So Cool! Healthier Popsicles for Hot Days
We love the whole homemade popsicle craze. Thanks to a cornucopia of popsicle molds on the market, serving up some frozen treats on a hot day no longer means you have to grab a sugar-laden pint of ice cream or artificially colored popsicle from the freezer. Homemade popsicles can be made with natural ingredients—and they do away with the sticks and wrappers that end up in the trash. Here are a few fun ideas for chilling out with fruit juice, yogurt, and some truly surprising ingredients—avocado, anyone?
1. Tropical Coco-Mango Pops
In a blender, blend together one banana, one mango, and one cup of unsweetened coconut milk. Pour into your popsicle mold, freeze, and enjoy!
2. “Strawberries and Cream” Greek Yogurt Parfait Fruit Pops
For this pretty pink pop, combine 1 cup Greek yogurt with ¼ cup milk and 2 tablespoons of honey. Add a spoonful of this mix to your pop mold, then add a spoonful of strawberry preserves, then repeat layering for a parfait effect before freezing.
3. Creamy Avocado Chocolate Pops
These dairy-free popsicles taste like Fudgesicles with a secret ingredient that packs healthy fats into dessert. For more avocado fun, check out this incredible two-ingredient recipe for avocado pear pops.
4. Get Inspired by Baby Food and Green Juice
Anything that would blend up into a sweet meal for your infant or toddler can become a pop. Think mashed carrots and sweet potatoes, oatmeal, watermelon, or even sweet corn. Plus, if you’ve got enough sweet fruit like bananas or pears as the base of your pop, you can throw in a handful of spinach in the blender and add even more nutrients. Pro tip: Freezing whole chunks of fruit isn’t the best idea in pops, because they’ll turn into rock-solid lumps in the middle of your tasty treat. When you want to use fresh fruit in your recipe without blending it, it’s best to cook the fruit (in a saucepan or roasted in the oven) with a little bit of sugar or honey, which will help the fruit from becoming freezing solid. You can also use 100% fruit jam or jelly without added sweetener.
Choosing the best popsicle molds
- Healthy tip: Look for BPA-free molds, silicone, or sets made of stainless steel.
- Find fun shapes: It can be hard to compete with the bright colors and cartoon-faces found on the commercial ice pops, but today, you can find molds shaped like rocket ships, flowers, or robots.
- Go small: For toddlers and younger children with smaller appetites, look for mini-portion ice pop molds that won’t leave a lot of uneaten treat to melt and make a sticky mess.
- Think about those drips: The icy reward of a popsicle comes with a risk—sticky drips that can muck up clothes, blankets, and toys. Some popsicle molds come with drip guards for no-mess fun or in push-pop shape to keep the uneaten parts of the pop hidden until ready to be devoured.