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Cherry Berry Protein Ice Pops

Like most of the globe, the southeast is simply blazing more than usual in the dog days of this August heat. By this time in the summer, I am seeking any kind of relief I can find from the hot sun and humidity to keep things light and fun in that last stretch of warm weather.

Judging from my previous posts (and as is evident to anyone who knows me), it is no surprise that I absolutely love to eat. Hands down my favorite past time. I indulge as well as the next person, but during the week, I try to balance things out by exercising and keeping it healthy for my mind, body and energy levels.

That said, anytime I can find a fun, new, healthy way to get my nutrients and actually enjoy my food, I am all for it. This recipe qualifies.

I am not sure if you have seen these little gems, but a few years back, I purchased my own set of ice pop molds…and I mean good, sturdy ones that you can wash and reuse with reckless abandon.

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At the time, I thought this purchase to be highly frivolous and that these would likely end up in my ever-growing graveyard of unnecessary kitchen utensils, alongside the bacon fat catcher, egg “de-yolker” and corn “de-cobber,” to name a few. Boy, was I ever wrong.

I can’t recommend picking up a package of these for yourself enough. They are most handy in the warmer months, but they can be used year round and are worth the minimal price tag for the usage you will surely get from them. These are great for making healthy desserts in the winter months, as well.

I really like the Tovolo brand, as they are sturdy and easy to clean (read dishwasher safe) and they are quite durable. These Stackable Tovolo Ice Pop Molds are great for space saving in the freezer, or if you like the shape of my Tovolo Star Ice Pop Molds, those are available through Amazon and come in a variety of cute shapes and sizes.

Here is the fun part. Think of any kind of blended mixture that you enjoy…ANY of them. Yep, you guessed it; you can whip it up in moments, pour it in and freeze. Set it and forget it. A few hours later you will be enjoying the spoils of your minimal labor.

Some opt for adult beverages in pop form, which is admittedly a fun choice, but I stumbled across this idea for freezing my coveted morning protein smoothies and shakes and have never looked back. Not only does it pack in a scoop of protein with anywhere from 20-30 grams of muscle building power, but the berries used are packed with vitamins and antioxidants.

I used a mixed blend of (frozen) organic strawberries, blueberries and raspberries, as well as (frozen) dark red, sweet cherries (pitted), both of which can be found in the freezer section of your local grocery.

As an alternate option, you can purchase your own fresh fruit to prep and freeze. I find the frozen bags to be pretty great and a lot less work. Just try to go for the organic option where you can for a healthier, cleaner berry.

I also opted to use Knudsen’s 100% Tart Cherry Juice. It is really the only one that I have found is not packed full of added sugars or mixed with apple juice concentrate. You want tart cherry juice, and only tart cherry juice, so check the label. Knudsen’s tends to be a little more pricey, but for the amount you will use and for its purpose, you want to get the real deal.

Tart cherry juice isn’t as sweet, but is also touted as a superfood that is full of health benefits. It is said to aid in better sleep, reduce inflammation, improve brain function and lower blood pressure, to name a few.

Finally, I added a little fresh lemonade to the top for additional liquid to aid in blending, and to add a little sweet touch. This is optional, but I personally love lemonade, especially in the summer, and thought it added a nice acidic tang to the final product. Be sure to use a fresh lemonade and not a powder for this step. I prefer Simply Lemonade, which is also available in a light version, if you want to dial back the sugar intake a bit. Some local, specialty markets will offer fresh squeezed, and that is even better in my book.

So if you are looking for a treat that is healthy for you, but tastes like a sweet indulgence, give these a try! This is a really fun activity with kids too, giving them the creativity to come up with their own flavors and help assemble. So easy, and so worth the minimal effort. Add this to the healthy ideas list on repeat!

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Cherry Berry Protein Ice Pops

These lively, fresh ice pops combine antioxidant rich fruits and a punch of protein powder for a sweet summer treat or healthy snack between meals.
Course Appetizer, Dessert, Main Course, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Servings 6 pops
Author Kristen

Equipment

  • Standard Blender
  • Ice Pop Mold Set

Ingredients

  • ½ cup organic tart cherry juice Knudsen's is great
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup organic mixed berries (strawberry, blueberry, raspberry) frozen
  • ½ cup dark red, sweet cherries frozen, pitted
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder of choice
  • 1 splash fresh lemonade for sweetness to taste

Instructions

  • First, add cherry juice and water to blender
  • Add frozen berries
  • Add protein powder
  • Top with dash of lemonade, as needed (this will add a touch of sweetness and help with blending)
  • Blend until smooth and pour into molds
  • Once all pops are assembled, place in freezer for at least two hours to set completely
  • Share and enjoy!
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