Cooking on quarantine: Stick it to lockdown with homemade popsicles

  • The berries were lovely to look at, but could have been sweeter, so I added a touch of agave. (Amy Drew Thompson/Orlando Sentinel/TNS)

  • It's a bougie version of that old orange juice-in-the-ice-tray recipe from Saturday morning television. (Amy Drew Thompson/Orlando Sentinel/TNS)

  • While under stay-at-home orders due to COVID-19, gather up ingredients and make your own popsicles. (Amy Drew Thompson/Orlando Sentinel/TNS)

None of us is sure how long all these new rules are going to last, but it’s pretty safe to say we’ll still be social distancing when ice cream truck season rolls around in earnest.

Solution? Make your own popsicles!

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Perks include family togetherness and fun snacks on a stick that don’t involve a deep fryer. Also, there’s room for creativity. You’ll see that these “recipes” are barely even recipes. Just instructions to pulverize two or three ingredients in a food processor, pour said concoction into some sort of mold and shove ‘em in the freezer.

Any fruit you use could be sweet enough to avoid adding your own sweetener, so don’t feel compelled. But I used agave syrup in all of mine save the cucumber-melon (the honeydew I bought was exceptional). You could also opt for something calorie-free, like Stevia. Simply sweeten your blend-ups to where you like them.

Traditional popsicle molds are fun — mine have “sipper” straws built in so you can get every last drop — but I supplemented with a giant ice-cube tray. The boxy shape makes them stocky and super-cute! Stretch plastic wrap tightly over the top, cut little slits at the center of each section and slide in your sticks before freezing.

Instructions

Simply blend each ingredient combo in your food processor or blender. Leaving the fruit a little chunky in pops like Coco-Mango or Strawberries &Cream makes for exceptionally photogenic pops. It’s all up to you.

Strawberries &Cream: Blend fresh strawberries and standard whipping cream.

Cucumber Melon: Until we can get back to the spa, this one tastes like it. Blend up honeydew with peeled, seeded cukes. Save two slices for your eyes. Recline and enjoy.

Coco-Mango: Mix fresh mango, coconut milk (I used the thick, full-fat canned variety) and coconut water with flakes.

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Watermelon Kiwi: Blend up watermelon, slice kiwi. Insert kiwi slices into molds, sticking them to the sides. Pour in watermelon. Makes for a pretty presentation.

Blueberry Mojito: Add fresh blueberries, mint leaves, white rum, agave and club soda. Blend the first four to taste — don’t use too much rum or it won’t freeze well — add club soda at the end, stir before pouring into molds. Rum optional, of course.

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