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It’s hot out there! This time of year I start craving cold things, ice cream, sorbet, popsicles, shakes and just plain cold water with lots of ice. A number of years ago, I came up with a more healthy solution to my desire for high fat ice cream when I needed to cool off.
I bought fresh juices and made them into my own homemade popsicles. I see a lot of recipes for popsicles using a sugar syrup, but I haven’t felt the need to use syrup when the Natural Juices are great. The syrup does make them less “icy” but if I don’t need to add sugar, I don’t.
You can find Popsicle molds sometimes at Target. More recently I found some at Bed, Bath and Beyond. Of course Amazon has them as well.I prefer the round ones, but if you like your popsicles rectangular, there are molds for that too.
My favorite juices are by R.W. Knudsen. You can find them at Whole Foods or many Supermarkets. Pineapple Coconut is my all time favorite, but Guava Strawberry and Simply Nutritious Morning Blend packed with Vitamins and Minerals are also great choices.
Of course, over time, I have started finding other uses for my Popsicles. Most recently I decided to try making my Mona Vie dose of the day into a Popsicle. In addition to the antioxidants in it, the Mona Vie Active has Glucosamine and it tastes a whole lot better than the other liquid forms I have tried . Frozen, it is a great grab and go pop and I find I am more consistent with the Mona Vie popsicle rather than the juice alone. (For a Mona Vie distributor, link to this site www.monavie.com and use this distributor number 579716. My sister is my distributor!!)
I also came up with another idea, using the Popsicle plan for my after workout recovery drink. Blend in advance, freeze and you have them as needed. My favorite is Whole Foods brand Chocolate Soy Protein Powder blended with non-fat milk, banana and strawberries or blueberries (or both). If I want it a little sweeter, I add a teaspoon of maple syrup or honey. Freeze these and you have your recovery drink ready to go in a nice little icy package.
A Mango Lassi recovery drink pop is good also, fresh mango, Vanilla Soy Protein Powder (yes, soy…the vegetarians favorite!), Low fat or Fat Free Milk, Soy Milk or Vanilla Yogurt and a dash each of Cardamom and Ginger. Add a little honey if you want. Throw in an after workout meditation and you will be ready for Nirvana (or at least more relaxed and recovered!).
Now all of my ideas aren’t healthy but often healthier than not. My “less healthy” treat, I came up with because I had bought a bottle of KeKe brand Key Lime Liqueur
and there are only so many times when I want to make Key Lime Martinis. I filled the mold ¾ of the way to the top with Pineapple Coconut Juice then finished it with the Key Lime Liqueur. The Liqueur settled at the bottom and was a pretty green contrast to the white juice. The Liqueur stays a little softer than the juice, but it tastes great and you have just enough of an alcohol hit to make this a real “adult” indulgence.
Finally, I made a strawberry sorbet pop based on a recipe I found in Sunset Magazine (April 2007). I made a simple syrup with ½ cup white sugar and ¾ cup of water. I heat the ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved. Cool then add ¾ tablespoon of Orange Flower water and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice.
I take a pint of fresh, sweet strawberries, stem removed and put them in a blender. Blend, adding syrup to taste. If you want an elegant sorbet you can run the berries through a fine strainer to remove the seeds before adding the syrup. I went for a more rustic dish by skipping that step. Pour into popsicle molds and freeze.
The Sunset Recipe used Rose Water in place of the Orange Flower water but I didn’t have it on hand. I am sure that would taste great too! You could probably add a little chopped basil for a more sophisticated flavor or use honey in place of the syrup. If you use the honey, I would leave out the orange flower water and use an orange extract otherwise the honey may overpower the delicate orange flower water.
I hope these ideas will motivate you to come up with and make your own popsicle combinations. You can layer different flavor and colors, make lime pops and serve with a tequila to dip in. The ideas and flavor combinations are endless.
Stay fit, stay cool, and don’t forget to exercise!