Monday, June 28, 2010

Homemade Frozen Yogurt Fruit Popsicles

Popsicles - the perfect treat on a hot, summer day. Their sweetness and icy coldness may be refreshing but if you take a minute to check the ingredients on the package you may be in for a surprise. Most popsicles contain a whole bunch of sugar, corn syrup, food dyes, and artificial sweeteners which may contribute to weight gain, cravings, energy slumps, behavior problems and attention/focus/concentration difficulties. You are much better off forgoing the boxed variety and making your own homemade treats, feeling confident that you are giving yourself and your family a healthy alternative. Whipping up some delicious homemade creations is alot easier than you may think and only requires a few ingredients and either a food processor or a blender, some popsicle molds and you are good to go!
Frozen Yogurt Fruit Popsicles
  • 1 container (17.6 ounces) full fat plain Greek yogurt (I use Fage brand)
  • 12 ounce bag organic frozen raspberries or any fruit of your choice
  • 7 stevia packets I use SweetLeaf Stevia Plus by Wisdom Foods)
  • 1/2 Cup organic 1/2 & 1/2

Let frozen fruit sit out on counter for an hour or so to thaw a bit. Then add fruit and yogurt to food processor or blender and combine well. Add each stevia packet one at a time, blending well after each packet. Slowly add 1/2 & 1/2 and blend well. Consistency should be thick but pourable. Carefully pour mixture into popsicle molds and freeze. Run popsicle mold under warm water to release frozen pop when ready to eat. Makes 8-12 popsicles, depending on mold used.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

New Study: Link Between ADHD & Pesticides

A recent study, published in the Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, indicates a link between pesticides and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). According to the study, which was conducted by Harvard University and the University of Montreal, urine samples were studied for over 1,000 children, ages 8 to 15, for traces of organophosphate pesticide, a common pesticide found on fruits and vegetables. Children with the highest pesticide levels were more than ninety percent more likely than kids with no pesticide traces to have been diagnosed with ADHD.
So, how can we minimize exposure to pesticides and help protect our families from not only ADHD, but hormonal and developmental problems as well? Here are some tips to keep in mind when shopping.
  • Consider organic - Especially for produce that contains the most pesticide residue. Typically, strawberries, peaches, blueberries, broccoli, celery and apples are the biggest culprits.
  • Thoroughly wash produce - Even taking the time to peel certain fruits that you're not able to buy organic will help reduce exposure.
  • Check out farmers market - Local farmstands usually only use the bare minimum and will be happy to let you know what chemicals they do use, if any.

As we dive into the summer bounty of fruits and vegetables, please keep the above in mind and don't be discouraged from enjoying all the delicious produce that nature provides - just be diligent with washing and try to shop organic for those foods with the highest pesticide levels.

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