Put the healthy back into summer with high-C herbal ice pops
Summertime in Texas usually means extreme heat and sunshine. After a day of fun out in the sun, we are all usually overheated and in need of something to cool us down and replenish our electrolytes. When this happens, my first act is to go to the freezer and see what ice pops we have on hand.
As a child, my mom always made us delicious homemade ice pops. I found them way tastier than the conventional ice pops that all of our friends’ moms bought at the grocery store. After looking at the ingredients of those store bought versions, I don’t blame her in the least for choosing to make us fresh homemade fruit juice ice pops.
What’s in a conventional ice pop?
When I think of delicious refreshing ice pops, I imagine fresh fruits and vibrant juices, but when I looked at the ingredients for one of the main ice pop brands on the market, I found NONE of those ingredients in their pops. What did I find as the main ingredients for these pops? Along with water:
- High fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, AND sugar – Not only are all three of these sweeteners derived from genetically modified sources, but high fructose corn syrup is directly linked to the occurrence of obesity and type 2 diabetes, as well as to ADD/ADHD in children.
- Artificial flavoring – You would think it’d be as easy as adding cherry juice to a cherry ice pop, but instead the use of artificial flavoring is much cheaper and more prevalent. Not only are some people allergic to specific artificial flavorings, some flavorings are derived from less than savory sources. For example, to attain the artificial flavors of vanilla, raspberry, and strawberry, sometimes manufacturers use the additive castoreum; the excreted juices from the anal glands of a beaver…yum.
- Artificial coloring – Not only is artificial coloring linked to hyperactivity in children but several of the dyes also contain known carcinogens.
Put the healthy back in ice pops with herbs
Reading the ingredients list on the back of conventional ice pop box is enough to make a parent go mad! Where’d all the juice go? When you make your own ice pops you can easily make great tasting ice pops that not only make you seem like super awesome mom (because you are!), but also put the health back into your ice pops. The addition of herbal tea to your ice pops makes your options endless. You can change up your herbs to match you and your child’s needs.
The ice pop recipe that I share with you today contains chamomile and hibiscus, but you can switch up the tea to fit your needs. Chamomile is a great addition because kids love the sweet flavor and it not only helps to calm and soothe, but also is great at easing digestion. Hibiscus is one of my favorites because it has a high vitamin C content with a tart flavor, and a lovely red color. These two herbs make for a great electrolyte replenishing tea for after-sun ice pops! (Note: While chamomile and hibiscus are considered very gentle herbs and are consumed frequently by children around the word, please always consult your pediatrician before giving herbs to kids.)
High-C Herbal Ice Pops
Ice Pop Ingredients
Herbal tea infusion
Fresh fruit juices (this is a great place to sneak in some carrots or other veggies!)
Pureed or chunky fruit
Honey to taste (optional – I don’t normally need to add honey because of the fruit and juices that I add to my ice pops)
Ice pop molds
- Steep herbs in hot water for 5 minutes. Strain and let cool.
- Combine equal parts cooled tea and juice. For even more fun flavors, add chunks and puree of fruits of your choice. (For a creamy ice pop option, you can add coconut milk in equal parts to the tea and juice.)
- Pour into ice pop molds and freeze.
- Enjoy healthier herbal ice pops on hot days!
What flavor herbal ice pops are you going to create?