Healthy, Homemade Popsicles: The Perfect Summer Treat

As any parent can attest, young children have copious natural energy all their own. Especially as the weather warms up and school’s out for summer, little ones have boundless capacity to run, jump, splash and play. Unfortunately, this time of year also signals the return of ice cream trucks, pool bars loaded with Starbust, Flavor-Ices and Coca Cola. Even innocuous and healthy-sounding fruit bars such as Edy’s brand contain around 20 grams of sugar, which is more than a Snickers bar!

When these sources of excess, refined sugar combine with our already enthused children, the result can be disastrous for all parties involved. Consuming these products can lead to an epic spike in blood sugar, for which our colloquial phrase “bouncing off the walls” is a perfect fit.  Kids on a sugar-high may be more likely to misbehave or hurt themselves in this fit of energy, and it is inevitably followed by a commensurate crash. A post-sugar binge looks like tears, irritability, and sleepiness. No fun for anyone!

And yet, there is something magical about sharing and enjoying cold summer treats with your little ones. So how to have the best of both worlds? These remarkably simple and delicious healthy and homemade popsicles are the perfect solution!  Packed with nutrition and fiber from fresh fruit, my Creamy Berry Popsicles and Fudgsicles are all sweet summer without the downside. If you’re not a fan of berries, you can absolutely substitute the same amount of another fruit. Watermelon, cantaloupe, peach or pineapple would all be amazing. For a lower-sugar version of my Fudgsicles, you can substitute one ripe avocado and use Stevia or xylitol as a sugar-free sweetener.

Another bonus? They couldn’t be easier! The Berry Popsicles are a one-and-done in the blender, and the Fudgsicles are a close runner up in convenience. To simplify them even more, use cocoa powder instead of chocolate pieces and you can skip the first step.

These healthy homemade popsicles are so much fun to make with your kids, and it’s even more fun knowing you’re giving them something healthy and natural that will nourish their bodies inside and out.  They’re also fantastic for someone with a mild sore throat or mouth/gum pain.

Creamy Berry Popsicles

Serves 6 2-ounce popsicle molds

Ingredients:

  • 2 ½ cup fresh or frozen mixed berries, preferably organic
  • 2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup
  • ¼ cup coconut cream* (can substitute full-fat plain yogurt)

Procedure:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a high-speed blender and puree until smooth.
  2. Empty into popsicle molds and freeze at least 4 hours or overnight. Allow to sit for 2-3 minutes after removing from freezer before enjoying.

Healthy Popsicles for Kids

Fudgsicles

Serves 6 2-ounce popsicle molds

Ingredients:

  • 2 ounces chopped dark chocolate or 2 generous tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup
  • ¼ cup coconut cream
  • 2 ripe bananas
  1. In a small saucepot, combine chocolate, sweetener and coconut cream. Heat to medium-low and stir until ingredients are incorporated (3-4 minutes).
  2. Remove from heat and allow to cool for 15 minutes. Add mixture to blender with bananas and puree until smooth.
  3. Empty into popsicle molds and freeze at least 4 hours or overnight. Allow to sit for 2-3 minutes after removing from freezer before enjoying.

* For coconut cream: refrigerate a can of coconut milk overnight. In the morning, open the can and the cream should have separated from the milk. You can also buy coconut cream at Trader Joes.

For additional recipes from Laura Lea and other Families Connect writers, check out all of our cooking posts.

Laura Lea Bryant Nashville Food Writer CoachLaura Lea is a Certified Holistic chef, recipe developer and food writer based in her hometown of Nashville. Her company LL Balanced is at your service to provide easy, nutritious, family-friendly recipes that will make eating healthy a pleasure and restore balanced to your life. Laura Lea is a Certified Holistic Chef, not a registered dietician, nutritionist or doctor, and her opinion should not be taken as medical advice. Please consult one such licensed professional before making any significant changes to your diet

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