The Best DIY Popsicles Ever

Easy, fruity, fresh, healthy, yummy. Read more

Katie Cavuto healthy popsicle recipes

This post and recipe comes courtesy Wee friend, registered dietitian and mom Katie Cavuto. She cooks professionally … but also knows all the recipes and the tricks that make cooking with little ones fun for them (and for you). Her little sous chef and adventurous eater is three-year-old Hudson.

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With the start of summer (yay!) comes uncomfortably hot weather (boo). As mom to a three-year-old, the terrible thought of being locked in the house definitely trumps the unbearable heat. So we play outside a lot, and love cooling off at one of the amazing city spray-grounds and local pools, then top playtime off with a refreshing sweet treat. Our pick? DIY popsicles. They’re as fun for kids to make as they are to eat, and the pops we create are packed with hydrating, nourishing fruits and veggies. Here, some guidance.

Step One: Pick a good quality, fun popsicle mold. (They just work WAY better when the mold is a good one.) I love Tovolo molds, as they come in shapes like bugs, jewels and more. You can order them online or pick up at pack at Whole Foods.

Step Two: Create flavors of the natural, fresh variety — i.e. fruit purees. Not into making any sort of mess?  Grab your favorite smoothie or no-sugar added juice (we loooove green juice pops) and simply pour it into the molds, freeze ‘em and you’re done!

Step Three: Have fun with it. We love making smoothies, pureeing fruit with water, to pour into the molds, and sometimes even layering our pops with multiple flavors. By making our own purees, I can control the ingredients, avoid added sugar and sometimes even add some vegetables to the mix. The bonus here is that it’s also a fun activity for your kiddo: Hudson loves helping me make the smoothies, filling the mold and putting the tops on the pops!

So those are the basics (easy, right?), but if you need some inspiration, here are some of my favorite popsicle tricks:

  • For a green pop base: Puree baby kale with pineapple, mango (as they are sweet) and water.

  • For a refreshing, fruity pop base: Puree watermelon or cantaloupe with a little lime juice and water.

  • For a savory snack: Combine tomato juice with cucumbers and lime.

  • For a dessert-like treat: Puree banana with peanut butter, unsweetened cocoa powder and milk.

  • For a sweet-sour kick: Combine grapefruit juice and strawberries.

  • For a mock “creamsicle”: Coconut milk with orange juice and vanilla extract is delish.

  • For a tropical flair: Try coconut water and frozen cherries.

  • For sweet, creamy texture: Mix avocado, pineapple and lime with coconut milk.

  • For a “frozen yogurt pop”: Puree Greek yogurt with berries or peaches

  • For visual and textural variation: Add whole pieces of fruit to the mold once they are a touch frozen (if you don’t wait, then the fruit sinks to the bottom).

  • For multi-colored layers: Fill your mold one-third of the way full with one liquid and freeze it. Then fill it another third full with the next colored liquid, freeze again, and repeat once more.

Meets our Wee standards:

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Katie Cavuto of Healthy BitesAbout our author: Katie Cavuto runs her own business, Healthy Bites, which focuses on meal delivery and nutrition counseling. She’s also the official dietitian to the Phillies; a writer and nutrition expert whose voice has appeared in O, the Oprah Magazine, foodnetwork.com, Philly.com, Philadelphia magazine, Parents magazine and Women’s Health (among other publications); and a TV personality who’s a regular contributor for local ABC and FOX affiliates … to name a few of her roles. Oh, and there’s also the role of mom: Son Hudson is three.