Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Simple Summer Schemes: Smoothie Pops

For me, summer means searching for and acquiring frozen things with which to keep myself cool.  Any frozen thing will do, really, but with kids, the more fun that frozen thing happens to be, the better.  Popsicles are good, but homemade popsicles?  FUN!  Especially when the kids in question are allowed to be involved with the whole process.

Usually, there's not much 'process' involved with popsicles, but these smoothie pops take a few more steps which help keep the children busy and interested.  Here's the blow-by-blow:

1.  Whip up a quick smoothie.  My favorite yogurt-based version is here, but this summer, I've been loving an even simpler variety.  The recipe is super easy:


2.  Have the kids toss one ripe banana into a blender with one cup (or more, to taste) of frozen fruit.  We love strawberries, blueberries, and peaches especially; the bags in the freezer section of the grocery store are both cheap and packed with picked-fresh goodness.  Add a splash of milk or juice (more or less depending on how pourable you need the mixture to be) and blend the daylights out of it all, until it's smooth and delicious.  (Not that I know, but be sure to keep the lid handy in case the little ones get button-happy before you're prepared.  Ahem.)


3.  Find a fun pouring device for the smoothies.  I used these little cake-decorator contraptions, so the girls could fill the popsicle molds themselves, but a number of things would be just as fun.  Measuring cups, funnels, spoons, whatever.



4.  Let 'em loose with the smoothies and molds!  I mean, let 'em loose in a closely supervised way, depending on the age of your pourers.  Smoothies have a tendency to seep across a table with alarming speed.



5.  If you don't have molds, paper cups with popsicle sticks propped in them would work beautifully. 



6.  The thicker you make the smoothie -- by adding milk or yogurt in particular -- the creamier your popsicle will be.  Use juice or just fruit alone to make it more crystalline and crunchy.



7.  Don't be afraid to let the littlest helpers have fun, too.  If they spill, they're very likely to lick up the drips before you can even reach the towels.



8.  Place the popsicles in the freezer for several hours.  (Lessons in patience, anyone?)  I think ours were in for about 7 hours, and they were perfect!  Which is good, because then came the truly fun part...


9.  The consuming of popsicles on a hot afternoon.  Homemade popsicles that kept us busy and entertained as well as cool and refreshed.


10.  Now it's your turn -- get to blending and pouring!  And let me know how this simple summer activity worked for you!


What are some of your favorite popsicle recipes?  Have you ever let the kids come up with their own combinations?  What would you add to make these either SUPER decadent or MONDO fun?

9 comments:

  1. I hear you on the handy lid! I've actually start keeping the blender completely unplugged until I have everything inside and the lid on. I've been suprised to many times! :)

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  2. Great idea, Sarah! I can't wait to try it. Where did you get those cute Popsicle molds?

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  3. Kam! Girlfriend, I'm so glad you're here! Did you read my Quick Takes from June 17th? Go do it, please! -- I need to be able to leave you comments or something! Can you change your settings to allow anonymous commenters until the blogger glitch is over?

    Oh, and I think the molds were from...Target? Maybe Walmart? Seriously NOT fancy things :)

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  4. Sounds good!

    I stuck sticks in half bananas and my girls thought they were fabulous. When I was little, we dipped frozen bananas into honey sometimes. Relish. And no blender.

    When I was pregnant, I ate frozen blueberries by the bowl full. Yum!

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  5. Those look so good! I am going to make some this weekend, I never thought about making smoothie pops...Thanks!

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  6. What a great idea! I love the way you let the girls pour the smoothies into the molds, too. That looks like fun! We're going to try it!

    Thanks for another good idea, Sarah!

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  7. YUM! And it looks like so much fun!!

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  8. Sarah, I fixed my blog settings AND read the quick takes I had missed. You are so right about having an ultrasound somewhere else. We might try that if this next appointment takes too long! My uterus and I were honored to be a part of your quick takes! Thanks for the tip on the popsicle molds - I may pick some up this weekend!

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Hmm...And how did that make you FEEL?