By Heather Legg
We were just out shopping for my husband’s Father’s Day gift, and though it wasn’t exactly what I was thinking of, my girls came across a gift they really wanted to get him, so we did – a popsicle maker.
It really is a great concept, You freeze the body of the maker and then add your ingredients to the popsicle molds, and in about 7 minutes, have homemade popsicles. I thought this sure beats reading all kinds of ingredients lists in the grocery stores on frozen treats, checking for allergens and high fructose corn syrup and food dyes, all the things we check for. You can choose your own ingredients and you know there has been no contamination of dairy or nuts or other allergens popsicles may come into contact with.
I remember as a kid freezing orange juice in Dixie cups and sticking a popsicle stick in mid way through freezing. Sure, there’s nothing wrong with that, but 7 minutes sure beats a few hours. Also with this maker (from Williams Sonoma, by the way), you can layer flavors or colors, add fruit or layer from the inside out which you can probably with other makers or Dixie cups, too.
Not only are homemade ice pops allergy free, but also much healthier for you. Here are some ideas whether you have the Williams Sonoma version, Dixie cups or something in between.
• Use different juices for layers. You can layer them horizontally by allowing each one to freeze a bit an then adding the next one, or layer them from the inside out by filling your container all the way, allowing some freezing time and pouring out or drinking from the middle what has not frozen, they fill with something else.
• Add bits of fresh fruit like thinly sliced strawberries or kiwis, or copped grapes or cherries.
• Make some refreshing varieties, like homemade lemonade with paper thin slices of cucumbers and basil.
• Try yogurt pops by freezing yogurt and adding fruit or honey.
• Use fresh juice like orange or watermelon.
• Mix juices together for yummy combinations like pomegranate with white grape or apple and cherry.
With homemade ice pops, you know what it is in them. They are a healthy way of hydrating and cooling off in the summer heat. Plus the kids will have a great time coming up with their own creative ideas for a healthy, allergy free summer treat that is also a fun craft in and of itself.