This Northern Michigan recipe is reason enough to take the kids to the nearest u-pick farm for some good old fashioned fruit-picking fun. Kids can have a blast making farm-fresh popsicles throughout the season with a variety of u-pick, Northern Michigan food finds such as strawberries, peaches, apricots, raspberries, and blueberries. This handful of nutritious ingredients poured into molds—as simple as paper cups with popsicle sticks—will fuel the kids with the kind of energy that doesn’t melt down. So let’s get started!
#1. Find a Northern Michigan u-pick farm near you. Not sure where to start? Check out MyNorth’s list of bountiful u-pick farms here.
#2. Decide which fruits you want to use in your popsicle. The recipe we’re showcasing today uses sweet cherries, but in August, per se, you could make peaches n’ creamsicles using the same recipe but with peaches. Let the season help you decide. Next, make sure the fruit you choose is at or near it’s peak ripeness. Peak ripeness will maximize the amount of natural sugar and flavor in your popsicle.
#3. Once you’ve returned home with your fresh fruit, gather your ingredients and popsicle molds. Here is what you’ll need to make six, 6-ounce popsicles:
- 2 Cups fresh sweet cherries or other u-pick fruit
- 1 Cup Greek or plain yogurt
- 2 Tablespoons honey
- 1/2 ripe banana
#4. Wash your fruit, then pit or remove the seeds. If you’re using cherries, you’ll want a pitting device. Some u-pick farms will pit the fruits for you on a nifty machine, but to pit your fruits at home, consider purchasing a mason jar cherry pitter, which is literally a small attachment that screws onto a jar to catch the pits. Pitting cherries with a mason jar pitter is a fun job for kids. Have them count the number of cherries before being pitted and then the number of pits that end up in the jar. Then you’ll be sure that no pits make their way into the blender. FYI, about forty sweet cherries yields 2 cups of pitted fruit.
#5. Place your picked fruit in a blender. Blend for about 40 seconds, or until you have a mixture of juice with confetti-like bits of cherry.
#6. In a different bowl, mash the banana into a paste using a large fork. Then stir in the yogurt and honey until evenly distributed. Small pieces of banana are fine and will add texture to your popsicle.
#7. Add a heaping spoonful of yogurt mixture to each popsicle mold. Then add a heaping spoonful of the cherry mixture. Keep layering until the mold is nearly full. For a swirl effect, use a butter knife or popsicle stick to move the filing as you please. Next, insert a popsicle stick into each mold, and pop them in the freezer for 4-6 hours…patience is a virtue here, but soon enough you’ll enjoy the fruits of your labor!