Beat the Heat: Homemade Popsicles

Where I live, the summer heat is finally upon us. With our supply of freezer pops gone, it was time to bring out the popsicle molds and make a favorite, refreshing summer treat – homemade popsicles.  Homemade popsicles are easy and fun to make, and even better when your kids can be part of making them.  Popsicle molds can be bought inexpensively at dollar stores, grocery stores or discount department stores at this time of year.  Purchase good quality ones to ensure many years of use.

I jotted this recipe down many years ago, and similar versions exist widely around the internet.  Have fun experimenting until you find the right one for your family!

Store brand ingredients work just as well as name brands in this recipe.  I like to pick the same flavor of drink mix and gelatin to get a deeper flavor, but you can mix and match complementary flavors if you like.  The gelatin in this recipe makes the popsicles no-drip, which is a big plus for little hands.

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Homemade Popsicles

Supplies:
Large measuring cup (holding 6 cups or more)
Whisk or mixing spoon
1 cup measuring cup (for dry ingredients)
1 or 2 cup measuring cup (for wet ingredients)
Set of popsicle molds and sticks (making approx. 1 dozen popsicles)

Ingredients:
2 cups of boiling water
1 0.13 oz. (3.6 g) package of unsweetened drink mix (such as Kool-Aid)
1 3 oz. (85 g) box of sweetened gelatin mix (such as Jell-O)
½ cup to 1 cup of white sugar (to taste)
2 cups of cold water

In large measuring cup, stir together white sugar and gelatin mix, then carefully pour in boiling water, using whisk to thoroughly dissolve.  Stir in unsweetened drink mix, and then add cold water.  Mix thoroughly, then pour mixture into clean popsicle molds.  Place molds into the freezer, inserting popsicle sticks into popsicles once the mixture begins to freeze (i.e. 1 hour or more).  Once fully frozen (several hours), run cool water over the outside of the popsicle molds to loosen the desired number of popsicles.  Pull gently on the popsicle stick and jiggle slightly until the popsicle exits the mold.  Enjoy!

Popsicle pour

Tips:

If you are trying to limit sugar, try ½ cup of sugar in the first step.  After all of the hot and cold water has been added, add additional white sugar to the mixture until the desired sweetness is achieved.  (I used a full cup for my grape popsicles).

If you end up with more mixture than popsicle molds, pour excess mixture into plastic cups and insert a wooden popsicle stick into the mixture once it begins to gel.  This produces a fun, old-fashioned popsicle shape!

Make sure to pour the popsicle mixture right close to the top of the popsicle mold.  You do not want too large of a gap between the popsicle and the stick, or the stick will not freeze far enough in for easy popsicle removal later on.  (I should have poured mine higher in the photo below, for example).

Popsicle stick

At times, there can be a slight gelatin build-up at the tip of the popsicle during the freezing process.  I find it barely noticeable, however it is easily sliced off should your children be bothered by it.

The best part of making these this week was my son expressing his desire to learn how to make our own slushies, so we don’t have to go to the corner store to buy them.  I like the way he thinks! (This is the fruit of empowering your children in the kitchen!)

Your turn:  Did you grow up making your own popsicles? Feel free to share your tips or recipe in the comments below!

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