Triple Berry Ice Pops

Picture this: it’s a typical July evening, you’ve just finished dinner, all of the dishes are put away, the kitchen is clean, and you’re ready to settle in to watch the latest episode of your favorite TV series when you remember that half finished pint of Ben and Jerry’s in the fridge calling your name…Trust me, we’ve all been there. I don’t care how disciplined you are, if there is ice cream in the freezer it’s going to get eaten sooner or later. I am a huge supporter of the 80-20 lifestyle (80% healthy eating 20% indulgence), but ice cream should be more of a once a week treat than an every night habit. One easy way to eliminate the cravings for this summery dessert is to replace it with something that is actually beneficial to your body, such as these homemade ice pops! Everything in them is natural and free of added sugars and preservatives, and will nourish your body rather than just serving as a source of empty calories. In total, this recipe requires less than 5 minutes of hands-on time and will loved by all members of the family!

The most important thing you will need is a popsicle mold. I bought mine at the dollar store and it makes six small pops. I’ve seen them sold at grocery and craft stores as well, but if you are having a really hard time finding one then you can always use and ice cube tray with wooden popsicle sticks or toothpicks placed inside!
 Next up is the base of our creation: the yogurt. I always use Chobani Greek yogurt because its use of natural ingredients is unparalleled by the other grocery store brands. Not only will Greek yogurt taste better in the ice pops, it is better for your health overall. Greek yogurt contains 15 to 20 grams of protein per serving, about the same amount as 2 to 3 ounces of lean meat, to make it the perfect muscle-building snack and satisfy your appetite for hours. Since Greek yogurt is heavily strained to remove whey and lactose, the resultant product is often significantly lower in carbohydrates than regular yogurt. Best of all, since it is so creamy but relatively low in fats, Greek yogurt can be substituted in for less nutritious fats in baked goods such as cream cheese, oil, butter, sour cream and mayonnaise. For these pops, I used one 5.3 oz cup of blueberry Chobani for a sweet fruity flavor.

 The majority of what makes up these ice pops is whole natural frozen fruit. I purchased a bag of frozen blueberries, blackberries, and strawberries with no added sugars or preservatives from my local Trader Joe’s. I feel that frozen fruit works the best in this recipe because it already has that icy consistency that we are looking for, but if regular berries are all you have on hand they will do the job just fine! There is no better ingredient to use in a healthy dessert recipe than berries, which are commonly referred to as nature’s candy. Unlike the real thing however, the sugar in berries is all natural and portioned into digestible amounts for your body. For example, a 1/2 cup serving of strawberry ice cream has about 15 grams of sugar, while a 1/2 cup of strawberries contains only 3.5. Berries are also a great source of water, vitamins, and antioxidants which promote heart health and lower your risk of obesity…can ice cream say the same? You’ll need about 1.5 cups of frozen berries for your ice pops.

 Add the yogurt, berries, and 3/4 cups water (to create that icy texture) to a blender. Blend the ingredients until the mixture has reached smoothie consistancy.

  

Unscrew the blade and pour the mixture into the popsicle molds. My molds were relatively small and the receipe yielded six pops! Stick the molds in the freezer for about 2 hours and enjoy your icy treat!

   Ingredients:

  • 5.3oz blueberry Greek yogurt
  • 1.5 cups frozen blueberries/strawberries/blackberries
  • 3/4 cup of water

Directions:

1. Add ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth.

2. Pour mixture into 6 popsicle molds and freeze for 2 hours.

3. Enjoy!

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