In this ongoing blog series, Christine, a budget-minded first-time Mom and Team Member, explores ways to create healthy, organic foods that appeal to both toddler and husband. See other posts on making vegetable soup out of a pea base, a carrot ginger soup from locally grown carrots, finger foods, zucchini pesto, berry cobbler and a green smoothie. As I kid, I would run down the street after the Good Humortruck in search of the perfect summer treat. Most of my friends would go for the ice cream-based varieties like chocolate éclairs and devilish cookie sandwiches. But the sno-cones, Italian ices and popsicles always appealed to me. There’s something about flavored ice that’s just so refreshing. During these hot summer months, I want my son to be able to enjoy a treat. But as a health-conscious mother, I want him to enjoy his treat without all of the added sugar and artificial colors and flavors. When I couldn’t find a store-bought popsicle that met all my requirements, I set out to make them at home instead. The hardest part was finding the right popsicle molds. My qualifications were: BPA-free, no-drip handle and dishwasher-safe. After sifting through many products online, I clicked my way to the perfect set. I felt like a kid again. I couldn’t wait for the popsicle molds to arrive in the mail and when they did, I started whipping up different batches. I tried a variety of different fruity mixes and my family enjoyed being taste testers. Even the dog pitched in to help.Finally, I arrived on what I found to be the perfect recipe and, in fact, what I believe to be the best recipe of my ongoing blog series! The recipe is simple: 1 “overflowing” cup of fruit, ½ cup of fresh squeezed juice — no added sugar needed! Ingredients:
- 1 cup of organic fruit sliced (a mix of strawberries, peaches, watermelon)
- ½ cup of fresh squeezed orange juice (2 to 3 organic oranges, depending on the size)
The first step is to prepare the fruit. You can choose any fruits that you like, but I found organic strawberries, peaches and watermelons to be the perfect combination. The strawberries for their sweetness, the peaches for their smooth texture and the watermelon for their juiciness. I started by peeling one peach, removing its core and cutting it into small pieces. I used about half of the peach for the recipe. Then, I washed a batch of strawberries and removed their stems, using a few for the recipe. I also carved a watermelon and chopped it into small chunks. (The leftovers make a lovely fruit salad). For the recipe, I only used one cup of fruit, but I suggest making it an “overflowing” cup. The more fruit, the merrier. Then, I washed and squeezed a couple of organic oranges to get one half cup of liquid. I used two small oranges that were well-ripe, so I was able to get enough juice, but you may need to use three oranges (depending on their juiciness). The oranges provide the right amount of tang to this treat! Then, you simply blend the fruit and orange juice for 1 minute. Pour it into your molds and freeze. I froze my pops overnight, but really it’s best to follow the directions provided on the back of the box of popsicle holders. The same philosophy goes for the amount of fruit that you use. Please follow the recipe on the back of your popsicle box for the correct volume since sizing may vary. Want to give these treats a try without special popsicle holders? I haven’t tried it myself but I hear that you can use small paper cups with popsicle sticks instead. Fill the cups to 2/3 full, cover with plastic wrap or aluminum foil, cut a small slit in the middle and insert a popsicle stick (the wrap helps the stick stand up straight while it freezes). Place in the freezer and, once frozen, peel the cup off and lick away. Once the popsicles are frozen, you can call for your family to: “Come and get ‘em!” If your husband and son (and dog!) are like mine, they will be very pleased. This is one of those recipes that you can truly make your own. Be creative and find the perfect fruit mix for your family. I’d love to hear what fruits you like best!