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 will have a blast making farm-fresh popsicles throughout the summer season with a variety of fruits like strawberries, peaches, apricots, raspberries, and blueberries. This handful of nutritious ingredients poured into popsicle molds—as simple as paper cups with popsicle sticks—will fuel kids with the kind of energy that doesn’t melt down. So let’s get started!

U-Pick Farm, King's Orchard, Central Lake

U-Pick Farm, King’s Orchard, Central Lake

#1. Find a u-pick farm near you. Not sure where to start? Check out MyNorth’s guide to Northern Michigan U-Pick Farms.

#2. Decide which fruits you want to use in your popsicle. The recipe we’re featuring today uses sweet cherries, but in August, you could make peaches n’ creamsicles using the same recipe but with peaches. Let the season help you decide. Make sure the fruit you choose is at or near its peak ripeness. Peak ripeness will maximize the amount of natural sugar and flavor of 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 40 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 around the mold. Next, insert a popsicle stick into each mold, and pop them in the freezer for 4–6 hours … enjoy the fruits of your labor!

Michigan Cherry Dreamsicles