It’s summer time, and it’s hot out there. Whether you are playing or working outside all day, hanging out with friends at the outdoor market, or sweating out all the sweat, you need some damn popsicles!
There are few things that can be as satisfying as a popsicle on a hot day. It cools down the inside of the body, which sometimes feels impossible.
Some of my best memories are the ones that include slurping down a delicious orange popsicle (my favourite flavour.) The thing is that now that I am an adult (well sometimes this can be debated), I read the ingredient labels, and I cringe.
I have written this post to show you how simple it can be to make your own totally natural and healthy popsicles right at home. No muss, no fuss.
Why Avoid The Processed Stuff?
As with most things in the supermarket these days, popsicles are over processed and completely lack any nutrition. In fact, with the crazy amount of refined sugar they contain, they can actually remove nutrients from your body.
I looked up a few types to see what their ingredients are and here is what I found for the top 4:
- high fructose corn syrup,
- corn syrup, and
Other than water, the rest are all simple sugars. They are all highly refined and wreak havoc on the body when eaten. Too much sugar in the diet can lead to:
- nutritional deficiencies,
- digestive issues,
- hormonal imbalance,
- menstrual irregularities and premenstrual symptoms,
- yeast and/or bacterial overgrowth,
- mood swings,
- heart disease… the list goes on.
As I went further down the list, I saw the store-bought popsicles also contain natural and artificial flavours and many dyes. Unfortunately these categories are also problematic.
Natural and artificial flavours is a blanket term for a whole bunch of different chemicals. The product could contain one of these or it could have multiple, we never know. To me, the fact that they don’t just come out and say what is in their products is a red flag.
Synthetic dyes are made from petroleum and coal tar products and have been linked to behavioral problems, carcinogenicity, allergy, and general toxicity. That’s a scary sentence. I wouldn’t want anyone eating these things. The worst is that these are marketed to children who are sensitive to these chemicals.
While looking up the worst-of-the-worst products, I also looked for the stuff they label as Natural to see how that compares.
I found that there was less sugar listed, but they did still contain added sugar, and they still have the natural/artificial flavours and dyes in the product. Nothing natural about it.
Natural is one of those words that companies use to make their products seem better. In reality, they are the same crap, different label.
I don’t know about you, but I really dislike reading labels. It is confusing and frustrating when you start learning about all the garbage in processed foods. A simple way around this is to eat food that doesn’t have labels.
These include all whole, plant foods. There is never a label on a strawberry because that is a whole food. There are no ingredients. That is the way nature made it, and as I learn more I see that nature is pure perfection. The more we eat whole foods straight from the earth, the more healthy and vibrant we become.
How To Make Whole Food Popsicles
The secret to making great popsicles at home are the ingredients you use. Would you add three different types of sugar to homemade popsicles, or anything homemade really? The answer is probably no.
The best ingredients you can use are whole foods, like the strawberries I mentioned above. There are great recipes all over the place for healthy popsicles, or you can make up your own concoction.
A simple one I made last night was strawberries and some coconut milk. I find that they are the best when they are simple.
- When you have your ingredients out, its time to pull out your blender.
- Add all your whole foods to the blender and process until smooth. At this point, it is great to taste the liquid to make sure it is worthy of your summer!
- Continue adding food until you get the amount you need to fill your popsicle molds.
- Fill the molds and then freeze for at least 8 hours.
- Enjoy at your leisure!
This is a simple way to alter a delicious treat into something that will keep your summers cool and healthy. Cheers to that!
Some great fruits to try are:
- any type of berry – strawberry, blueberry, blackberry, raspberry, saskatoon berry…
Any of these would be delicious on their own or mixed with others. You can also try adding herbs or spices to the mix – mint, basil. lavender, cayenne, cardamom, etc. Use your creative side to make any kind of delicious popsicles your imagination can dream up.
A lot of everyday foods are full of junk that we don’t need and actually will cause harm in the short and long term. Eating less of these foods can seem daunting at first, but is totally possible.
Changing eating habits takes time, and adding in little treats like this will make the transition easier.
The earth provides us with an abundance of whole, delicious foods. I love finding ways to incorporate more of them into my diet and my life. I always find that the more simple the recipe, the more delicious turns out.
Actual natural flavours are so rich and so satisfying. You will find that as you add more to your diet, you will start to crave these over processed foods.
Yours in plant love.