6 Popsicle and Smoothie Recipes to Keep You Cool
During the dog days of summer, the heat starts creeping in when the sun rises in the morning, and even nighttime doesn’t significantly cool temperatures. With all this humid, muggy, and hot weather, keeping cool is essential, sometimes right from the get-go. Freeze the heat in its tracks by making breakfast popsicles and smoothies that will start your day off on a cool note. Popsicles might seem like an unusual breakfast choice, but when they’re homemade with fresh fruit and Greek yogurt, you’ll have a healthy morning meal that is ideal for hot summer weather. Get ready to blend and freeze with these six recipes.
1. Frozen Fruit Pops
Turn your fresh, fruit breakfasts into a frozen fruit pop with these homemade popsicles from Spark Recipes. If you do not have popsicle molds, iVillage explains how you can make popsicles in paper cups, ice cube trays, glasses, and loaf pans.
- 2 cups cut-up summer fruit (strawberries, peaches, watermelon, etc.)
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Directions: Place the fruit in a blender. Cover and blend until smooth. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons water, if necessary. Add sugar and lemon juice. Cover and blend until well mixed. Pour into 4-ounce ice pop molds or paper cups. Insert sticks. Freeze until solid.
2. Berry Yogurt Ice Pops
Building on the frozen fruit popsicle idea, you can incorporate a little protein for an even healthier breakfast by making paletas, like the Cooking Channel. The Los Angeles Times describes paletas as not only icy but potentially spicy. The frozen bites are made with almost any fruit under the sun and can be spiced up with chiles.
- 1 lemon (only the peel will be used)
- ½ cup water
- ½ cup sugar
- 1½ cups plain unsweetened Greek-style yogurt
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 cups fresh blackberries, or the berry of your choice
Directions: Rinse the lemon, then peel it. Combine the water and sugar in a small saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring, until the mixture comes to a boil and the sugar has dissolved. Add the lemon peel, lower the heat, and simmer for 5 minutes. Let cool to room temperature. Strain the syrup through a fine-mesh sieve, then refrigerate until chilled.
Add the yogurt and honey to the chilled syrup and stir until thoroughly combined. Put a bit of the yogurt mixture into each of the molds to a height of about three-quarters of an inch. Freeze until the mixture begins to set, about 40 minutes. If the blackberries are big, cut them in half. Divide the blackberries among the molds, then pour in the remaining yogurt mixture, dividing it evenly among the molds.
If using conventional molds, snap on the lid and freeze until solid, 3 to 4 hours. If using glasses or other unconventional molds, freeze until the pops are beginning to set (45 minutes to 1 hour), then insert the sticks and freeze until solid, 3 to 4 hours. If using an instant ice pop maker, gently fold the blackberries into the yogurt prior to filling the molds and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
3. Strawberry Banana Frozen Yogurt Pops
PBS didn’t call its frozen yogurt pops paeltas, but the process and ingredients are similar. The riper your bananas, the sweeter the pops will be. The number of servings will vary based on the size of your popsicle molds.
- 2 cups chopped strawberries
- 1 banana
- 1 cup Greek vanilla yogurt
- Optional: a sweetener such as sugar agave syrup, or honey
Directions: Puree the strawberries, banana, and yogurt in a blender until smooth. If needed, stir in your choice of sweetener to the fruit and yogurt mixture until you achieve the sweetness you like.
Pour the mixture into the ice pop molds and secure with pop sticks. Place the pops in the freezer until frozen. Release the pops from the mold according the manufacturer’s instructions. If using paper cups, turn the cup upside down and run it over warm water to loosen the pops from the sides of the cup.
4. Peach Smoothie
If you don’t want to wait for your pureed fruit to set in the freezer, you can always make a smoothie instead. Your frozen drinks can even be as minimalistic as the first frozen fruit pop if you follow Paula Deen’s peach smoothie recipe, which makes 4 servings.
- 6 peaches
- 4 cups of ice
Directions: Peel your peaches, chop them in half, place them in a blender with ice, and blend. To serve, pour the glass halfway with the smoothie, add a dash of honey, pour the glass to the top, and top it with one more dash of honey.
5. Banana Coffee Smoothie
Food 52′s banana and coffee smoothie has just about everything we look for in the morning: a little caffeine, some protein, and a bit of fruit. Blended like a frappuccino but better for you than what you’d order at Starbucks, the recipe makes 2 servings and is about to become your favorite morning drink.
- 2 very ripe bananas, cut into chunks and frozen
- 2 (2-ounce) shots of espresso (or 4 ounces strong coffee), cooled
- ½ cup Greek yogurt
- 6 ounces milk, plus more as needed
- 1 tablespoon (heaped) cocoa powder
- 1 tablespoon honey (optional)
Directions: Combine all of the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth and frothy — adding more milk if necessary — about 1 minute. Taste and blend in the honey if you’d like the drink to be sweeter. Divide between two glasses and serve.
6. Creamsicle Smoothie
Replicate the flavor of a creamsicle popsicle with Eating Well‘s smoothie recipe. Not only will you be boosting your daily intake of fruit and protein, but by using coconut water, you’ll get a healthy dose of potassium, too. WebMD says that many Americans are not reaching the daily recommended level of potassium, and that coconut water can help people hit the minimum. It yields 2 servings.
- 1 cup cold pure coconut water, without added sugar or flavor
- 1 cup nonfat vanilla Greek yogurt
- 1 cup frozen or fresh mango chunks
- 3 tablespoons frozen orange juice concentrate
- 2 cups ice
Directions: Blend coconut water, yogurt, mango, orange juice concentrate, and ice in a blender until smooth.