Growing up, there were few things more exciting during summer than hearing that little ditty playing that meant only one thing … the Ice Cream Man is coming! Sadly, we now that know these tempting treats are chock-full of unhealthy preservatives and harmful additives.
So what’s a real food lovin’ momma to do? Why not say goodbye to the ice cream man and hello to the “Ice Cream MOM!”
The fact is, there is no need to rely on the ice cream man (or store-bought goodies either) to bring a smile to your kiddos faces. Making homemade frozen ice pops and treats is so easy, delicious and economical! And it’s a super FUN way to get your kids in the kitchen this summer too!
So be sure to check out my “Top 10 Ice Pop Making Secrets of Success” (below) and also join me over at Keeper of the Home for a delicious round-up of my Favorite Homemade Popsicles and Frozen Treats.
10 Tips for Making Healthy Homemade Frozen Pops
1. As mentioned, there are all kinds of delicious ingredients that can be used to make healthy homemade frozen pops. Some of the best options for creating successful ice pops include: 100% fruit juices, smoothies, yogurt, pudding, ice cream and sherbet. You can also use other healthy options such as coconut water, kefir, kombucha and herbal or green teas.
2. Additionally, frozen pops are a great opportunity to add an extra boost of nutrition – especially for those picky eaters. Adding ingredients like yogurt, kombucha, or dairy/water kefir can add a healthy dose of probiotics. Similarly, you can sneak in a bit of pureed veggies into most pop recipes without significantly altering the flavor or texture of the ice pop.
3. Since all ingredients expand during the freezing process, be sure to leave at least 1/4-inch space at the top of your pop molds when filling them. Also keep in mind that ingredients with more air content (such as smoothies) expand more than solid ingredients (like yogurt).
4. Speaking of pop molds – there is no need to purchase fancy ice pop molds (unless you want to and your budget permits). You can make ice pops out of everyday household items, such as dixie cups, ice cube trays, candy molds, etc.
5. And the best method for ensuring your popsicle stick remains securely centered in your ice pop (if you’re not using pop molds), is to simply cover the top of dixie cup (or whatever you’re using as your mold) with a small piece of foil after pouring in your ingredients. Then, cut a small slit in the center of the foil and carefully insert a popsicle stick into the center of the mold.
6. Delicious additions – Adding whole or diced fruits suspended in your ice pops makes for interesting textures and flavors, such as in my Fruit & Cream Bars. You can also add other ingredients such as carob/chocolate chips, or even nuts and cookie bits. Similarly, layering ingredients, such as in my Banana Split Pops recipe, is a great way to combine flavors and create pretty striped pops.
7. And speaking of layering ingredients, it’s important to be sure each layer freezes solid before adding the next layer. Also, like ingredients stick together better. For example, layering several types of fruit juice bases together works better than trying to layer juices with ice cream.
8. It’s also important to keep in mind that different ingredients freeze at different rates. For example, fruit juice pops freeze faster than yogurt based pops. And of course, freezing time also depends on the size of the ice pop. For best results, pops should be frozen overnight, or at least for a minimum of 6-8 hours. And as far as storage goes, pops left in molds generally stay fresh for about 1-2 weeks.
9. To unmold an ice pop without the pop sticking to the mold, it’s best to either let the pop sit out at room temp for a few minutes, or run the mold under water for a minute. Then remove the mold and enjoy!
10. Get creative! There are lots of ideas and inspiration to be found via pinterest and google searches for healthy ice pops. I also encourage you to pop over to Keeper of the Home where I am sharing some of my family’s Favorite Homemade Popsicles and Frozen Treat recipes.
P.S. Just a friendly reminder that you can always download a FREE copy of my Healthy Ice Pops & Frozen Treats eBook, simply by becoming a subscriber to The Nourishing Home.
Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy summer!
Joyfully Serving HIM, Kelly