Beat the Heat: Healthy Popsicle Recipes for Summer

While baking has been all the rage during quarantine, I recently have found myself craving a more refreshing, cold popsicle in the summer heat. After hunting the freezer aisle in the grocery store, I still didn’t find any options to fulfill my popsicle craving.  While many of the fruit popsicles featured pictures of strawberries and coconut,  they were actually made with all artificial flavors and no natural ingredients. 

Strawberry Shortcake Popsicles, Credit: The Wooden Skillet

Take the classic Fla-Vor-Ice popsicle. Some of my best childhood memories include pool parties in which my friends and I would fight over who got the blue one. The typical “assorted” box contains what looks like six fruit filled popsicles,  however, if you look closer at the ingredients, the second item listed behind water is high fructose corn syrup. Along with the popsicles being filled with food dyes and preservatives, there is minimal fruit or nutrients in these so-called fruity treats. 

Credit: Fla-Vor-Ice Website

After scouring the freezer aisle and finding no healthy popsicle option to fulfill my craving,  I had the idea that I should make my own popsicles.

To get started I simply ordered a popsicle mold off of Amazon   and started to test out many recipes and create some of my own. 

Many popsicle tastings later, I’m sharing with The Fit Magazine community my top three summer popsicle recipes. 

My Favorite Popsicle Mold

Silicone Ice Pop Molds, Credit: Amazon

Watermelon Cooler Popsicle 

Nothing says summer quite like a cold slice of watermelon on a hot day. Watermelon is a great fruit to incorporate into recipes, especially during the summertime because of its hydrating qualities. Watermelon is ninety two percent water and filled with nutrients like Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and Magnesium. This is my favorite recipe because it is so simple, (just 3 ingredients) yet satisfying. 

Ingredients 

  • 2 Cups of Watermelon
  • 1 ½  Limes 
  • 6 Mint Leaves 

Equipment 

  • Blender
  • Popsicle mold 
  • Citrus Squeezer (optional) 

Directions 

  1. Cut up watermelon into small cubes to ensure that pieces will blend easily. Make sure all seeds are removed prior to placing them in the blender. 
  2. Cut the lime in half. Using a citrus squeezer (or your hands), place the lime face down and squeeze directly into the blender.
  3. Rip off six mint leaves, removing any stem and place in the blender. 
  4. Blend until thoroughly combined, place into a popsicle mold, and freeze overnight or for a minimum of four hours. 

Yields roughly four popsicles 

Watermelon Popsicles, Credit: NYT Cooking

Passion Tea Lemonade Popsicle 

Yup, you guessed it! This recipe was inspired by Starbucks’ iconic passion tea lemonade. This iced tea has become an accessory for me this summer. I have found it to be the perfect afternoon pick me up. Passion tea is energizing, without being caffeinated allowing for maximum hydration. Unlike Starbucks iced tea, this popsicle is not sweetened with additional sugar syrup, but simply made with lemonade. 

Ingredients 

Equipment 

Directions 

  1. Bring four cups of water to a boil. 
  2. Place the tea bag into an empty pitcher and pour boiling water into the container. 
  3. Let the tea bag steep for five minutes and then remove. 
  4. Add four cups of lemonade to the mixture and refrigerate to cool. 
  5. Once the pitcher has cooled, pour mixture into popsicle molds. 
  6. For an extra pop of lemon, cut two round slices of lemon into quarters. Place quarters into each popsicle mold. 
  7. Freeze for four hours. 

Yields eight popsicles. I usually make four at a time, and then leave the pitcher in the fridge to enjoy as a drink. 

Passion Tea Lemonade Popsicles, Credit: The First Year Blog

Naturally-Sweetened Key Lime Pie Popsicles

I absolutely love key lime pie, as it is a family favorite for dessert. While there are many key lime flavored popsicles out there, most of them are often filled with green dyes and artificial sweeteners. With a little bit of research, I found an amazing recipe created by blogger Monica Lensink. Her “Naturally-Sweetened Key Lime Pie Popsicles” are sure to please as a perfect after dinner treat! 

Ingredients 

  • 4 graham crackers
  • 2 tablespoons of melted coconut oil 
  • 1½ cups of plain Greek yogurt 
  • 5 ½  tablespoons of honey 
  • 6 tablespoons of lime juice
  • 3 teaspoons of lime zest 

Directions 

  1. Place graham crackers in a sealed ziplock bag and crush the crackers until they become crumbs. Once crumbs are formed, pour into a bowl with melted coconut oil and combine thoroughly. This is best done with a fork. 
  2. Combine yogurt, honey, lime juice, and zest into a large bowl and whisk together. Add more honey and lime juice for taste. 
  3. Place yogurt mixture into each mold leaving three quarters of an inch on top. Once the mixture is evenly divided, add crumble on each popsicle.
  4. Freeze for a minimum of four hours. 

*Note* the original recipe uses butter, but I substituted coconut oil. The original recipe calls for 4 teaspoons of honey, but if you prefer a sweeter taste, I would recommend 5 ½ to 6 tablespoons of honey. 

Yields eight popsicles 

Key Lime Pie Popsicles, Credit: Nourish & Fete

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