There’s a popsicle party and you’re invited

By Brenna O’Dea

Sweet summertime is upon us!!! Okay, I might be getting bit ahead of myself here, but I am more eager than ever for some sunshine and for that cool breeze to turn into a warm one. And with warm weather comes the need for cool treats. That ice cream truck tune can make us all nostalgic for our childhoods, but let’s be honest, most (if not all) of the stuff you’ll find there is loaded with a lil’ too much sugar and not enough LOVE. Snow cones will always hold a special place in my heart, and a blue stained tongue once in a while is a wonderful thing…but for the most part, I prefer my popsicles homemade and healthy. Here’s why you should too:

Kefir

A popsicle packed with probiotic power. Try saying that five times fast. Kefir is super special and sorta sour. It will make your summer sweets just a bit healthier and your tummies a whole lot happier. If you haven’t hopped on the bloat banishing bandwagon quite yet, head over to Lifeway Kefir to learn more about kefir and all the benefits. A lil’ teaser, it can help boost your immune system, brighten your skin, and and aid in digestion. Kefir is also lactose free. Not dairy free. Lactose free. Confused? I was too. It is technically still a milk-based dairy product, but it has been fermented to the point where 99% of the lactose is long gone, making it much more friendly for my fellow lactose intolerant lovelies! Whip up a batch of these fruity kefir pops to keep your kiddos cool and your colon clean. Yep, I said it. It’s just the truth. This super simple recipes only calls for three ingredients. Count ’em, THREE. Make sure you call all your little ones in from the yard to help you out. They can pretty much take charge on this one. From the mixin’ to the pourin’ they can prepare these pops in minutes. You might wanna supervise the first few times using that blender…but then you should be off the hook and free to enjoy your matcha and meditation. Or…let’s be honest here…you can quickly catch up on your Instagram feed and guzzle an extra cup of coffee while sitting on the nice cool bathroom tile in your nice QUIET bathroom…ALONE. Ah, pure bliss.

Coconut

This tropical treat brings double the trouble to the table. Coconut milk or coconut water, however you take it, it’ll probably be tasty (and transport you to a private island if only for a few sweet moments). These fruit-filled coconut water pops are too beautiful to eat. Just kidding. That’s insane. But these pops are definitely some of the prettiest you’ll see this summer. You get to skip the blender altogether on this one. Simply slice up your fruit and pour your water into your popsicle molds. These are an easy crowd pleaser that can make you look a whole lot craftier than you really are. Yeah, all you out there who could barely manage paper mache and who met your maker at the pottery wheel…I feel ya. And wait, there’s more! These pops are not quite as lovely to look at, but your little ones will still love lickin’ these on any hot summer day. These coconut milk creations are smooth and sweet, and of course loaded up with healthy fats from that creamy coconut milk. Swirl in some fresh fruit purée for a splash of color. Berries will be arriving at the farmer’s markets soon enough, and they make for an excellent antioxidant addition to pretty much any summer recipe on your menu. Except that extra glass of iced coffee to keep you keepin’ up with the kids. Coffee is coffee is beautiful coffee. Don’t mess with that. You can however, FREEZE that. Yep, here’s a bonus pop to keep your energy levels up. Coffee and cream frozen together in a popsicle dream.

Green

For the days when the green smoothie just sounds stale, try the green popsicle on for size. Okay, it basically is a green smoothie, just in a different form. But hey, if you can put even a semi new and exciting twist on it, your little ones might be a bit more likely to give it a taste. This gorgeous green recipe calls for green tea, Greek yogurt, and drumroll please…KALE. Yeah buddy, KALE POPSICLES. Now wait a second. Don’t go running for the hills yet. If you can’t get down with THAT much green, this recipe uses spinach as the star of the show. It’s a little less scary and still super nutritious. Plus, the peaches and powdered spirulina give these pops a vitamin punch and such a sweet, sweet taste. The best thing about the green smoothie-on-a-stick? It is the perfect refresher whether it’s morning, noon, or night. You can actually feel GOOD about passing out popsicles for breakfast. Talk about sweet summertime.

Grownup

Finally, a lil’ somethin’ for the kid at heart who definitely isn’t a kid anymore. You do the dishes, the taxes, the laundry, the lunch-making, the carpool, the cleanup after cleanup after cleanup…it’s time for you to do YOU. Sit back, relax, and enjoy these popsicles that are not quite playdate appropriate. They’ve got just a lil’ something extra to, how you say, take the edge off? Yeah, these will take that edge RIGHT OFF. You won’t have to worry about sloshing and spilling when go running after your rambunctious crew. You’ll have a free hand and free spirit with the help of these party pops. Just remember to label these lovely little treats in the freezer so you don’t forget which popsicles are for your mini and which are for mommy 🙂

(Image by flickr member Lu Picerno licensed under Creative Commons)

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