With one flicker of the sun, my little thugs will feign heatstroke and demand clinical amounts of ice pops. You need to up your game hanging around toddlers.
I’m guessing you already know I derive unusual amounts of satisfaction from sneaking vitamins into my gosling’s food. Soaked goji berries in Bolognese, pureed avocado with pasta, ground sea veg into pancakes – I’m more Mary Poppins than Mary Berry.
These ice pop recipes are The Snazz. Great hunks of frozen watermelon to gnaw on, and creamy banana popsicles with brittle chocolate to nourish your little one, and at the same time gift you with ten minutes of celestial silence.
The watermelon’s striking red is a visual of the lycopene content, famed for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant dance moves in the body. Watermelon has some ace immune-boosting vitamins too, like A and C.
Frozen bananas will deliver a consignment of B vitamins to recharge your battery and smile-dial. These chaps also house lots of potassium, an important mineral to help with hydration in the sun. Have a good holiday y’all! September is breathing upon us …
Watermelon Ice Pops
1 small watermelon
8-12 wooden lolly pop sticks
Slice across the circumference of your watermelon with a very sharp bread knife and even sharper concentration. You’re looking for 2 thick circular slices that look a little bigger than a side plate.
Cut each circle into quarters. If you landed a massive watermelon, you will need to cut each quarter in half again. Mine usually looks like a bloodbath, but I manage to use some of it, even if it ain’t perfect.
Pop a wooden lolly stick into the skin of each triangular piece of watermelon, to resemble an ice pop. It’s easier if you make an insert with a sharp steak knife first.
Line a non-stick tray with your lollies, and freeze for 4 hours before looting.
You could also use a cookie cutter to make funky shaped watermelon bites for toddlers from each slice. Dinky, huh?
Chocolate Banana Popsicles
Another virtuous popsicle to tickle your dimples this summer. When banana freezes, it tastes and feels exactly like ice cream.
30g dark or raw chocolate
4 wooden lolly pop sticks
Chop each banana in half (not down the middle like a banana split). Insert a wooden lolly stick into the bottom of each half to make 4 banana popsicles. Place on non-stick parchment and freeze for 4 hours.
Meanwhile, slowly melt the chocolate and optional hazelnut butter over a Bain-Marie. This is basically a pot of simmering water, one-inch in depth, with a bowl sitting on top where a lid might otherwise have gone. The contents of the bowl will gently melt by the steam of the water underneath. The trick is not to let the water boil, or to let the bowl touch the water underneath.
Dip the top of each frozen banana into the melted chocolate and return to the freezer for an extra 5 minutes to set.
First appeared in The Sunday Independent, August 17 2014