Beat the Heat With a Post-Workout Popsicle Party: How To Make Homemade PopSicles For Kids
Homemade popsicles are one of the most popular summertime activities. They’re fun and easy to make at home.
You don’t need any special equipment or ingredients. There’s no reason why you shouldn’t enjoy making them yourself!
You can use any fruit or vegetable juice as your base for the popsicles. If you have fresh strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries or other berries in season then these fruits will work well too.
Strawberry and blueberry juices are especially good because they contain natural vitamins A and C which are great for your health. Other fruits like applesauce, pineapple juice or even orange juice would also do the trick if you want to include some fruit in your popsicles.
Making homemade popsicles isn’t just a matter of adding fruit to a pop bottle. You’ll need to add something else besides fruit juice.
Some of the things you could add are mint leaves, cinnamon sticks, vanilla beans or even crushed ice. Whatever you choose to put into your popsicles will depend on what kind of flavor you want in your drinks.
Strawberry Banana Popsicles
2 cups of fresh or frozen strawberries (if using fresh, you may need to add sugar)
1 medium banana, peeled
3/4 cup of milk (you can use low-fat or non-fat milk for a healthier option)
Add all the ingredients into your blender. Blend everything together until you have a fine, smooth beverage.
Pour the liquid into your popsicle mold. Place a popsicle stick in the center of each popsicle mold compartment before freezing.
Put the mold in the freezer and leave it there for at least 7 hours or even longer if you want your popsicles to be extra firm.
You should end up with about 4 to 5 popsicles, depending on the size of your mold. If you’re using a medium mold then expect to get 3 larger popsicles and 2 smaller ones.
If you’re using fresh fruit then you might need to add a little sugar to the recipe. This will stop the juice from curdling when you blend it and give your finished popsicles a sweeter taste.
You can also add some fresh mint leaves, if you like the taste.
If you like, you could even add some crushed or shaved ice to make a lighter, frothier texture in your popsicles. Some other flavor ideas for your homemade popsicles include:
Strawberry and banana
Mango and orange juice
Plum and apple juice
Raspberry and grape juice
Peach and apricot nectar
As you can see, the choice of ingredients is endless. Just remember to always add a little milk (low-fat or non-fat) and a sweetener if you’re using fresh fruit.
You can use ice in place of some of the fruit juice if you want to make a lighter, frothier popsicle. Experiment until you find a combination that you like and keeps well in your freezer.
If you’re not fond of the taste of milk then you can use water instead. If you do this, however, then your popsicles might not keep as long because water has a tendency to make frozen treats melt more quickly.
Fruit juice popsicles are a great way to cool off on a hot day. They’re also a nutritious snack to feed the kids after school.
Homemade popsicles are cheaper than store-bought popsicles, especially if you use frozen or leftover fruit which might otherwise go to waste. And you don’t have to stick to the recipe ideas above; feel free to experiment with different ingredients until you find the combination that is just right for you and your family.
Saving Money on Popsicles
You can use fresh or frozen fruit when making popsicles. If you use fresh fruit then you may need to add a little sugar to your recipe to stop the natural sugars in the fruit from curdling the drink.
However, you should try to avoid adding extra sugar because most popsicles contain quite a lot of it already. Most commercial popsicles contain about 10 grams (2 tsp.) of sugar per serving. That means a 4-pop serving size will have about 40 grams (almost 10 tsp.) of sugar!
Children between the ages of 4 and 8 require no more than 32 grams of sugar per day. For children between the ages of 8 and 18, the recommended maximum is also 32 grams of sugar per day, but in reality it should be even less than that.
The recommendations are even lower for children under 4 years old.
So what does this mean in practice?
It means you can eat all the popsicles you like as long as you don’t overdo it with other sugary foods at the same time. It also means you should limit the amount of sugar in your popsicle recipe.
You can use a natural sweetener instead such as agave nectar, which has about 60% of the sweetness of sugar but is lower in calories and better for you.
You could also use fruit juice instead of sugar altogether, or as well as adding some. All juices are high in natural sugars so you don’t necessarily want to use too much, but orange juice for example, is a more appropriate addition to a popsicle recipe than apple juice.
If you’re making a “green” popsicle (made with vegetables rather than fruit) then you can add a little honey or maple syrup to sweeten it up a bit.
Below are some money-saving tips when it comes to buying the ingredients for your homemade popsicles:
Lemon and lime juice are very cheap so use these instead of, or in addition to, orange juice in your recipe.
Stock up on canned or bottled juice when it’s on sale and store until you have enough to make popsicles. You can also freeze your own fruit juice if you have a surplus.
If you have a lot of fruit pulp left over from making smoothies then freeze it and add it to your popsicle mixtures.
If you want to make a low-sugar or no-sugar popsicle then use pitted, fresh cherries because they have lots of natural sugars and flavor. Process in a blender or food processor with a little water to make a purée.
Sweeten with honey or brown sugar to taste.
Sweet peppers (red, yellow, green bell peppers) also work well in popsicles. They have a nice flavor and add some color.
Cut out the white membrane and seeds before chopping and freezing. You could also roast the peppers first for a richer flavor.
Add a little alcohol to your popsicle mixtures to keep them from freezing too hard.
Make fruit-juice “slushies” by just adding a little sugar (or honey) and freezing. No need to add any ice.
If you want a really low-calorie or even no-calorie popsicle then use diet soda instead of fruit juice and add a little extra flavor.
Use a mixture of 50% lemonade and 50% diet soda for a light, low-calorie popsicle.
Add a little koolaide or coffee for flavor if you prefer.
Make a healthy yogurt-based popsicle by combining low-fat or fat-free yogurt with a little honey, fresh or frozen fruit and your favorite cereals (such as corn flakes).
You can also make a healthy sorbet using fresh fruit, sugar (or honey) and optionally some liqueur or fruit juice for flavor.
If you want to add alcohol to your popsicle mixture then go for the wine rather than the spirits as a little goes a long way.
You can make a really fancy dessert by placing your homemade popsicle in a chocolate dipped cone for the kids, or a chopped up cookie for the adults!
What are you waiting for?
Get creative, have fun and stay cool this summer!
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Jamaal Al-Din’s blog 227’s™ YouTube Chili’NBA Mix! by RD Snyder – hoops227.typepad.com
The DASH Diet for Beginners-Essentials to Get Started by R Joseph – 2007 – Macmillan
The Fat-Burning Kitchen: Your 24-Hour Diet Transformation to Make by J Chatham – 2013 – books.google.com