Ice lollies, ice-pops, icy-poles or popsicles– whatever your choice of wording is, are a happy, carefree, symbol of summer. But they can also be a constant source of annoyance to a parent on a sunny day; children pester for one at every opportunity.
So rather than constantly saying no to them, at home we make our own. I’m then happy for the kids to have one when they want – as an after-school snack or on a Sunday morning in the garden. These healthy summer ice lollies are really easy to make and all include hydrating coconut!
Home made ice lollies are easy to make but ideally use BPA-free moulds to avoid leaching of the plastic into the lolly. If you have an unexpected garden full of kids one afternoon, cartons of smoothie poured into moulds go down really well. If you’re patient (I’m not), it looks impressive if you build up layers to get a three colour effect: freeze a third of the lolly mould at a time. Many of the ‘home made’ recipes you’ll find on the internet also contain sugar, but there’s really no need – ripe fruit shouldn’t need sweetening.
My latest three are a bit different and revolve around my latest favourite food – coconut. Coconut milk added to lollies slows down the effect on blood sugar and exposes kids to healthy fats, with anti-microbial, gut friendly properties. All three contain the whole, antioxidant-rich fruit rather than just juice or watered-down squash – which means your kids are eating a healthy snack .
The added advantage of all of these is that you can drink all of these as a tasty smoothie in the morning (or in the case of the chocolate one, as an after-school milk-shake), using the leftovers to fill up your spare ice lolly moulds. That way you also avoid the issue of making twelve same-flavour lollies that your kids get bored of.
Chocolate Milkshake Ice Lollies
These are a wonderful source of antioxidants from the cacao powder, and taste just like a creamy chocolate milkshake – great for an after-school playdate treat
2 heaped teaspoons of raw cacao (higher antioxidant levels) or cocoa powder, 2 small bananas, 250mls coconut milk drink (such as Kara)
Blend the bananas and cacao together with a little of the coconut milk. Once blended, add the remaining milk and pour into moulds.
Rehydrating Watermelon Ice Lollies
Coconut water, with its electrolytes, is more rehydrating than water so perfect if we’re sweating in sunny weather; watermelon is also hydrating and a great source of nutrients such as vitamin C, plus phytochemicals including carotenoids which help to protect our skin against sun damage. Perfect for a hot summers day in the garden.
Flick out any easy, obvious seeds from the watermelon. Blend the watermelon by itself so that the remaining seeds are also blitzed (they contain the antioxidant minerals zinc and selenium, plus magnesium, B vitamins and healthy fats; they’re good to eat) , and then add the coconut water. Blend again and pour into ice-lolly moulds.
Pineapple Smoothie Ice Lollies
Tasty, like pina-colada, without the alcohol – pineapple has potent anti-inflammatory properties so if you have caught a little too much sun, this is an ideal ice lolly
Blend the pineapple, banana and a little coconut milk together. You’ll need to do this fairly thoroughly if you don’t want pineapple chunks in your lollies. Add the remaining milk, blend again, and pour into your moulds.
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