Monday, July 23, 2012

The popsicle: a summer treat or tool for hiding supplements and healthy foods.

Its summer time and its toasty (at least on the days its not raining here in Victoria).  We are all craving something cool and refreshing? Before you reach for the ice cream tub try making delectable Popsicles and take the guilt out of it.  And if you have kids this is the best opportunity to hide some supplements or healthy foods (yes even some veggie juices!).

The easiest way to boost your treats is to add a green drink to your mix. Try Happy Planet's Green Extreme, or juice your own kale/spinach (steaming first can help).  Green can be a tough color for kids, so mix with lots of strawberry or blueberry puree to make a purple frozen treat.  A slightly easier option is to mix in cucumber or avocado puree.  Avocado makes a nice light green creamy puree and works brilliantly with yogurt, coconut milk and fruits like mango, lime or kiwi.  Beet juice or even a bit of puree is perfect with any red fruit (pomegranate or strawberry) juice.  The best sweeteners are agave, honey or a bit of stevia.  For a protein punch add in a bit of yogurt, kefir or protein powder.  You can add any supplement (liquid or powder) to your mix.  Just make sure that if you are taking a fat soluble supplement (Vit D, A, cod liver oil or a liposomal product that you have a bit of yogurt or coconut milk to help make it suspend properly.  If the supplement makes it too gritty add in lightly chopped fruit for extra texture.

Here are a couple of really lovely bases that you can start with and build up from there.  Both of these have a bit of good fat content and can handle any type of supplements.

Pomegranate Swirl (From Women's Health Magazine by By Rachel Meltzer Warren, R .D)
These pleasingly tart frozen treats manage to pack three whole grams of protein into a 50-calorie serving.

8 oz pomegranate juice
1/2 cup plain 2% Greek yogurt

Fill two-thirds of each ice-pop mold with pomegranate juice. Add enough yogurt to fill the molds to the top, about 2 tablespoons per mold. Slide a knife or chopstick into each mold and swirl until a pattern forms. Insert sticks and freeze for about 8 hours.

Per serving: 50 cal, 1 g fat (0 g sat), 10 g carbs, 15 mg sodium, 0 g fiber, 3 g protein

Fudge Pops (From Living Without)

MAKES 8
This revamped version of classic fudgsicles is easy to make and fun to eat. If you don’t have plastic popsicle molds, use small paper cups and wooden sticks (sold in craft stores and online).
3 cups unsweetened lite coconut milk
½ cup honey or agav√© nectar*, extra to taste
¼ cup + 2 tablespoons arrowroot starch/powder or cornstarch
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
⅛ teaspoon salt
2 ounces unsweetened baker’s chocolate, chopped into ½-inch pieces
2 tablespoons coconut butter or nut butter or 1 tablespoon coconut oil
1½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1. Combine coconut milk, honey or agave nectar, arrowroot, cocoa powder and salt in a 4-quart saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking frequently. Continue to cook and whisk as mixture bubbles and thickens, about 6 minutes.
2. Remove from heat. Add chocolate, coconut butter or nut butter and vanilla and stir until completely melted and smooth. Taste and add additional honey or agave nectar, as desired.
3. Pour into 8 popsicle molds or small paper cups. Allow to cool slightly and insert popsicle lids. Or freeze briefly and insert wooden sticks. If using paper cups, cover with foil, poking the stick through the foil.
4. Freeze until solid. To unmold, hold the stick and warm the outside of the cup with warm water until pop loosens. Serve immediately.
Each serving contains 310 calories, 24g total fat, 20g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 51mg sodium, 29g carbohydrate, 2g fiber, 3g protein.
*TIP For lower sugar content, reduce honey to ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons and add 1 teaspoon clear stevia liquid.
Variation
For Mocha Fudge Pops, replace 1 cup milk with 1 cup strong brewed coffee.

Experiment and play and you'll have lots of wonderful treats for your family.  Enjoy!
 

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