This is similar to a post I wrote last July, but it's so good it's worth talking about again!
I've always made homemade popsicles for my kids, which they have loved. They were made with fresh fruit or fresh fruit and yogurt. Last year, though, I stumbled upon a recipe that would add more nutrition to the popsicle and also answer the question: how am I going to get Oliver to eat a vegetable?! One of my twins, which is one of my three boys, would not eat a vegetable for anything. Sweet, savory, raw, cooked, seasoned, topped with cheese, it didn't matter, he will not eat it (though he gets it on his plate twice a day, every day regardless).
Sure I hid it in foods and as long as it was pureed and he liked the food, he would eat it. But I had never thought to hide a vegetable, like spinach or kale, in a popsicle... a much loved treat... it just never occurred to me! When I saw this, though, I was ALL over it. I think I made them the very next day (after running out for fresh spinach). And you know what? You cannot even taste it! What's more... they love them! Correction: they BEG me to have these popsicles for dessert every night.
In the post from last year, I have actual amounts of each item I used then, but typically I just throw whatever I have in and adjust until it tastes good. That means there is no messing it up!
We made our first batch of popicles last week after strawberry picking. Here's how I made them (I used all of everything shown in the photo, except where noted):
- Juice from two oranges
- Unsweetened 100% Pomegranate juice (optional) - I used about 1/2 or 2/3 cup
Put it all in a blender or food processor and puree. Sample it for tweaking and mix in whatever item(s) you think more is needed. Once it tastes right, pour into popsicle molds, freeze and enjoy! It's like eating frozen fruit, they are fresh tasting and refreshing.
Again, you can use whatever fruit or fruit combination you want and your kids like. Both spinach and kale have very little taste (kale has more than spinach I think, but I usually rotate between the two). There is a recipe in the post from last year for banana/pineapple/spinach that is pretty good too.
If your kids like sweeter popsicles, you can add flavored yogurt (I use Stonyfield strawberry, blueberry or vanilla) or Kefir (I typically use strawberry). This will sweeten it, but also add some nutritional benefit. Honey or raw agave nectar will work too. Or, if that doesn't do it, add a little raw (or refined) sugar... like Mary Poppin's always said: "A teaspoon of sugar..." Honestly, with that ingredient list, a little sugar isn't going to ruin it, if that is what works (in my opinion at least). You can always slowly decrease the amount you use over time. For my boys, they have never required me sweetening it with sugar, but my teenage stepdaughter is another story and that's when I subscribed to the Mary Poppins school of thought (for just hers)!
By the way, this recipe works well as a smoothie too. I use some frozen fruit for that, as well as one of the yogurt items I listed above, along with the kale or spinach (I've been known to throw in a carrot or too as well, if the mood strikes me). My vegetable hater, Oliver, calls it 'frozen juice' and ALWAYS wants seconds. Score one for mom! Actually, score two, because when all our neighborhood children are over, they ask me to make it for snack... and their moms love that!
A picture tells a thousand words... my happy popsicle eaters:
Above is my little non-vegetable eater... notice that his popsicle is almost gone and he has a big fruit/spinach mustache.
Give it a try and if you come up with a really great tasting combination, share it with us! Post it in a comment below or email us at email@example.com.