We have had a glimpse of summer and there’s no taking it back. This year, we are refusing the call of the ice cream chest in our local supermarket, and are taking to making our own homemade ice pops – just like our Mammies did with a bottle of MiWadi and a few lollypop sticks back in the eighties.
We recommend investing in some ice pop moulds; just because they are easy to manage and you won’t have to worry about sticky lollypop sticks all over your house for the whole summer. If you’re skint, pick up the IKEA ones (Chosigt Ice Lolly Makers, €2.25) and if you’re feeling flush, check out the Zoku one (€18) @ Debenhams.
There are four basic ways to make ice pops, and then a million and one ways to make them as fancy as you like.
The Fruit Juice One
This is the one that will remind you most of your childhood. Use any juice you like (or if you have it, fruit cordial), fill up your holders and freeze. One you get the hang of it, start experimenting with different juices – Freeze half orange and half cranberry for a deliciously colour-tastic treat.
The Smoothie One
Blend up your regular breakfast smoothie and pour into ice pop holders. Freeze and enjoy in an hour or two. We buy big cartons of fresh smoothies when they are on special offer at the supermarket (they are often less expensive than making your own), and these are the perfect consistency for smoothie pops. We don’t advocate buying them at full price for this purpose though – it’s way too expensive!
The Yoghurt One
This one is brilliant, and actually a great use for yoghurt pots and lollypop sticks. Simply puncture a yoghurt pot with a knife, stick a lollypop stick through the hole and freeze. Once frozen, the yoghurt pot will slide off, leaving a yummy yoghurt shaped frozen treat.
Once you’ve mastered your pops, try experimenting with flavours and additions. We like to add tiny bite-sized chunks of fruit ot our pops, while our kids will fling literally anything they can in theirs; chocolate buttons, coconut flakes, marshmallows! You name it, we’ve tried it. If you can handle the mess, it’s brilliant to put loads of ice pop additions on a table and let the family each make their own one. Enjoy!