Michelle Darmody's home made ice pops

Homemade ice pops are handy for many reasons, they refresh on a warm day, but also you know exactly what is in them; no strange colourings or preservatives. 

Michelle Darmody's home made ice pops

If you do not have access to moulds you can use small paper cups to set the pops and get wooden sticks from an art and hobby shop.

Whichever method you use it is best to leave about a centimeter at the top after you pour in the liquid, as the mixture will expand when it freezes. I usually wait until the pops are slightly frozen to press the sticks in, it keeps them pert, trying to add them too early will allow the sticks to fall to the side and give you a wobbly, asymmetrical ice-lolly.

I usually choose honey as a sweetener when making them. It may not always be necessary to add it, as fruit can be very ripe and sweet during the summer months.

Fruits like mango, soft peaches and bananas all work very well and provide a creamy pop when liquidised.

Some stronger tasting flavourings can be added for those who are a bit more adventurous. Grated ginger, some vanilla essence or lemongrass all add nice notes. Alcohol can also be used for a more adult variation. Pure alcohol such as vodka will not freeze but a little liqueur or prosecco added to the mixture will.

When you are ready to eat your pops, carefully immerse the moulds in warm water for a few seconds, dip them to just below the top of the rim, then wiggle the pops free. They will keep for a month or so in the freezer. You can remove the ice-lollies from the moulds and keep them sealed in a freezer bag for easier storage.

Honey and berry cereal pops

Michelle Darmody's home made ice pops

620 mls of milk

100 mls of cream

120g of honey nut cornflakes and a handful more for decorating

A handful of blueberries

A handful of strawberries, stalks removed and chopped

Mix the milk ad cream together. Allow the flakes to soak in the milk and cream for about an hour. Strain the mixture and discard the mushy flakes. Stir the berries through the liquid and pour it into about six ice pop moulds, depending on the size of your moulds.

Allow to cool in the freezer for about an hour then crush the extra flakes. Press them into the exposed part of each ice pop so there will be a layer of crunch. Push a stick into the centre of each one and return to the freezer for at least two hours until set completely.

Two tone ice-lollies

Michelle Darmody's home made ice pops

100g of blackberries

200g of blue berries

200g of mango, peeled and the flesh removed from the stone

400g of natural yogurt

Honey if needed

Blitz the blackberries and most of the blue berries and half of the yogurt until smooth. Stir in the remaining blue berries. Taste and add a teaspoon of honey if needed. Pour into the ice-pop moulds so that they are all half-filled. Freeze them for about an hour.

Before removing the ice-lollies blitz the mango with the rest of the yogurt. Again, add a little honey if needed. Scoop the mixture into the moulds. Push the sticks into the centre of each ice pop. Freeze until frozen.

Banana, oat and strawberry pops

2 ripe bananas, peeled and roughly chopped

100g of fresh strawberries, stalks removed

400 mls of apple juice

50g of porridge oats

Blitz all the ingredients until completely smooth.

Pour into your moulds. Freeze for about an hour them push your sticks into the pops.

Return to the freezer until completely frozen.

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