It’s mid-March, which I am quickly learning is not really “Spring” in Arizona, since it’s, oh, 85 degrees on my patio right now. (Being an Easterner who is accustomed to four seasons, I have dubbed Arizona’s seasons “Pre-Summer”, “Summer”, “Post-Summer” and a token two weeks of “Winter”.) This week, I ran around buying all things summer: a wading pool and swing for Sophie, a 10lb vat of bubbles, tomato and basil plants, bulk sunscreen and a floppy sun hat for Baby Max.
When Zoe, now almost 16 years old (!!!), was a wee tot, I made fruit popsicles for him all summer long using pureed fruits and berries. This summer, I’m upping my game–Smoothie Pops! It’s basically a smoothie on a stick. I like to keep my kiddos’ refined sugar intake very low, so making homemade summertime goodies is a great way to monitor that. I’m one of those sneaky moms that likes to slip healthy snacks past the goalie whenever possible; these yogurt pops are a cool, creamy treat that your kids are sure to love (and that you can feel great about, too!)
Basically, my Smoothie Pop recipe goes like this:
1 cup of fruit
1 cup of plain yogurt
a splash of milk
Puree in a blender until smooth, pour into popsicle molds, freeze overnight. Boom!
That’s it! Seriously–anyone can do this!
The beauty of this recipe is that you can be incredibly flexible with it, based on what you have in your kitchen at the time.
Here are some tips:
* I use plain Greek yogurt because it’s loaded with protein and gives an extra-creamy texture to the finished product. (I would shy away from anything other than plain yogurt–the sugar content most flavored yogurts ranks right up there with a can of soda! Yikes!)
* You can use fresh or frozen fruit. This is a great way to eliminate a fruit surplus (like when yours truly buys 10 quarts of blueberries because they were only $1 and that’s SUCH a great bargain, but who the heck can eat that many blueberries before they go bad?!?!) When our bananas are getting too brown, I peel them, snap them in half and toss them into a freezer bag to use later.
* If you don’t have a popsicle mold, you can use little paper cups and popsicle sticks. Run the paper cups under warm water and peel the cup away from your Smoothie Pop.
* Berries always work well. Bananas are great for texture. Mangoes and peaches are the rock stars of the Smoothie Pop world. A little honey in the mix is delicious.
What treats (homemade or otherwise) do your kiddos enjoy in the summer heat?
Do you have any clever ways of sneaking healthy foods into their diets?
Share your tips with our readers!!