Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Fresh and Healthy Popsicle Ideas

Whenever my children go to Grandma & Grandpa's house, they get a special treat in the form of frozen sugar water- otherwise known as freeze pops. My 4 year old especially loves going there to get these sweet treats and, as summer is upon us, I figured I needed something to appease her need for popsicles.

I went out and bought a cheap popsicle mold at Target (maybe $2 or $3) to practice with. This one makes no claim to be BPA free, so I would suggest getting a Tovolo brand mold, which seems to be the predominant BPA-Free brand on the market.

From there, the possibilities are endless. What I basically do is make a smoothie in my handy-dandy Magic Bullet and then pour that into the mold. This consists of yogurt (go with vanilla yogurt, the plain can be a little sour in freeze pops) any mix of fruit (bananas, strawberries, blueberries... really whatever is in season) and that's it.

They are eco-friendly as you will not be wasting all of those plastic wrappers. They are great because you can control exactly what goes into them, from completely organic to way less sugar-infused. They are budget friendly as you can make them each for pennies or even less if you are using leftovers. They are a great way to entertain the kids as you can get them involved in making the pops. Homemade pops are pretty much a win all the way around- the kids are not going to care, but they are a great option.

There are dozens of different ways to make these treats:

• Aside from the fruit smoothie method, you can just use plain fruit juice watered down as much as you think necessary for your family.
• You can add a bit of water to the end of a jar of jam, shake it up and then pour that into a mold.
• You can use pudding and make some of those delicious chocolate pops. (if you were a really cool parent, you might even break up some cookie bits to add to this one... I am not that cool though... just ask my poor, deprived children.)
• You can use applesauce frozen alone or with other added fruit.
• Remember those orange creamsicles??? You can play with a recipe of orange juice and either vanilla yogurt or pudding or Cool Whip and you will get pretty much that exact flavor.
• For adults, you can make coffee or iced tea pops... you could even freeze some yummy chai tea!
• Lemonade makes great freeze pops, especially if you blend in a few blueberries... yum!

If you are the type of person who just needs a recipe, Allrecipes has some good ideas for you. Do you have any other favorite that you'd like to share???

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