Beat the Heat With Popsicles

Popsicles for breakfast? Sure!!

Popsicles for breakfast? Sure!!

I remember playing outside in the summertime as a kid. The sun would blaze overhead and the neighborhood kids would run until we couldn’t run any more. We made up fun games (like Pine Cone War) and turned a disturbing shade of brown from being in the sun all day.

Every afternoon, the childlike tinkle of music announced the arrival of the ice cream truck, prompting Oscar-winning performances from all of us to goad our parents into throwing a couple bucks our way to stop the whining for a delicious, icy treat.

Ahh…such awesome memories!

Unfortunately, for several reasons – not least of which is geography – my sons will probably never experience an afternoon like that. Even if we lived in a suburb (Ground Zero for ice cream trucks), I seriously doubt there is anything on one of those trucks that would be safe for my boys.

So I do my best to keep treats around for Jed in the warmer weather; treats that will make him feel like he’s truly being “treated”.

This can be a bit of a challenge for me thanks to our many food issues. Unlike most mom’s, I can’t just buy a big ol’ box of popsicles and ice cream pops to have around for the inevitable “I’m hot and want a treat” moments! And almost all popsicle recipes are heavy on the sugar. No good for Jed!

So I got creative. Remember last summer, when I shared my Charming popsicles?

Yeah…those were delicious! And unfortunately for us, I now know what I did NOT know last summer: they are horrible for my Fructose Malabsorbative son!

I’m pleased to report, though, that I have managed to come up with five – FIVE! – delicious, potentially fructose-friendly popsicle recipes that are even healthier than the Charming Popsicles ever thought of being!

I’m only including photo directions for one flavor, as they all follow almost exactly the same methodology. The different recipe variations are all at the end of the post.

And, as always, consider what level of fructose tolerance you have before making these, and adjust the sweetener to whatever you can handle. If you need to use straight table sugar, you’ll need to make a simple syrup before adding it to the fruit and mixing. Simple syrup is simply one part water to two parts sugar; bring the water to a boil, add the sugar, stir until syrup consistency and then let cool.

Anyway, here’s what I did:

First I set up my food processor. Then I tossed in about 2 cups of berries (this is the Blackberry popsicle recipe). Fresh or frozen both work fine; if you’re using frozen, let them thaw for about ten minutes or so before processing. Just makes it easier.

I pureed it until it was as liquidy as I could get it, then I got out a bowl and a strainer. Some of these popsicles won’t require this step, but I’m a texture person and those little seeds in some berries would make me crazy…so I pressed the puree through a strainer until I just had blackberry ‘juice’ in a bowl.

Straining the puree

Straining the puree

Then I rinsed out the food processor and poured the fruit juice back in. To that I added 1 avocado, some lemon juice, and maple syrup. Then, as an afterthought, I tossed in a handful of baby spinach leaves.

Ready to process!

Ready to process!

A little more time in the food processor, and I had this:

Blackberry popsicles ready to pour!

Blackberry popsicles ready to pour!

A nice, thick, creamy popsicle liquid ready to pour into molds!

Last summer, I bought a motley assortment of popsicle molds for Jed (as you can see from the different popsicles in the picture). I’ve got  to look into buying some stainless steel ones to eliminate cross-contamination issues for Zac, but for now, the el cheapo plastic ones will have to do.

I poured the mix into the molds…

Poured...

Poured…

Stuck the handles in…

Ready to freeze!

Ready to freeze!

And threw them into the freezer!

Jed loves to help me make popsicles, but he doesn’t like the noise of the food processor. Every time I go to turn it on, he puts on his ear protectors. We got these so he could ride on the riding lawn mower with Darrel, but they get used more in the kitchen than anywhere else! It’s so cute!

Mommy, that's noisy!!

Mommy, that’s noisy!!

You don’t have to add avocado or banana to some of these recipes, necessarily (except for the chocolate – it IS necessary for that one!), but I found it made for a creamier, more ice cream-y texture with them added. Not to mention the nutritional value goes right through the roof!

Same for the spinach leaves; once it’s processed, you can hardly tell they’re there, but they really add a nice boost of nutrition. Next time I make these, I’m going to experiment with other powerhouse add-ins like chia and flax seeds. I bet they won’t make any difference in taste, but will make these even healthier!

And now you can see why I have no problems feeding these to Jed for breakfast!

Yummy Mommy!

Yummy Mommy!

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BLACKBERRY POPSICLES

– 2 cups blackberries (frozen or fresh)
– 1 avocado
– 2 T. maple syrup (or equivalent safe sweetener)
– 2 tsp. lemon juice
– handful baby spinach leaves

  1. Puree the berries in a food processor.
  2. Pour the puree through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl. You may need to use a spoon to press it through completely.
  3. Rinse the food processor bowl and pour the berry “juice” back in.
  4. Add the avocado, maple syrup, lemon juice and spinach leaves, and process until smooth.
  5. Pour into popsicle molds and freeze.

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RASPBERRY POPSICLES

– 2 cups raspberries (fresh or frozen)
– 1 avocado
– 1 banana
– 3-4 T. maple syrup
– 2 tsp. lemon juice
– handful spinach leaves

  1. Puree the berries in a food processor.
  2. Pour the puree through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl. You may need to use a spoon to press it through completely.
  3. Rinse the food processor bowl and pour the berry “juice” back in.
  4. Add the avocado, banana, maple syrup, lemon juice and spinach leaves, and process until smooth.
  5. Pour into popsicle molds and freeze.

*I don’t know why, but these didn’t come out well at all until I added the banana. Then they were just right! And maybe my raspberries were just incredibly tart, but they needed quite a bit more sweetener in order to avoid total lip puckerage.

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CHOCOLATE

– 1 avocado
– 1 banana
– 2 T. maple syrup
– 1/4-1/3 cup cocoa powder
– 1 tsp. lemon juice
– 1/2-1 c. non-dairy milk (we use almond)

  1. Put all the ingredients in a food processor.
  2. Process until smooth. Start with 1/2 c. of milk and add as needed. I needed the full 1 cup to make it the right consistency for a pourable popsicle.
  3. Pour into popsicle molds and freeze.

*In case you couldn’t tell, these are just the Vegan Chocolate Pudding in a frozen popsicle! I love that recipe!

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STRAWBERRY BANANA

– 1 cup strawberries (fresh or frozen)
– 3 bananas
– 2 T. maple syrup
– handful of baby spinach leaves
– 1/4-1/2 cup non-dairy milk (we use almond)

  1. Put all ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth. Start with 1/4 cup of milk and add as needed for pourable consistency.
  2. Pour into popsicle molds and freeze.

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CHOCOLATE STRAWBERRY

– 2 cups strawberries (fresh or frozen)
– 2 avocados
– 1/3 cup cocoa powder
– 2 T. maple syrup
– handful of baby spinach leaves
– 1/4-1/2 cup non-dairy milk (we use almond)

  1. Put all ingredients in food processor and process until smooth. Start with 1/4 cup of milk and add as needed for a pourable consistency.
  2. Pour into popsicle molds and freeze.

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Just a note about these popsicles: each recipe made about 8-10 popsicles. So if your molds only have 6 spots in it, you might have some leftover puree. You can simply pour this into a bowl and eat it with a spoon if you come upon that problem – and then you have a yummy sorbet/ice cream treat instead!

Enjoy a REALLY healthy treat this summer!

Do you have any awesome popsicle recipes? What add-ins would you use to boost the nutrition of these even more? Please share!

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6 Responses to Beat the Heat With Popsicles

  1. Roll Tide Mom says:

    Awesome idea! It made me want to print this to give to A’s feeding therapist so we could pick something to trial 🙂 Substituting things has been a big worry for me because it seems we have to substitute everything. I’m glad to see that it just becomes an afterthought once you know what you’re dealing with! It was very encouraging and an excellent idea! What do you have for white potatoes? So far, we’ve done pureed, mashed (finger play and feeding), and now we’re working on making small fries with olive oil. Creativity mixed with variety is not my strong point-lol.

    • Carrie says:

      Thanks! There is a steep learning curve when you first start to learn to cook and eat differently, but it does get better. I’m still learning new things all the time, though, so don’t give up! I think you’re doing great on the potatoes; you could also slice them and bake them, and hashbrowns are always fun. I’ll start working on some potato recipes and add them – keep an eye out!

  2. Suzanne says:

    The recipes look great, but I learned I had FM after reacting to a banana, and later to an avocado. You may already have this particular chart which shows the safest foods to eat, those to ‘test’, and those to avoid. Hope it helps! http://www.healthhype.com/nutrition-guide-for-fructose-malabsorption.html

    • Carrie says:

      Thanks for the link, I’ll check it out! I actually wrote a whole post about the ‘diet’ we’re using for my son. It appears to be somewhat different from what a lot of FM folks get from their dieticians, but so far, I haven’t seen a lot of cohesiveness in this department! We’re in trialing phases (he’s only 2, still, after all!) but so far avocado and banana seem to be no problems for him. These recipes will work just fine without them, though…well, except for the chocolate one!

      If you’d like to see what we’re using, you can find it here: http://cradlerockingmama.com/focus-on-fructose/

      Thanks again for the link and the helpful tip!

      • Roll Tide Mom says:

        Thanks! I’ll keep an eye out for them! I sliced up and baked potato fries in olive oil and sea salt for him to try! We’re currently working on feeding techniques at the same time we’re looking for safe foods! So far, so good! Is FM like allergies you can “grow out of” or will it not change? Do they have enough research info on it yet to be able to help your little guy? I had only heard about it because of the specialists that we have to take A to and they spent time asking questions and explaining why. One of them was a fructose intolerance. I can’t imagine it’s very prevalent, although I guess it may increase like corn allergies/triggers!

        • Carrie says:

          Potato fries sound good! 🙂

          FM is, unfortunately, not something he will outgrow. It’s likely his tolerance levels will adjust over time, but he will have this for the rest of his life. 🙁 There is not a lot of research on this because, like FPIES, every person with FM has different triggers and tolerance levels! It’s another situation where the people that live with it are the experts and the doctors are sort of clueless.

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