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It’s nearly summer, and what better to signal summer than ice cold homemade dye-free berry popsicles!
My girls love popsicles! When I’m at the store, there are all kinds of box-to-freezer style on sale, however, the ingredients have made me shy away from buying.
Check ingredients in store-bought varieties
Most include high fructose corn syrup, preservatives and dyes like red 40, yellow 5 and blue 1.
Although the research isn’t conclusive that dyes cause ADHD, there is evidence to show that it could worsen symptoms, as noted in this NIH article.
Or, perhaps it could just be that small amounts may not impact us much, but between 1950 and 2010, the consumption of dyes have quadrupled. My spider sense tells me that can’t be good. In fact, unlike the US, the UK has taken steps to ban all synthetic colors which are derived from petroleum.
Our diet is far from perfect, especially on those busy days. We do, however actively try to stay away from artificial additives when we can.
In typical kid fashion, mine want popsicles during the summer – so we made this easy recipe.
Right now it’s strawberry and blueberry season where we live, so that’s what we will use. However, feel free to use any fruit that you love! In the fall and winter, I use frozen berries. During the summer, we get our fruit from the farmer’s market. All that said, perhaps these are more of a ‘frozen fruit bar’ than a popsicle.
Simple to make
Before beginning, look at your popsicle molds and determine how much liquid they hold.
The molds I have hold about one-half cup each, and there are 6, so I need about 3 cups of liquid to fill them.
First, I start by washing a quart of strawberries, and removing the tops. A dry cup of whole berries will make about a half cup of puree. For this recipe, I use 4 cups, which makes about 2 cups of puree. I also add in about 1 cup of washed blueberries – and puree all together. I also add in a squeeze of lemon juice to the puree mix.
Next a simple syrup –a half-cup of water and a half-cup of organic sugar in a medium saucepan, over medium-high heat. Continue stirring as it comes to a boil; reduce heat and keep stirring until the sugar dissolves. That’s how you avoid a grainy texture.
Easy to customize
Want to skip the sugar completely? Just use more berries to make enough puree to fill your molds. Like them sweeter? Use 1 cup of sugar. Less thick? Add a bit more water. Toss a banana in? Sure, no problem. Add some yogurt? Yep! Go ahead. This isn’t an exact science.
Pour the simple syrup into the pureed strawberries and stir to combine.
Last, pour the mixture into your molds and freeze for 4 hours (or overnight). We like to make them on weekend morning to eat as an after-dinner treat. That’s it. Easy-peasy.
My kids just love making, and especially eating these frozen treats!
Frozen Berry Popsicles
- Food processor
- Popsicle molds
- 3 cups fresh strawberries will make about 1.5 cups of puree
- 1 cup fresh blueberries
- 1/2 cup organic sugar We prefer organic – use the sweetener of your choice. If you prefer no sweetener, use more fruit.
- Wash the fruit, remove leaves/stems.
- Puree the fruit in a food processor
- In a medium saucepan, combine water and sugar. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly until sugar dissolves.
- Combine fruit puree and sugar
- Pour fruit mixture into popsicle molds.
- Freeze for at least 4 hours. Enjoy!