For the past three months, we have lived a few minutes walk from the beach in a quiet village in Bali. I can’t quite describe how simple life is here, and how luxurious that feels. We awake with the early dawn light, and try to “sand-ify” our feet before the sun is high as it gets hot here in the tropics, quickly.
In the post preceding this one, What’s my Dosha?; I wrote, that in order to live more in FLOW with Life, to be truly healthy and vital, it is essential to balance our Doshas. And since you now have an understanding of the energetic qualities of the 3 doshas: Vata, Pitta and Kapha I know we can talk about how to balance them.
If there is one telling marker of our current generation of parenting, it is the prevailing appearance of a phone on our person, while we are spending time with our children.
Before I was a parent, I didn’t think anything of parents who had their smart phones at playgrounds or restaurants and yet, after I became a mama, now 7 years ago, this is all I noticed.
This is the year I turn 40.
It’s a big one for me.
I grew up in Bombay, India, a far cry from the west coast of North America, where I live today.
Yet for a girl who grew up in the city, I was lucky to experience natural and wild spaces far from the paved, urban environment I lived in. My mother made it her mission to get us to a nearby “hill station” (or hilltop town) for school breaks. And we rock climbed, hiked and explored river banks and followed waterfalls to their source during the downpour of India’s south west monsoons.
We love popsicles around here in the summer.
What’s not to love?
But better than store bought popsicles, are the ones you can make at home.
Home made popsicles are delicious, bursting with freshness and best of all, they do not contain any nasty preservatives, toxic color or excess sugar that are replete in conventional store bought brands.
And while we are lucky that there are so many good organic, natural popsicle companies now out there, I love coming up with new and simple recipes that are easy ways to get summer fruit, bursting with vitamins, enzymes and goodness into my six year old.
Here are two of our favorite summer popsicles. They are easy to make than you think and so much better than buying store bought ones. Plus, they are full of seasonal, nutritious benefits that make sense from both an Ayurvedic as well as a western holistic nutrition point of view.
A few tips for success:
- Use really fresh and ripe, organic fruit. In fact, even fruit verging on the cusp of being over-ripe is good. It will be at the peak of its sweetness and you probably won’t have to add any additional sweetener. Also, organic fruit always tastes better – and it’s better for the environment – all lessons I want my son to take in at this prime, imprinting stage in his life.
- Use only a few ingredients, so you can let them shine. Plus this helps with digestibility. The simpler something is, says Ayurveda, the easier it is to digest.
- If you must use sweeteners, our favorite is maple syrup. Sugar won’t blend so well into a cold fruit mix.
- Don’t be afraid to use unusual flavors, even for kids. Tantalizing evolving tastebuds is a good thing. Plus complementary flavors, e.g. the rosewater in the watermelon popsicles below is a great example – helps to alleviate the need for sweetener and can even enhance the existing fruit’s flavor.
- Have fun, get creative. And savor these as a treat on a hot summer day. 🙂
Watermelon Rose Popsicles (RECIPE below)
These are a delicious blend of – oh so sweet you don’t need to add any sugar – watermelon and rose water, which adds a beautiful, mysterious and fragrant flavor with health benefits galore.
“Watermelon is a good source of vitamin C and A,” says Paula Blanchet, Holistic Nutritionist at Interplay Nutrition. “It’s high in potassium and magnesium, two minerals that often get depleted with the heat and activity of summertime. Somehow the foods that are in season are often the ones that provide us what we need most for the weather. Mother nature likes to take care of us that way.”
Ayurveda, ancient India’s healing system of wellness, concurs. Watermelon in Ayurvedic terms is summer’s quintessential fruit as it contains 90% water. It is cooling and hydrating and is a rich source of the amino acid citrulline which helps dilate our blood vessels. Dilated blood vessels increase blood flow to any injured tissues and hasten our healing process, and also cool us down when we are overheated. Watermelon’s fibre is also useful, helping to soothe the digestive tract.
Rosewater, the second ingredient, is cooling on the body, yet it also enhances our digestive fire, and balancing our digestion is always the first step to health in Ayurveda, which is why I’ve added it here. Traditionally rosewater is also linked to soothing the heart and balancing the hormones, all good things when it gets hot outside.
2 cups organic watermelon: seeded and diced
1 – 2 tbsp rosewater
Blend until liquid. Taste for sweetness. If absolutely needed, add 1 – 2 tsp raw honey and re-blend.
Pour into popsicle molds. Wait until ready.
ps. To make these really pretty you can even toss a few edible rose petals into the popsicle molds before pouring in the liquid. 🙂
Strawberry Coconut Popsicles (RECIPE below)
This recipe combines the sweetness of strawberries with the hydrating, cool nature of coconut water. And they are delicious to taste.
Says Paula, “Strawberries are the perfect summer treat. They are also an excellent source of vitamin C, great for immune support through all the summer activities., and can also be helpful for kids that suffer from allergies as vitamin C helps to manage histamine production.”
Ayurvedically, strawberries can soothe an inflamed belly, cool the blood and help to restore the liver, all good things when we are over heated; which brings me to the next wonder ingredient: coconut water.
Brimming full of salts and minerals, sweet and cooling coconut water with its creamy taste, replenishes the body inside out, literally quenching our cellular thirst. It is also a restorative tonic for an inflamed gut and liver and we love that it transports us instantly to our time on many tropical shores.
“Yes,” agrees Paula, who adds, “Coconut water is like nature nature’s sports drink. It has an excellent balance of electrolytes including sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium and carbohydrates as well as iron and vitamins C and B6.”
So here’s that recipe. Simple and full of goodness. And be forewarned, it may take you on a tropical staycation (at least for the afternoon).
2 cups ripe, organic strawberries
1/2 cup coconut water*
Blend well. Taste for sweetness. The coconut water may alleviate the need for additional sugar, and if your strawberries are sweet and ripe as well. If needed, add some maple syrup. Optional. Add a squeeze of lime if you’d like.
Pour into popsicle molds. Wait and enjoy. Sit down beside some pretty summer flowers and savor your treat.
- IF you have access to fresh young coconut water, that is obviously the best option, but if like many of us, you live where no coconuts grow, try to find a brand you like at the grocery store. Look for one with no additives.
A note about popsicle molds.
My girlfriend Anna introduced us to the ZOKU quick pop maker a few years ago. I finally purchased one and it has made popsicle making fun and fast. Basically it’s a gadget that allows you to pour in the mix and the popsicles are ready in about 8 minutes, which makes even a last minute idea doable. I love that they are BPA and Phthalate free and the sticks are re-usable, which makes for less waste, because even though I love the look of paletas these are in the long run, more sustainable for our family. ps. This post is not a plug for ZOKU, I just wanted to share what we use at home.
For other options, I recommend the stainless steel molds, which are better for the environment and more long-lasting than anything plastic.
Happy Summer and if you enjoy these recipes, please take a picture and tag us on Instagram with #yogue. Also, if you have some favorite healthy popsicle recipes of your own, please do post them in the comments below!
What is life like when we act from a place of no fear? When we tune into our truth and our inner light? I cannot think of a more POTENT day than this one to offer up a guided meditation that I created in collaboration with Halfmoon Yoga called “Embodied Light.”
Use it whenever you want more love, radiance and clarity in your life. Trust me, we need our inner light to be more vibrant and more alive, now more than ever, so in those proverbial words, let it shine.
Finally, don’t forget to follow Half Moon Yoga on instagram to join in on a special Meditation Challenge this month and be entered to win a free “sit set” made with love and care in Vancouver,Canada. We need more soul fire starters in this world, even more today than before and if this offering inspires you, please please SHARE it with your communities.
I awoke January 1, 2017 still tired, feeling the lingering effects of a nasty cold and flu that I got hit with exactly 3 days earlier, in the white cold of snowy Whistler, Canada; where we were hunkered down in a cabin with dear friends and our children. The highlight of the last night for me had been sending the kids off to bed at 9 p.m. with sparkling apple juice amidst the sparkling ice. No champagne, no dessert, I didn’t make it past 10 p.m. and didn’t have a choice. I was in the thick of an icky feeling winter flu. A part of me rallied against it. I wanted to be more festive, I wanted to talk, to enjoy a nice glass of wine with dinner, but the inner quieter part of myself was more real.
That voice said, “You’ve been pushing too hard, you just need to slow down.”