Temperatures at 100° along with high humidity is a dangerous combination for anyone but especially the elderly. So what can help relieve the heat? Popsicles. I remember the excitement generated by the sound of the music coming from the ice cream truck as it rounded the corner. I would run home to plead and beg with mom for money to buy a popsicle; all the kids in the neighborhood were pleading and begging at the same time. My favorite was the banana popsicles and it was a delight to stop everything to enjoy these light summer time treats. The last couple of years of mom's life she became very child like and frozen treats were special to her. It was a way to get her to eat when she was avoiding food.
A variety of frozen treats are in the stores but I believe there are several reason to go with the homemade variety. First, it is easy and fun; it feels special. Next, you can custom create a popsicle that targets the pallet of a persnickety eater. Third, if you are concerned about your parents nutrient intake, you can prepare a healthy and tasty frozen treat that camouflages how good it is for them. And finally, sometimes when you can't do anything else for an aging parent, preparing a homemade popsicle becomes a simple gift of affection. I know that it maybe difficult to transport popsicles to a nursing home or to hospice but dry ice can help keep them cold while traveling. And the nursing home and hospice will be willing to put them in the freezer for you if they get soft.
I have chosen to share with you some of my favorites. They are simple and suit my taste buds. I would encourage you to experiment. If your mom or dad can still enjoy a cocktail once in a while check out the 33 Super-Cool Popsicles To Make This Summer by BuzzFeed Food. The Strawberry Champagne and Cucumber Honeydew Margarita Popsicles look good to me and perfect for eating while floating on a noodle in the lake even if you can't share with your parents. If you get a chance let me know what your think and if you have a perfect summer time popsicle.
There are really easy popsicles to make like the ones in my photos. Pour juice right from the bottle or from your home juicer into a popsicle mold to create a cool summer treat but if are feeling a little more energetic give these a whirl.
2 Pints of fresh, sliced strawberries
3 Tablespoons of sugar
2 Tablespoons of lemon juice
Zest from half a lemon (Optional)
1. In a medium bowl, sprinkle sugar over strawberries and set aside for 10 to 15 minutes.
2. In a food processor or blender add the strawberry mixture, lemon juice and lemon zest. Process until smooth.
3. Pour strawberry puree into popsicle molds and place in freezer.
4. Freeze overnight for best results.
**You may also add pieces of strawberry or kiwi if you would like. Put the fruit pieces in the bottom of the mold and then pour in the strawberry puree. Makes 12 using standard molds.
2 Tablespoons of agave sweetener
2 Tablespoons of lemon juice.
1. In a food processor or blender add the watermelon, agave, lime juice and add mint to taste. Process until smooth.
2. Pour watermelon mixture into popsicle molds and place in freezer.
3. Freeze overnight for best results.
**You may substitute honeydew or cantaloupe or musk melon when in season. Makes 12+ standard popsicles.
Peaches n' Cream
2 Ripe peaches, peeled and sliced
1 Cup plain or vanilla yogurt
1/4 Cup of milk
1. Put all the ingredients in a blender or food process. Mix until smooth.
2. Pour peach mixture into popsicle molds and place in the freezer.
3. Freeze overnight for the best results.
**You may substitute nectarines when in season. If you would like a sweeter frozen treat, add a couple of tablespoons of agave sweetener. Makes 6 to 8 standard popsicles.