If you’re feeling the summer heat and you’re looking for a healthy treat, look no further. We love ice cream, but sometimes, we just want a refreshing post-workout popsicle to snack on when it’s hot and we’re still sweating from that high-intensity interval training class.
Go ahead, we give you permission to swap your daily smoothie with a frozen popsicle—you can even use many of the same ingredients! Here’s how to build the ideal healthy treat.
Choose a flavor
Fresh fruits like pineapple, strawberries, mango and watermelon taste even better in frozen form—and they’re naturally sweet, so you don’t have to add in any extra sugar if you don’t want to.
If you’re a chocoholic, try a blend of banana and unsweetened cocoa powder for a creamy, chocolatey treat, like these chocolate banana split popsicles from Joyful Healthy Eats. Coffee is also a wonderfully refreshing flavor (and a midday pick-me-up).
Choose a base
Almond milk, coconut milk, coconut water and full-fat yogurt make excellent bases for this icy dessert. For lower sugar content, make sure to use unsweetened milks, and try full-fat unsweetened yogurt for added protein and probiotics, like in these cantaloupe yogurt popsicles by Health Starts in the Kitchen.
Throw in some herbs like mint, basil or thyme to add some zing to your pop. Some flavors also pair well with lemon or lime juice (or zest of either), for more fun for your taste buds! (Mint watermelon popsicles made with watermelon, mint leaves, coconut water, lime juice and honey, anyone?)
If you want to power-pack your pops, throw in some chia seeds for added omega-3s, fiber and protein. But use sparingly or your pops won’t fully solidify in the freezer. (Psst: These chia-packed pops from Running to the Kitchen are Paleo.)
This mom and blogger even snuck spinach into her blueberry Greek frozen yogurt pops. (Go ahead, get your kale and greens in there! #Winning)
Sweeten the deal
If you have a major sweet tooth (no judgment) and the natural sweetness from the fruit just won’t do, add some honey, stevia, pure maple syrup or agave to your mixture. Sparingly is the name of the game here. Most fruits are already high in sugar, so just a dash or dollop will do.
Blend and freeze!
Blend all your ingredients together, pour into a popsicle mold (or plastic cups—adding the sticks halfway through the freezing process so they stay put) and freeze. In a few hours, pull out your deliciously healthy concoction and enjoy!
Photo credit: Alison Marras, Unsplash