Cantaloupe and mint yogurt pops are a sweet summer treat from “Sweeter Off the Vine” by Yossy Arefi. Photo by Yossy Arefi.

Before our love affair with chocolate began, when humans in most parts of the world craved something sweet, they reached for the vine (or tree or bush).

Even today, when we can grab chocolate more easily on the way out of the store than an apple, fruit desserts are more forgiving for home cooks, which is why we all have so many more recipes for fruit cobblers, cakes and pies than chocolate confections.

Yossy Arefi, who writes the Project Dessert column at, is a fruit nut when it comes to desserts. She has written a new book called “Sweeter off the Vine: Fruit Desserts for Every Season” (Ten Speed Press, $24) that elevates nearly every berry, citrus or stone fruit you can think of beyond the fruit bowl.

A strawberry and mascarpone tart caught my eye in earlier coverage of the book, but now that it’s the blazing hot middle of summer, I thought the cantaloupe mint yogurt pops were a better fit.

Use a similar proportion of fruit to yogurt and honey for other fruits, and tap into your imagination with the herbs, extracts or additional layers of flavor. A friend of mine recently put sprouted chia seeds in his ginger lime pops.

Cantaloupe and Mint Yogurt Pops

Chilled melon sprinkled with rose or orange-flower water is a classic and very cooling Middle Eastern dessert that’s wonderful on a hot day. These ice pops take that flavor combination and add tart Greek yogurt and brightly flavored mint for an extra refreshing frozen treat that’s perfect for the dog days of summer. This mixture can also be thoroughly chilled, then churned in an ice cream machine and served immediately as soft-serve frozen yogurt.
— Yossy Arefi

12 oz. seeded and chopped cantaloupe
1 cup (2 percent or full-fat) Greek yogurt
1/3 cup mild honey, or more to taste
1 Tbsp. mint leaves, packed
1 tsp. orange-flower water

Combine all the ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Taste the mixture and adjust the level of sweetness if necessary by adding more honey, one teaspoon at time. Pour into frozen pop molds and freeze the pops until completely firm, at least 6 hours or overnight. Makes 6 to 12 pops, depending on mold size.

— From “Sweeter off the Vine: Fruit Desserts for Every Season” by Yossy Arefi (Ten Speed Press, $24)