Beat the heat of summer with homemade refreshment!
“Daddy, can I have a pockidle?” This is something I hear on an almost daily basis. Maybe some day they’ll learn how to properly say the word “popsicle,” but I’ll enjoy the adorable mispronunciation while it lasts!
We always have ice pops in our house (and almost never Popsicle brand… I don’t like to pay that much). The other day we bought an ice pop mold from Walmart (nope, not ashamed even a little bit), but I had little idea what we would do it with. Soon after, I ran across an ice pop recipe from Food Network. It sounded awful. Primarily because it included cilantro. Since I feel like cilantro tastes like the result of someone cleaning out a lawn mower bag with dish detergent, I had no desire to try it. But it gave me an idea.
Here’s the idea: melon, lime, mint… that could make a good ice pop, right? Why not try to find out?
Lennox got to help me with this one, and she was super stoked. First off, we pulled some fresh mint leaves from the stems to steep in a simple syrup. In retrospect, I could have just left the leaves on the stems, which would have made for easier removal later, but I was originally planning to use the candied mint leaves for something (I changed my mind later on). Oh well, it was a good job for Lennox! Letting the mint steep in the simple syrup infused the syrup with a yummy mint goodness while getting rid of the grassy flavor that fresh mint sometimes has.
While the mint was steeping, we turned our attention to the melon and lime. Well, I did. Lennox had lost interest at this point. Just as well. A four year old with a knife is rarely a good idea. This is about half of a honeydew melon. It came out to be 3 cups of cubed melon. Oh, and a quick note about zesting the lime: do it before you cut and juice the lime. It’s much easier that way. And make sure you only get the green part. Limes already are tart enough to be a little bitter; if you get the white, it will just be gross.
Blitz it all up in a food processor or a blender. Add in the cooled simple syrup (with mint leaves removed), and toss in a pinch of salt. Salt in an ice pop may seem odd, but it really enhances flavors. It’s the kind of thing you won’t notice unless it’s not there. Just a little bit, though. Salt can get overpowering real fast, and too much will make the mixture not freeze.
Now you have a choice: to strain or not to strain. I poured the mint melon mixture into the ice pop molds and popped them into the freezer. The next morning, I had tasty ice pops. However, I think that straining the mint melon mixture through a fine mesh strainer, or even a cheesecloth, would go a long way in helping the texture of the final ice pop. You can decide how you want to approach that. Next time, I will be straining the mixture prior to freezing.
These mint melon ice pops are only the beginning. Be on the look out for other ice pop recipes this summer: Raspberry Lemonade, Strawberry-Serrano Lemonade, Watermelon Mint Lemonade, and Pineapple Watermelon are a few I have in the works.
If you try these, let me know how they turn out, or if you have any other ideas!
Mint Melon Ice Pops
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- ½-1 cup (loosely packed) fresh mint leaves (amount depends on how minty you want it to be)
- 3 cups cubed honeydew melon
- zest and juice of one lime (about 2-3 Tbsp juice and 1-2 tsp zest)
- salt (to taste)
- Boil sugar and water together until sugar is dissolved (4-5 minutes). Remove from heat, add mint leaves, and allow to cool for 30 minutes.
- In a blender or food processor, blend up melon, lime juice and zest, and a pinch of salt.
- Remove mint leaves from the simple syrup, and add the syrup to the melon mixture. Blend.
- Strain mint melon mixture through a fine mesh strainer (optional).
- Carefully pour mint melon mixture into ice pop molds. Place in freezer and freeze for several hours or overnight.
- Once frozen, remove ice pops from molds and enjoy!