It's time to put that super juice blender to work for more than just breaking down the armor-like fibers of kale. Use your smoothie prowess to make frozen desserts for the Fourth of July that will impress and satisfy. Everybody loves a popsicle, and when it is frozen natural goodness instead of colored sugar water, everybody wins, as well. You loved a Rocket Pop or Bomb Pop when you were a kid playing in the sprinklers and swatting mosquitoes--now do it the right way for young and old alike.

PATRIOTIC POPSICLES

INGREDIENTS:

Red layer:

3/4 pound fresh cherries, pitted and de-stemmed

1 medium apple, cored and sliced (sweet red apple, not overly tart green apple)

1 cup coconut milk

White layer:

3/4 cup coconut milk

3/4 cup plain yogurt

1/3 cup agave or organic sugar (more to taste, if desired)

Blue layer:

3/4 pound fresh blueberries (can substitute frozen if necessary)

1 ripe banana, chunked

1 cup coconut milk

METHOD:

*Puréeing each of the three layers in separate batches, put ingredients into high speed blender, Nutri-bullet, etc and blend until smooth. Feel free to add more coconut milk to get easily pourable consistency for each colored batch.

*In popsicle freezer tray, pour cherry/red mixture in, no more than 1/3 of the depth of the well of each pop. Freeze for at least 30 minutes, until that layer is firm enough to prohibit next layer from bleeding in, but not frozen super solid so you can still insert popsicle sticks.

*Remove tray from freezer, insert sticks, being sure to go into the first layer.

*Pour white/coconut layer into each well, no more than 2/3 to the top. If there is a top to your tray to keep sticks upright in liquid, put the top on. If not, put a layer of foil over the tray and stick popsicle sticks through the foil so they remain upright in the freezing liquid. Freeze for at least 30 minutes or more.

*Remove tray from freezer, and pour in blue/blueberry layer to top of mold (which will be the bottom of the pop when it is removed)

*Return to freezer and freeze solid minimum 2 hours.

*When ready to eat, remove the tray from freezer, run under warm water briefly to loosen, and pop them out and enjoy homemade, healthy, red/white/blue holiday pops.

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About The Author

Andrew Mersmann's picture

Andrew is the author of Frommer's global guide to volunteer vacations, "500 Places Where You Can Make a Difference" (Gold Medal Winner from Society of American Travel Writers: Best Guide Book 2010). He spent more than a decade on the editorial team of PASSPORT Magazine. He has volunteered and led teams on service projects around the world, and is honored to be on the boards of directors for the Alisa Ann Ruch Burn Foundation (AARBF.org) and Mentor Artists Playwrights Project (mentorartists.org). Mersmann has been a featured speaker, interview guest, or moderator on several travel talks, from the New York Times Travel Show, Smithsonian Associates, and the 92nd Street Y-TriBeCa to Oprah and Friends, Animal House, and The Focus Group on satellite radio as well as on NY1 television. Past participant at the Clinton Global Initiative and judge for Condé Nast World Changers Conference, he blogs about volunteering and service travel at www.ChangeByDoing.com. As part of the evox television team, he is dedicated to audience engagement, so if you're not engaged, he needs to be thumped on the head (gently)...or at least told (nicely). Twitter: /ChangeByDoing

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