Who doesn’t love homemade popsicles in the middle of a hot summer? If you want a refreshing and healthy summer treat, if you have kids that need more nutrition packed into a favorite food, if you want to satisfy a sweet craving, keep reading. Lastly, if you want to stay hydrated learn this simple recipe!
Homemade Popsicles are Packed With Good Nutrition
While there are endless variations of popsicle recipes, I am going to share my favorite and most nutritious. Here are the colorful ingredients which I selected from the rainbow of phytonutrients (plant superheroes).
Kiwi has benefits for digestive, metabolic, and immune health. The fiber in kiwifruit has the capacity to improve the gut microbiota. It also helps with stool consistency, transit time, and protein digestion due to its natural enzyme content. One study concluded that regular consumption of kiwifruit is a natural and effective dietary strategy for improved health (1).
Substances called anthocyanins give a rich color to blueberries and provide health benefits. These powerful nutrients may decrease the risk of heart disease and improve digestive health. Blueberries are low in calories and loaded with beneficial substances. Certain compounds (pterostilbene and resveratrol) have anti-cancer properties. Some preliminary studies show cognitive health benefits since blueberries help protect nerve cells from damage. They are a good source of vitamin C, vitamin K, manganese, and fiber.
Most people don’t know that cherries contain melatonin, which can help with restful sleep. In addition, they contain serotonin and tryptophan (the sleepy amino acid in turkey), helping with both mood and sleep. Some studies show that cherries improve exercise recovery and can reduce uric acid build-up (the substance that causes pain) in a condition called gout.
Peaches are loaded with vitamins, minerals, and beneficial plant compounds. Studies have found that peaches can help with digestion, heart health, and skin texture due to its ability to retain moisture. One study showed that postmenopausal women who ate two peaches a day had a 41% lower risk of breast cancer over 24 years (2).
Watermelon is refreshing and sweet, providing a great base for homemade popsicles. It is 90% water and contains electrolytes, so it helps with hydration. Watermelon contains more of the powerful antioxidant lycopene than tomatoes, which benefits heart health and may lower the risk of cancer. It’s also rich in the amino acid citrulline, which helps produce nitric oxide (NO) in the body. That helps regulate blood pressure and blood sugar. Chinese Medicine considers watermelon a “cooling” food and ideal for postmenopausal women who experience hot flashes.
Don’t Make the Mistake of Avoiding Whole Fruit!
With all the trendy diets out there, including all the low-carbohydrate diets, many people are eliminating fruit from their diet. This is a huge mistake! For those who don’t like or are not eating enough vegetables (especially kids), eating fruit regularly is a great option. Fruits are low in calories and high in powerful plant-based nutrients (phytonutrients). These phytonutrients have a variety of health benefits. Fruit does contain sugar, but it’s a natural sugar. Nature packages the sugar in whole fruit with many of the vitamins, minerals, water, and fiber your body needs. Fruits are great nutrition that I wouldn’t want to miss out on. Keep in mind, fruits are powerful for your immune system.
These Homemade Popsicles are Easy to Make
Look for a popsicle mold with a little straw. This way as the popsicle melts into the bottom part, you can sip the juice with the straw.
- 1 Kiwi peeled and sliced, then cut slices in half
- 1/2 cup blueberries
- 8 cherries pitted and sliced in half
- 1/2 peach pitted and sliced in bite-size pieces
- 1 cup of watermelon seeds removed and cut into 1-inch chunks
- Start by putting the watermelon chunks into a blender. Blend on high speed until you have liquid watermelon juice.
- Put 1-2 slices of kiwi into each popsicle mold. Pour some watermelon juice into the bottom third of the popsicle mold.
- Add blueberries, cherries, and peaches, leaving some room at the top.
- Pour the rest of the watermelon juice into each popsicle mold.
- Put the popsicle molds into the freezer overnight. It will take between 4 and 8 hours to freeze.
- When ready to enjoy the popsicle, remove it from the freezer, wrap it in a paper towel for a few minutes. This makes it easier to remove it from the popsicle mold.
- Richardson, D. P., et al. (2018). “The nutritional and health attributes of kiwifruit: a review.” Eur J Nutr 57(8): 2659-2676.
- Fung, T. T., et al. (2013). “Intake of specific fruits and vegetables in relation to risk of estrogen receptor-negative breast cancer among postmenopausal women.” Breast Cancer Res Treat 138(3): 925-930.