Summers in Maine always fly by too fast. One way to slow them down is to stop and savor a homemade freezer pop. Or two, or three.

I grew up devouring my mother’s popsicles when Maine sweltered, and this year I’ve continued the tradition with my toddler. Not only do these frozen concoctions hit the spot on a hot city afternoon, but popsicles have the magical ability to get rambunctious kids to calm down and sit still, at least for a few minutes.

Naturally vegetarian, popsicles remain a classic American treat. When made at home, it’s easy to avoid refined sugar, petroleum-based food dyes and other undesirable ingredients, and instead emphasize whole foods and nutrient-rich ingredients.

I’ve experimented with different fruits and preparation techniques to discover what we like best. My favorite is a black raspberry cream pop I created using pureed silken tofu and a syrup from berries grown on my parents’ farm.

Since black raspberry season has passed and the berries are hard to come by unless you grow your own, I won’t tease you with the recipe.

Instead, I highly recommend these four. Rather than conventional juice pops, these recipes use whole fruit to kick up the nutrient density. Two of the pops are creamy, and both are dairy-free. All of these freezer pops have a thick, decadent texture and a sweet, yet refreshing taste.


Makes approximately 6 popsicles

Be sure to use silken tofu (it often comes in a juice-box-like package) rather than block tofu to achieve the creamy pudding texture and lemony flavor. Fresh blueberries work in this recipe, too, but if you want to create a pretty swirl pattern, use frozen.

12 ounces silken tofu

1 large lemon, juiced

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

¼ cup Maine maple syrup

1 cup frozen wild Maine blueberries

Add tofu, lemon juice, vanilla and maple syrup to a blender and blend until smooth, scraping the sides as needed.

Pour pudding into popsicle molds, leaving about half an inch at the top. Tap each mold lightly against the counter to help any air bubbles rise to the top.

Add a teaspoon of blueberries to each mold. Using a knife or spoon, push the blueberries toward the bottom, swirling them in the pudding as you do so (this will give the pudding a nice purple swirl).

Freeze for at least 4 hours.


Makes approximately 8 popsicles

Reminiscent of a tropical drink, coconut and mango combine for a filling and delicious frozen treat with a slightly chewy texture.

Here coconut milk rather than tofu creates this popsicle’s creamy, nondairy texture.

1 can coconut milk (about 13.5 ounces)

2 tablespoons Maine maple syrup

10 ounces frozen mango chunks

3 tablespoons unsweetened almond milk (either homemade or store bought)

Add all the ingredients to a blender and blend for about 30 seconds, until only small chunks of mango remain. Scrape sides as needed.

Pour mixture into popsicle molds. Tap each mold lightly against the counter to help any air bubbles rise to the top.

Freeze for at least 4 hours.


Makes approximately 8 popsicles

This recipe turns a refreshing summer drink into a frozen treat. I’ve found that the watermelon chunks tend to float, and the lighter (but still very sweet) liquid sinks. This gives the finished popsicle a bit of a layered or swirled look.

4 overflowing cups cubed, seeded watermelon

2 small limes, juiced

2 tablespoons Maine maple syrup

Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until well mixed.

Pour mixture into popsicle molds. Freeze for at least 4 hours.


Makes approximately 12 popsicles

My grandmother used to make the most delicious plum jam using fruit from the tree out back. This recipe captures some of the jam’s flavor by cooking the plums down into a sauce. Be sure to leave the skins on for the best color and flavor.

If you don’t have 12 popsicle molds, reserve some of the mixture in a canning jar and store it in the refrigerator until you free up more molds.

8 plums or pluots, pits removed and cut into chunks

2 cups water

¼ cup maple syrup

Add all the ingredients to a heavy-bottomed pot and bring to a boil. Then reduce the heat to medium low, cover and cook for about 30 minutes. Remove the lid and allow the sauce to cook down for another hour, stirring occasionally until it has the consistency of a very soupy applesauce.

Run this mixture through a food mill, using the perforated disk with the largest openings. This will remove the skins but keep much of the pulp.

Pour the sauce into popsicle molds. Freeze for at least 4 hours.

Avery Yale Kamila is a freelance food writer who lives in Portland. She can be contacted at [email protected]

Twitter: AveryYaleKamila

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