Of all my summer memories from childhood, one stands out above all others: the barefoot dash across the dew-slicked front lawn to catch the Good Humor ice cream truck. It usually came just as we were finishing dinner, so I had to be quick if I wanted to flag down the ice cream man as he tinkled his bells down our street. The star attractions: Bomb Pops, patriotic rockets of high fructose corn syrup and Red 5 that would blast my taste buds into stratospheric sweetness. My nutritional priorities have clearly evolved, but I still feel a little flutter in my tummy whenever I see them. So I was inspired to make homemade red, white, and blue popsicles, without the junk.
James is just as drawn to Bomb Pops as I was as a child. But while I’m all for letting my child have a treat every now and then, that particular blend of Frankenfood is one we’re avoiding. Not only do I want his tastebuds to acclimate to more natural levels of sweetness, I don’t think the average preschooler’s body can effectively handle a bombardment of that much crap. So I decided to create an all-natural, low-sugar version of the patriotic treat.
My Homemade Red, White, and Blue Popsicles are dairy free, contain zero artificial colors and almost no added sweetener. Instead of the processed ingredients used in the commercially-produced version, these popsicles are made with:
- Honey for sweetness
- Coconut milk and coconut yogurt to create a creamy texture
- Blue spirulina for color (I used Blue Majik)
- Strawberries for flavor and that beautiful, bright red
The result: a tasty treat that won’t leave your kids bouncing off the walls, or complaining of tummy aches.
Tips and Tricks
I got my rocket-shaped popsicle molds at Sur La Table. They’re the traditional plastic kind, but they come with a stand to keep them upright in the freezer. This makes it really easy to achieve the striped effect. As I mention in the recipe, you need to pour each layer in 45 minute intervals so that the colors don’t blend together. Place your molds in the back of the freezer during these intervals, and look for a skin of ice on top of each lower layer before pouring the next one. Be careful not to let too much time elapse between pouring layers, otherwise it will be difficult to insert the popsicle stick at the end.
Once frozen, release your homemade red, white, and blue popsicles by holding them under hot, running water for 30-60 seconds each, then pulling the plastic off the pop in one swift motion.
All that’s left to do is enjoy them before they melt!
Homemade Red, White, and Blue Popsicles
We loved Bomb Pops as kids, but now we know better than to fill our bodies with processed sugars and artificial colors. These colorful frozen treats are exploding with fun, not junk.
- juice of 1 lime
- 5 oz canned coconut milk
- 1/4 tsp honey
- 1/2 tsp blue spiraling
- 2 oz vanilla coconut yogurt (you can also use regular yogurt)
- 2 oz canned coconut milk
- 5 fresh or frozen strawberries
- 2 oz coconut water
Whisk together the ingredients for the blue portion, adding spirulina slowly so it doesn’t clump. If it does, strain through cheese cloth to remove any chunks. Pour an equal amount into all 6 popsicle molds and freeze for 45 minutes.
Whisk together the ingredients for the white portion until smooth. Pour an equal amount into all 6 popsicle molds and freeze for 45 minutes.
Place strawberries and coconut milk in a blender and puree until completely smooth. Top off each popsicle and insert popsicle sticks, wiggling gently if you encounter any resistance.
Freeze for at least 4 hours until completely hard. Remove the molds, serve and enjoy!