Ice lollies that are actually good for the kids
The kids know it’s summer time so are asking for ice lollies whenever they spot an opportunity; this summer they’ve thankfully accepted without question that at home we’ll make our own, and then if we’re out I might dig into my purse. These ten healthy homemade ice lollies are based on fresh fruit, so I’m using them in place of a fruit snack mid morning or afternoon – increasingly for me as well as them. Last year’s chocolate, watermelon and pineapple based-recipes are still successful but we’ve experimented with other combinations and have hit on a few winners.
There’s a lot of current media coverage about steering clear of smoothies and juices due to their sugar content, but fresh fruit, smoothies and juices included, all provide valuable nutrients. I’m personally far happier letting the kids snack on phytonutrient-rich fresh fruit in the form of a home made lolly rather than buying sugary commercial lollies. Even the alluring ‘artisan’ lollies are usually laden with sugar despite their gourmet names.
My ice-lolly moulds take between 70-100mls liquid, so the fruit doesn’t give a big sugar hit. I also use small shot glasses with a wooden lolly stick in as my cupboard is already overflowing with too many lolly moulds. A cheaper version still is small yogurt pots (although these won’t be BPA free!).
Unless otherwise stated, just blend all the ingredients together.
This summer’s top ten favourites are:
25g grated dark chocolate, 300g cherries (stones removed), 2tbsp. organic natural Greek yogurt
My daughter’s favourite. Blend the cherries and yogurt before stirring in the chocolate and freezing in shot glasses (or small empty yogurt pots). You need to move fairly quickly with this to keep the cherries an appetising purple – leave them too long and they start to oxidise and turn a muddy brown (although equally tasty).
Beta Carotene Burst
1 mango, 1 papaya, 150mls carton coconut milk (e.g. Kara, not a tin), juice from ½ lime
Beta-carotene rich foods are great to include every day as the summer holidays get nearer. Research shows that beta-carotene can help to protect from sunburn, equivalent to a low factor sun protection cream. It’s no substitute for sun cream, but a food that helps to keep my daily vitamin D levels topped up (with 20-30 minutes of sun cream-free time in the sun, without burning), is a big attraction. For beta-carotene levels to build up, a regular intake on a daily basis is most effective – this creamy lolly is a vital part of our freezer!
250g strawberries, 1 ripe banana, 4 heaped tbsp. organic natural Greek yogurt
This tastes divine and is a slightly more filling lolly due to the yogurt. Greek yogurt is higher in protein than other yogurts so is even better at helping to balance blood sugar levels.
Kiwi, Cucumber and Lemon
2 large ripe kiwis, ½ cucumber, juice from ¼ lemon, 150mls coconut water
The cucumber and coconut water are both intensely hydrating, so this is great if kids are running around in the garden and need a break from being hot and sweaty! It also does well as a more ‘adult’ lolly.
Strawberry and Peach
3 peaches, 150 grams strawberries, 50mls water to thin
Simple but tasty, my son’s favourite
Pineapple and Ginger
½ pineapple, core removed, ¼ – ½ cm finely grated ginger, 250mls coconut water.
Whether your kids eat this depends on how used they are to ginger – my daughter and I both love it but my son is a little wary. Pineapple and ginger both contain anti-inflammatory compounds and the coconut water is hydrating – it’s perfect after exercise.
Apricot and Almond
6 ripe apricots, 2tbsp organic Greek yogurt, 200mls almond milk, 25g dark chocolate, 1 ripe banana
Blend all ingredients except the chocolate, which should be stirred in afterwards, making a beautiful pale apricot colour with dark flecks. Use really sweet, ripe apricots here for a sweet-tasting lolly; follow our easy almond milk recipe or buy unsweetened almond milk.
1 avocado, 1 banana, 1dsp cacao/cocoa powder, juice of ½ lime, 150mls coconut milk
Like yogurt-based ice-lollies, using avocado makes a more creamy chocolaty lolly (no one will guess there’s avocado in there), which is filling enough to stave off hunger pangs until teatime.
Raspberry and Orange
200g raspberries, 1 ripe avocado, 200mls orange juice
Avocado slows down sugar release from orange juice turning this into a healthy, filling snack. I serve these in tiny shot glass portions where the lolly stick stands up easily by itself in the thick liquid.
Peaches and Cream
½ cup/70g cashew nuts, 2tbsp water, 1tbsp maple syrup, 1tsp vanilla extract, 4 peaches or nectarines
Ok in this case it’s not peaches and ‘proper’ cream but cashew cream, which tastes far better than it sounds (trust me on this). Soak the cashews in water for at least 30 minutes but preferably 4 hours (you need to get organised for these lollies) and then blend the first four ingredients together until smooth. Add the fruit and blend again. This is a great healthy, protein-rich snack substitute, and the healthy fats in the cashew nuts enhance absorption of the carotenes in the peaches. I make these in shot glasses, as they are so rich and creamy.
So which is your favourite – let us know?
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