Monday, May 30, 2011

Green Frozen Treats

(Green, as in environmentally friendly - but color could work, too!)

Billy and the boys love to snack on popsicles during the summer, and it seems I have to buy a new bag of them every other week. The plastic sleeves make a mess everywhere, and I usually end up with sticky drips on the floor between the snack bar and the trash can.

A few weeks ago, the boys saw a big bin full of mesh bags of popsicles at the grocery store and their cravings began. Last year, it seemed every bag I touched had sticky popsicle residue on it. I was in no mood to wander around the store with sticky hands, so I put the boys off, telling them we'd get some later. Then I remembered the plastic popsicle molds we used to have a long time ago. In our many moves, they'd been lost or misplaced, or maybe I sold them in a garage sale or threw them out. I was on a new mission.

I spent about $6 on three sets of popsicle molds at Wal-Mart, enough to make 12 popsicles at a time - and they're a perfect fit inside the freezer door!

We started out making ice pops from tropical punch-flavored Kool-Aid, which the boys love. They were a hit!

Next we tried strawberry yogurt. (Jacob's big thing lately has been putting his yogurt containers in the freezer, but then he struggles with digging the frozen yogurt out with a spoon. He loves the taste, but after a while he loses interest and sticks it back in the freezer. I've ended up throwing a few away because he never finished it or he left one on the counter to thaw and forgot about it...) These were great! Now the boys can have easy-to-eat frozen yogurt on a stick in the flavor(s) of their choosing.

I can also eat them because they're only 50 calories each. I've gotten so used to eating plain fat-free yogurt with homemade granola for breakfast every morning that I find the flavored yogurts too sweet. But this is the perfect amount - and it's more like an small ice cream bar.

We've also talked about freezing fruit or chocolate chips in with the yogurt or making pudding pops. I think the boys are eager to try banana chunks in chocolate pudding or banana cream pie-flavored yogurt. They're also looking forward to lemonade pops and some made from different fruit juices. I want to try watermelon! We're also considering filling the molds with homemade ice cream and seeing how they freeze up. We've got plenty of options to carry us through the summer!

We're reducing our trash by not having to throw away those troublesome plastic sleeves or the mesh bags - and we're reusing our popsicle molds on an almost daily basis. Now that's $6 well spent!

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