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With the summer heat in full swing, there’s nothing quite like a refreshing popsicle to cool down! I’m an advocate of an anti-inflammatory nutrient dense diet for optimal health. As such, I enjoy making popsicles for my kids as a healthy and hydrating alternative to store bought popsicles that often contain artificial colors and flavors and more sugar than I’d like. 

Keep reading to learn about my health-promoting secret ingredients and find delicious recipes for my Hydrating Hibiscus Popsicles, Creamy Coconut Fudgesicles, and Bedtime Tart Cherry Popsicles for those hot summer days!

My Secret Ingredients For Healthy Popsicles

I’m excited to share with you my favorite hydrating popsicle recipes that not only taste amazing but also contain two secret ingredients that up the healthy factor: gelatin and magnesium powder.

Gelatin In Popsicles

Gelatin may not be the first ingredient that comes to mind when thinking of popsicles, but it’s a mom hack that serves a valuable purpose! The addition of gelatin keeps the popsicles slightly firmer as they melt, thereby preventing drips!

A young girl eats a homemade popsicle on her back porch.

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The gelatin also provides a bit of protein, which is always good to consume with sugar as protein helps to stabilize blood sugar spikes. As an added bonus, the collagen content in gelatin is great for gut health (1).

Magnesium In Popsicles

Inspired by my homemade electrolyte drink recipe, I have started adding a scoop of magnesium powder* to my popsicles! It does not affect the flavor, but it does help rehydrate kiddos after a day out in the sun while sneaking in some extra minerals.

*When adding magnesium to popsicles, check the packaging of your magnesium powder for the serving size, and be sure to do the math – this recipe will make 6 popsicles so do not exceed six servings for the weight/age of the youngest person who will be consuming these popsicles. Remember, if you consume two popsicles, you will be consuming a double serving of magnesium. For children under age four, consult with a medical professional for guidance on supplementing magnesium or leave it out all together.

Healthy & Hydrating Popsicle Recipes

Hibiscus Popsicles

Take a break from the sun with these hydrating cool-down treats featuring hot-weather favorites tart hibiscus & lime!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups filtered water
  • ¼ cup dried hibiscus* 
  • 1 tablespoon grass fed bovine gelatin
  • Juice of 2 limes (preferably organic)
  • Scoop of magnesium powder (optional)
  • Raw honey or maple syrup to taste (No honey for babies under 1)

Instructions

  1. Bring filtered water to a boil and then remove from heat.
  2. Add in hibiscus flowers and let steep for about 10 minutes.
  3. Strain out the flowers and discard or compost them. Pour the hibiscus tea back into saucepan.
  4. Add the gelatin, lime juice, and raw honey to the warm hibiscus tea and mix to combine. (If the tea has cooled too much, the gelatin won’t fully dissolve and you may need to gently reheat the mixture.)
  5. Stir in magnesium powder.
  6. Pour mixture into popsicle molds and freeze until solid.

*Note: Hibiscus flowers are known by various names across different cultures and regions. I purchase dried hibiscus in the Mexican section of my grocery store as Flor de Jamaica, but you may also find the dried flowers sold as sour tea, bissap, red sorrel, agua de Jamaica, roselle, karkadé, and more. 

Creamy Coconut Fudgesicles

Indulge in these creamy and chocolaty fudgesicles! Inspired by the Weston A. Price Foundation recipe.

Ingredients

  • 1 can full-fat coconut milk (preferably organic)
  • 1 can coconut cream (preferably organic)
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (preferably organic)
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons grass fed bovine gelatin
  • 2 tablespoons of raw honey or maple syrup (no honey for babies under 1)

Instructions

  1. In a blender, combine all ingredients.
  2. Pour mixture into a small saucepan and heat gently until very warm but not boiling – just enough to dissolve the gelatin.
  3. Let mixture sit with the heat turned off for 10 min or so until the gelatin has fully dissolved, and then give it a good mix.
  4. Pour the mixture into popsicle molds.
  5. Place in the freezer and let set until frozen.

Tart Cherry Bedtime Popsicles

Yummy bedtime popsicles (inspired by my Bedtime Mocktail recipe) make a great way to wind down for bedtime due to the melatonin naturally found in tart cherry juice (2)! 

Ingredients

  • 1 cup tart cherry juice (preferably organic)
  • 1 cup orange juice (preferably organic)
  • 1 tablespoon gelatin
  • 1 scoop magnesium powder

Instructions

  1. In a small saucepan, heat the tart cherry juice and orange juice over low heat.
  2. Sprinkle the gelatin into the warm juice and whisk to dissolve.
  3. Remove the mixture from heat and allow it to cool slightly. 
  4. Add the magnesium powder.
  5. Pour the mixture into popsicle molds and place in the freezer until set.

Who should not consume tart cherry juice?

Tart cherry juice is safe for most people, but there are some precautions if taking medication. See this article for more details: Enhance Sleep Naturally With Dr. Green Mom’s Bedtime Mocktail.

Summary

These healthy and hydrating popsicles are not only a fun way to beat the summer heat but also a healthier alternative to store-bought ones. The addition of gelatin and magnesium is optional but adds a punch of nutrition with the added bonus of reducing popsicle drips!

Happy popsicle making, friends!

For more healthy & hydrating popsicle and drink recipes, see: 3 Refreshing And Kid Approved Herbal Iced Teas – Dr. Green Mom. 

References:

  1. Abrahams, M., O’Grady, R., & Prawitt, J. (2022). Effect of a Daily Collagen Peptide Supplement on Digestive Symptoms in Healthy Women: 2-Phase Mixed Methods Study. JMIR formative research, 6(5), e36339. https://doi.org/10.2196/36339
  2. Howatson, G., Bell, P. G., Tallent, J., Middleton, B., McHugh, M. P., & Ellis, J. (2012). Effect of tart cherry juice (Prunus cerasus) on melatonin levels and enhanced sleep quality. European journal of nutrition, 51(8), 909–916. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00394-011-0263-7
Dr. Green Mom

Dr. Mayer is a naturopathic medical doctor and an expert in nutrition and wellness as it relates to pediatrics and families. Her passion for prevention of disease as cure fueled her desire to immerse herself into specializing in adult onset chronic conditions, as well as childhood chronic illness.

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