Making for Kids,  What We Make

How to Make Smoothies and Popsicles

Kids are always hungry. They always want to snack. They may turn down dinner, but boy do they love to snack.

If you’re looking for a fun snack for your kids that is also healthy — I have one for you! You can make your kids smoothies and then freeze the extras into popsicles for later. It’s like 10 minutes of work and two snacks your kids might just love.

Here’s what you need to know to learn how to make smoothies!

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Here’s What You Need to Make Smoothies

There are a lot of ways to make smoothies. You can tweak the recipe to make it any way that you want! Add extras or take things out that don’t taste good to you. I’ll add the ingredients that we use in our smoothies, but you can experiment at home for what you and your family like best.

  • Juice (any kind you like will work… orange juice adds a fun flavor)
  • Vanilla Yogurt (I prefer greek or whole milk)
  • Raw honey
  • Flaxseed
  • Frozen Fruit
  • A blender

Here’s What You Need to Make Popsicles

Your choice of popsicle molds. Here are a few I thought were fun:

 

How to Make a Smoothie

Making a smoothie is ridiculously easy. I want to give actual measurements but the truth is I sort of just eye it and add more as needed. If I absolutely had to give measurements, I would say it’s something like this:

  • 1/4 cup flaxseed
  • 1/4 cup raw honey
  • 4 cups of frozen fruit
  • 3+ cups of juice (enough to cover the rest of the ingredients)
  • 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup yogurt

This is enough to make several small to medium-sized smoothies.

Put all the ingredients into your blender and blend on high until everything is incorporated and smooth. Make sure there are no big chunks of fruit left and the smoothie begins to fold back into itself.

Mine usually looks pink or peachy at the end.

The pictures are much prettier when taken outside!

 

How to Make Popsicles

Smoothies don’t save well. They’re the type of food that tastes best when you first make them. If you’re like me, there have been a few times that you’ve made more smoothie than you needed.

I decided to try out freezing the extras in popsicle molds to see what would happen. Turns out the kids love them! So basically you can make two snacks with one recipe!

They’re even easier to make than the smoothies. All you do is pour the remainder of the smoothie into popsicle molds. Freeze for 4+ hours and enjoy later. I usually like to pop them out for an afternoon snack when everyone is starting to feel tired and hungry. I don’t mind them eating something healthy like this even an hour or two before dinner.

If you have trouble getting them out of the popsicle mold, run them under warm water for about 20 seconds. They usually come free after that.

How Long Do the Popsicles Last in the Freezer?

When it comes to food preservation I’m a little bit of a nerd. I have spent a lot of time researching homemade canning and know that there can be dangers in improperly preserving food.

I think the best way to know how long your smoothie will last in the refrigerator is to look up the individual ingredients. For example, yogurt can be frozen for 1-2 months in the freezer according to Still Tasty. 

That being said, I wouldn’t recommend leaving the popsicles in the freezer for more than a week. They’re likely to start getting freezer burn and begin degrading in flavor. I also feel that this would be a safer option (especially since I’m not a food scientist).

Another note: I would use only fresh ingredients, especially if you’re planning on freezing them. If your yogurt has already been sitting in the refrigerator for a questionable amount of time, it wouldn’t be a good idea to include it in a popsicle.

Any food preservation person will tell you to choose good fresh ingredients before you freeze or can food.

Additional Ingredients You Can Put in Smoothies

I shared with you our favorite recipes, but you can try out tons of other combinations to find the one that you like best.

Here are some other ingredients that work great in smoothies:

  • Avocados
  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Cottage Cheese
  • Coconut Oil
  • Nut Butters
  • Chia Seeds
  • Milk
  • Coconut Milk
  • Almond Milk
  • Coconut Water
  • Cocoa Powder
  • Turmeric
  • Ginger
  • Cinnamon
  • Oats
  • Ice

If you try out a recipe you really love we’d love to hear about it!

The Health Benefits of Smoothies

I often give my kids smoothies when I feel like they need some better nutrients in their system. Here are some benefits for each ingredient:

Juice: Admittedly a lot of people say isn’t the best thing for you because of added sugars and so on. I’m sure the healthiness of this ingredient depends on what kind of juice you use. Perhaps fresh-squeezed juice without sugar added would be better for you but I live in the real world where I buy juice. Haha just kidding. If you’re a fresh juice kind of person that sounds great and I’m sure it’s delicious. At any rate, juice can be a source of Vitamin C and Potassium.

Yogurt: I like to use yogurt primarily for the probiotics, but yogurt can also give your body much-needed nutrients calcium, vitamin B, phosphorus, magnesium, vitamin D, and more. It can also be a good source of protein.

Raw Honey: Honey sweetens the smoothie, but there are other benefits as well. Honey is high in antioxidants and is a good alternative to sugar.  It has also been linked to things like improving cholesterol, lowering blood pressure, lowering triglycerides, and helping suppress coughs in sick children.

Raw honey has also been linked to reducing inflammation and has anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties. We have our own honey from our honey bees which makes it easier to incorporate in recipes, but raw honey can be purchase on Amazon or locally from beekeepers in your area.*Children under twelve months of age should not ingest honey. 

Flaxseed: I guess the primary reason I put flaxseed into the smoothies is to include some fiber, but it also provides Omega-3 essential fatty acids and lignans. Some studies show that it may help prevent some form of cancer, fights against cardiovascular disease, and helps lower inflammation.  I choose to use whole flaxseed because I felt like the ground flaxseed gave the smoothie a chalky taste. That’s totally up to you though 🙂

Frozen Fruit: I love to use mixed frozen fruit in our smoothies they taste great and they’re good for you. We include mango, strawberries, blueberries, pineapple, peaches, and so on. These fruits give you small amounts of calcium, iron, potassium, and a high amount of Vitamin C.  You will get an energy boost from these fruits that are much better for you than artificial energy drinks.

The health of your smoothie will also depend on what you put in it! If you follow a different recipe you will have different benefits. Here are some general benefits that you may get from your smoothie:

  • Helps curb cravings with something healthy
  • Helps with digestion
  • Boosts your immunity
  • Gives your body the fiber it needs
  • May reduce the risk of cancer
  • Lots of antioxidants
  • May help you sleep better

If you try our recipes, tell us what you think. Feel free to share your favorite recipes here as well! We’ll keep thinking of things that you can do to keep your spirits up when you’re at home.

Take care,

the Making Life

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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