This summer, ditch the freezer burn and wacky artificial colors and make your own popsicles instead. Flavored with fresh ingredients like whole vanilla beans, seasonal produce, and exotic spices, these fancy-tasting popsicles are a far cry from the fake cherry pops available in grocery stores and ice cream trucks. Plus, it's surprisingly easy to make a batch of ice pops at home. Just mix the ingredients in a food processor or blender, pour into a popsicle mold (or make your own from common household objects), and freeze.
Mango Lassi-sicles via Food52
This fresh pop is inspired by a traditional Indian beverage made from mangoes and yogurt. True to form, this recipe contains just five ingredients — the building blocks mentioned above, plus salt, honey, and a pinch of cardamom.
Photo: James Ransom
Vegan Chocolate Popsicles with Roasted Almonds via Zizi's Adventures
Think of this one as the Fudgsicle's healthy, grown-up cousin. The concoction uses coconut milk and oil, cocoa powder, almond milk, and a vanilla bean. The pop gets its creamy texture from a ripe avocado, and a bit of crunch from toasted chopped almonds.
Photo: Zita Nagy / Zizi's Adventures
Tropical Fruit Punch Popsicles via Simple Bites
Not too sweet, not too tart, not too creamy, not too cloying — this popsicle recipe seems to sidestep every possible ice cream problem. Clementines, coconut, lime, and raspberries balance each other to create one perfect, summery flavor.
Photo: Aimee / Simple Bites
Skinny Vanilla Bean Cheesecake Popsicles via Kitchen Treaty
Usually when a recipe starts with the word "skinny," we're on our guard for artificial sweeteners and all kinds of strange ingredients. Not in this case — this decadent-looking pop uses low-fat cream cheese, 0 percent Greek yogurt, 2 percent milk, vanilla (extract and bean), and sugar. It's rich enough to count as dessert, but light enough to serve for a mid-afternoon snack without feeling sluggish afterwards.
Photo: Karen Troughton / Kitchen Treaty
Roasted Sweet Corn Pops via Kiran Tarun
Late summer is synonymous with sweet corn all over the country. If you're sick of eating plain boiled or grilled corn on the cob (if that's even possible...), roast kernels and turn them into this tasty, refreshing popsicle. Coconut milk, agave nectar, vanilla, and pinch of salt turn summer's best side dish into a pretty awesome dessert.
Photo: Kiran / KiranTarun
What's your favorite homemade popsicle recipe? Do you have a theme you'd like to see on next week's The Greatist Table? Share in the comments below or tweet the author @SophBreene.