A Healthy Alternative.

We’ve been talking ice cream this week. It has occurred to me that some folks want an ice cream alternative. Something lower fat. Something healthier. Something to feel less guilty about. So, here’s a great recipe that we use around here all summer in some form or other.

See, I’m much more particular about what my son eats than I am about myself—at least lately. I’ve been a slacker on the healthy eating thing. When I’m trying to lose my pregnancy weight, I’ll be whining about how much I need to eat salads. But right now. . .not so much.

Luckily there are recipes out there that can be mi-tee-fine replacements for the hard stuff when I want to give my son something that feels “bad” but is really actually pretty good. . . like this one for smoothie pops. The reasons to make them are many: they’re easy, they’re healthy, you can take them to go and you can make them with pretty much any fruit you like and of course you can feel good about giving them to your kids. I say go forth and create your own! Use whatever fruit you like best or whatever is in season in your area.

Here is one of our favorite combinations:

in our house they are called “poov-in’ pops” because my son used to call a smoothie a poov-in before he really got good at speaking.

3 to 4 ripe bananas
1 1/2 cups yogurt (we use plain, but you can put whatever flavor you want here, vanilla is always a good’n)
1-3 tablespoons sugar (depending on the sweetness of your fruit and yogurt)
2 tbs. fresh lemon juice
1 cup fresh strawberries, hulled & sliced

1. In the bowl of a food processor, puree bananas until smooth. Add yogurt, sugar, and lemon juice; pulse to combine.

2. Add strawberries to processor, and pulse until just combined. Insert popsicle sticks. Pop them in the freezer for about 8 hours or overnight.

This should make about 10 popsicles. And if you have trouble unmolding them, just run them under warm water for a few seconds.
Two little tidbits to share on the popsicle topic. The first is, visit popsicle.com and play one of the games there. It’s just a bit of silly fun, but, sometimes that’s totally called for. My favorite is “Don’t Drop the Pops!” This one is particularly hilarious because your (you play “man of popsicle”—whatever the bleep that means) nemesis is a dust bunny. Yes, a DUST BUNNY! Why? How? I have no clue. And that’s part of the charm.

Another bit of fun (though not in the same kind of way) is the information to be found at answers.com on the history of the popsicle. Fascinating. Here’s an excerpt:

“The discovery of the frozen pop is attributed to an 11-year-old boy. In 1905, Frank Epperson mixed powdered soda pop and water but forgot about his preparation and left it outside on the porch of his home in Oakland, California. The concoction froze overnight, and the stick he had used to stir the powder in the water stuck in the frozen liquid. Frank pulled out the whole frozen mass and found that he had invented a new treat. He named it the “Epperson icicle.” The following summer, he made his frozen treats in his family’s icebox and sold them around his neighborhood under the shortened name of “Epsicle.” Frank again rechristened his discovery the “popsicle” to show that they were made from soda pop. The selling price for the original Epsicles was five cents a piece. Epperson patented his treat in 1924 when he was 30 years old as the Popsicle.”