Summertime and warmer temps often translates into freezers filled with sweet, cool treats such as colourful freezies, popsicles, and high-calorie coated and fancy ice creams. May parents abandon nutritional rules as they give babies ice cream truck cones (not the cleanest option), letting their kids enjoy a caffeine and sugar-laden type-drinks like slushees, and iced tea.
It's hot. But that doesn't mean we don't need water and real food. Treat yourselves, yes, but let's use common sense!
- Get Beyond Greens: Make Your Next Healthy Meal a Rainbow
- Try a Raw Food Dessert: Easy Vegan Fruit Pie
- Yes, You Still Need 8 Glasses of Water a Day
- The Nutritional Benefits of Juicing
- The Nutritional Benefits of Snacking, Cooking and Baking with Dried Fruit
Homemade Popsicle Recipes
To some, homemade isn't cool, but my daughters got over that once they realised they could pick their own ingredients. I've been creative with popsicle moulds for years and my kids love them. A few of their favourites are:
Blend blueberries and chocolate almond milk - instant antioxidant rich fudgesicle
Apple and pear sauce - won't drip like juice for your toddler or slow licker
Yogurt and frozen blueberries or mango - frozen yogurt at its best.
Watermelon, peach and basil - natural sweetness
This year, we've been playing with the Zoku instant popsicle makers. It's genius. Although I haven't used it nearly as much as my daughters, I've been on hand to help their inventive ideas.
Every day they've made something different with blueberry, passion fruit and fresh kiwi for instance, with stripes, diagonals and a creamsicle knock-off but with yogurt. Today's creations included almond milk yogurt and blueberries and passion fruit juice for the first layer, then raspberries mixed with pear juice at the bottom. Their creativity is inspiring!
Healthy (and Delicious) Ice Cream
As a family, we generally steer clear of dairy, so have had to get creative when it comes to ice cream. And we've succeeded. We've made ice cream with a variety of milks; coconut milk, goat and sheep milk and even tried almond milk. They have all turned out good enough for us to eat, although some icier than others.
Store bought has come a long way from Rice Dream (rice milk) ice cream being one of the healthiest alternatives to our new favourite coconut milk ice cream a staple in the freezer section of most stores. So Delicious even make ice cream bars that are sweetened with agave and dipped in chocolate. The flavours continue to expand giving the typical freezer cabinet brands a run for their money.
Simple Blueberry Ice Cream
Ice cream makers are so simple to use and fun for kids to watch. One of my favourite recipes has three ingredients in it. Yes, three. We've served it at many a summer gathering and everyone is amazed that we made it.
3 cups blueberries (can be previously frozen, partially defrost)
3/4 cup maple syrup
1 cup whipping cream (organic if possible)
Puree blueberries with a hand blender or food processor. Add cream and maple syrup to combine. Pour into ice cream maker and leave to churn for 20 minutes or until frozen through.
There are some ingredients in most packaged ice cream that concern me, including the high level of high fructose corn syrup as well as sugar, artificial colours and flavours and even hydrogenated fats A.K.A trans fats. Read the labels of what's going into your shopping basket or better yet, give this recipe a go!
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