The warm weather months are here and among the best ways to keep cool is to enjoy a good old-fashioned popsicle.
Luckily for you, we’ve done the digging and amassed a list of delicious (and healthy) homemade recipes to try!
- What You Need
You’ll need to a few essential tools before getting started, including ice pop molds or freezer-friendly mini cups with wooden craft sticks, a blender and – if you’re blending fresh berries or other fruit with seeds – a fine mesh sleeve.
- Explore Your Combination Options
Ice pops can include so much more than just fruit. Push yourself to think outside the box by considering ingredients such as tomatoes, avocados, kefir, herbs, Greek yogurt, milk and alternative milk like almond or coconut milk.
Here are just a few of our favorite flavor combinations:
- Raspberries and lemon juice
- Blackberries and 100-percent orange juice
- Lemon juice and mint
- Coconut milk and lime juice
- Mango and pineapple
- Strawberries and milk
- Kiwi and strawberries
- Pineapple and coconut milk
For a little healthy fat, avocado or coconut work beautifully. For a higher protein pop, add kefir, Greek yogurt, milk, or Skyr yogurt. Nut butter like peanut, almond, and sunflower can also do the trick.
- Use Natural Sweeteners
From a nutrition standpoint, you want to control the amount of added sugar in your ice pops.
You can satisfy your sweet tooth while still keeping them healthy by blending whole fruit. If it has seeds (such as in blackberries or strawberries), use the fine mesh sleeve to strain the liquid before placing it in the mold. If the fruit is sweet enough, you won’t need to add any additional sweetener.
As an alternative, you can also use 100-percent fruit juice fruit or vegetable juice to achieve the desired sweetness.
- Consistency Is Key
Half the fun of creating your own homemade concoction is that you can get creative! And what better way to do so than to have some fun with the consistency and texture of the ice pops!
If you like a smooth pop, blend and pour your ingredients directly into the molds. You can also opt to make your pops with chunks of fruit, chopped herbs or coconut flakes for an interesting eating experience.
If you’re like us and looking for adult pops, top your mold with 1 tablespoon of your favorite alcohol like vodka, tequila or rum. Don’t overdo it, though; too much alcohol can affect the consistency of the ice pop since alcohol remains a liquid when frozen.
- Get inspired.
When it comes to ice pops, besides watching added sugar, there are no limitations on what you can create. Play with the flavors and healthy ingredients you love until you get the right one for your palate.
Here are five healthy recipes for you to try:
Watermelon Pomegranate Pops
Using two ingredients, you’ll get these gorgeous-hued pops that each contain 15-percent of the recommended amount of vitamin C. (Recipe from Liz Weiss, a registered dietitian at Liz’s Healthy Table.)
Mango Chile Limon Paletas
These mango-licious pops are combined with chili powder for a nice kick. In this recipe, a touch of honey is used to help balance the chile flavor. Both the chile and mango also provide a boatload of vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients. (Recipe from Christy Wilson, a registered dietitian at Christy Wilson Nutrition.)
To make these pops, you first blend the strawberries and then add chunks of kiwi to get a variation in mouthfeel. You’ll also get a healthy dose of vitamin C in every bite. (Recipe from Brittany Poulson, a registered dietitian of Your Choice Nutrition.)
One-Ingredient Grape Popsicles
Use your favorite black, red or green grapes and toss them in the blender. It’s that easy to make a healthy pop. (Recipe from Lindsey Janeiro, a registered dietitian at Nutrition to Fit.)
Pineapple Coconut Ice Pops
Besides being delicious, these pops pack a powerful nutrition punch. Thanks to the coconut, each pop is an excellent source of fiber and antioxidant vitamins C and E. They also contain a small amount of minerals including iron, selenium, calcium, magnesium and phosphorous. (Recipe from Tracee Yablon Brenner, a registered dietitian at Triad to Wellness.)