Thursday, June 6, 2013

Strawberry banana honey chia seed popsicles and jam (a yummy mouthful)

Last year, we bought the Zoku popsicle maker so we could make our own healthy popsicles whenever we wanted and without waiting overnight for them to freeze.  I played around with it a little last year but got discouraged with the recipe book and didn't fully enjoy it.

This year is completely different.  I have figured out the secret to making perfect popsicles.  There needs to be some amount of sugar (to make the popsicle yummy but also help it harden) and enough liquid to make it pourable (into the popsicle molds) and the rest is up to your imagination.

Our go - to popsicle is a mix of plain greek yogurt, Carnation Instant Breakfast and enough milk to thin it out.  The kids love it (especially if I let them put some mini chocolate chips in it).  Plain fruit juice with chunks of fruit (we use strawberries mostly) works really well.  I have made peanut butter, yogurt, chocolate protein powder and almond milk ones.  Really any combination of smoothie or juice that you can think of is delicious.

My biggest challenge was coming up with a solution to the drip situation.  Zander and Calla tend to talk and take their time eating their popsicles (unusual, I know).  Regular store bought popsicles have a solution to this by selling Slow-Melt popsicles that have gelatin in them.  I looked up recipes for home made popsicles with gelatin in them and they all involved pouring hot liquid into the freeze mold.  That makes me a little nervous only because I don't want to thaw out the Zoku mold and I definitely don't want it to take forever to freeze up.

Then I came across this recipe for strawberry chia seed jam:

I love that this blogger used stevia to sweeten the jam and that the chia seeds act as natural binders to coagulate the berry mix.  So taking this thought process, I altered it to make a slow melt healthy popsicle mix.

Strawberry banana honey chia seed popsicles

1 1/2 cup chopped strawberries
1/2 banana 
1 tbsp chia seeds (whole)
1/2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp water

I threw everything in my bullet blender and pulsed until it was completely combined and let it sit in the fridge for 1/2 hour before pouring into the molds.

I found that the texture is exactly what I was hoping for, it is thick but pourable.  The flavors are great together, but you can definitely leave out the banana if you want more strawberry flavor and add more honey if your strawberries aren't too sweet.  All in all, it worked perfectly for a slow melt popsicle.  I didn't have any problems with Zander and Calla melting all over the place and the popsicle was soft enough that they could both bite chunks off without it hurting their teeth.  Any mix you have left over, you can eat plain, over yogurt, ice cream or on bread, bagels or English muffins.  I love how versatile this recipe is!

Other popsicle making ideas:

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