By Grow and Make Contributing Editor Kristina Strain 

Summer is upon us. The hammock is strung. The crickets are singing. It’s hot and sticky all the time, and fresh summer fruits are rolling in from the farmers market. Wouldn’t it be great to transform some of that sweet bounty into homemade frozen treats?

Locally grown, seasonal fruit will take your icy confections to the next level — anything from the first little strawberries to the last gargantuan watermelon is fair game. Most homemade popsicles can be also made without added sugar. The three recipes here contain nothing but fruit, herbs and juice. For added ecological benefit, popsicles can be made in reusable plastic molds rather than the paper cups used here.

Supplies & Equipment:

  • A blender
  • A freezer
  • 3 oz paper cups
  • plastic wrap
  • rubber bands (optional)
  • Popsicle sticks or lollipop sticks (check your local craft store for these!)
  • Fresh fruit (see recipes at the bottom of the page)

Method: Combine your desired fruits, juices and fresh herbs in a blender, and whirl until smooth. Divide evenly among paper cups. Wrap each cup tightly with plastic wrap, using a rubber band to secure if necessary. Poke your popsicle or lollipop stick through the plastic to the bottom of the cup. The plastic will hold the stick upright as it freezes. Slide your finished popsicles into the freezer for 4 hours or more. Once frozen, use scissors to cut away the paper cup. Serve immediately.

Recipes: Each makes 12 popsicles 

Strawberry Banana Pops

  • 3 medium bananas, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 1/2 cups medium strawberries (cut larger ones into chunks)
  • 3/4 cup orange juice

Honeydew Mint Pops

  • 6 cups honeydew melon, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 2 tsp minced fresh mintNote: for this recipe, I added the mint after I’d put the melon through the blender. This way, the pops turned out flecked with mint, which is prettier, I think, than if I’d just put everything in the blender.

Tamarind Ginger Pops

  • 3 cups orange juice
  • 4 tsp tamarind concentrate (check the Indian foods area of a well-stocked grocery store)
  • 2 tsp grated fresh ginger

Enjoy! Let us know your own favorite flavor combinations in the comments below.