Who doesn't love frozen treats, especially when it's hot outside (and maybe hot inside too)? These seven ice pop recipes are like a mini summer vacation, frozen on a stick. They're inspired by cool treats from the Philippines, Vietnam, Mexico, China, Korea and India, yet require no more effort to make than frozen juice pops. No need to pack your bags, either. Just head to the kitchen.
Prepare to take your taste buds on an adventure.
A note on equipment: You can buyonline, which often include reusable sticks, but if they don't, are also available. Or, you can go lower-tech and insert those wooden sticks into homemade molds made from waxed paper cups (think for mini pops). If you use smaller molds, these recipes will yield more ice pops, so plan accordingly.
Now, just pick your favorite flavor destination and take a virtual trip around the world.
Mexico: Mango and cayenne paletas
The refreshing Latin American ice pops known as paletas usually contain fruit, and sometimes cream. Our version is dairy-free and highlights the sweet flavor of fresh mangoes. Cayenne gives them a little kick, although you can leave it out if you prefer. Get the mango and cayenne paletas recipe.
The Philippines: Halo-halo ice pops
No, these frozen treats have nothing to do with Halo Top, and everything to do with Filipino food, which is packed with flavor -- dessert is no exception. Halo-halo (literally, "mix mix"), one of the most iconic Filipino treats, is a delicious assemblage of ube ice cream, shave ice, evaporated milk, mung beans, corn, fruit and coconut gelatin (among other ingredients). We couldn't cram quite that much into these ice pops, but we did our best. Get the halo-halo ice pops recipe.
South Korea: Honeydew melon ice pops
Melona pops, popular (no pun intended) in South Korea, were the inspiration for these simple summer treats. Ripe honeydew melon, sugar, heavy cream and a pinch of salt is all that's called for. They're incredibly refreshing. Get the honeydew melon ice pops recipe.
China: Red bean ice pops
Sweet red bean desserts are commonly enjoyed in China and Japan, as well as Thailand and other Southeast Asian countries, and if you've never tried one yourself, now's the time. These creamy pops are made with sweetened, mashed adzuki beans, which you can buy in cans online or in Asian markets. If you'd prefer a smoother bite, you can use sweetened red bean paste instead, but we like the textural contrast of the roughly mashed beans. Get the red bean ice pops recipe.
Vietnam: Vietnamese coffee ice pops
A popular form of Vietnamese coffee is a combination of strong black brew combined with sweet condensed milk; it's perfect for turning into creamy frozen ice pops, but be warned: they pack a caffeinated punch. So feel free to eat one for breakfast? Get the Vietnamese coffee ice pops recipe.
Taiwan: Boba tea ice pops
Bubble tea is pretty widely known and loved these days, but have you had it in the form of an icy dessert yet? The frozen tapioca pearls slowly thaw and turn delightfully chewy as the creamy black tea-flavored ice pops melt around them. Get the bubble tea ice pops recipe.
India: Malai kulfi ice pops
These fragrant ice pops are inspired by Indian kulfi. They're ultra-creamy, thanks to sweetened condensed milk and whole milk, and flavored with cardamom and saffron. Roasted pistachios add a great salty crunch. Get the malai kulfi ice pops recipe.