Hands down, these homemade ice pops (or ice poles, as they’re called Down Under!) are the easiest summer treat you’ll ever make! Made with 100% real fruit and no added sugar, they’re healthy, frugal, and absolutely delicious!
Do you remember eating ice poles as a kid? They’re kind of like these cherry limeade popsicles, but they’re frozen inside plastic tubes instead of on a stick.
When we read the ingredients in store bought ice pops, we started making our own homemade ice poles instead – and we’ll never go back! While I wasn’t really surprised to find a long list of ingredients, I WAS surprised to find THREE ingredients we don’t eat in our home: high fructose corn syrup, artificial preservatives, and artificial food dyes.
High fructose corn syrup is number two on my list of ingredients to avoid in foods, and artificial preservatives come in number four on that same list.
I want my kids to enjoy these frozen treats – minus the large amounts of sugar, preservatives and food dye – so this summer we’re making our own homemade ice poles!
- SUPER easy to make
- Lip-smacking delicious
Here’s What You Need
- Fresh or frozen fruit of your choice (thawed if frozen)
- Liquid of your choice
After making several batches, we’ve learned a few things along the way to help make homemade ice poles even better:
1. Choose ripe or just slightly over-ripe fruit.
- The amount of natural sugar and flavor in fruit peaks when the fruit is perfectly ripe, so you want to pick fruit that is fully ripe.
- If you have fruit that is just starting to pass its peak, you can use that too. In fact, homemade ice pops are a great way to not waste fruit that is past its prime.
- The fruit can be fresh or frozen since most frozen fruit is flash-frozen when it’s picked ripe. If you choose frozen, let the fruit thaw first for the best results.
2. Don’t add a sweetener unless it’s absolutely necessary.
- The whole point of making homemade ice pops is to avoid the excess sugar in the store-bought, so adding your own sugar to the recipe seems to be counterproductive.
- To make tasty homemade ice pops that your family loves, start with ripe fruit. If for some reason your family doesn’t like them OR if the fruit itself isn’t very sweet, my first suggestion would be to mix/match with another sweeter fruit OR one that you know your family likes.
- And if all else fails, you can add a small amount of honey or maple syrup to the pureed fruit. However, I personally recommend using this as a means of last resort.
Tricks for Ice Pole Perfection
No matter what, these ice pops taste delish. But you can level up these freezer pops with a few extra tricks.
3. Adding liquid can make blending easier and eating more enjoyable.
- For the best homemade ice pops, you want your puree to be somewhere between thick and thin.
- A thick puree will resemble a thin pancake batter and have a highly concentrated flavor.
- A thin puree will resemble slightly thick water and will convey that “icy” popsicle feeling more when they’re frozen through.
The trick is to find the balance between the two.
One way to do this is by adding liquid to thicker purees. You could add water, but in my opinion, that’s simply diluting the great flavor.
- I prefer to add fruit juice, lemonade, flavored kombucha, whey, or the liquid from canned fruit to thin some of the thicker purees. You could even add water kefir, coconut water, or coconut milk too.
- If none of these liquids are available, try mixing with a fruit that is naturally juicy, like watermelon, orange, grapefruit, pineapple, and peaches.
4. Have fun with the flavors!
When I’m making a batch of homemade ice poles, I start with a flavor I know we like –strawberries for example.
- I’ll toss the strawberries in my high powered blender (adding a squirt of lemon or half an orange too) and make a few homemade ice pops of just that flavor.
- Before the strawberry puree is completely gone, I’ll add another flavor that compliments the first one. For example, adding blueberries for mixed berry ice pops.
- We’ll use up that puree, do a quick rinse and repeat the process with two other complementary fruits, like pineapple and mango.
The sky’s the limit with the flavor combinations you can make, and you can even include some veggies in there too like carrots or spinach. I like to think that if it tastes good in a smoothie, it’ll be delicious as an ice pole!
Step by Step Instructions
Step 1. Combine all the ingredients in a blender.
Step 2. Blend until there are no chunks in the mixture. (The consistency should resemble thin pancake batter, so use the tips above to adjust the thickness as desired.)
Step 3. Using a funnel, pour the mixture into the reusable plastic tubes or silicone molds.
Step 4. Seal and freeze for at least 6 hours, or overnight.
Freezer Pops Supply Tips
- I used clear plastic pouches from Zipsicle to make these because they most resembled the ones from the store.We’ve been using them for a few weeks now, and they seem to be holding up fine. However, they’re a bit tricky to clean at the zipper and they’re not labeled as dishwasher safe. If you go this route, I’d recommend hand washing with a small bottle brush.
- Use a high powered blender like my Blendtec to get the smoothest fruit puree ever. (Plus you can use it for these 45+ things!)
- You can buy these silicone molds instead. They’re dishwasher safe and leak proof too. If you choose this route, either buy 2 sets or be prepared to wash often – your kids will go through homemade ice pops fast!
- Using a small funnel made filling the molds really easy. You might be able to get away using a measuring cup with a pour spout, but I’ve used these funnels so often in the kitchen that they were a worthy investment for me.
Is it ice pop or ice pole?
There are many names for ice pops. In parts of Australia and New Zealand, ice pops are referred to as ice poles.
Are freeze pops bad for you?
Store bought freeze pops have a lot of unnecessary ingredients in them such as food dyes, loads of sugar, and preservatives. This recipe that I’m sharing with you is very healthy and customizable!
What are the best ice pops?
The best and healthiest option for ice pops would be my recipe that is below. You can even throw in some vegetables!
Need more summer treats?
- Coconut Cream Popsicles
- Healthy Homemade Lemonade
- Cherry Limeade Popsicles
- Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream
- Easy Yogurt Popsicles
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Watch How to Make Homemade Ice Pops
Homemade Ice Pops
Homemade ice pops are easy to make with 100% fruit and no added sugar. Mixing flavors makes homemade ice pops an easy frugal summer dessert.
- Prep Time: 6 hrs
- Cook Time: 0 mins
- Total Time: 6 hours
- Yield: Approx. 4 cups
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Blender
- Cuisine: American
- 1 lb fresh or frozen fruit of your choice (thawed if frozen)
- 2–4 Tbsp liquid of your choice
- Combine the ingredients in a blender and blend until there are no chunks in the mixture. The consistency should resemble thin pancake batter, so use the tips above to adjust the thickness as desired.
- Using a funnel, pour the mixture into the reusable plastic tubes or silicone molds. Seal and freeze for at least 6 hours, or overnight.