Alabama weather can certainly throw you for a loop at times, but there’s no denying when summer finally makes its long awaited debut. That warm, sultry air that fills your lungs when you step outside in the morning brings every indication that the day is going to be a scorcher, and the first bead of sweat rolls down your forehead before you even make it to your car. Yes, the summer days are certainly hot, but the fun that comes with the summer season has me excited to pack my bags and head down to the beach for a weekend getaway!
My family always plans a beach trip during the week of Memorial Day. There’s just something so freeing to me about relaxing by the ocean and hearing the waves roll in. When I’m living on beach time, the only worries I have are if I applied enough sun screen to my children and if I packed enough snacks for my family to enjoy while we bury our toes in the sand. It’s so great to get away from the daily grind every once in a while, and it’s really nice to get to stay near the beach for a few days at a time. When we check into our rented home away from home, we always make a pit stop at a local grocery chain to stock up on snacks for the week, and with it being Memorial Day weekend, I’ll be picking up a few fresh berries and yogurt to make these easy Patriotic Fresh Fruit Pops for my children to enjoy!
When I think of typical summertime snacks, my mind automatically gravitates towards those sticky artificially flavored ice pops that you buy in large quantities. While those are certainly fun to have from time to time, I love being able to sneak in a full serving of real fruit into our diets without any fuss. These little patriotic pops are a great way to do it, and they’re the perfect festive treat to enjoy during the heat of the summer and for Memorial Day!
- 1 cup fresh or frozen strawberries
- 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
- 1 cup greek yogurt
- Honey to taste
- In a blender, puree strawberries with a little bit of honey (to taste) and pour into popsicle molds to create the first layer - making sure the popsicle sticks don't quite reach it when the molds are covered
- Allow to freeze for a few hours, or until solid enough that the strawberry puree won't blend with the next layer
- In a bowl, add honey to yogurt to taste and pour on top of the strawberry layer in the popsicle molds. You do not have to freeze this layer before adding final layer.
- In a blender, blend blueberries and a bit of honey together and pour on top of yogurt layer.
- Insert popsicle sticks and freeze for several hours or overnight
- Run each mold briefly under warm water to loosen when ready to eat
I have a small portable single-serve blender that is perfect to use when traveling. Whenever I make these fresh fruit pops, I break out the blender and have fresh fruit puree in no time at all! For this recipe, you’ll need need a cup of strawberries, a cup of blueberries and a cup of yogurt. I always add a little local honey to sweeten it up a bit, and you can certainly add as much or as little as you please! I love to buy local honey any chance that I get, as it supports local bee farmers and it’s great for people who suffer from seasonal allergies. It’s a win/win!
In addition to these fresh fruit pops, another really fun way to cool down during the holiday is with a tall glass of patriotic fruit punch! This particular punch is made up of layers of different fruit flavored drinks that’s great for both kids and adults to sip on!
There’s a little bit of science involved when making a layered drink. The base drink needs to have the highest sugar content, and each layer needs to have a smaller sugar content than the previous layer. For our patriotic punch, I used a cherry-cranberry juice, followed by white Gatorade and then blue Hawaiian punch. First, pour a small amount of red beverage into an empty glass. Next, fill glass completely up with ice. Pour the white beverage onto the ice very slowly so that it doesn’t mix right in to the red drink. Repeat this step with the blue drink and you’re ready to take that first sip! For a little extra fun, use red or blue sour straws or Twizzlers as a straw!
My oldest daughter turns 4 this month, and she has started asking questions about our country’s flag and what it means. While she doesn’t understand everything I tell her, she does understands that we live in a great country where we have so many freedoms. We are abundantly privileged to live in a land where we are able to enjoy our lives the way that we do, and as I watch the juice from the berries in her popsicle drip down her little chin, I’m reminded of those who laid down their very lives so that we can enjoy our time together at the beach in peace. We certainly live in the land of the free because of the brave, and it’s so important to never lose sight of that.
What plans are you cooking up for Memorial Day weekend? No matter where you are, make sure to take a moment of silence to remember those who laid down their life so that we may enjoy the freedoms that we do in this beautiful country. Freedom isn’t free, and we should never forget those who gave all. Here’s to a great Memorial Day and a wonderful summer!