I have titled this recipe for kids because the initial goal was to help a healthy-mama out by providing ideas to get fresh vegetables in her baby’s diet. In general, kids like freezer pops. They’re a fun treat! As I began planning the blog post, I quickly realized this recipe is good for adults as well. So truthfully, this recipe is for anyone!
Drinking Fresh Vegetable Juice
If you are interested in drinking fresh vegetable juice and can’t stomach it yet, these juice freezer pops make a great training tool. They help to train your taste-buds to prefer real vegetables instead of processed. Sometimes the idea of drinking vegetables can be overwhelming, and putting them in a familiar shape helps reduce that angst. After eating the pops for a while, you’ll be surprised by how easy it becomes to drink fresh vegetable juice.
These freezer pops are nothing like you can purchase in stores. They are 100% unprocessed vegetable and fruit juice. And before you say that’s too much sugar for including fruit, let’s keep this in perspective. It’s real fruit, not from concentrate, so all of the vitamins, minerals, and enzymes are still intact. Plus, this is definitely better than anything you can purchase pre-made in the freezer section.
What is the Best Juicer?
To make this specific recipe, you will need a vegetable juicer. Any electric powered juicer will do, but the Hamilton Beach Big Mouth Pro Juicer sold at Walmart is the one that I use for this recipe. I purchased a refurbished one for less than $40 which is incredibly affordable! It looked brand new when I opened it, even though it was refurbished.
I have been making fresh juice since 2007, starting with a Hamilton Beach juicer that I received as a gift. This juicer makes for a perfect beginning juicer because of it’s affordability. It is a very reliable kitchen tool that I used for nearly seven years before needing to replace it because I accidentally dropped it. I have used several other juicers in between that time and have come to appreciate slow masticating juicers.
My best advice for choosing which juicer is best for you is to start with the Hamilton Beach juicer, because it is a low cost entry point and can juice nearly everything. As you become more accustomed to juicing and have watched various YouTube reviews you can decide if you would like to add a masticating juicer to your kitchen or stay budget friendly.
Fresh Juice Freezer Pop Ingredients
The ingredients for this recipe are:
1 small piece of ginger and turmeric root
1 lemon, partially peeled
1 red beet, with top
10-15 carrots, or more
1 peeled cucumber or 6 celery stalks
1/4 fresh pineapple, optional
Now that we have covered which juicer to use, let’s get to the recipe and explanation for ingredients. Yes, it’s meant to taste good, but it’s also meant to be of benefit to your overall quality of health. You can use any vegetable that you know you will like. I prefer to offer carrots and beets for their blood building, and vision health benefits. With a family history of needing vision support from glasses, I like to offer foods that naturally help reduce the possibility of needing glasses. Also they’re great sources of vitamin B for plenty of energy to run around and play.
Lemon is the secret ingredient of all fresh juices in my opinion. It is an underestimated essential that helps to give the recipe a particular balance bringing the flavor from what I affectionately refer to as sweetened dirt into a delightful treat. Make sure you at least partially peel the lemon, removing about two-thirds of the rind. Too much citrus rind tends to over power the juice with a bitter flavor. However, you do want to keep a bit of the rind because that is where the essential oils are contained and a ton of nutritional benefits of the lemon.
You can also add a bit of ginger and turmeric root to the mix. This is perfect for tummy health support. It’s best to offer all of the gut microbiome boosting foods we can at an early age to strengthen habits of choosing them as adults and setting up their adult health for success.
Then you may want to water down, so to speak, the juice with cucumber or celery. These are excellent sources of electrolytes to keep your precious little one well hydrated. Did you know that celery contains sodium? Next time you prepare a veggie chop meal with avocado dip, try a piece of celery before dipping in the avocado and notice it’s faintly salty flavor. Celery is also an excellent source of vitamin K, which we know supports bone health and strength. Extra added assurance they’re getting the nutrients they need to withstand the daredevil stunts of jumping off the couch onto the tower of cushions they just stacked.
If your freezer pop enthusiast enjoys a lightly sweetened pop, then you’re good to go because carrots and beets are quite sweet on their own. If you want to make sure they give the thumbs up, red lips and pink teeth approval (from the beet juice), then I’d add pineapple juice. This one is perfect because it amps the sweetness up quickly. If you juice the core, it comes with the added bonus of being anti-inflammatory and joint health supportive. Pineapples contain bromelain which is a digestive enzyme, and helps support joint health. This could be of help when the growing pains hit.
Side Note about Anti-Inflammatory Foods
Let me mention quickly this. If your kiddo has frequent growing pains monitor what they are eating before these pains set in. As a child, nearly four or more times per week I experienced what is called growing pains. I also had a sugar laden, processed food diet. I can’t say for certain, because we can’t go back in time, but it’s a pretty good guess to make that my growing pains were linked to the foods I was eating since the chronic arthritis related knee pain I had experienced for over 20 years stopped almost on the dot two weeks after adapting to a strict alkaline foods inspired diet.
Homemade Juice Freezer Pops
So you’ve picked your ingredients, you’ve picked out which juicer to use. The next step is to pour them into a freezer pop mold. There is no lack of options for freezer pop molds, they’re for sale in nearly every household goods merchandise store. I will only suggest getting one that has a straw or deep cup on the handle as a way to catch the melting juice as it’s eaten. This minimizes spill onto your floors and all down their shirts. Beet juice pops can be messy, but it’s the worthwhile price for healthy eating habits.
You can play with the ingredients, trying a variety of different juices. Check your local library for juicing books. The book Juicing for Life is a hidden gem I found waiting for me at my local thrift store. I also found the book The Juice Generation at my public library, it has several fun recipes that could be made into freezer pops. And of course you can always scan Pinterest for many great ideas.
Is Juicing a Fad?
I often hear these questions.
Why not just eat the vegetables or fruit?
Don’t we need fiber?
Isn’t juicing just a fad?
Well, you certainly can eat the whole vegetable or fruit if you prefer to. And, rightfully, you should to gain all of the nutritional benefits that they offer. However, most kids need to eat something familiar, and they have been conditioned to think that vegetables are super gross thanks to various sources. Honestly though, who would ever sit down to a plate of these juice ingredients and just chow down? Especially the beets! This makes eating beets so much more enjoyable.
Consider the juice freezer pops as a fun treat and a way to train taste buds to preferring whole healthy veggies. Personally, juice is my number one preference for improving healthy gut function and helping me feel my best.
If you are wanting to help your child eat their fruits and veggies, then give the freezer pops a try to help them transition to accept the new flavors. Also if you, yourself are wanting to eat more fruits and veggies, or try this thing called juicing but can’t stomach carrot juice, give these juice pops a chance. They will help your body transition into preferring the vegetables while also giving the habit forming portion of your brain satisfaction by eating a familiar treat food.