Summer isn’t summer until you toss those sticks of rainbow liquid into the freezer. It takes a good amount of experience to learn how to squeeze the bottom just right to push the “fruity,” sugary treat out of the opening at the top without going too far, so be proud if you’ve mastered this. Note the “fruit” in quotation marks (really, methinks there isn’t really fruit in there).
Did you know you can buy your own freeze pops bags? Which means you have options besides frozen corn syrup and food coloring.
Rather than pouring plain fruit juice in the bags, I opted to mix in yogurt, more specifically, vanilla yogurt, because it adds just the right amount of creaminess and sweetness, so extra sugar isn’t needed. Plus, I just love frozen yogurt treats. You can substitute soy yogurt to make these dairy-free.
Really, you can mix up any smoothie or popsicle recipe and pour them in these handy bags. But I wanted to make something almost as easy as buying a box of the originals. No blender is involved, only a whisk and a funnel.
A few notes to guide you: By “fruit juice,” anything works, even heartier juices like orange juice. I used juice box juice: Strawberry-Kiwi, Orange (not squeezed orange juice, more like orange drink) and Apple juice. To make a variety of flavors, instead of the full cup of each, mix a half-cup of each juice with a half-cup of yogurt. Each half-cup combination will make three pops. As long as you have equal parts of juice and yogurt, you can make however many of each you like.
Now, let’s chat food coloring. If you’re averse to food coloring, given you’re making healthy freeze pops, there is no need whatsoever to use it. The mixture will be a pretty pale pastel, depending on which juice you choose. The pale pink freeze pops shown here, made with strawberry-kiwi juice, have no food coloring and you can see how lovely they look.
I added a few drops of green food coloring to the apple juice-yogurt mixture and a few drops of orange food coloring to the orange-yogurt mixture. I figure there’s a greater chance my kids will grab these first if they are bright and colorful.
Lighter juices, such as lemonade or apple juice, mixed with yogurt will give you almost a blank canvas to add any colors you like, if you’re adding food coloring. You can easily make a whole rainbow of colors to compete with store-bought Freeze Pops. Of course, these are so much better, so it’s hardly a competition.