As usual, the British weather can’t make its mind up. One day glorious, hot, sunny, not a cloud in the sky. We rush out and buy sun cream, garden toys and ice-lolly moulds. Next day overcast, cold, rainy and windy. Gah.
(Note for Americans – ice-lollies are what you call “popsicles” I believe.)
Kipper meanwhile, at the first sniff of sunshine, starts begging for frozen goodies, ideally on sticks. Given that she can easily eat several at a go, I try to make these as healthy as possible, and ideally, with no added sugar. Thus, she thinks she’s getting a real treat, and I’m happy that she’s scoffing down several of her 5-a-day. Win-win.
Here are four of her favourites, all of them prepared with no added sugar. Hurrah!
Above, clockwise from top left: traffic light lollies, almost instant fruity frozen yogurt, flower lolly, fruity ‘umbrella’ ice lolly.
We recently bought these cute umbrella ice-lolly moulds during a spell of good weather, so despite the subsequent rain/cloud/wind, we made some lovely fruity ice-lollies in them. Our favourite way to make ice-lollies is simply to cut up ripe fruit into little bits, shove the bits into the mould, and pour apple juice over the top to fill the gaps and freeze into a lolly. Some fruits work better than others at this – really ripe raspberries are great as you can just give them a quick mush with a fork and stick them in the mould. Hard fruits like apples work less well. This was the first time we’ve used tangerine in an ice-lolly, but from the look on her face, I’d say Kipper enjoyed it.
The second of our fruity frozen treats is almost-instant frozen yogurt. I usually keep a bag of frozen berries in the freezer, so I can add a handful to a crumble or cupcake mix, or knock up a quick dessert when the fruit bowl is looking bare. Kipper wanted something in a cone, and I was reticent to give her a scoop of ice-cream (too much sugar!) so we whizzed this up instead. I think she was actually more excited about it having watched it being made. 2 ingredients – frozen fruit and yogurt. What could be simpler?!
Our ‘traffic light lollies’ are made from pureed fruit, carefully poured into moulds to create the stripes, and then frozen. They’ve been a big hit, and are refreshing and delicious!
And finally, the frozen ‘flower’ lolly is the simplest of all. All you need is fruit, cookie cutters, and a stick. You can make one or many, and they don’t take long to freeze. You can even serve them unfrozen in a pinch! Another advantage of frozen-fruit-on-a-stick, is that they don’t go all drippy and make a huge mess as they melt (although some fall-out is inevitable, regardless of the type of lolly). Plus, don’t feel you have to make them flower-shaped – I fully expect that by the end of the summer we’ll have had star lollies, animal lollies, number lollies… I have around 150 cookie cutters so they could get quite varied!
All the recipes are below. Enjoy the sunshine!
- 2 tangerines
- +/-100g strawberries
- +/-100g blueberries
- OR soft fruit of your choice
- Apple juice
- 6 umbrella ice-lolly moulds (or ordinary moulds)
- Peel the tangerines, separate into segments, and chop each segment into 3-4 pieces.
- Chop the strawberries into small dice.
- Cut each blueberry into quarters.
- Divide the fruit between the ice-lolly moulds. You can put stripes of different fruit into each one (see photo) or make single-fruit lollies - your choice!
- Gently pour apple juice over the fruit to fill the moulds. Gently tap the moulds, or use a skewer or the tip of a knife to poke out any bubbles and encourage the juice right down to the bottom.
- Freeze for several hours or overnight, until the ice-lollies are thoroughly frozen.
- 1 pot unsweetened fruit yogurt (125-150ml)
- Frozen mixed berries - I used blueberries, raspberries and blackberries
- 1 wafer cone
- Tip the yogurt into a food processor or mini-chopper. Fill the carton to overflowing with the berries, then add them to the bowl and process for up to a minute until everything is combined into a frozen, soft, creamy mass.
- Scoop into a cone and eat!
- If the frozen yogurt is a bit soft when you've processed it, scrape it into a zip-lock bag and place in the freezer for half an hour. Squidge it around the bag, snip off a corner, and squirt into a cone. Yum!
- 2 kiwi fruits
- 3-4 apricots
- 1 slice watermelon
- Peel the kiwi fruit and blend to a puree. Separately, remove the stones from the apricots and puree. Finally, cut the flesh from the watermelon and blend separately - the watermelon puree will be more liquid than the others.
- Divide the kiwi puree between 6 lolly moulds. Carefully pour 1/6 of the apricot puree on top of the kiwi layer in each mould. Finally, pour the watermelon puree into each mould to fill it.
- Insert the sticks and freeze until solid.
- You may need more or less fruit depending on the size of your lolly moulds.
- 1-2cm thick piece of watermelon
- Half an apricot
- OR other fruit of your choice e.g. kiwi, peach, melon, pineapple etc, cut into 1-2cm slices
- Use a flower cookie cutter to cut a flower shape out of the watermelon. Use a smaller circle cutter to make a hole in the centre, then use the same cutter to cut a circle from the apricot half.
- Insert the small circle of apricot into the hole in the watermelon flower, then push a stick through both to secure.
- Freeze until solid.