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Reliving Summer Memories with A Healthy Twist {Recipe}

by Elise Museles

popsicleIt’s the middle of summer. The fan in my room is cranked up to the highest speed. Small beads of sweat trickle down my beet-red cheeks as I happily play pick-up-sticks with my sister.

I’m 10-years-old living in sunny California.

All of a sudden, a familiar melody echoes from the end of our street into my open window. We stop playing. Our eyes widen. In an instant, we race down the stairs, out the front door, to the part of the cul-de-sac where a line of children has already formed.

There it sits, in all its glory. The beloved ice cream truck.

We all have fond memories around food. And I can’t think of one sweeter than the ice cream truck.The excitement that bubbles inside of you, anticipating its arrival. The curiosity you experience as you carefully select your delicious treat (Bomb Pop, Drumstick, Nutty Buddy, Choco Tacos). The unforgettable taste of that first lick on a sweltering summer day.

As adults enduring the blazing heat of July, we can’t help but remember our sweet, sticky, carefree days of youth. And although we still crave those summer novelties, we’re also wiser and more health conscious than ever before.

Sure, that frozen popsicle would taste great, but the excitement we feel when we think about those childhood favorites is in part because of the associations we have with the food… the experiences and memories that surround it.

Is it really the red, white and blue icy sugar water on a stick that you crave? Or is it the memory of the event and the overwhelming anticipation you felt when you were selecting such sweet goodness that, even decades later, still makes your mouth water? My guess is mostly the second one.

Now as parents, we desire to build lasting memories with our children, such as mine of the famous ice cream truck, which they will undoubtedly cherish for life. But since we also want to nourish them with foods that not only taste good, but also make them feel good, what better way to create such delicious and nutritious summer memories than in your own kitchen together?

So, let’s shift the paradigm for ourselves, and for our kids. By sharing fun experiences around food, we can lay the foundation for healthy, happy memories for future generations.

To begin, here’s a lighter version of a childhood favorite, that’s just as tasty without all of the added sugar or artificial ingredients. (Because who wants a sugar crash when you can spend all day energized!)

You can make these colorful popsicles with your kids or save them for yourself to satisfy the inner-kid in all of us. Just because you’re a grown up doesn’t mean the fun has to stop.

Watermelon Burst Popsicles

*Makes approximately 8 pops 

This recipe allows lots of room for flexibility.  You can use more or less of the liquids or fruit depending on whether you prefer a smoother or chunkier popsicle. Be creative and mix & match different fruits and flavors.

INGREDIENTS

4 cups seedless watermelon chunks
2 limes, juiced
1 pinch sea salt
1 cup chopped fresh fruit (blueberries, peaches, kiwi, pineapple)

METHOD

In a blender combine watermelon, lime juice, and sea salt until smooth.

Place a small handful of berries/cut up fruit in the bottom of each popsicle mold.  Next, fill the mold with watermelon juice, leaving room for additional fruit. Freeze for 45 minutes or until slushy, then drop in more fresh fruit and insert wooden sticks into mixture. Freeze for 8 hours or overnight.

To unfreeze the ice pops, insert the molds in hot water for 5 to 10 seconds. Enjoy immediately & share with all the neighborhood kids.

Added flavor:

:: This popsicle has amazing hydrating superpowers and is mega high in iron (as much as spinach!) and loaded with vitamin C.

:: Dehydrated? Low on energy? No sweat. This yummy treat will juice you up – instantly.

:: From the very first lick, you’ll happily wander back to your days of sweet, sticky summers – guaranteed.

Now, it’s your turn.  I’d love to hear your favorite memories of summer treats in the comments below. Share and let’s inspire one another to create new memories using nourishing and beautiful ingredients!

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