Using popsicle molds for home-made ice blocks!
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Yummy recipes for popsicle molds included!
Who doesn’t love ice pops? Ice pops are the perfect summer treat! Plus homemade ice pops using homemade popsicle molds are the best. They are a staple treat for kids and even adults, especially when temperatures rise and there is that urge to cool down from the almost unbearable heat. Especially if the family has activities and tours in the outback.
Before you hit the stores to buy commercially available ice treats, think of the possible health consequences of these chemical laden and sugar-filled ice pops.
Why is homemade better?
Water, sugar and high fructose corn syrup are the main ingredients used in shop bought ice pops. The artificial flavours and artificial colours can be linked to many chronic illnesses. An added threat these ice pops pose is the plastic bags and packaging in which they are stored. This packaging may contain Biosphenol-A which poses serious health risks as an endocrine disrupter. This means it mimics or interferes with your body's hormones and disrupts your endocrine system.*
The excessive amount of sugars contained in these store-bought ice pops spike up blood glucose levels. They may also cause obesity and hypertension, and lead to kidney and liver problems in the long run. The chemicals from artificial flavours and colouring in these popular ice treats often get stuck in the gut or remain in the bloodstream. This may cause more harm, which isn't worth the few minutes of pleasure and satisfaction we get from the ice pop.
Today many mums prefer to make their own ice pops for their kids. This is a much healthier alternative. Aside from being a summer treat, ice pops can also be a good opportunity for babies and kids to be introduced to solid foods and different kinds of flavours. Especially from fruits and vegetables.
Kiwi can be blended with passionfruit juice and honey and poured into ice pop pouches or popsicle molds. This super fruit contains vital nutrients, including five times the vitamin C of an orange in one serving. This green fruit comes from mostly from China, Italy and neighboring New Zealand. It is rich in vitamin A, K, E and B, potassium, copper, folate, and fiber.
Watermelon can simply be blended with its juices and frozen in our reusable ice pop pouches. According to Live Science*, watermelons are mostly water — about 92 percent — but this refreshing fruit is full of nutrients. Each juicy bite has significant levels of vitamins A, B6 and C, lots of lycopene, antioxidants and amino acids. There's even a modest amount of potassium.
Blend with a little sugar and cream (or just water) and fill into reusable ice pop containers. In addition to antioxidants, strawberries have many other nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that contribute to overall health. These include folate, potassium, manganese, dietary fiber, and magnesium. It is also extremely high in vitamin C!
Lemon is an excellent and rich source of vitamin C. Simply blend the freshly squeezed lemon juice with a little raw sugar and mint leaves for that tangy ice treat. Store and freeze in reusable ice pop pouches. Lemon contains lots of Vitamin C, an essential nutrient that protects the body against immune system deficiencies. Lemons also contain pectin fibre which is very beneficial for colon health and also serves as a powerful antibacterial.
With or without milk, the creamy avocado can be pureed with honey or a touch of sugar for an ice pop flavor kids will really love. The versatile avocado is the only fruit that provides a substantial amount of healthy monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA). Avocados are a naturally nutrient-dense food and contain nearly 20 vitamins and minerals. Avocados contain lutein and zeaxanthin. These two phytochemicals are especially concentrated in the tissues in the eyes.
Check out our delicious avocado and passion fruit ice pole recipe here!
Bananas can be pureed with unsweetened or dark chocolate and placed into ice pop container or mould for a creamy chocolatey blend. They contain several essential nutrients, and have benefits for digestion, heart health and weight loss. Aside from being very nutritious, they are also a highly convenient snack. The fiber, potassium, vitamin C and B6 content in bananas all support heart health. In one study, those who consumed 4069 mg of potassium per day had a 49% lower risk of death.***
Cut apples into squares before placing them into the blender with a little water. Then put the apples in popsicle molds or pouches for a satisfying puree of fresh fruit flavour. According to Medical News Today, apples are extremely rich in important antioxidants, flavanoids, and dietary fiber. The phytonutrients and antioxidants in apples may help reduce the risk of developing cancer, hypertension, diabetes, and heart disease. A group of researchers at The Florida State University stated that apples are a 'miracle fruit'. They found that older women who ate apples everyday had 23% less bad cholesterol (LDL) and 4% more good cholesterol (HDL) after just six months.
Simply mash soft mango flesh with milk and place in reusable ice pop pouches or containers for a delicious tropical fruit ice treat for baby. Research shows that the antioxidant compounds found in mango fruit help to protect against colon, breast, leukemia and prostate cancers. These compounds include quercetin, isoquercitrin, astragalin, fisetin, gallic acid and methylgallat, as well as the abundant enzymes. The high levels of fiber, pectin and vitamin C help to lower serum cholesterol levels, specifically Low-Density Lipoprotein (the bad stuff).
Who says vegetables cannot be turned into ice pops? You can blend carrots with pears or apples with a little water for chewy bits of good vegetable into your kids ice pops. Most of the benefits of carrots can be attributed to their beta-carotene and fiber content. This root vegetable is also a good source of antioxidant agents. Furthermore, carrots are rich in vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, vitamin B8, pantothenic acid, folate, potassium, iron, copper, and manganese.
Just add honey and a little water. Cut the honeydew into cubes and blend into satisfying watery purees for freezing in reusable ice pop pouches. The combination of its high water content and potassium levels make honeydew melon effective at maintaining healthy blood pressure levels. As honeydew contains both vitamin C and copper, they promote healthy skin by aiding collagen production and tissue repair.
Grapefruit is an excellent source of vitamin C which supports the immune system. Vitamin C-rich foods like grapefruit may help reduce the severity of cold symptoms. There are over 20 scientific studies that supports this. Vitamin C also prevents the free radical damage that triggers the inflammatory cascade. Thus Vitamin C is also associated with reducing the severity of inflammatory conditions such as asthma, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis. Free radicals can oxidize cholesterol and lead to plaques that may rupture causing heart attacks or stroke. Vitamin C is beneficial to promoting cardiovascular health.
We have mentioned strawberries but other berries are equally great flavours for ice pops. Just blend them with water or milk and honey and they turn into delicious ice treats rich in powerful antioxidants. Store them in cute animal shaped molds or in reusable ice pop pouches for easy freezing. They may be little, but blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, and cranberries are big on antioxidants. The antioxidants in berries can help the body fight oxidative stress caused by free radicals that can lead to illness. Berries protect your heart and brain and slow down aging—and they're a cancer cell's worst nightmare. They're also lower in sugar than most other fruits so less likely to destabilize your insulin.