Adventures In Popsicles

Trendy, colourful, healthy, refreshing, easy to create – the summer signals that it’s time for a popsicle.



Photo courtesy of Unilever

Call it what you want depending on where you live.  It may be an ice lolly, a popsicle, a freezer pop, or an icy pole.

As the long hot and hotter days of summer linger – so does our thirst beg for a popsicle.

Here’s a bit of folklore – the back-story on the origins of the popsicle.

Who knew?

The Original Popsicle® was invented in 1905 by a boy named Frank Epperson from Oakland, California when he was just 11 years old.  It all started by accident.  One night Frank poured soda powder into water and mixed it with a stirring stick. He accidentally left the mixture outside all night in the cold.  Frank awoke the next morning to find his drink frozen like an icicle. Whoa!

Now it may seem strange that the temperature in Oakland can get that cold – but it does. I lived in the San Francisco Bay Area (which includes Oakland) for decades and it is possible.

Seventeen years later, in 1922, Epperson served his ice lollipops at a Fireman’s ball and they were a huge hit. As a result, Epperson realized the commercial possibilities of his frozen icicle. A year later, in 1923, he introduced the frozen pop on a stick to the public at Neptune Beach, an amusement park in Alameda, California. It was a big success and a classic was born.  He soon after applied and received a patent for a “frozen confectionery”, in 1924, which he named the “Epsicle Ice Pop”. He began producing it in different fruit flavors on birch wood sticks.

It was Frank Epperson’s children, who immortalized the term we all know and love. When asking for their dad’s treat they asked for a “Pop’s sicle”

In the United States and Canada, frozen ice on a stick is generically referred to as a popsicle due to the early popularity of the Popsicle brand, and the word has become a genericized trademark to mean any ice pop or freezer pop, regardless of brand or format.

Fast forward to our modern world with tons of recipes to include gourmet popsicles and trendy artisan ice pops.

Popsicles these days are made with…you guessed it – all kinds of adult alcoholic beverages.

We also find the very opposite style of popsicles being all natural and sugar free, dairy free, without any artificial ingredients.

Don’t be surprised to find popsicles in flavours of caramel latte, avocado, champagne, key lime pie, granola, mango, matcha, banana, and Thai ice tea.

The list of possibilities could fill more than this page. A book.

And in Asia, we have frozen desserts on a stick made from sweet corn, red bean, durian, coconut, white coffee, and cendol – to name a few.

For the popsicle low-down, I present two ideas for your summer cool eating pleasure.

First up, I checked in with a vegan inspiration of mine, Linda Coogan Byrne.

Introducing a plant based nutritionist, fitness enthusiast, & vegan food writer:

@lindacooganB /

Linda appeared on my previous article titled:  Top Chefs Weigh In On Greens

coconut popsicle

Photo courtesy of Linda Coogan Byrne

Vegan Coconut & Toffee Popsicles

This delicious summer treat is all vegan and gluten free.


1 cup of soft medjool dates

2 cups of coconut cream

Small drop of vanilla essence

Sprinkle of Himalayan salt


1 cup of soft medjool dates – put in processor until it becomes a soft toffee paste.

Add two spoons of water if needed.

Add some sea salt – to taste.

Then add in two cups of coconut cream (a tin will do!).

Add a drop of vanilla essence.

Blend altogether until a fine creamy texture and then pour into ice pop moulds and pop in the freezer for a few hours!



Presenting Katrina Tauchen, a freelance writer, magazine editor and blogger with a penchant for food.

blueberry popsicles

Photo and recipe courtesy of Katrina Tauchen at Splash of Something

Blueberry Lemon Yogurt Popsicles

  • 1 cup nonfat vanilla yogurt, plus a few extra dollops for each popsicle (Greek or regular, whichever you prefer)
  • 3/4 cup fresh blueberries, plus a few extra for each popsicle
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • zest of 1 lemon

To make the blueberry yogurt layer, add 1 cup of yogurt, 3/4 cup blueberries, the honey and lemon zest into a blender or food processor, and blend until smooth. To layer the popsicles, put one or two whole blueberries in the bottom of each popsicle mold, followed by a few dollops of the plain vanilla yogurt. Next add another few whole blueberries, and fill the rest of the way with the blueberry yogurt mixture. Press a popsicle stick into the center of each mold, then put popsicles in the freezer until frozen.

Makes 4 full-sized popsicles

Popsicles are super cool – don’t you agree?