Friday, May 18, 2012

Easy Homemade Strawberry Lemonade Popsicles

     My son was a Popsicle addict. He needed some serious help, as that was all he truly wanted to eat. However, as his Mom, I really didn't want him to eat those store bought pops made with ingredients that in no way resemble food. How could I find him a healthier frozen confection that was reasonably priced and easily purchased? well, you D.I.Y.D.S. (Do It Your Dang Self). So, I bought the world's most awesome pop maker. Now, anyone that knows me, knows that this is a VERY pricey purchase for me. But, I have tried plastic pop makers before and hated them. I try not to buy plastic if I can help it. And this thing is built to last a lifetime. Plus, it works a treat. The boys call these "rocket pops" because they do look like 1950's toy rockets.
     I tried OJ and apple juice pops, but the kiddos just sucked the juice out and were left with a giant stick of ice, which, well, just sucked. So I made up a recipe that is better than store bought pops, but not the healthiest pop in the world either. They were a hit! Now, I am doing what I always do when we transition into a change in the way we eat... I slowly change the recipe to a healthier and healthier one until, at last, They are eating what I hoped they would. And better yet, they aren't complaining. I am so sick of complaining.
     Here is what you will need:

***A pop maker or mold. You can definitely make your own if you choose to. Personally, the stainless steel molds are awesome because they aren't connected, they have a stable holder, and the pops slide out of the mold with about 1-2 seconds of warm water over them. They also wash up like a dream.

*** Strawberries. I use about 6 frozen berries, unless I happen to have some fresh on hand. Frozen is great because you always have them in your freezer, they last and they are still a healthy and economical choice.

*** Lemonade. I make a batch of lemonade and then make a batch of pops before it is gone.

***Sugar. This is all about the transition. I started with adding about a Tablespoon per batch. This tricked the addict into thinking they were more like store bought. I have been slowly cutting down and hope to no longer add any additional sugar. Patience is a virtue in these delicate endeavors.

***Blender. Got to puree those berries!

     It helps if you can figure out how much liquid your pop molds will need, then you won't make too much and have to drink the leftovers all secretively before anyone else notices and wants you to share it.
     Put the berries in the blender and pour in the lemonade (again, you can be all smart and stuff and measure how much your pops hold, or do as I do and just cover the berries. You can add sugar if you need to....
Let it whip! I use the ice crush setting and get those berries really pureed. This will create a little foam on top.
Pour into the molds. I fill up to just about the top, because some of it will be foam and I don't want a tiny pop balanced on the end of the stick. If I created too much foam, I scoop it off before I pour and drink it, because I am willing to take one for the team like that. I'm a giver.

Now, you just have to wait for it to freeze. Oh, the waiting. I hate waiting as much as complaining, so I got smart and started making a surplus. I unmold them when they are frozen, wrap in plastic wrap and store them in a bag in the freezer (Yes, I do wash the wrap and bag and reuse them. I just can't help it. Can you think of something better to wrap them in that isn't plastic? I would be grateful to hear it. ) Then my molds are free to make another batch.

The kids love them! I think it is great that I know everything that has gone into them! I am looking forward to  trying these with limeade, I just need to get some limes. Raspberry lemonade pops might be next, as I have some raspberries in the freezer right now. Sometimes, I add a splash of OJ in place of some of the lemonade and that is delish too! Hope you enjoy these and better yet, enjoy sticking it to the man for making such delicious but completely unhealthy ice pops. We don't need their stinking ice cream novelties!

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