Nothing like a little heat wave to remind us that it’s summer and that the year is already half over. When it’s this hot, there’s little to do but hunker down and try not to kill someone (homicide rates skyrocket during the hottest months). I’m still standing — sweaty and wilted — by my AC moratorium, so for us that means lots of time outside with the kiddie pool and water table, ingesting lots of cold things, like ice pops. Most store-bought varieties contain tons of sugar and other undesirables, like food dyes (which have been linked to behavioral problems in children). But it’s actually really easy to make your own pops. And fun, too. If you’re really serious about it you can get an instant pop maker like the Zoku, which freezes homemade popsicles in under 10 minutes. A handy thing to have around with kids who tend to be impatient, especially in 95 degree temperatures.
You can really make a pop out of anything — I like to think of it as an excellent opportunity to sneak extra fruits, veggies, and healthy fats into Coraline’s diet. Here are some of our favorites. Please share yours with us!
Sweet Potato and Coconut
Purée steamed sweet potato with a can of coconut milk. Can be fancied up with some cinnamon.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana
Blend milk, powdered cocoa mix, frozen bananas, and a few tablespoons of peanut butter and pour mixture into pop molds.
Fill molds with chocolate and vanilla puddings, then give a stir or two to “twist” before freezing. Don’t over stir or the colors will just blend together.
Purée watermelon and a few fresh mint leaves. Add in lime juice to taste. Can use any melon, or a combination of several.
Floating Berry Pops
Drinking water is not so fun, but frozen on a stick? Toddlers say “yes please.” Fill molds a quarter of the way with regular filtered tap water (or coconut water); when frozen, add a few small berries and more water. Repeat until mold is full.
Fill molds with vanilla yogurt and swirl in strawberry or blueberry jam.