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Kid-Friendly Green Popsicle Recipes

Updated on April 14, 2014

How to make delicious ice pops with green leafy vegetables and other healthy ingredients.

At my house, popsicles are on the breakfast menu almost every day.

Lest you think I start my family's day with a ton of sugar and empty calories, let me explain...

A few years ago, I started experimenting with recipes for green smoothies to help get more vegetables in our diet. A green smoothie, by the way, isn't necessarily green in color. Rather, it's a smoothie that contains green leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale or swiss chard. Quite a few mornings I ended up with more smoothie than we could drink, so at my husband's request, I ran out to the dollar store and got some flimsy ice pop molds. We poured in the extra smoothie, and voila....popsicles!

My preschooler quickly discovered that while she liked green smoothies, she LOVED the frozen treats made from them. For her, there was no going back, so ice pops for breakfast it was. I ended up making them on a family trip, and my nieces and nephew discovered the wonders of ice pops with green leafy vegetables hidden inside.

And with that, my mom/aunt coolness factor rose greatly. (sorry for the bad pun, but I couldn't restist) I'd love to share my coolness with you so that your family can eat healthier and enjoy a lot of extra fun at breakfast or any other time of the day you crave a nutritious but very tasty treat.

photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/clairity/729362384/

Helping us live healthier with a huge dose of fun thrown in - A bit more of our frozen breakfast story

Why do I care about making spinach available frozen and on a stick?

Two words: healthy. fun.

A few years ago, my husband and I saw ourselves gaining weight. Though we tried to eat well, when we took stock of our pantry and our eating habits, we saw too much processed food for our comfort. And, as we thought about helping our then-toddler daughter BJ form eating habits for the rest of her life, we decided a change was in order.

Breakfast got a makeover first as we tried green smoothies. My husband and I still drink them nearly every day, but BJ was a different story. She liked them a lot at first, but I think the texture got to her. I know a lot of my friends have tried smoothies with their kids too, and it's either love it or hate it, mostly for the same reason BJ started giving them the cold shoulder.

I really didn't want to have to force nutritious food on my daughter. Truly, I'm not a mom who peddles to the every whim of her child's extra-picky palate. However, there are some very nutritious foods that don't taste good to my child in their regular form. While I'd love her to appreciate spinach, kale and other greens in their own right, at this point, my priority is her getting the goodness of their A vitamins, iron and more into her tummy.

I also want to show BJ that healthy food can be really, really fun. I mean, how many kids get to eat something usually reserved for dessert as part of their first main meal of the day? And if it gets messy, that's ok too. BJ usually ends up with an ice pop smile that goes from cheek to cheek, and at least one day per week it somehow ends up on her forehead.

Don't tell BJ, but I've been slowly upping the spinach in her breakfast. I don't think she minds. I think she's having too much fun eating something yummy and cold on a stick.

photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/stevendepolo/3773262541/

Will you make green popsicles?

How likely are you and/or your family to try green ice pops?

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My daughter at breakfast, complete with bed head and a smile

My daughter at breakfast, complete with bed head and a smile
My daughter at breakfast, complete with bed head and a smile

All the measurements given in this recipe are approximate. I just eyeball it each time and then add a bit more of this or that to taste if I think it's necessary. The nice part is that unlike with recipes that you're making for smoothies, preparing a recipe just for making popsicles doesn't require any ice or frozen fruit.

You'll notice that a few ingredients have the option of plain or vanilla. If you opt for the plain, you'll need to add a bit of vanilla extract to the mixture to add that flavor profile. Maybe 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon to taste.

Prep time: 10 min
Ready in: 10 min
Yields: approx 5-10 popsicles, depending on mold size

Ingredients

  • 2 Tablespoons ground flax seed (we use Bob's Red Mill brand)
  • 2 Cups loosely packed raw spinach leaves
  • 2 bananas - the more ripe the better. Over-ripe has the best flavor for this recipe in my opinion..
  • 1/2 Cup plain or vanilla greek yogurt
  • 4 -7 drops of plain or vanilla stevia extract - to taste. You can use another kind of sweetener...honey or sugar or whatever you wish. I prefer stevia for its low glycemic load.
  • generous 1/2 Cup of blueberries
  • 1 1/2 to 2 Cups strawberries
  • 3/4 cup red grapes
  • 1/2 to 2 cups water for consistency. Start out with just 1/2 cup then add more to thin out the mixture if necessary. Using frozen fruit will make you use more water.
  • OPTIONAL: 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon vanilla to taste if you don't use vanilla stevia extract.

Instructions

  1. If you have a high-powered blender, just put flax seed thru the grapes in the blender, add 1/2 cup of the water, and turn it on, adding water as necessary for your preferred consistency. If you're using a regular blender, you may need to chop up some of the fruit before adding to the blender, then proceed as above.
  2. Taste the mixture and tweak it a bit if you want.
  3. Pour mixture into popsicle molds and freeze until hardened.
  4. photo credit: BunnyFabulous (that's me)
Cast your vote for Vanilla GrapeBerry Pops

Favorite ice pop making tool #1: The mother of all blenders - If you make green smoothies or ice pops regularly, it's totally worth investing in a high-powered

Vitamix 5200 Blender, Professional-Grade, 64 oz. Container, Black
Vitamix 5200 Blender, Professional-Grade, 64 oz. Container, Black

While I was skeptical when my husband wanted to get a pricey blender, I've got to admit that now that we've got a Vitamix, I'm in love. It's super-easy to clean, I just fill it half full of warm water with a bit of dish soap, turn it on for 30-60 seconds, and it's clean. I had a great 'regular' blender before, and the difference in texture of anything we make with it is quite noticeable. Since I make smoothies daily, I've saved a ton of time because I don't have to chop up fruit (especially frozen fruit) before blending. You just plop it in, use the tamper to mash it down onto the blades, and the Vitamix blends it. It'll even blend entire frozen bananas. No joke. It's incredibly easy to hide leafy greens in popsicles and smoothies; there aren't visible pieces like other blenders would leave in there. Added bonus: this thing makes creamy peanut butter and other nut butters.

 

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana-sicles - These are reminiscent of ice cream, but more icy and less creamy. Delicious, in any case.

I got the idea for this recipe from the dozens of Pinterest pins about how to make healthy 'ice cream' from frozen bananas. You don't have to freeze the bananas beforehand for this popsicle recipe, but it's a similar concept and flavor profile. Yes, these can look a bit green. If you want these to look more brown to entice skeptical children to try them, by all means, use a little more cocoa powder or cut back on the spinach at first.

Another random note: most smoothies taste great as popsicles and vice versa. However, this recipe is great as a popsicle, but is a very so-so smoothie. Just sayin'

Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 5 min
Ready in: 15 min
Yields: 2-6 ice pops, depending on mold size

Ingredients

  • 2 Tablespoons ground flax seeds
  • 4 very ripe bananas
  • 2 heaping tablespoons cocoa powder -- or more if you wish
  • 2 heaping tablespoons peanut butter or other nut butter
  • 4 -8 drops of stevia extract (or small amount of your choice of sweetener - to taste)
  • small amount of water - if needed for consistency
  • 1 -2 cups loosely packed raw spinach leaves

Instructions

  1. Put all ingredients in a blender and blend until fully incorporated. Sweeten to taste, and/or add a bit of water if needed for consistency. Pour into ice pop molds and freeze.
  2. photo credit: BunnyFabulous (that's me)

Top 10 Reasons to Love Green Ice Pops - At least in my opinion. Let me know if you think of more!

  1. It's an easy way to get raw leafy greens into you and your family's diet
  2. They taste delicious
  3. You have control of the ingredients
  4. They're cool and refreshing on a hot summer day
  5. Everything's more fun when it's on a stick
  6. They make breakfast more fun and nutritious
  7. They're an easy snack when you're craving something sweet but healthy
  8. They're easy to make
  9. One ice pop recipe makes lots of ice pops
  10. You can try all sorts of green popsicle recipes to find your favorites

Favorite Ice Pop Making Tool #2 -- Ice Pops in an instant....almost - It takes the wait out of popsicle making. 'Meh,' you might say, but when you make ice pops

Zoku Quick Pop Maker, Make Popsicles in as Little as 7 Minutes on your Countertop, White
Zoku Quick Pop Maker, Make Popsicles in as Little as 7 Minutes on your Countertop, White

Ok, so this is a kitchen gadget I never dreamed I'd use until I got it as a gift. It's lovely to fix up a healthy ice pop mixture, pour it into this nifty little mold, then 7-10 minutes later have a popsicle ready to eat. You can do all sorts of fun patterns and whatnot in your popsicles with the Zoku, but I've never tried. It's still worth it for the sheer time savings, especially when you have popsicle-hungry kids around. I've been able to whip up healthy, yummy treats for my daughter and her cousins quickly, and that's of gigantic value to me.

I keep mine in the freezer to be able to make frozen yumminess whenever the mood strikes.

 

What do you think about homemade green popsicles? - Will you try some of the recipes? If you've got some of your own, I'd love to hear about them.

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    • simple-mom profile image

      Christine V 

      5 years ago from Philippines

      We have popsicle molds at home and I think making green popsicles is a great idea. I'd probably try first the second recipe since my children love anything with chocolate.

    • profile image

      Inndise 

      5 years ago

      Will definitely try some of these.

    • Elizabeth Braun profile image

      Elizabeth Braun 

      5 years ago from Sheffiled, UK

      Sounds interesting, but I just put plain apple juice into our moulds to enjoy during our recent heatwave.=) Simple, but tasty.

      (Goodness! The security word is 'zoomworm'!!!)

    • profile image

      suzzycue 

      5 years ago

      I think spinach popsicles would be for me. I would have never even thought of this. Great advice.

    • Mandy Stradley profile image

      Mandy Stradley 

      5 years ago

      Wonderful! The pictures are too cute!

    • amosvee profile image

      amosvee 

      5 years ago

      What a great idea! Wish I'd read this fifteen years ago, when I still had a bit of control over the kids' diet!

    • profile image

      ChocolateLily 

      5 years ago

      I've never heard of homemade green popsicles, but they sound interesting. I don't know if we'll try them just yet though. Thank you for the ideas, which I will keep in mind!

    • Rhonda Lytle profile image

      Rhonda Lytle 

      5 years ago from Deep in the heart of Dixie

      This is so cool. I have tried smoothies, but like your daughter, the texture is not really my cup of tea. I think this is the answer and even better, I can get some more leafy greens and fruit into the old man. We both love popsicles! Congrats on LOTD! Great lens.

    • RawBill1 profile image

      Bill 

      5 years ago from Gold Coast, Australia

      It is so awesome to see a Lens that mentions Green Smoothies being LOTD! :-)

      I have green smoothies pretty much every single day and they are huge! I have a full Vitamix jug to myself which I pour into a 2 litre jar and sip along the way. Sometimes this also does me for lunch as well! We have done the frozen smoothie popsicle thing before, but my kids are too old to be tricked into eating healthy these days, they are always suspicious of everything we make! lol

      But having said that, they are pretty good and do feel the benefits of eating better now and understand fully why we eat the way that we do. Might have to come back to this page in the summer time! :-)

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      5 years ago

      Very groovy treat. Congratulations on getting LotD!

    • Mary Stephenson profile image

      Mary Stephenson 

      5 years ago from California

      Congratulations on LOTD. Don't have any little ones that need to eat vegetables. When my granddaughter was little she preferred vegetables to sweets and still does.

    • LoriBeninger profile image

      LoriBeninger 

      5 years ago

      My granddaughters are going to think I've lost my mind! They'll love these! Thanks for the tips and congratulations on your LotD and Purple Star.

    • darkflowers profile image

      Anja Toetenel 

      5 years ago from The Hague, the Netherlands

      I love it green, yummy and healthy, thank you for the inspiration! Your kids have great fun! Happy writings and congratulations!

    • Aminaguirre profile image

      Aminaguirre 

      5 years ago

      Looks and sounds delicious! I don't have to force my son to eat his veggies (thank goodness), but he will enjoy this new way of eating them, I'm sure.

    • maryseena profile image

      maryseena 

      5 years ago

      What an idea!

    • profile image

      myspace9 

      5 years ago

      Very interesting ideas and congrats for Lens of the Day.

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      5 years ago

      I have a green smoothie every day-Popsicles would make a great evening snack-for me!

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      5 years ago

      I have a green smoothie every day. It will be fun to make it in a Popsicle form-not for the kids, for me!

    • profile image

      SteveKaye 

      5 years ago

      Fantastic idea! And congratulations on receiving the LOTD.

    • delia-delia profile image

      Delia 

      5 years ago

      Congratulations on LOTD! Sounds like an interesting way to get kids to consume veggies.

    • profile image

      ChristyZ 

      5 years ago

      I make smoothies for the kids, but never thought of this, what an awesome idea! Congratulations on Lens of the Day!

    • HappyTom LM profile image

      Tom Christen 

      5 years ago from Switzerland/Ecuador

      Great idea! congrats on LOTD!

    • ikdj lm profile image

      ikdj lm 

      5 years ago

      What a wonderful idea. A great way of encouraging kids to enjoy healthy food. Congrats on Lens of the Day, Well deserved

    • DLeighAlexander profile image

      DLeighAlexander 

      5 years ago

      Sounds like a great idea--an easy nutritious popsicle! I will have to give it a try. Congratulations on Len of the Day!

    • ColorPetGifts profile image

      ColorPetGifts 

      5 years ago

      Oh if I could start my ten year old's diet over again ..

    • tok2gman profile image

      tok2gman 

      5 years ago

      Great lens! Congrats on the LoTD and a Purple Star! I've been making green smoothies for a long time now. Your popsicles idea sounds like fun.

    • Sharlee01 profile image

      Sharlee 

      5 years ago

      I love your lens... Photos are so cute, well done.

    • cwilson360 profile image

      cwilson360 

      5 years ago

      Boy do these look delicious!

    • SquidooMBA profile image

      SquidooMBA 

      5 years ago

      I had a smoothie this morning and was telling my friends that it would be great as a popsicle. Great lens and congrats on being LOTD!

    • profile image

      maek0witzki 

      5 years ago

      I'd like to try some of these :D

    • profile image

      GrammieOlivia 

      5 years ago

      While I am interested in this lens, I will send it to my DIL who has the kiddlings and I'm sure will enjoy them. When I know they are coming for a visit, I just might have some hiding in the freezer. Congrats on LoTD.

    • Faye Rutledge profile image

      Faye Rutledge 

      5 years ago from Concord VA

      This sounds like a great idea to get kids or anyone to eat healthy. Congratulations on LotD!

    • lollyj lm profile image

      Laurel Johnson 

      5 years ago from Washington KS

      Mom made popsicles for her four kids. Hers had fruits and fruit juices in them but not spinach. Of course, that was 60 years ago or more. Loved the lens. Congrats on LOTD.

    • profile image

      DebMartin 

      5 years ago

      As I don't have kids to temp with these delicious (and good for you) looking treats, I'll likely get my goodies the old fashion way before magically transformed into these great looking pops! Your lens is outstanding.

    • GregoryMoore profile image

      Gregory Moore 

      5 years ago from Louisville, KY

      Healthy snacks... I love it!

    • profile image

      Echo Phoenix 

      5 years ago

      Congrats on your LOTD... these look amazing! I will pass this on to the younger generation of our family and keep them in mind if grandchildren start cropping up :)

    • Diana Wenzel profile image

      Renaissance Woman 

      5 years ago from Colorado

      Fantastic way to infuse more greens in everyone's diet. I never thought to freeze my green smoothies before. Definitely will do so now. I'm thinking the vanilla grape berry popsicle is calling my name. Congrats on LotD and on living healthy. Kudos to you!

    • profile image

      Mobley5 

      5 years ago

      A great lens with a healthy message. :-)

    • marktplaatsshop profile image

      marktplaatsshop 

      5 years ago

      Congratulations on LotD, it is well deserved

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 

      5 years ago from Arkansas USA

      I think your homemade green popsicles are a fabulous idea! What a great read - and the recipes sound fabulous, they really do. Congratulations on your healthy-fun Lens of the Day!

    • rattie lm profile image

      rattie lm 

      5 years ago

      There's a niche market waiting for you. Try approaching schools and giving parents some ideas on what constitutes healthy! Well done! A girl after my own heart.

    • Dressage Husband profile image

      Stephen J Parkin 

      5 years ago from Pine Grove, Nova Scotia, Canada

      I love the idea but not having children and being old and set in my ways I am not likely to try it. 50 years ago maybe! Well done on LOTD the lens was well written and I love BJ's messy faced smile!

    • Susan Zutautas profile image

      Susan Zutautas 

      5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I'd love to try these myself, they sound delicious. Congrats on your lens being chosen as LOTD!

    • profile image

      ifuturz 

      5 years ago

      Wow, what a great idea

    • Raymond Eagar profile image

      Raymond Eagar 

      5 years ago

      New ideas are all ways welcome .

    • HughSmulders LM profile image

      HughSmulders LM 

      5 years ago

      I love to know what I eat. And it is possible when only of all the ingredients are chosen by myself! =)

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      5 years ago

      yes this is definitely something i will try.

    • profile image

      mina009 

      5 years ago

      Sounds very healthy and delicious!

    • profile image

      JaspinderKaur 

      5 years ago

      Great idea.thax for sharing.

    • profile image

      fifinn 

      5 years ago

      wow .. looks like it's very tasty. My daughter would also really like

    • favored profile image

      Fay Favored 

      5 years ago from USA

      It would be a fun way to get kids to eat their veggies. Suppose it would work on husbands? :)

    • profile image

      JennAshton 

      5 years ago

      Excellent idea! Love this lens!

    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 

      5 years ago from Canada

      Excellent idea for getting kids to eat their veggies. Traditional meals are not always the best for us - they are just what we were taught to do. Love your new ideas.

    • profile image

      Tamara14 

      5 years ago

      Thank you for promoting this great idea of introducing children to vegetables. My husband and I have been experimenting with fruit and green smoothies for some time now but our daughters usually avoid all of our combinations :) I'll definitely be trying green popsicles since I too end up with making too much of our breakfast smoothies almost every time :)

    • MariaMontgomery profile image

      MariaMontgomery 

      5 years ago from Central Florida, USA

      I can't wait to try this one! Thank you for inspiring me to try.

    • Elyn MacInnis profile image

      Elyn MacInnis 

      5 years ago from Shanghai, China

      We always made our own Popsicles when our kids were small. It's a great idea.

    • Margaret Schindel profile image

      Margaret Schindel 

      5 years ago from Massachusetts

      Now I know where the fabulous in BunnyFabulous comes from! This is a terrific idea that I definitely want to try making for my husband and me...and we're old enough to be BJ's grandparents. ;) Thanks so much for sharing!

    • profile image

      angelatvs 

      5 years ago

      Wow, what a great idea!!!

    • profile image

      yourlocalpt 

      5 years ago

      my kids will love this for sure

    • Erin Mellor profile image

      Erin Mellor 

      5 years ago from Europe

      I've tried banana peanut butter "ice cream" successfully, and I'm often hiding veg elsewhere, so this looks like a great idea, thanks.

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