Nothing beats the summer heat like a nice refreshing popsicle but most of the store bought ones are usually made with tons of processed sugar and artificial ingredients. Not something I want my little one to load up on. While on an Ikea shopping trip, I came across some cute and inexpensive popsicle molds. I picked some up, excited about the idea of filling them with fresh fruits and veggies. The shape of the molds reminded me of strawberries so that naturally became the first on my list of popsicles to make. Figured it would be more festive to have a mix of the green and pink molds to go with our popsicle theme so I did a little color swap just for kicks. 

As I searched for some recipes, I was surprised to find either a long list of ingredients or the amount of sugar needed to make these frozen treats. So instead, I created a simple recipe that's not only packed with nutrients but easy to make and of course, pretty to look at. Thought it would be fun for the popsicles to resemble actual strawberries so I created a two-tone pop using just a handful of fresh ingredients - strawberries, chia seeds, spinach, banana and maple water. 

Feel free to subsitute maple water for coconut water if that's your forte. I'm just not big on the taste. Maple water is a bit sweeter (which helps naturally sweeten up the popsicles), lower in calories and contains half the sugar content than coconut water. It's also rich in antioxidants and micro-nutrients including potassium, magnesium, calcium, iron and B vitamins but they both pack a nutritional punch so you can't go wrong with either. I headed out to Trader Joe's and here's what I picked up to make some healthy and delicious Strawberry Chia Spinach Popsicles.

*Note: The Kettle Popcorn has nothing to do with this recipe but ever since one of my really good friends introduced it to me, I can't help but pick up a bag or 3 when I'm there. Perfect to snack on while you wait for the popsicles to set. ;) Warning: It's addicting!  

STRAWBERRY CHIA SPINACH POPSICLES 

Yields 12 popsicles using Ikea's Chosigt Ice Pop Maker

Strawberry Layer
• 4 C Strawberries, hulled
• 2 T Chia Seeds

• 1/2 C Maple Water 

Spinach Layer
• 1/2 C Baby Spinach
• 3/4 Ripe Banana

• 1/4 C Maple Water

Directions:
1. Add strawberries and maple water in a blender. Purée until smooth.
2. Stir in chia seeds in strawberry mixture until well mixed.
3. Pour into pop maker about two-thirds of the way up. Freeze for about 8 minutes.
4. Rinse blender and add in baby spinach, banana, and maple water. Purée until smooth.
5. Pour in spinach mixture on top of strawberry mixture and insert popsicle stick. Freeze for 8 hours. 

6. Rinse mold with lukewarm water to loosen popsicles and enjoy! 

These popsicles are so easy to make and they taste great. The best part is I don't feel guilty about eating them or giving them to my little one who surprisingly loved them, too. She loves spinach but is not a fan of strawberries or any type of berries, for that matter, so I wasn't sure if she'd eat it. Not only did she do a happy dance while eating it, she asked for seconds! This is definitely an easy and fun way for the entire family to load up on some fruits and veggies. 

I hope you have fun making these. I've created a free printable for you in case you prefer a handy recipe card to refer to. You could also create a sweet gift basket and include the recipe card along with all the ingredients and pop maker to give to a loved one. Enjoy!