Popsicles are a delicious way to cool off in the summer, and my kids love them, but I really hate giving them food with so much sugar, dye, and my personal nemesis â€“ High Fructose Corn Syrup. I know what the commercials say but I find it difficult to trust a study that was funded by the Corn Refiners Association, you know?
Making your own popsicles is a healthy alternative and you get to control what goes into them. Fruit juice, yogurt, and real cane sugar are basics and you can get crazy from there. Let your imagination run wild and create exotic flavors and bright colors. Your kids will love them.
There are more popsicle molds than ever before â€“ so many different types, shapes, and sizes that the Good Humor Man would be jealous. Just choose one that doesnâ€™t have BPA in it.
You can use the molds to create tri-colored bomb style pops and other fancy shapes. Of course, you can use the old stand-by as well. Just pour your popsicle mixture into small paper cups, let them freeze until slushy, add popsicle sticks and finish freezing.Â When itâ€™s time to have a popsicle, the paper cup peels right off.
Here are some flavor ideas to get you started. Let your imagination run wild!
- Kiwi Limeade â€“ puree kiwi and add to an equal amount of limeade
- Strawberry Lemonade â€“ puree strawberries and add to an equal amount of lemonade
- Orange Mango Creamsicle â€“ mix orange juice and yogurt in a 40:60 ratio and add finely chopped mango
- Root Beer Float â€“ add vanilla ice cream to half fill a popsicle mold. Pour cold root beer over it to fill the rest of the way. If you want it creamier, blend the ice cream Â with the root beer
- Orange Creamsicle – Â Blend vanilla ice cream and orange juice in equal amounts
- Strawberry Banana â€“ blend strawberry yogurt with an equal amount of pureed banana and a teaspoon of lemon juice.
- Strawberry and Cream â€“ puree strawberries and mix with an equal amount of vanilla yogurt.
- Watermelon and Grape â€“ blend ripe watermelon with white grape juice until smooth
- Orange Ginger-ale â€“ Mix ginger-ale and orange juice. Cherry, watermelon, and honey dew all work really well with ginger-ale, too
- Your Favorite Smoothie â€“ make your favorite breakfast smoothie and pour into popsicle molds.
Tips for Perfect Pops
- When you are using a soda, be sure to let it go flat before making the popsicle mixture. Open it and leave it in the refrigerator overnight.
- Leave about 1/4 inch space at the top of the mold. The popsicles will expand as they freeze and you donâ€™t want them to overflow.
- You can make adult pops by using your favorite cocktails. Use less alcohol than you normally would or your popsicles wonâ€™t freeze.
- Run a little warm water on the outside of the mold to help the pops slide right out.
You can find a lot more ideas all over the Internet. One of my favorite sites has 50 popsicle ideas and most of them are organic and/or sugar free.
Photo credit: Jennifer Chait