25th November 2019
Easy Summer Snacks: Homemade Ice Blocks
With summer quickly approaching, we asked Playdays Preschool & Day Care Centre Rouse Hill Chef, Kate, to share her favourite flavours and tips for homemade ice blocks.
“Ice blocks are a summer tradition at our house. The moulds always get fished out from the back of the Tupperware cupboard and the experiments begin,” shares Kate.
“Making ice blocks is a super easy way to get the children involved in cooking. They can come up with their own flavours combinations, help blend the ingredients and assemble the ice blocks before they are popped into the freezer.”
“Plus, they’re super cost effective, feeding a lot of little people with a small amount of ingredients. I’d recommend taking advantage of using fruit that is in season or on special at your local supermarket too.”
Here’s Kate’s favourite ice block flavours, easy recipes, ingredient alternatives and tips:
Favourite Flavours and Recipes
Ice block flavour combinations are endless, but here are some of the most popular ones. The best part about using them is that you don’t really need a detailed recipe, just grab your ingredients, a food processor or blender, and you’re good to go!
Peaches and Cream
Blend fresh or drained canned peaches in juice and drop alternatively into moulds with yoghurt.
Watermelon and Orange
Place peeled diced watermelon and oranges into a food processor and process until smooth enough to pour.
Choc Banana Paddle Pops
Blend bananas, cocoa powder, yoghurt, milk and vanilla essence in a blender until smooth.
Berry Yoghurt Pops
Drop frozen berries into moulds and top with yoghurt. Or, defrost the berries beforehand so that they turn the yoghurt purple or pink. These are one of our family favourites because I allow them for breakfast!
Puree fresh, frozen or drained canned mango and mix with lite coconut cream, lime rind or vanilla essence.
Drop frozen or fresh sliced strawberries into moulds and top up with diluted apple juice.
Natural yoghurt is always the best option, but it can often be too tart for children – though it is a flavour that they start to enjoy with time. A good option is to mix natural yoghurt with a low fat, low sugar vanilla yoghurt to help introduce it to them, slowly decreasing the amount of vanilla yoghurt you add.
Those with dairy-free or lactose free diets don’t need to miss out either. There are plenty of yoghurt options available at supermarkets, simply look for lactose free and dairy free labels. Soy and coconut yoghurt are very popular and make great ice blocks.
Children like it sweet, but you don’t need to add any sugar to create a delicious treat. Honey is a great sweetener for children over one, or you can easily rely on the natural sweetness of fruits. You can blend fruit to make your own juice, or if using a bottled juice, dilute it with water as they are typically high in sugar.
Finding the Perfect Mould
I have tried a wide variety of moulds – rockets, stars, rings, holders with built in straws to sip up the drip and silicone sleeves, but I always come back to the simple ones. This one is $1.50 from Kmart and does the job well.
Chef’s tip: If you lose the sticks from the moulds – which always happens to us – cover the top of the moulds with foil and push in paddle pop sticks. The foil will hold them in place.