Round 1: Blueberry Mango and Kiwi Lemon Ice Pops
I bought a box of ice pops recently and unbeknownst to me, so did my husband. So we had 2 boxes floating around the freezer. And I can tell you that they were half gone in about a day or 2. Not good. It really disturbed me to think about all the artificial ingredients, preservatives, sugar and general junk my kids were ingesting.
Last year I tried my hand at ice pops. My kids really liked them, except I ran into a small glitch: they would almost always fall apart when I tried taking them out of the molds. A few weeks ago, I happened to read an article about making your own ice pops. Apparently, you need to run hot water over the molds for a few seconds when taking them out. I tried it--lo and behold it worked! Why didn't anyone tell me this last year????? So that was my signal--homemade ice pops, here we come!
When I make ice pops, I do not strain the juice and leave behind the pulp; I use the whole fruit and I suggest you do, too, so your family can benefit from all the fiber. I also am playing around with the sweeteners. Honestly, I would love to skip any sweetener altogether, but we're dealing with kids here. In the first batch I tried, I used apple juice concentrate. Later, of course, I found out that juice concentrate is pretty high on the glycemic index, so next time I think I will use something else.
How did they go over? Great. The kids really liked them. I have to say I was surprised they liked the Kiwi Lemon because kiwi has a real tang to it. With lemon juice added, it tasted pretty sharp. I'm just pointing out to you that if you or your kids don't care for that kind of sharpness, you should probably try other flavors.
This is the first leg of the Ice Pop Journey. I really hope to develop more flavors (and have. Already tried Strawberry Mango--next post!). Traditional and some really funky ones. Will keep you posted! In the meantime, here's a pictorial step-by-step instructional followed by the recipes. Enjoy!
Pour blended mixture into the ice pop molds.
Put the tops onto the molds and place on a flat surface in the freezer. Freeze for several hours, probably at least 5, until fully frozen.
Make sure to run the molds under hot water for a few seconds when removing. And this is the finished product!
Blueberry Mango Ice Pops
1 cup frozen blueberries
1 cup frozen mango chunks
2 Tbsp. apple juice concentrate
Thaw out the fruit before putting in the blender. If fruit is frozen, you can actually put it in the microwave for a couple minutes so it's thawed enough to be soft but not totally defrosted. Place blueberries, mangoes and apple juice concentrate in the blender and blend well. Remove and pour into ice pop molds. Freeze for at least 5 hours or until fully frozen. When removing the ice pops, make sure you run hot water over the mold for a few seconds so the whole pop will come out easily (and not just the stick!).
Kiwi Lemon Ice Pops
4 kiwis, peeled and cut in half
1 tsp. lemon juice (may use bottled or fresh)
2 Tbsp. apple juice concentrate
Put kiwis in blender. Add lemon juice and apple juice concentrate. Blend until smooth. Pour mixture into empty ice pop molds. Freeze for at least 5 hours or until fully frozen. When removing pops from mold, make sure to run hot water over the molds for a few seconds so the whole pop will come out instead of just the stick!