This question is part of the Organic Homemade Popsicle Q&A series.
If you don’t have a blender and you want to make homemade ice pops year-round, honestly, I’d buck up and get a decent inexpensive blender.
You don’t need to pay much for a blender that will get the job done and last forever. I spent about $40 on a blender over 11 years ago and it’s still working fine and I’ve used it continually over the years for hundreds of ice pops and other stuff like homemade coffee fraps, pizza sauce, smoothies, some grains (like grinding oats) and more.
When you think about it, my small blender has cost me less than $3 per year and takes up hardly any space, so it was a worthwhile purchase.
If you decide to get a blender mainly for ice pops, there’s no need to go fancy. However, I would make sure to get a blender with a glass jar vs. a blender with a plastic jar – the cost difference is only about $15-20 and glass is safer than plastic.
All that said…
No, you don’t actually need a blender to make ice pops. I get the whole not wanting another appliance deal. I don’t even own a toaster or microwave of my own, because I hate having too much kitchen clutter. If you’re in this boat, and really don’t want a blender, or if your blender breaks down, it’s okay. Sans blender, you’ll have fewer ice pop recipe choices, but with some creativity, you can manage.
The first thing to know:
If you don’t have a blender, you may think you can just pour juice into popsicle molds and be done with it. Don’t! Even if you’re without a blender, the same ice pop making rules apply and one of the most important rules is don’t freeze pure liquids, like juices made from concentrate. That’s a great way to end up with tasteless, and worse, rock hard popsicles.
Below are some easy blender-free ice pop recipes…
Tofu cherry popsicles
Chop up two cups of fresh or thawed frozen organic cherries. Pop the chopped cherries into a pot and cook down a bit to get them a little smoother. Turn off the heat. Add 1/3 to 1/2 cup soft (silken) organic tofu. Whisk well or use a hand mixer if you’ve got one. Add 1/4 cup organic honey and 2 cups organic orange juice. Whisk or mix again until the mixture is as smooth as possible, pour into molds and freeze.
Vegan gelatin pops
Grab a box of vegan gelatin and combine it with 1 cup of boiling water along with 1/3 cup organic sugar in a bowl. Stir until gelatin is completely dissolved. Stir in 1 and 1/3 cups cold water and mix. Pour into molds and freeze. You can mix up gelatin pops all sorts of ways. You can add bits of fruit (like sliced organic strawberries or halved organic blueberries) or use a little less plain water, substituting lemon or lime juice instead.
Organic chocolate-vanilla pudding pops
Prepare a package of USDA organic chocolate pudding and a package of USDA organic vanilla pudding as directed. Spoon alternate layers of pudding, one on top of the other, into popsicle molds. Freeze and eat. Obviously you can use any flavor of pudding you like, but chocolate-vanilla is a classic. If you want a swirl effect, after adding your layers of pudding, run a clean knife through the pudding before freezing. You can also mix in mini chocolate chips or crushed or chopped organic berries.
Easy lemonade berry pops
Pour a 12 ounce can of frozen organic lemonade into a pitcher. Add 2 cups of water and stir. In a small pot, add 16 ounces of fresh or frozen organic raspberries, one cup of water and a tablespoon or two of organic honey. Cook down until the berries are not too chunky anymore and the mixture is mostly smooth. Stir the raspberry puree into the lemonade – it won’t be as smooth as if you used a blender, but it works well enough. Pour into molds and freeze.
Organic yogurt pops
In a large bowl mix 2 cups low-fat organic vanilla yogurt (soy yogurt works too). Add a teaspoon of organic vanilla extract, 1/4 cup honey and one tablespoon fresh lemon juice. Mix with a whisk (or better yet, a hand mixer if you’ve got one). Mix in about 2 cups fresh or frozen fruit chopped into little bits – cherries, raspberries, blueberries, bananas, mango, etc., all work. If your mixture looks a little thick, thin it out a bit with organic milk or organic soy milk then pour into molds and freeze.
Homemade organic fudge pops
Most fudge pops are blender-free anyhow, and these homemade fudge pops (when made with organic ingredients) are a great treat once in a while.
Organic watermelon ice pops
I make my watermelon ice pops in the blender, because they’re awesome when they’re super smooth. However, you can make them without a blender so long as your watermelon is super ripe and soft and you have a potato masher. Follow all the directions here – BUT instead of blending everything, mash the watermelon pieces with your potato masher, then mix in the other ingredients with a whisk.
Root beer float popsicles
Open one can of Santa Cruz Organic Sparkling Root Beer and leave it in the fridge for a few hours, so the fizz dies down. Later, combine all of the root beer with one to two softened (either in a microwave or pot) decent sized scoops of organic vanilla ice cream (we use Alden’s), plus 1 cup of 1% organic milk. Blend with a whisk. Pour into molds and freeze. Note: If, while whisking too many bubbles pop up on top of your mixture, skim them off before you pour the mix into molds.
Organic orange cream pops
Make these ice pops exactly how you make the root beer pops directly above, only use two cups of organic orange juice instead of the root beer.
Any sort of fresh fruit or veggie pop
Without a blender your fresh fruit or veggie pops tend to be thicker and less smooth, but still perfectly good. The basic idea is to cook your fruit or veggie to soft or puree form in a pot, then mix in other ingredients by hand. For example, if you were making leftover veggie pops (shown above) you’d simply cook the veggies until very soft, then mash, add other ingredients and either whisk or use a hand mixer to get the whole mixture smoother and ready to pour into molds.
Any sort of juice-minded ice pops
If you don’t have a blender, you can make plain old juice pops, but be sure to add the right combo of juice and water and sweetener. Read why are my ice pops rock hard for the right mixture of fluid vs. sweetener.
All images © Jennifer Chait