Cool For the Summer

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Popsicles

By Adrianna Zampieri

Dust off your swimsuits and beach towels because with the end of the semester comes summer vacation. No more grueling exams, last-minute essays, or late-night cram sessions. Instead, study up on the best way to get that perfect summer glow. But of course this is Texas, and with a Texas summer comes the infamous Texas heat. Beat high temperatures and dehydration by staying cool for the summer with delicious popsicles.

I116Apr27_popsicles Rainbow Popsicles

Popsicles are a perfect snack during a pool party, sunbathing at the beach, or a day of fun in the sun; however, many of the prepackaged popsicles available at your local grocery store are loaded with extra sugar your body doesn’t need. Made from fresh fruit, the homemade version of these frozen treats by “The First Year” will cool you down while being simultaneously tasty and nutritious. And for those of you who legally can, throw in a splash of your favorite liquor for an extra kick.

Red Layer:

  • 1 banana
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt, vanilla or plain
  • 1/2 cup raspberries
  • 1/2 cup strawberries
  • Water or liquid for blending

Orange Layer:

  • 1 banana
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt, vanilla or plain
  • 1/2 cup peaches
  • 1 small orange
  • 1/4 cup mango
  • Water or liquid for blending

Yellow Layer:

  • 2 bananas
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt, vanilla or plain
  • 1 cup pineapple
  • Water or liquid for blending

Green Layer:

  • 2 bananas
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt, vanilla or plain
  • 1 handful (or more) spinach
  • 1 cup pineapple
  • Water or liquid for blending

Blue Layer:

  • 2 bananas
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt, vanilla or plain
  • 1 cup pineapple
  • Small amount of blue food coloring
  • Water or liquid for blending

Purple Layer:

  • 1 banana
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt, vanilla or plain
  • 1 cup mixed berries
  • Water or liquid for blending

Magenta Layer:

  • 1 banana
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt, vanilla or plain
  • 1/2 cup sliced beets
  • 1 cup strawberries or raspberries

How to Do It:

  1. For each smoothie, place all of the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. If the smoothie is too thick, add more liquid.
  2. Transfer the smoothie to a bowl or container, rinse the blender, and prep the next smoothie. Repeat until all of the smoothies have been blended.
  3. Carefully layer each color smoothie in a popsicle mold (you can buy these at your local Walmart) in rainbow order. Use a spoon or tablespoon to scoop the smoothie mixture into the mold. It’s natural for the layers to blend a bit, but by using a spoon, you will have neater results.
  4. Once the molds are filled, add the sticks and freeze the popsicles overnight.
  5. To release the popsicles from the mold, fill your kitchen sink with room temperature water. Place the mold in the water, making sure the water does not go above the top of the mold.
  6. Allow the mold to sit in the water for a few seconds.
  7. Begin to wiggle a popsicle free. If it feels tough, allow them to set in the water a few more seconds.
  8. Once all of the popsicles are removed from the mold, enjoy or wrap the extras in plastic wrap and return to the freezer.

I116Apr27_Pup popsicle Pup Peanut Butter Pops

Include your pup in the summer fun with this recipe for special popsicles made just for dogs by “Bitz & Giggles.” Every dog deserves a sweet treat once in a while, but be careful and do some research when choosing your ingredients. The yogurt for this recipe should be plain and nonfat; it should not contain sugar or any additives. As for peanut butter, do not use a brand that includes “xylitol” in their list of ingredients because it is dangerous for dogs to ingest. With the proper ingredients, these “pupsicles” will be a hit with your dog on a hot, summer day.

What You Need:

  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 ripe banana (chopped into pieces)
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter
  • 4 paper cups
  • 4 rawhide sticks

How to Do It:

  1. Put all ingredients into food processor or blender and mix until well combined and smooth.
  2. Divide the mixture into four paper cups.
  3. Position a rawhide stick into the middle of the cup.
  4. Place the cups in the freezer for at least 4 hours.
  5. Peel the paper cup away from the pop and let your pup enjoy!

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