Whether your kids are out of school or merely counting down the days, summertime is upon us. Sure, NOW we're excited about those homework free weeknights but by mid- July, the combination of long, lazy days and high fructose corn syrup laden treats are enough to drive you straight back into the monotony of the school scheduled life.
But let's be optimistic- why not go into summer ready to make the kind of memories our kids will cherish for a lifetime? I've got just the type of tasty summertime treat that will keep your kids entertained throughout the summer, while giving them the added boost of a few servings of fruits and veggies!
This summer, I wanted to come up with a fun, healthy alternative to those brightly colored (and nutritionally deficient) fruit pops that the kids all crave in the hot summer months. While coming up with some new smoothie combinations it hit me- couldn't I make a smoothie into a popsicle?
Sure, we've used popsicle molds before but the kids (and I) seem to get frustrated by melty, on-a-stick treats. And I never seem to have a mold available/clean when I think of making pops.
But I recently discovered Zipzicle ice pop pouches. Total game changer. Think Otter Pop-esque tubes you can fill with any liquid, zip-seal, and freeze. Could not be easier!
And no Red #40.
My kids and I have been experimenting with flavor combinations and they get a kick out of throwing things in the blender. We also play "Guess What's In It"- most of the time they are totally surprised by the secret veggie ingredients!
We even brought our "Smoothie Pops" to a play date with a couple of our neighbors (who may or may not be picky toddlers). They absolutely LOVED them (as were their moms, as you can imagine). My kids got a kick out of watching the boys devour the concoctions they'd developed in our test kitchen and came home eager to try out new secret ingredients.
So far we've tested:
- Green Monster (banana/pineapple/oranges/spinach/oats/flax)
- Berry Bright Eyes (banana/mixed berries/carrots/oats/flax)
- Cauli Colada (banana/mango/pineapple/cauliflower/oats)
A single banana really helps to create a nice texture- especially for those after a dairy-free option. If it gets too thick, a little water usually does the trick. It should flow pretty easily through a funnel but you don't want it to be too runny either.
Why oats, you ask? Fiber + protein= full, happy tummies :)
Click on the link below to check out the Zipzicle ice pop pouches (also under Kitchen Tools on the Oh My Nosh! Stuff I Love page). They go pretty fast in our house so I recommend stocking up!
They even have a cute little coozie to keep those little hands comfy (though a paper towel works just as well). If they get too cold, run the pops through a little warm water before opening. It melts them down a little and makes them easier to work with.
What Smoothie Pop combos do you think we should try next? Share your suggestions below!