Keep Cool this Summer in a Healthy and FUN way!
by Mary Jane Estrada-Lyder
My kids love popsicles to keep them cool during the summer! Is there anyone out there who doesn't?! It's so easy to make homemade popsicles using fruit juice and their natural sugars rather than store-bought popsicles with additives.
We bought a BPA free popsicle mold that my kids saw as we were shopping at T.J. Maxx, Home Goods or Marshalls. It caught their eye in line on our way to the cashier. It was BPA-free and you know what? -it was going to be fun to make these with the boys, so I made the splurge purchase. These days there are so many different types of molds. There are silicone molds that make it a bit easier to slide the popsicles out. There are stainless steel molds for those who are afraid of plastic leaching into the juice. There are plastic molds that are not BPA free, so read the packaging.
These frozen treats are not only delicious and perfect for those hot days, but like I said, they are fun to make and you and the kids can be quite creative. My kids love to use orange juice and grape juice. Once in awhile I'll throw some berries or cut up strawberries into the juice and now you have a super fruity popsicle. Why pay $5.00 or more for real fruit popsicles that you can easily make at home?
* A great fact that my husband and I recently learned on the Doctors TV show is that orange juice may be healthier for you if frozen or defrosted. According to them, researchers at The University of Seville say that if your orange juice is approaching its expiration date, it's ok to put it into the freezer. It won't hurt it and may even help your body better absorb the antioxidants. The research shows that OJ may be healthier for you if frozen and defrosted. What happens is that the antioxidant carotenoids shrink and when they are smaller they are more easily absorbed by your digestive tract. (Carotenoids are plant pigments that give fruits and vegetable their bright red, yellow and orange hues. These pigments are important for plant health. People who eat foods containing carotenoids also get protective health benefits). Hey! Even more reason to make these fruity, frozen treats this summer!
Be Creative in a Healthy Way:
- Throw in some ripe berries, cut up strawberries or even banana to add natural fruit flavor without having to add any sweeteners.
- I've read, that you could try to add a little more sweetness buy using all-fruit preserves like cherry, strawberry, or raspberry. I've never tried this, but let me know what you think if you do try it. You'll probably want to balance the sweetness of the preserves with the tartness of the juice before adding it into the molds.
- I've also read that if you want a creamy popsicle, mix a puree of bananas with coconut milk and/or Greek yogurt. Wow! Sounds so good! Again, have not tried this recipe, but I think we'll try with our next batch.
Another fun and healthy thing to try this summer is fruity ice cubes! You can either make juicy ice cubes to put into water or other fruity juices or add cut up fruits or berries to your ice cubes. Keep Cool with these fun, healthy treats and enjoy the SUMMER!