Ice pops (or, popsicles) really aren’t complicated. In most cases they are just frozen juice. At least if you make them at home that’s all that’s needed. The problem with most of the ice pops at the grocery store is they contain all kinds of other things in them, too – stabilizers, thickeners, artificial or “natural” flavors and dyes, not to mention, added sugars of all sorts. The list goes on and it’s so unnecessary! These types of ingredients are many of the ways GMOs sneak into our foods and many people have sensitivities to things like carageenan or dyes and don’t even know it.
If your kids (or you) are like mine they enjoy having an ice pop or some homemade ice cream in the freezer, especially during the summer. They enjoy having one by the pool, after running around outside, or sharing them with their friends. It’s nice to have these things to offer and not worry about the compromise to our health their store-bought counterparts would pose.
For this pop-making method we use our juicer. If you have been thinking about buying one for a while, this summer may be a good time to do that. They come in handy for other things such as making green juices when you want to get a boost of nutrition or when you’re detoxing. I’ve also made homemade jello with fresh juice. Here is a good article with a lot of information on the best tips and reasons for juicing as well as how to choose a juicer (and why using a blender won’t yield the same results). If you do not have a juicer, never fear! Just click on over to our smoothie pops post and use your blender or food processor, instead. The smoothie pops are also Phase 1 “legal.”
The specific recipe for the pops pictured here is below however there’s a generic formula for making juice pops. Here it is:
-Juice what you like. (Make sure you make a fresh lemon one of your ingredients as it really brightens the flavor.)
-If it’s not sweet enough add a few drops of stevia for a sugarless option or honey, if you prefer.
-Put juice in an ice pop mold. Freeze. Viola! Eezy peezy.
You may want to take into consideration the fruits you’re using and whether or not they are lower in sugar when compared to other fruits. For instance, you can make juice pops that are Phase 1 legal if you use fruits from the Phase 1 list and stevia to sweeten. However, ice pops are a treat and, as such, you wouldn’t consume them in excess, especially if you’re on Phase 1. I like to add any veggies I can get away with as vegetables are always a good idea. That’s why this recipe has cucumber and mint leaves. The cantaloupe in this recipe is a more sugary fruit by nature but has many nutrients to offer and is a readily available summer fruit.
I am much more relaxed letting my kids eat (and maybe even “over eat”) these types of treats during the summer when they’re made this way. Leave a comment and tell us all what juice pop creations you make at home!
- Half of 1 medium to large cucumber (depending on how much you like cucumber), cut into chunks
- 1 whole fresh lemon, peel removed (try peeling it like an orange)
- 1 small to medium size cantaloupe, cut into large chunks
- A handful of mint leaves and stems
- About a Tbs of honey or a few drops of stevia (if you’re Phase 1), to taste – optional
- Prep all your produce first so it’s ready to put into the juicer when you turn it on.
- Juice your produce a few chunks at a time into a vessel large enough to hold several cups of liquid. There isn’t a way to know exactly how much juice you’ll get each time you do this because different fruits are different sizes and can be juicier than others.
- End with putting a few pieces of cantaloupe through the juicer to make sure all the mint gets pushed through.
- Turn your juicer off and stir sweetener, if you’re using any, into the juice.
- Fill up each section of your pop molds and place them in the freezer for at least 4 hours. The juice will separate a bit and make natural layers (see our photo). I think it’s pretty!
- Drink any leftover juice that doesn’t fit into the molds right away!
- Enjoy! And experiment with other juice combinations. Pinterest and the internet is full of recipes!