2 Festive & Healthy 4th of July Ice Pop Recipes

Celebrate the 4th of July (and summer’s arrival) with these filled-with-goodness treats you can whip up in no time flat.

The crash of fireworks, backyard parties, and oh, the food! Picnic tables spread with cold salads, fresh fruit, and of course, icy treats… yes, for all of these reasons (and many more) Independence Day will forever be my favorite holiday. Lacking the pressures of other major US holidays, I’ve always appreciated the 4th as an opportunity to gather with friends and family to celebrate summer’s glorious return. No gifts or cards or elaborate feasts required, just some good watermelon, maybe a drink or two, and definitely, definitely some homemade popsicles. Lightly sweet and frosty, nothing cools you down and gives you energy quite like them, and the best part about making these treats yourself? You have total and complete control over what goes in them, which means no high-fructose corn syrup and no artificial colors. Just delicious fruit, maybe a little natural vanilla extract, and, if your sweet tooth calls for it, a pinch or two of honey or coconut sugar

As you prep for tomorrow’s festivities (or, if you’re not US-based, as you gear up for the weekend ahead) consider the two recipes below. Both are full of goodness, super simple, and are completely customizable, the three tenets of a good recipes in my opinion. Whip some up for whatever festivities are on your list and I’m sure they’ll leave you smiling.

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Equipment:

Blender or food processor

Ice pop mold

2 small mixing bowls

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Red, White & Blue Berry Coconut Stripe Pops

makes approx. 4

1/2 cup fresh or frozen strawberries

1/2 cup canned coconut milk

1/2 tsp coconut extract

2 tbsp coconut sugar or dry sweetener of your choice (optional)

1/2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries or blackberries (or both)

Unsweetened coconut flakes

To make the red layer: Add the strawberries to the blender and blend until smooth. If you’re using frozen berries and the mixture is too thick, add a small splash of almond milk. Pour the berry mixture in equal amounts into the pop mold, filling about 1/3 of the way to the top. Tap the mold on the counter to remove any air bubbles and place in the freezer until set, about 15 minutes for frozen berries, and about an hour if using fresh.

Rinse the blender…

To make the white layer: Place the coconut milk, coconut extract, and sugar (if using) in the blender and pulse on low until well mixed. Remove the pop mold from the freezer and pour the coconut mixture in equal amounts over the strawberry layer, about 2/3 of the way up. Place in the freezer to set, about 30 minutes.

Rinse the blender…

To make the blue layer: Add the blueberries and blackberries to the blender and blend until smooth. If you’re using frozen berries and the mixture is too thick, add a small splash of almond milk. Pour the mixture in equal amounts into the pop mold, filling the rest of the way of the way to the top. Gently shimmy the mold on the counter to remove any air bubbles (you don’t want the layers to combine, so no tapping) and place in the freezer until set — about 15 minutes for frozen berries, and about an hour if using fresh — before adding in the pop sticks or holders.

Once the sticks are added in, place in the freezer for at least 6 hours but preferably overnight. When you’re ready to serve, allow the pops to sit on the counter for a few minutes or run the mold beneath warm water to loosen from the holder.

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Berry Swirl Yogurt Pops

makes approx. 4

2 cups plain Greek yogurt (can also substitute coconut yogurt, soy yogurt, or softened non-dairy ice cream)

1/8 cup frozen blueberries or blackberries (or both)

1/8 cup frozen raspberries

1 tsp vanilla

2 tbsp coconut sugar or dry sweetener of your choice (optional)

Place the yogurt in a small mixing bowl and add the vanilla and sugar, if using. Stir to combine. In a separate bowl, swirl together the blueberries and raspberries. Add the berries to the yogurt and mix lightly until berries are dispersed but the mixture isn’t completely dyed.

Use a small spoon to spoon the mixture into your ice pop mold. Once the vessels are filled, give it a few taps on the counter to remove any air bubbles before adding in the sticks or holders. Place in the freezer for at least 6 hours, but preferably overnight. To serve, remove the molds from the freezer and allow to sit on the counter for a few minutes before gently removing the pops from the mold.

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These are best enjoyed with a sparkler in one hand and an ice pop in the other — Happy 4th of July!

+ How are you celebrating the 4th? Please share in the comments!

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