watermelon lime mint popsicles

It’s almost summer!  Kind of.  I know Memorial Day marks the weekend when all of the pools open and people take off to the lake and to the beach, but I don’t like to let go of spring quite this early.  I love spending time in the warm weather, but the cool mornings and evenings this time of year are so wonderful, I’m not ready to let go of them!  I’m definitely loving the three day weekend though – paid holidays are underrated.

In my mind, Memorial Day weekend is for beautiful weather, cook-outs, lazy days, and watermelon!  The sweet, juicy pink fruit is one of my favorite summer markers.

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And what is more perfect for warm, long days than POPSICLES?!?  Delicious fruit-filled homemade pops!  Yes yes yes, we did turn that watermelon into a frozen treat and yes, you should too.  These watermelon lime mint popsicles are the perfect afternoon snack, after-dinner dessert, or pool-side treat.  So easy and so delectable.

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We added lime juice, mint leaves and a touch of mint-infused simple syrup to introduce a more complex flavor.  Sweet watermelon, tart lime and crisp mint makes for a very refreshing pop.  Also, look at that color!  I mean, who doesn’t want to eat pink desserts?  I always do.  These take about 5 minutes to make and, after a few hours of freezing time, you have seemingly impressive treats.  The best desserts are those that wow your friends but secretly require little effort.  That would be these pops.

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When I was growing up my family used to sit on the steps of the front porch and eat popsicles after dinner on summer nights.  We usually had a choice between grape, raspberry and orange, with the occasional strawberry or honeydew, depending on the variety in the current pack.  It was a great night when there were fudgesicles in the freezer.  My mom would bite her popsicles all the way down, finishing her treat in a matter of minutes.  That didn’t fly with us kids.  We wanted our dessert to last as long as possible, so we would lick it until the melted pop dripped down our arms.  I’m sure our parents loved our sticky fingers and hands those nights.

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Given the choice between these watermelon popsicles and a fudgesicle now, I would absolutely grab this fresh fruity treat.  You could make it even more grown-up by adding a little white rum.  Watermelon mojito, anyone?  Be careful not to add too much though or you will have some liquid pops!

Bring these simple, fresh pops to your cook-out, make everyone think you are fancy and enjoy your long weekend!  Let the warm weather ensue!

Watermelon Lime Mint Popsicles
makes about 6 pops

4 cups watermelon, cubed
3 tablespoons mint simple syrup (recipe below)
juice of 1 lime

Mint Simple Syrup
2 teaspoons mint leaves
1/3 cup water
1/3 cup sugar

To make the mint simple syrup
In a small saucepan combine the water and sugar over medium heat and stir constantly until the sugar has dissolved. Stir in the mint leaves and heat the mixture for 1-2 more minutes. Set aside.

To make the popsicles
Place the cubed watermelon, lime juice and 3 tablespoons of the simple syrup (including some of the mint leaves) in a blender and mix until all of the ingredients are combined and no chunks remain. Pour the liquid mixture into a popsicle mold and freeze until set (about 4-8 hours, depending on the size of your mold). If you don’t have a popsicle mold you could also use ice cube trays, Dixie cups, drinking glasses, etc. Get creative!

*If you want to make the adult version of these, add your alcohol of choice (white rum for a watermelon mojito!) but remember that alcohol has a lower freezing point and will interfere with how your pops freeze.  Aim for no more than 1 1/2 ounces per 1 cup of fruit juice – it will make your pops nice and soft but not slushy.

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