolding, run the frozen pops under warm water for 10 to 15 seconds before removing them.

Each of 8 popsicles: 84 calories; 3 grams protein; 12 grams carbohydrates; 0 fiber; 3 grams fat; 2 grams saturated fat; 6 mg. cholesterol; 10 grams sugar; 42 mg. sodium.

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