This sweet indulgence goes by many names: paleta, popsicle, polo… but, no matter what you call them, these delicious cold treats are absolute perfection in the summertime.

Their real beauty rests in their simplicity. With just a few ingredients and no sophisticated kitchen equipment, you can whip up a batch of nutritious popsicles in no time. They can be enjoyed as a snack or perhaps even dessert and I guarantee you’ll never get tired of them.

Not only are they healthy and refreshing, but they are also very easy and fun to make. It is truly an ideal cooking project for kids during a hot summer afternoon. With little effort you will have yummy popsicles to share with your family at dinner time.

For this recipe, I put together a handful of rather plain, everyday items to illustrate how easy it is to make popsicles. My choice of flavor was dictated by what I had available at home: coconut milk, mango, maple syrup (who in Vermont does not have one or two gallons sitting around the pantry?) and a lonely lime I found at the bottom of my fridge. That is all I needed. No special trip to the grocery store was required. I love when that happens.

To get started, take your blender, Vitamix or Nutribullet out of the kitchen cabinet and place it on your counter. Dust it off diligently and get ready to enjoy the best homemade popsicles you ever had. I have no doubt you will keep making many more throughout the hot weather season. The blender is no longer just for smoothies. You can go a step further and enjoy these portable treats that help you make your daily quota of fruits (and even veggies if you care to add some spinach and avocado).

In your quest for the perfect popsicle, go ahead and experiment with different seasonal fruits. There’s no better vehicle to taste the rainbow than a cool, smooth popsicle. Try berries, peaches, plums, kiwis or pineapple. The sky is truly the limit, and do not overlook more exotic combinations like avocado and cocoa or a Thai inspired coconut milk, banana and coffee blend.  Yum!

Creamy Coconut and Mango Popsicles

1 large Ataulfo mango
1 can full fat coconut milk
1 Tbsp maple syrup (optional)
1 tsp fresh lime juice (optional)

Peel the mango and remove as much flesh as you can. Place in the blender.

Without shaking the can (so no to emulsify the contents) open the coconut milk and carefully remove the solids that stay at the top. The coconut water that remains can be used for other uses. You can simply scoop it out with a spoon. Add to the blender as well.

At this time, add the maple syrup and the lime. Blend at medium speed until smooth. Taste and decide if you need more maple syrup or perhaps more lime if you like your popsicles to be on the tart side. Sometimes, mangos are so sweet that they don’t even need additional sweetener, so it is a matter of taste whether you incorporate these optional ingredients.

Pour into your popsicle molds and freeze until solid. The thicker the mixture, the less time it’ll take for the popsicles to be ready. You can add small chunks of fruit for texture (and also decoration) or even some whole berries. Blueberries are beautiful against a backdrop of pale almond milk.