Two events decided to collide this week. The start of summer and the first heat wave of the season. The latter had me craving anything cold and had me remembering times growing up, when Otterpops and runs to Rite Aid for an ice cream being weekly routines (anyone else?). After an afternoon spent splashing in the pool, they were the perfect treat to end the warm summer day. Fast forward to the present, and as much as I’d love to indulge in a Rite Aid ice cream cone on a daily basis in this summer heat, my waistline and gut probably wouldn’t agree. So, I decided to get a little creative in the kitchen and whip up these healthy popsicles.
I’ve also been intrigued as to the affects food has on the body (both good and bad) and recently picked up a few books to further my research. What has become blaringly apparent is that, more than fat, sugar is pretty much the root of many ailments (I am simplifying it greatly here). Now, don’t get me wrong, I am not swearing off sugar. I don’t think I could. I just try to monitor the intake. So, I decided that I would make these pops with no added sugar… other than the sugar that is naturally present in the ingredients I used (with the exception a tiny bit of vanilla extract). What you’ll find below are three delicious, nutritious (yes, they actually have nutritional value!!), and hydrating popsicles… that, dare I add, can be consumed on the regular. You can check out these other popsicle options here and here (equally delicious summertime flavors).
1 Vanilla Almond Juice from Pressed Juicery
Cacao Nibs (I opt for these as opposed to chocolate chips because they have loads of health benefits that regular chocolate chips lack…. they have antioxidants, flavonoids, fiber, magnesium…. you get the point)
Follow the basic instructions from the manual (with regards to utilizing the maker). Pour in a layer of the vanilla almond juice, followed by a layer of cacao nibs. Repeat this so that you have 3 layers of the cacao nibs.
1 cup water
1/2 cup lemon juice
3 tbsp stevia (I prefer stevia as a sugar replacement as it is from a plant)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Combine all the above ingredients (except strawberries) and mix together. Once the lemonade is mixed, push the strawberries to the sides of the popsicle maker. I used 4 strawberries per popsicle. Then simply pour the lemonade mixture into the popsicle maker.
1/3 cup watermelon juice (I placed watermelon chunks into a food processor, then strained it)
1 tbsp lime juice
chia seeds (these little seeds pack a huge nutritional punch)
Pour a layer of the watermelon juice into the popsicle maker. Then pour in about 1/2 tsp of chia seeds. Next add another layer of watermelon, followed by another layer of chia seeds. Finish with a layer of watermelon juice.
Hope you enjoy!!