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End of Summer Cooldown: Natural Popsicles

End of Summer Cooldown: Natural Popsicles

By Sophie Nau, Contributing blogger

It’s HOT out there this time of year, especially after a workout or walk to the park, and these summer afternoons are begging for some sort of cool-down snack. Fresh fruit is always a knock-out option, but if you’re looking for a bit more pizazz in your refreshments, kindly consider the popsicle. 

 These popsicles are not the syrupy, neon sugar-bombs of our childhood ice cream trucks. Using natural fruit and sweetened with either agave or honey, you can ditch the artificial sugars and flavorings while still indulging in a fun-to-eat frozen treat. Making natural popsicles is also a creative way to take advantage of seasonal produce, like this summer’s peaches, nectarines, and berries. Eating seasonally ensures you’ll get the best tasting produce, plus it’s more environmentally sustainable. A win-win!

I’ve included both fruit-forward and creamy popsicles, and all of them can be adapted to suit your tastes. Want to substitute strawberries in the mango raspberry? Go for it. Or add some fresh ginger juice to the peaches and cream? By all means, get spicy. Taste as you go and adjust to create your ideal pop. I can hear the ice cream truck already!

A few tips to keep in mind:

-Coconut milk or yogurt will yield creamier popsicles, and water or fruit juice-based ones will give you an icier product.

-You can use frozen fruit or fresh, juices or purees. If you do start with frozen or fresh and your fruit has seeds, be sure to puree it very well and strain it afterwards.

-A hearty pinch of salt or squeeze of acid - like lemon or lime juice - both do wonders in helping to bring out flavor.

-Add a wee bit more sweetener than you think you might need, because freezing dilutes flavor.

-Run the molds under hot water to help release the popsicles.

 

Mango Raspberry:

Total Time:
Serves: 6 3-oz popsicles

Ingredients:

1 cup pureed mango or mango juice

1 cup pureed raspberry, strained

1/2 cup pineapple juice

1/2 to 1 lime, juiced

2-3 Tbs agave

Pinch of salt

Instructions:

  1. Blend mango and raspberry in a food processor or blender.
  2. Add pineapple juice, lime juice, agave, and salt and blend.
  3. Pour into molds, add popsicle sticks, and freeze for at least four hours.

 

Coconut Matcha:

Total Time:
Serves: 6 3-oz popsicles

Ingredients:

1 cup coconut milk

1Tbs + 1 tsp matcha powder

1 1/2 banana

2 Tbs + 2 tsp honey

1 1/2 tsp lemon juice

1/4 tsp salt

Instructions:

  1. Place coconut milk, banana, matcha powder, honey, lemon, and salt in a food processor or blender and puree until smooth.
  1. Pour into molds, add popsicle sticks, and freeze for at least four hours.

  

“Mojito” :

Total Time:
Serves: 6 3-oz popsicles

 Ingredients:

3/4 cup lime juice

1 lime for garnish

1/2 cup agave

About 35-40 mint leaves

1/2 cup water

6 Tbs rum - optional, otherwise replace with water

Instructions:

  1. Place agave into a heat-safe bowl.
  2. Boil water and pour over agave. Whisk to create a thin syrup. Stir in about 30 mint leaves and let steep until cool.
  3. Meanwhile, slice thin rounds of the lime. Cut each round into four triangles.
  4. Strain the mint out of the syrup and combine syrup with lime juice and rum, if using. If you opt out of rum, replace with 6 tablespoons of water.
  5. Pour into molds. Place a couple of the lime triangles in each popsicle mold, along with one or two of the extra mint leaves. Add popsicle sticks and freeze for at least four hours.

  

Peaches and Cream:

Total Time:
Serves: 6 3-oz popsicles

Ingredients:

1 3/4 cup peach puree (optional: roast peaches beforehand for a more robust flavor)

1/2 cup yogurt, preferably full fat

3 Tbs honey

Pinch salt

1 tsp vanilla

2 tsp lemon juice

Instructions: 

  1. Make sure peaches are pureed so that no more chunks remain.
  2. Combine puree, yogurt, honey, salt, vanilla, and lemon juice in food processor or blender.
  3. Pour into molds, add popsicle sticks, and freeze for at least four hours.


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