Posts tagged popsicles
It’s been one hot summer! Normally, you can find me cooking up something in the kitchen even in 90-degree weather. Not this year! All those 90-degree days with a heat index pushing 100 add up to me looking for cool snacks for the kids.
Here’s a few of my favorite hot-weather treats:
5-minute yogurt popsicles. Yogurt + fruit + freezer = a kid-pleasing snack once they’re done with their water gun fight.
Watermelon limeade. Update your lemonade! Try using limes instead and mix in fresh raspberries, watermelon, or blueberries.
3 Grab ‘n go snack packs. We make these to pack with us when we head to the zoo.
Firefly crackers. Inspired by my kids’ fascination with catching lightning bugs.
Magic smoothies. Secret ingredient? Spinach. It gives the smoothies some heft and nutrition, but your kids won’t even know it’s in there.
Energy bites. My version of granola bites feels like you’re eating cookie batter, only they’re good for you.
Elvis ice pops. Mini frozen bananas dipped in chocolate, then crushed peanuts. Yum!
I tried to solve a couple problems with our family’s version of banana pops: first, cutting a banana in half and then dipping the whole thing in chocolate means that once you bite into the iced pop all the chocolate starts to crack. Gone goes the chocolate and your last few bites of banana are chocolate-less. Not cool. But if you cut up the bananas into pieces it’s easier for kiddos to help with the dipping and (equally importantly, really) you get plenty of chocolate in each bite. Second problem, as much as I like the combo of bananas and chocolate, there’s no crunch. Crush a few peanuts, problem solved.
Note: I’d recommend using popsicle sticks, not plastic knives and toothpicks (pictured). My middle daughter fessed up that my 500-count wooden popsicle stick stash had disappeared. Not to worry, they’re now houses for her Littlest Pet Shop family.
Servings: about 30 pops
Prep time: 15 minutes + 20 minutes freezing (twice)
3 large bananas
1 cup chocolate chips
3/4 cups chopped peanuts
Wooden popsicle sticks
- Cut each banana into 8-10 slices, then insert a popsicle stick into each slice.
- Place the slices onto a baking pan covered with waxed paper and freeze for 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, melt the chocolate in the microwave until smooth. (With my microwave I set it at half power then cook the chips for 2 minutes; stir.)
- Dip each banana slice into the melted chocolate and then into the chopped peanuts. Return to the pan and freeze again for 20 minutes.
They loved these mini banana pops that were drenched in chocolate and peanuts. My middle child–who normally avoids all things peanuts–even had one peanut-coated pop. She did prefer those that were peanutless, she said. What I liked about these easy treats is that my kids could do every part of this recipe on their own.
After finding each of my kids digging through the freezer looking for the yogurt popsicles I made last week (they’re all gone), I thought I’ve gotta to make more of these. But instead of yogurt I poked around the kitchen for ideas. My inspiration? Yet again leftovers, along with some candy-making molds from a friend.
The fruit. Yes, leftovers inspire me. Whenever I have fruit that goes uneaten or is a little on the squishy side, I chop it up and save it in the freezer. I toss it into sauces (savory and sweet), swirl it into smoothies, make fruit leather, and now use it in popsicles.
The molds. I’ve never used candy molds before, but since I don’t have popsicle makers or ice cube trays, I figure these would do the trick. I did notice the that molds don’t seem to like the cold. Next time, I’d take out the fruitsicles as soon as they became solid instead of letting them sit. The molds cracked a little bit on the edges but not so much that I couldn’t use them again. The molds happened to be of turtles. Why turtles? I have no idea. You could also follow the same technique though from the yogurt popsicles–no candy molds required.
The recipe. Simple, I thawed frozen strawberries and raspberries in the microwave (you could also let them just come to room temperature on their own), added 2 Tablespoons of water per one cup of fruit (you could also use fruit juice) then poured it into the molds. Instead of popsicle sticks, I used little swords (maybe it was the hot temperatures outside but I was feeling silly; paper popsicle sticks are fine too). So here are our turtle pops. My girls liked playing with these as much as eating them.
Looking for more ideas? Check out these for summer fun with a twist. As part of the Motherboard crew I’ve been clicking through for inspiration myself–I’m going to have to try the tweak on picnics by doing an after dinner dessert mixed in with some stargazing.
Your turn–care to share any ideas for summer fun you’re planning on trying out as the temperatures rise?
It started with leftover yogurt no one seemed to be eating and blueberries that were getting squishy. How to get my kids to eat the yogurt–and clean out my fridge? Popsicles!
I combined equal parts yogurt and fresh berries in a blender, drizzled in a tablespoon of agave (honey is fine too) then poured the mixture into little party cups (that hold about 2 1/2 tablespoons). My youngest was in charge of getting the popsicle sticks to stay upright. On their own the sticks fell so I had her poke the stick through a blueberry to give it enough stability to stay upright.
My kids thought this was the coolest thing ever. They’re already planning new flavor combos and asking to try out new fruits. My middle daughter wants to use the sticks to make frozen fruit kabobs.
To make your yogurt popsicles combine 2:1 parts of your favorite yogurt flavor, or plain, with fruit (thawed frozen fruit or bananas work well). You can add a teaspoon of vanilla extract or honey too. I don’t like to use popsicle molds. First, because I don’t have any and second, I like keeping frozen treats small. I find my kids are more willing to try something new if it’s kid-sized. For my batch of 8 small popsicles I used two 8-ounce blueberry yogurt cartons and 1 cup blueberries.
These are perfect summer-time treats, but if you’re looking to bring more colors of the season into your home (not just on your child’s popsicles) check-out these decorating ideas from Motherboard. As part of the MB crew, I’ve been checking out their recent articles.
Your turn–what kind of yogurt popsicle flavors would you like to try?
(I just discovered that my local grocers carries dried edible flowers you can buy in handfuls…lilac strawberry anyone?)