There’s nothing quite like an ice-cold popsicle on a scorching day.

Everything about the experience — from plunging your arm deep into the freezer to pull one out, the slow bliss of whittling away at the cooling sweetness, or the satisfying crunch and sticky fingers at the end — is refreshing and reinvigorating. I’m not sure how I’d ever survive the summer heat without them.

In fact, I love them so much that this summer, for the first time ever (I’ve no idea what took me so long), I invested in my own popsicle molds. The molds themselves are relatively inexpensive and making the popsicles is so easy, it’s almost ridiculous (the hardest part is having enough patience to wait for them to freeze properly). The best part is, I can make any flavors I want: gin and tonic, peanut butter and jam…so many possibilities. It wasn’t until my second or third batch in that I realized what a perfect vehicle they are for herbs as well; you can use herbal teas, add in medicinal powders, or even freeze whole leaves and flowers into the popsicles for a beautiful effect.

These are especially fun to make with children, who love going out into the garden to gather flowers and leaves for their very own ice-pops. As a bonus, I’ve found adding in soothing herbs like chamomile, lavender or lemon balm can make the calming effects of this cooling treat even more pronounced. Including electrolyte herbal infusions or coconut water as a base also makes them handy for protecting against dehydration. When I think back to all those years being limited by the few options available in my grocery store, it’s a wonder how I ever got by.

Here’s a few of my favorite recipes to get you started. When it comes time to remove them, running a little hot water over the sides of the molds can be a great help in ensuring they slide out easily.

Honey Chamomile Popsicles

These are perfect for children of any age who tend to get a little grumpy in the heat. Soothing and cooling, they make everything feel just a little bit better. Makes about 10 popsicles depending on size of molds.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups water
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup fresh chamomile flowers or 2 tbsp dried flowers

Instructions:

  1. Bring the water to a boil in a small saucepan.
  2. Remove from the heat and let cool for a few minutes before adding the honey and fresh or dried chamomile flowers.
  3. Place the lid on and infuse for 10 minutes.
  4. After the time is up, strain out the herbs.
  5. Once the liquid has cooled, pour into the molds and freeze for an hour.
  6. Add the popsicle sticks and continue to freeze another 4 hours, or until solid.

Golden Milk Popsicles

Turmeric is a potent anti-inflammatory and I especially love enjoying it in the creamy, spicy drink known as “golden milk.” This is my summertime version of the drink

Makes about 10 popsicles depending on size of molds.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups full fat coconut milk
  • 4 – 5 tbsp honey (or to taste)
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1/8 tsp freshly ground pepper

Blend together the ingredients and pour into the popsicle molds. Freeze for an hour, then insert the popsicle sticks. Freeze for an additional 4 hours, until the popsicles are frozen solid.

Berry Lavender Yogurt Pops

These striking popsicles made from berry compote swirled into creamy yogurt remind me of berry cheesecake and the lavender makes them really sparkle. Already chockfull of antioxidants from the berries, the elderberry syrup makes these immune-boosting as well.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups mixed berries
  • 1 tsp dried lavender flowers
  • 2-3 tablespoons elderberry syrup
  • 2 cups Greek or coconut yogurt
  • pinch of vanilla powder or 1 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions:

  1. Blend the berries and elderberry syrup in a food processor until a smoothie-like consistency.
  2. Pour the mixture into a large bowl and add the lavender and yogurt, swirling the yogurt through for a tie-dyed effect.
  3. Check for sweetness, adding more elderberry syrup if you like.
  4. Pour the mixture into your mold and freeze for an hour.
  5. Insert the sticks and then freeze for another 4 hours, until set.

Writer Danielle Charles Davies holds a Bsc in Herbal Science from Bastyr University and completed the two-year clinical training program at the Vermont Center for Integrative Herbalism in Montpelier, VT. Her writing has appeared in Taproot, The Journal of the American Herbalist Guild, and Kindred Magazine, among others. She lives in Northern Michigan with her husband, two dogs and eight ducks. She blogs at www.bluemoonkitchen.com.

For educational purposes only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease, or sell any product.