Dinner Diva: Eight great (and healthy) homemade popsicles
I am not a fan of stuffing children with sugar; therefore, my kids rarely got to indulge in those traditional freezer pops many of us grew up with. (When you really break it down, those ice pops are essentially just frozen sugar water with chemicals on top.) But my kids did not suffer from the heat of summer without a chilling treat!
Remember those Tupperware popsicle molds? Maybe you still have a set (I do!). During the summer, I always had those puppies in the freezer filled with healthy cool food alternatives to the sugar and food-dye laden pops in boxes.
Now that my kids are all grown up, I’ve started making more sophisticated versions of those summertime treats to help us cool off on hot summer days. Below, I’ve included some of my favorite ways to make homemade popsicles that the whole family will love. (Note: All of these recipes are intended to be poured into popsicle molds and frozen for at least 4 hours. They should all yield between 4 and 8 popsicles. No molds? Use little Dixie cups and popsicle sticks!)
Pina colada. Blend 1 cup coconut milk with 1 cup pineapple and about a quarter cup of shredded coconut for an absolutely delicious pina colada popsicle! Add a bit of maple syrup if you like. Oh this would be fabulous served with a little shot of coconut rum. ;)
Strawberry creamsicle. Same idea as above, but using 1 cup of strawberries instead of the pineapple and skip the shredded coconut.
Berry popsicles. Blend 1 cup of whatever milk you like with 1 cup of peaches. After pouring into molds, add blueberries and sliced strawberries, along with any other chunks of fruit you like.
Frozen banana strawberry pops. Blend 1 pound of strawberries with 1 nice ripe banana, 1/2 cup of whatever milk you like, and 1/2 cup of vanilla or plain yogurt. Creamy, cool, delicious.
Greek popsicles. Blend 1 cup of Greek yogurt with 2 cups of fruit. (Strawberries or mango would be delicious.) If you like it sweeter, add a little honey or maple syrup. A squirt of lemon juice in this would be delish.
Green tea popsicles. Green tea is fabulous in a popsicle! Dissolve a couple of spoons of maple syrup or honey into 1 cup of hot green tea. Add the sweetened tea to the blender and add in a pound of peeled/pitted fruit (peach or mango would be lovely). I would add a bit of fresh grated ginger to this as well. Yummy antioxidants!
Avocado popsicles. Betcha never thought to make a popsicle out of avocados! And then again, maybe that’s just me. J Avocados make absolutely scrumptious popsicles. So creamy and yummy and addictive! Mash an avocado seriously well and whisk in 1 cup of water sweetened with 1/4 cup of maple syrup or other sweetener, a good squirt of lemon or lime juice, and a pinch of vanilla. Whisk until smooth.
Lemon pie pops. 2 cups of vanilla Greek yogurt blended with the juice and zest of 2 lemons, and a little bit of sweetener makes for a very delicious popsicle.
See? No need to buy boxes of those sugary ice pops. Make your own wholesome freezer treats that everyone in the family (regardless of age) will love!
For more great tips and recipes, go to www.savingdinner.com
Leanne Ely is a NYT bestselling author and the creator of SavingDinner.com, the original menu planning website, bringing families back to the dinner table for over 15 years.