Healthy and Fun Summer Snack
When we look at nutrition recommendations for both children and adults, we see the recommendation to limit added sugar at every turn. This means cane sugar, high fructose corn syrup, agave, and fruit juices (in juice, the fruit sugar water has been extracted and the pulp and fiber have been thrown away).
But, come on, we all need a treat sometimes! A little sugar here and there is not a problem, but when we can make something fun and delicious without added sugar, let’s do it.
Healthy Popsicle Treats
Nothing says summer better than frozen treats!
We all know about popsicles, frozen fruit and juice bars. The popsicles and fruit juice bars are not much more than frozen sugar water. Frozen whole fruit bars can be pretty pricey and still often contain juice and/or added sugar.
You can make whole fruit ‘popsicles’ very cheaply and easily without any added sugar!
Here’s what you need
You just need fresh fruit, a blender and something to freeze them in. Use commercial popsicle molds, dixy cups, plastic cups or ice cube trays. If using cups or ice cube trays, try sticking some popsicle sticks in them when they are partially frozen to make them easy to eat.
I like to use fruit that is getting a little too ripe so that it won’t go to waste; cut off any soft spots or bruises and stick it in your blender. I found that adding a ripe banana added extra sweetness—much better for all than adding sugar. No additional liquid is required and any blender will work, because fruit is all about 95% water, so blends up easily.
In the picture below, I used 1 ripe banana, 1 ripe peach and about a pint of strawberries to make 4 ‘double pops’ using popsicle molds, plus 2 dixy cups of frozen fruit pops. There are lots of ways to make frozen pops—vary the fruit (oranges, pears, peaches, nectarines, blueberries, mangos…); OR, try blending a little yogurt in to make them creamier. If you use plain yogurt, and your fruit is just not sweet enough to make your pops taste good, add a little sugar or honey, but try to keep to ½ to 1 teaspoon per frozen pop (this will still be less sugar than any of the commercial frozen yogurt or fruit pops).
These give your children the fiber and nutrients of whole fruit, and they won’t miss the sugar! Yumm!