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Hot (REALLY hot in Phoenix) summer days are upon us, the girls are out on summer vacation, and we're always looking for ways to keep cool and busy. This summer, I remembered back to my own childhood summers, when my mom would make homemade fudgesicle ice pops for me and my brother. Nothing tasted sweeter or better on a hot summer day.
The first step was tracking down the narrow plastic bags for making freezer pops. It turns out they're called Ice Candy Bags, and they're still made! Exactly like the ones my mom used when she made popsicles for us when I was little! What a fun, nostalgic find.
Armed with the appropriate vessel, it was time to head my local Safeway grocery store and scope out my options. I'm always looking for ways to make our lives (even our treats) healthier, and I had an idea tickling in my mind to use almond milk instead of regular milk to make my fudgesicles. I absolutely love the amazing texture and mouth-feel of almond milk, and the extra protein in almond milk is a huge bonus. It's incredibly creamy and decadent tasting, but the nutritional profile is great. It's amazing that something so low in calories tastes so rich and creamy. Almond milk is my liquid of choice for making smoothies, and I wondered if it would be as amazing in a popsicle (spoiler: it is!).
So I already had planned to use almond milk, but then I found Silk's new product, that's almond milk PLUS extra protein and fiber! Score! My kids will eat it up, never knowing how good it is for them. ;-)
Place all ingredients in a saucepan and whisk together, cooking it over medium heat, just until the sugar dissolves and the mixture thickens slightly. It only takes about two minutes.
Transfer the fudgesicle mixture back into a liquid measuring cup (so it's easier to pour), and pour it into the ice pop bags. A funnel, while not strictly necessary, was VERY helpful in this step.
I also figured out that it's better to fill only about half of the bag, squeeze out the air, and tie the knot toward the top, otherwise, it makes a HUGE popsicle. Way more than my kids should, can, or even want to eat at a time. You could also make the ice pops shorter, but part of the fun is being handed this towering popsicle on a hot summer day. Place the pops flat on a sheet pan or cookie tray, and freeze for several hours, until frozen solid.
If your kids are like mine, it'll be hard to wait...
but well worth the patience!
Nothing finer in the world than a tasty, healthy treat that keeps the kids busy and happy on a summer afternoon!
More fruity flavors and techniques coming up in tomorrow's post!