Summer is officially upon us! The temperature (and humidity) is steadily rising, and your little darlings are home from school for the summer and constantly searching for ways to beat the heat. Popsicles are surely one of childhood’s simplest pleasure, but unfortunately the boxed grocery store variety can contain ingredients that are less than appealing. With multiple teaspoons of sugar per popsicle, your kids may find sweet relief from the heat but with some pretty unhealthy ingredients.
Making your own popsicles is quick and easy, (seriously, you can have a batch ready to go into the freezer in about 5 minutes) and a great way to combine healthful ingredients with a tempting sweet treat that even adults will enjoy! I’ll admit that I’m personally not the biggest fan of popsicles, and I think the recipes included are all pretty yummy and so refreshing on a super hot day. Most importantly, my kids love them!
Getting Started: Before embarking on this delicious adventure there are a few supplies that you will need to gather to make the perfect popsicle. The popsicle molds pictured below are what I use, but any style or variety will work. Don’t be fooled, the cool-looking straw feature at the bottom does not work. Target has several styles of mold that are all pretty inexpensive. You could also use a small disposable plastic cup with a popsicle stick inserted to avoid purchasing molds. My molds make four 3-ounce popsicles per batch. I use a high powered blender (Vitamix, Blendtec, Ninja) to make my pops, but any blender that can crush ice will work. If you have little ones who are picky about textures then you may also want to purchase some cheese cloth to strain out the seeds and peeling of fruits (especially berries) prior to pouring into molds.
Ingredients: For all of the recipes I’ve included, I used frozen fruit, but fresh fruit works fine too (with the exception of bananas, they work best fresh). If you choose to use fresh fruit make sure it is very ripe and tasty before blending so you don’t ruin an entire batch of ingredients. Homemade popsicles are an excellent way to make use of the VERY ripe fruit that is sitting on your counter attracting flies. Once you feel comfortable making these delicious treats you’ll be hooked and want to try your own flavors and combinations. I keep a variety of frozen fruit on hand so I am ready to make popsicles any time. No fruit? No problem. Pour you children’s favorite 100% juice into the molds as an alternative. Since homemade pops don’t have any preservatives and are frozen in your home freezer, they have a very hard texture at first so take them out to soften a few minutes before serving.
Preparation: Before making your popsicles, clean out an area in your freezer where your molds can sit securely upright until they are solid. Trust me, don’t skip this step because even though the recipes don’t have any real sugar in them, they are still pretty sticky and would make a giant mess if they were to spill in your freezer before they were solid. Once they have frozen solid, pops can be removed from molds and stored in a plastic storage bag to conserve some space in your freezer.
The preparation for all the recipes is quite simple: place all the ingredients in the blender and pulse until smooth and pourable. Pour mixture into the molds and place mold tops or popsicle sticks in the middle of each mold and freeze for 6-8 hours.
Recipes: Here are four delicious and healthy popsicle recipes, which you can print off right here! Make, enjoy and let us know how your kids like them!