You know when you eat something you remember from your childhood it immediately takes you right back to where you were, and even how you felt? That’s what it was like when I tried this dairy-free orange creamsicle recipe for the first time.
Of course the ones from back when I was a kid were not dairy-free. They were pretty close to fruit-free too. I was curious to see what was really in those yellow-boxed Creamsicles I remember, so I looked…
For reference, the recipe for these homemade pops below has 5 ingredients.
You know what the first five ingredients are in Popsicle brand’s pops? Nonfat milk, corn syrup, sugar, water and high fructose corn syrup.
That’s right corn syrup is in there twice.
Where’s the orange?
It lists “less than 1% of orange juice concentrate” about 9 ingredients into the list of 24 (24!).
The whole second half of the list, actually more than half… from that less than 1% on down, the rest are a combo of preservatives, texturizes and flavorings.
Now, let me just say, I am not the food police. I much prefer providing healthier alternatives to brand bashing. And if you buy and eat these popsicles it is not for me to tell you to stop. I know, they are delicious.
And I get it that popsicles are supposed to be a treat, as in every now and then it ain’t gonna kill you.
What gets me though is the fake-ness… and that I don’t know what the heck propylene glycol monoesters are. And that there’s close to just as much monster in there as that 1% orange juice concentrate.
There’s a big difference between a treat and a science experiment. A little too much sugar is one thing. But too much propylene monsters? (I know, I’m spelling it wrong on purpose) ;)… I’ll take mine without, thank you very much.
So, I have to say, I think what really got us into making our own pops aside from the crazy heat of summer is that I had to justify my buying two new sets of molds – one stars (for C) and one rocket ships (for M). But, they were on sale. Still… three mold sets are a lot to just sit and take up space.
To make sure they were put to good use, we’ve had pops on freezer rotation for the last few months and have been trying out some pretty awesome recipes (Do you have my free healthy snacks ebook? Some of my favorite ones are in there).
I do still have some healthier store-bought pops on stand-by (our faves are Good Pop), and I gotta tell you this is the longest any sort of frozen treat has lasted in our house.
The stars and rocket ships always go first.
I put homemade popsicles in that category of, ya, it sounds like a lot of work, but you do it once and it’s like, hey that’s not so bad! It really only takes a few minutes.
All you have to do is put everything in a blender. And here’s my tip: time it right after a morning smoothie so you’d have to clean the blender anyway…
BTW, leftover smoothie or extra smoothie makes great easy pops too.
For those days when you just want something cold, they’re perfection.
A total treat, that’s good for you too. It’s a win-win.
No weird stuff, monsters or whatever they’re called, scary dyes or preservatives. No corn syrup… or refined sugar for that matter either.
That’s where it gets even better. Even the healthier pops at the store have refined sugar. When you make your own you can sweeten them up with whole sweeteners like honey, maple syrup and dates that won’t have quite as a dramatic effect on blood sugar (read: those toddler tempers).
I think it’s the real fruit juice and orange zest in these that make them so good. They really are a creamy, sweet treat.
And eating one made me feel just like that kid eating one in her own childhood backyard.
Dairy-Free Orange Creamsicles
1 can full-fat coconut milk
1 ripe banana
zest of one orange
juice from 2 oranges
1-2 tbsp honey
Put all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Pour into popsicle molds and freeze at least 8 hours or overnight.
P.S. Get more of my fav homemade popsicle recipes, plus more frozen treats and healthy snack ideas in my FREE 40+ Healthy Snack Ideas & Recipe eBook. It’s a little gift I put together for you to help you save some cash money on snacks, and get more of the good-stuff in your littles and yourself. 🙂 Enjoy!
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Megan Adams Brown, CHC, helps families find healthy routines that work, with no more “what’s for dinner?” stress, and a lot better food. Her family meal plans help moms take charge of their kitchen and their own health, leading to more vegetables and less junk all around. Megan also shares kid-approved, allergy-friendly recipes on her blog. To learn more click here.