Let’s face it: kids love their frozen treats. But many parents aren’t too keen on all the unhealthy choices they’re often faced with. So if you want a fresh and healthy alternative to store-bought popsicles, why not make your own? Full of real fruit, this recipe combines the best flavors of spring and summer all in one cool pop: strawberry and lemonade. Oh, and did we mention that they’re so easy to make, your kids can get in on the action?
Start with real lemonade and fresh strawberries
Real lemonade (with only lemon juice, sugar and water) is easy to find in the chilled section of any grocery store–be sure to check the ingredients list. (You could also make your own at home mixing simple syrup with water and lemon juice.) Stock up on strawberries, either fresh or frozen–about a pint.
Use popsicle molds, a silicone tray or paper cups
Popsicle molds are easiest to work with but other options include small paper cups or for trays ice cubes or freezing baby food. These make perfect portions for young kids. All you’ll need to add are lollipop or popsicle sticks which can be found in craft stores or check your local grocery store. You’ll also want to have a sharp knife and cutting board handy.
Remove stems from strawberries
First you’ll need to remove the green stems from the berries. Little hands are perfect for this job if you’ve got helpers.
Finely dice strawberries
Similar to the way you would chop an onion, slice the strawberries in planks (horizontally) then sticks (vertically) before dicing each one from tip to top.
Chop through any large chunks
Once all the berries are diced, run your knife through one more time. Small chunks taste best inside a popsicle like this. Note: The strawberries will start to get juicy at this point.
Combine strawberries with lemonade
Next add the berries to your pitcher of lemonade. And don’t forget to scrape all the juices off the cutting board into the pitcher as well!
Mix up the berries and lemonade. The strawberry pieces will stay near the top but the juices will start to incorporate.
Pour into molds
Fill the holders almost to the top, allowing a sliver of space for the liquid to expand as it freezes.
Option A: Cover with handles
If you’re using popsicle molds, kids can finish by adding the handles.
Option B: Score foil and add sticks
If you’re using an ice cube tray, paper cups or baby food mold, cover with foil. Tip: Press down on the foil so you can see the indentations of the cups below. That’ll make it easier to place your sticks in the middle of each popsicle. Then use the sharp tip of a knife to crisscross the foil where your stick will be inserted. If you don’t, the stick will puncture the foil and the hole will be too loose (as seen on the left). Scoring the foil will ensure a tighter fit and your stick will stand up straight (see the right image).
Set on a flat area in the freezer for at least four hours or overnight. Then your homemade pops are ready to eat! A perfect dessert or warm weather treat for your family.