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[Photograph: Lee Zalben]

As the gentle warmth of June turns into the searing heat of July and August, everyone seems to be searching for relief, and ice pops are all the rage.

When I was young, homemade ice pops were something you had only if your parents were stingy with the change when the Good Humor or Mr. Softee truck came by. But in the new food age where artisan and retro foods is going mainstream and we're all searching to recreate authentic homespun goodness, ice pops have become, well, quite sexy.

This year alone, there are four new colorful cookbooks dedicated to ice pop recipes: Popsicles, Paletas, Pops!, and Ice Pop Joy. Artisan ice pop companies like People's Pops are delivering readymade gourmet ice pops to city dwellers too.

And with all this new frosty goodness about, peanut butter flavored ice pops are gaining popularity. Peanut butter pairs so well with chocolate, berries, and other traditional (and not so traditional) ice pop flavors that adding it your ice pop recipe repertoire is sure to impress friends and family alike. There are lots of ways to make them. Most recipes involve combining peanut butter with milk and/or yogurt and a sweetener of some kind (like honey or brown rice syrup). From this base you can riff all over the place with swirls and freeze-ins.

Do you ever make your own ice pops from scratch? Ever try adding peanut butter to your recipe?

About the author: Lee Zalben was a PB&J-loving kid that grew up to be the founder and president of Peanut Butter & Co., which began as a Greenwich Village sandwich shop serving nothing but peanut butter sandwiches and expanded to include the now-famous line of all natural flavored peanut butter. Lee is a graduate of Vassar College and enjoys traveling the world in search of interesting foods made with peanuts, tree nuts, and seeds. When he's not working, eating, flying or writing, he enjoys scuba diving and training elephants.

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