This papaya popsicle recipe is a treat that looks like candy corn, but without the added sugar! Today we're going to go over how to make papaya popsicles with pineapple and papaya. You'll learn which type of papaya is best for this recipe. We'll also cover how to get the tip of the ice pop white using honeydew melon. With only four ingredients, why not try this easy and healthy Halloween snack recipe?
Here's a fun and simple recipe that I've been hanging on to for about a year. I knew I wanted to save sharing these popsicles that look like candy corn until Halloween. Though it's fine to enjoy these at any time of the year, now is really the perfect time to make them.
Hey, I know how things are at this time of year. Halloween candy is all over the place, and fruit and veggie intake may get pushed to the wayside. It's nice to have some tricks up your sleeve to make eating fruits and veggies fun and appealing.
The three layers in these popsicles come together to match the colors of Halloween candy corn. However, unlike candy corn, all of the sweetness in these ice pops is provided by whole blended fruits.
Yes, I've managed to make these with no added sugar at all. Using ripe tropical fruits, such as papaya and pineapple, brings plenty of sweetness to the table.
By the way, did you know that there is a plant that goes by the name "papaya popsicle"? You can check out this beautiful variety of the Kniphofia plant here. Its vibrant red and orange coloring is a true showstopper.
Papaya Popsicle Benefits
- Easy recipe: You only need four ingredients to make this one, and you can get them all at most standard grocery stores.
- Excellent source of vitamin C: With all of the fruits in these popsicles, you're getting plenty of vitamin C. This essential nutrient supports a healthy immune system and healthy skin. It also helps you prevent scurvy, though hopefully none of y'all are worried about that!
- Naturally gluten free and vegetarian: Since these melon popsicles with papaya and pineapple are just fruit and yogurt, they are naturally vegetarian and gluten-free. It's easy to make dairy free and vegan candy corn pops as well; check out the FAQs for my tips.
- Flexible recipe: You can substitute canned papaya for fresh or use a different type of melon if you don't have honeydew. There are many ways to make this simple popsicle recipe work.
- Fun for kids: Even ardent candy corn haters may be won over by these colorful ice pops! If you have kids, they'll probably enjoy this fun Halloween snack. Hosting a playdate? Try serving these!
Papaya Popsicles Ingredients
Here's all you need to make melon popsicles with pineapple and papaya:
- Chopped papaya (fresh or canned)
- Chopped pineapple
- Plain nonfat Greek yogurt
- Chopped honeydew melon (or another melon with a white-ish interior)
I originally intended to use a Santa Claus or Galia melon for this recipe. These melons' nearly white flesh is perfect for making the white part of the candy corn pops. Unfortunately, I tend to have trouble finding both of these melons at certain times of the year.
Honey dew melon is available year-round where I live in most of the major supermarkets. That is what I ended up using in these ice lollies (i.e., ice pops).
The downside of this option is that honeydew tends to have a light green flesh. I'm going to cover how I used honeydew melon to make white honeydew melon popsicles below. Of course, if you can get your hands on a Santa Claus melon, just use that.
Additionally, you'll need this equipment for papaya popsicles:
- Food processor
- Popsicle molds and sticks
I like to use a combination of a spouted measuring cup and a spoon to fill the molds. These items are optional (but do make filling the ice pop molds easier).
Papaya Popsicles Tips
As mentioned above, I'm using honeydew melon in the white layer in these popsicles, even though it tends to be slightly green. Don't worry, we're going to make this work!
First of all, when you cut into a honeydew, you might notice that the flesh nearest the center to the melon is whiter than towards the rind. The white melon flesh is what we want!
You can save the green honeydew flesh for later or enjoy it as a snack right now. These papaya pineapple melon popsicles are not going to be ready for a few hours. If you're hungry now, I'm offering the green melon as a snack for you while you wait. Haha
The second thing that will help make the tip of the pop white is blending plain yogurt into this layer. I used plain Greek yogurt for its high protein content and no added sugar. I think the melon provides more than enough sweetness to this layer.
If you aren't into plain yogurt, you could always add a sugar substitute or use your favorite (sweetened) vanilla yogurt instead. (Keep in mind that using a sweetened yogurt will change the nutritional information for this recipe.)
Are you wondering why I didn't just make the white layer of these papaya popsicles yogurt with no melon? Well, we tried it.
Making the popsicle layer with yogurt alone (or yogurt plus milk) resulted in a really hard layer. Like, jawbreaker hard. We had a difficult time biting into the ice pop when the tip was 100% yogurt.
The melon makes the pop softer, while the yogurt helps to make the layer a snowy white. You are getting the best of both worlds when you use both melon and yogurt.
How to Make Papaya Popsicles
The basic process for making popsicles with whole fruits is to blend the fruit to a smooth puree and then fill the popsicle mold. Since we're making layered popsicles, we need to blend each fruit layer individually. Using whole fruits means that the purees are thick enough that you don't need to freeze the ice pops before adding the next layer.
To make the popsicles look like candy corns, the color layers should go in this order: white, orange, yellow. Next up is the breakdown of how this is going to work.
The Melon Popsicle with Yogurt Layer
Cut your fresh melon in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Using a melon baller or a knife, scoop (or cut) the amount of melon needed for this recipe. If using honeydew melon, aim to use the white flesh of the melon that was closest to the seeds.
Chop your melon up if it is in large pieces. Put it in a food processor with the nonfat Greek yogurt. Blend it into a smooth puree. You may need to stop the food processor to scrape down the sides with a spatula if ingredients are sticking.
Pour the melon puree into your popsicle molds. I distributed this mixture evenly between 8 ice pop molds. You only want a little in each mold, not ⅓ full. The level of this (rather thin) layer will rise when the next layer is added.
If the melon and yogurt run down the inside of the mold as you pour, no worries. Just wipe off the inside of the mold with a clean Q-tip or a bit of clean paper towel. This will help to keep the layers of your "candy corn" looking tidy.
The Papaya Popsicle Layer
My first choice for the papaya layer is to use a fresh Royal Star papaya. This papaya has a high Brix content that makes it one of the sweetest papaya varieties available.
They also have a long shelf life compared to other varieties of papaya. This is particularly beneficial for those who live far from the tropical regions papayas are shipped from.
If you can't obtain fresh, ripe papaya, canned papaya will work too. I like the Native Forest papaya chunks, as they are canned in pineapple juice with no added sugar.
Either way, it is very important to use the ripest fruit you can find for these popsicles. Since all of the sweetness in these popsicles comes from the fruit, underripe fruit has no place here. The difference between using ripe and unripe fruit in this recipe is HUGE.
Ah, but back to the papaya layer. If you're using canned papaya, all you have to do is drain it well and puree.
For fresh papaya, cut it in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Chop the papaya into pieces, removing the skin of the fruit from the flesh as you work. Pop your papaya chunks into a clean food processor and puree.
Again, you may need to scrape down the processor's sides with a spatula if the fruit is sticking. After it becomes smooth, distribute it evenly between 8 pop molds. Try to make sure the papaya puree completely covers the melon yogurt layer.
I used a spoon and spouted measuring cup to help with this job. You can always watch the recipe video below if you'd rather have some visuals.
The Pineapple Layer
Now rinse out your food processor one more time. We're going to be making the pineapple layer.
Again, make sure that your pineapple is extremely ripe. Sniff the bottom of your uncut fresh pineapple. A ripe pineapple will give off a lovely fruity scent, letting you know it is ready to use.
Peel and core your fresh pineapple and chop it into chunks. I'm sure that drained, canned pineapple could work here. However, fresh pineapple tends to be readily available (at least in the U.S.), so why not use it?
Put your pineapple chunks in the food processor and puree until smooth. The pineapple will become very airy and creamy. Use a spoon to distribute it between your 8 popsicle molds.
You will very likely have some extra pineapple. I made a 100% pineapple popsicle with what I had left for a total of nine ice pops. I thought it was better to give you extra pineapple puree rather than risk leaving you short!
How many popsicles you end up with will ultimately depend on the size of your ice lolly moulds. I have provided a link to the ones that I use in the recipe card. They are a silicone popsicle mold, so the finished popsicles release easily.
After completely filling the molds, add the popsicle sticks and place the molds in the freezer overnight. The next day, you'll be ready to enjoy your colorful candy corn pops!
Expert Tips from a Dietitian
This is a level 1 recipe (may help support fat loss). These popsicles are extremely low in calories as they are made with fruit and Greek yogurt only. Want a 100-calorie snack? You could have one of those teeny tiny 100-calorie snack packs or THREE of these popsicles! Which option do you think you'd find more satisfying?
Additionally, the fun presentation of these Halloween-themed popsicles makes them appealing for kids. Picky eaters may be more likely to eat fruit if it is served as these colorful candy corn pops.
Note: when talking food with kids, I would NOT discuss "low calorie" as one of the benefits. Teens (and younger children) are a population that is highly susceptible to developing eating disorders. It's generally fine for kids to occasionally eat snacks and meals that happen to be low calorie, vegan, keto, etc. However, I would not consider food type restriction or calorie restriction to be a general health benefit for this age group.
In terms of general nutritional benefits, these papaya popsicles are a health-promoting choice for many because they are high in vitamin C. They are rich in fruit, a food group that many don't meet the recommendations for. Plus, the different colors of the fruits indicate a varied range of health-promoting phytonutrients. These are some of the reasons my melon popsicles are a healthy snack for kids, not because they happen to be low calorie.
What are some other homemade popsicle recipes with no sugar added?
Homemade popsicles can be a fun way to help increase your fruit and veggie intake! I almost always have a batch of frozen fruit pops in the freezer. Here are some other no sugar homemade ice pop recipes that you may enjoy:
- Peanut Butter Banana Chocolate Smoothie Pops
- Cherry Mango Popsicles
- Homemade Popsicles with Watermelon, Lime Juice, and Mint
- Mango Popsicles with Coconut and Curry
- Watermelon Ice Lollies with Mango and Pineapple
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it healthy to eat papaya skin?
I'm all about helping to prevent food waste, but I don't recommend eating the skin of papaya. I've seen people describe the experience of eating papaya skin to be similar to eating a banana peel. No thanks!
Second, some people experience digestive difficulties when they eat papaya skins. I know I'd rather skip eating the skins and go straight for the sweet flesh of the fruit. That's where all of the delicious is.
What are some tips for picking raw papaya at the grocery store?
In general, the skin of a ripe papaya will be turning from green to yellow. If you press your finger on a ripe papaya, it should have a little give, similar to a ripe mango.
If the papaya is underripe, you can place it in a paper bag with a ripe banana at room temperature. The ethylene produced by the banana will help the papaya to ripen up. This trick won't work as well with papayas that are extremely underripe.
When you live in a colder climate as I do, sometimes you have to take what you can get when choosing raw papaya. Often the stores don't carry fresh papaya. When they do, it would not be uncommon to find that the selection is overripe or underripe.
If you must make a choice between buying overripe or underripe papaya, choose overripe papaya for this recipe. Since there's no refined sugar in these popsicles, we need the ripe fruit to help sweeten things up.
How can I make these vegan?
The melon part of these papaya popsicles have a bit of yogurt blended in. To make these dairy free and vegan, you could skip the yogurt and blend in more melon.
Unfortunately, non-dairy yogurts typically don't provide the protein and calcium you get with Greek dairy yogurt. One of the closest I've found (among the widely available options in the U.S.) is Silk plain soymilk yogurt alternative.
Other Snack Recipes
Have you been eating too much candy, Halloween cookies, and other sugary treats? Why not add some of these healthy Halloween snacks to your repertoire?
- Vegan Ice Lollies | Zombie Pops!
- Pumpkin Spice Nice Cream
- Pumpkin Spice Baked Apple Chips Recipe
- Keto Pumpkin Seeds | Sumac Roasted Pumpkin Seeds Recipe
All recipes on this website may or may not be appropriate for you, depending on your medical needs and personal preferences. Consult with a registered dietitian or your physician if you need help determining the dietary pattern that may be best for you.
The nutrition information is an estimate provided as a courtesy. It will differ depending on the specific brands and ingredients that you use. Calorie information on food labels may be wildly inaccurate, so please don't sweat the numbers too much.
For more information on how the three recipe levels may help with a weight management goal, refer to my overnight oats with yogurt post. Let's get cooking!
Papaya Popsicle Recipe with Melon and Pineapple
- Try to use the whitest parts of the honeydew flesh for this recipe. This will generally be the part of the fruit that is closest to the seeds.
- Blend the chopped melon and yogurt together in a food processor until smooth. You may need to stop the processor occasionally to scrap down the sides with a spatula if the ingredients are sticking.
- Distribute the mixture evenly between your popsicle molds. I used eight ice pop molds, though your yield may vary. You only want a little of this mixture in each mold, since the level will rise when you add the next layer (i.e., do not fill ⅓ full). Wipe the inside of the mold with a clean Q-tip or paper towel if the mixture runs down the side.
- Next, rinse your food processor and blend the chopped papaya until smooth. If you are using canned papaya, make sure to drain the papaya well first. Again, you may need to scrape down the processor's sides with a spatula if the fruit pieces are sticking.
- Use a spoon to distribute the papaya puree between eight ice pop molds. Try to make sure the papaya puree completely covers the melon yogurt layer.
- Rinse your food processor out once again and blend the fresh chopped pineapple. It will become completely smooth and creamy. Use this pineapple puree to finish filling your eight popsicle molds. Use any leftover pureed pineapple to fill additional pop molds. (I ended up with one extra popsicle, for a total of nine.)
- After completely filling the molds, add the popsicle sticks and place the molds in the freezer for 6-8 hours (or overnight). I hope that you enjoy this healthy Halloween treat!