By Catherine McCord
Red, White & Blue Pops
Kids running around in swimsuits eating popsicles. That is summer to me. And when those popsicles happen to be red, white and blue? Well, that can only mean it’s the Fourth of July! I vividly remember being a kid, playing with my friends at our local swimming pool and sucking on Bomb Pops (big, red, white and blue rocket-shaped popsicles that seemed all the rage in the 70′s) to cool down in the summer heat. I adored Bomb Pops, looking back, I can’t imagine how much food coloring and sugar I must have ingested over the years. And while those popsicle memories are great, but how can I share them with my own kids without also exposing them to all those unwanted additives and chemicals? There has to be a way to make your own version of those sinfully delicious iced treats — full of eye appealing color — but also healthy at the same time.
I use fresh fruits and yogurts to make festive popsicles that are nutritious as well. And for the Fourth, blueberries and raspberries make it easy to celebrate the holiday. Packed with antioxidants, Vitamin C, dietary fiber, calcium and more, these Red, White & Blue Popsicles seem like a much better idea than the sugar and corn syrup laden ones infused with Red Dye #17 and Blue Dye #26 you’ll find in the store. I don’t want my kids eating that. Not when they can enjoy homemade colorful pops whose colors come straight from nature, not a laboratory.
So when your kids are looking for something refreshing that will impress them at the same time, make a batch of these pops. You won’t mind at all when they ask for seconds and thirds. In fact, you’ll encourage it!
Red, White & Blue Popsicles (Makes 8 Popsicles, depending on the size of your molds)
- 1 12 oz Bag Frozen Blueberries, defrosted
- 6 Tbsp Agave, divided (you can also use honey, but I prefer agave for this recipe)
- 1 Cup Plain Yogurt
- 1/4 Cup Vanilla Rice Milk (you can also use cow’s milk, almond or soy)
- 1 12 oz Bag Frozen Raspberries, defrosted
- Place defrosted blueberries and 2 tbsp agave in a blender and puree until smooth.
- Pour the blueberry puree a 1/3 way up each popsicle mold and freeze for 30-45 minutes.
- Combine yogurt, rice milk, and 2 tbsp of agave in a bowl and whisk until smooth.
- Pour yogurt mixture 2/3 way up the popsicle molds on top of the blueberry mixture, and freeze for another 30-45 minutes.
- Place defrosted raspberries and 2 tbsp agave in a blender and blend until smooth.
- Finish the popsicles by pouring the raspberry puree over the yogurt, place sticks in and freeze.
*Because all popsicle molds are different sizes, you may have left overs. You can refrigerate the remaining berry purees and use as toppings for yogurt, granola, pancakes, etc.
Blue Corn Chip Crusted Fish Sticks with Red Pepper Coulis
I know, I know, another red, white and blue recipe for the holiday. What can I say? I love holidays. This is one of my favorite recipes that I’ve ever made for weelicious.
I’m a firm believer that it’s important for little ones to spend their first year or so not eating added salt (some fruits and vegetables naturally have some sodium). You want them to love the fruits and vegetables they’re eating, not the salt that enhances or changes the flavor and does not add nutritional value.
Now that Kenya’s 16 months-old, I give him food with added salt every now and then just to introduce the flavor of it for him. When I was shopping for this recipe, you can buy salt-free blue corn chips, but I used organic blue chips from Garden of Eatin,’ which only has 60 mg of sodium.
These fish sticks are crunchy on the outside and tender inside. I tested this dish with tilapia and orange roughy which both turned out delicious, but you could use almost any white fish available such as snapper or halibut. Kenya loved watching me dip my fish stick into the sweet red pepper coulis (just a fancy word for sauce. He thought it was so funny, so I helped him dip his stick in and take a bite which he thought was even funnier. It’s amazing to see what entertains a little one.
Happy 4th of July!!!!
Blue Corn Chip Crusted Fish with Red Pepper Coulis (Make 8 Fish Sticks and 1/2 Cup of Coulis)
- 2 Cups Blue Corn Chips (about 30 chips)
- 1 Red Bell Pepper (you could also use roasted bell peppers in a jar)
- 2 Fish Fillets, cut in 4 pieces (tilapia, orange roughy, snapper or halibut will work)
- 1 Egg, beaten
- 2 Tbsp Flour
- 2-3 Tbsp Oil, olive, vegetable or canola
- Place the chips in a food processor and pulse until completely fine, similar to sand.
- Place the red bell pepper directly over a low flame on your stove.
You want the skin of the pepper to turn black in spots. Keep turning the pepper with tongs every few minutes until it’s charred all over and starting to soften.
- Place the pepper in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a towel.
Let the pepper steam for several minutes.
- Peel the skin off the pepper (it will easily peel off), cut it in half removing the seeds and stem.
- Place the pepper in a food processor and puree until smooth. Pour the
coulis into a bowl.
- Place the egg, flour and the blue chip crumbs each into separate shallow bowls.
- Roll the fish pieces in the flour and tap off to remove any excess.
- Dip the fish in the beaten egg, letting any excess liquid drip off.
- Roll in the blue corn chip crumbs making sure the fish is completely coated.
- Repeat with the remaining pieces of fish.
- When all the fish pieces are coated, heat a large saute pan over medium heat.
- Heat the oil for 30 seconds.
- Place the fish pieces in the pan and cook 2 minutes on each side.
- Place the cooked fish on a paper towel lined plate.
- Cool to room temperature (very important for the little ones) and serve.
Catherine McCord launched Weelicious in 2007, providing a solution to parents’ hectic lives by showing them how to cook recipes that are kid-friendly, quick and nutritious. With a background in culinary arts from New York City’s prestigious Institute of Culinary Education, and a passion for food, Catherine has developed recipes that appeal to a range of ages. Weelicious focuses on educating kids and involving them in the process with how-to cooking videos featuring Catherine’s own two children.