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Fresh and Clean Flavorful Popsicles

By Dawna Matthews:

With its warmer days and sunshine leading the way, spring is around the corner. When the weather starts to heat up, my daughter craves lighter fare and popsicles to cool her down. I can definitely relate — as a child, I loved running around the yard and laughing with a brightly colored popsicle treat dripping down my arm as the sun shone upon me.

It’s easier than ever to educate yourself about food, and what to feed yourself and your family. I haveLiam eating popsicle discovered that many of the foods I grew up eating have lots of additives and ingredients I cannot even pronounce — including my beloved popsicles. Once you start uncovering all these food mysteries, you begin to realize how many less than wholesome ingredients are actually in your food, and it’s difficult to go back to eating them. Some of these less than nutritious ingredients are synthetic additives and preservatives, artificial color dyes, artificial sweeteners, as well as added sodium and sugar. You don’t want chemicals in your body and you definitely don’t want your family to have them either, so what do you do? You start to look for chemical free alternatives for these snacks and treats at the store and in your kitchen.

I have lots of love for food and cooking, and I try my best to steer clear of harmful additions to the food I eat and prepare. It is a huge responsibility to provide our children with the healthiest foods we can — and this goes beyond fruits and vegetables. It means food free of harmful toxins, chemicals, and super bright fake colors. Kids are naturally attracted to bright colors and manufacturers know that! I know it isn’t always easy to avoid buying these goodies, especially when you cruise down the grocery store aisles and hundreds of brightly colored dyed products are staring you and your children in the face, but I am here to tell you that it is simpler than you may think. Here are a few easy breezy popsicle treats that are free of dyes and added synthetic sweeteners that we enjoy at my house. All of these recipes have 4 ingredients or fewer; it couldn’t get easier!

Mango Popsicles:

Mangoes are a big favorite in my family. The color of these icy treats is amazing — it’s like sunshine in a pop!

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium mangoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup of rice milk (or milk of your choice)
  • 2 tablespoons of honey
  • 1 tablespoon of lime (optional)

To Prepare:

Combine everything in a blender until pureed, approximately 45 seconds to 1 minute.

Pour into popsicle molds and freeze for 4 hours or overnight.

Enjoy!

You can vary this recipe with strawberries, peaches or other delicious summer berries — even try a combination of fruit. It’s super easy, delicious, and free of stuff you can’t pronounce.

Green Gorilla Pops:

Oftentimes it’s challenging to get our kids to eat green leafy veggies, but when something has a fun name, anything is possible. (My daughter came up with this name.)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup kale leaves removed from stalk. (My friend likes to use spinach, as it is a little sweeter). Other leafy greens work well, too.
  • 1 ½ cups chopped pineapple
  • 1 small banana
  • 1 cup coconut water

To Prepare:

Combine everything in a blender until pureed, approximately 45 seconds to 1 minute.

Pour into popsicle molds and freeze for 4 hours or overnight.

Enjoy!

Strawberry Yogurt Popsicles

For all you yogurt lovers! My husband likes his smoothies and popsicles with some yogurt. This combines the freshness of berries with yogurt and a little something sweet — honey.

Ingredients:popsicle

  • 2 ½ cups strawberries, hulled and chopped
  • 1 ½ cups of plain unsweetened Greek yogurt
  • ¼ cup of honey
  • 1 tablespoon lemon

To Prepare:

Combine everything in a blender until pureed, approximately 45 seconds to 1 minute. Pour into popsicle molds and freeze for 4 hours or overnight.

Enjoy!

These are just a few easy recipe options you can try that are full of fruit goodness and are nutritious, as well as colorful. And they don’t contain extra ingredients that can harm you or your family. When you use actual whole fruits, fresh juices and natural sweeteners in your own homemade frozen treats, you are able to control the quality of the ingredients. In addition to clean ingredients, it’s important to use BPA free popsicle molds in order to prevent chemicals from seeping into your fruity treats. Reusing popsicle molds is also beneficial for the environment since you are reducing waste. There are several affordable options available in your local store or online; I use star shaped ones from Tovolo. You can be happy making cool treats like these all season long and smile just the way you did as a child without worrying about what ingredients are inside them.

For more information:

http://healthychild.org/easy-steps/avoid-risky-food-additives-preservatives/

http://www.superhealthykids.com/top-10-ice-pop-molds-for-fruit-and-veggie-pops/

www.tovolo.com

About Dawna Matthews

Dawna is a yoga teacher, writer, domestic goddess, and lover of life. She tries to celebrate all the joys given to us in this world by dancing, singing, cooking, and gazing up at the sky. Dawna believes green living is a way of coming back to the self- a simple yet deeply satisfying dance of gratitude to mother earth and each one of us. She lives in Colorado where the mountains are a perfect backdrop to each day. She twirls daily.

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