In the blazing Arizona summer heat, a frozen treat always hits the spot. Although summertime treats tend to have an unhealthy reputation, this one is made with whole food ingredients, all of which are bursting with nutrition and easy to find at your local grocery store. Pure 100% grape juice, lemon juice, some sliced fresh grapes and bit of lemon zest for extra zing! Simple to make and delicious to eat.
Lately I've been experimenting with 100% grape juice in my kitchen. Last fall, I had the privilege of touring one of Welch's family owned concord grape vineyards.* I spoke with a few of the farmers and saw for myself all the hard work that goes into creating their juices; not only was I impressed by the farmers' wealth of agricultural knowledge, I was moved by the long history these families have to their land. Until this tour, I had no idea how much time and care they put into growing and harvesting their Concord and Niagra grapes--the varieties that are turned into crisp, refreshing juice.
Did you know that a mere eight hour window exists from pick-to-process to produce Welch's 100% grape juice? Eight hours! Within this (short) time frame, grapes are picked, inspected, washed and processed. Unless you grow your own food, it's almost impossible to get your food from farm to table this quickly! Here are a few more facts I learned about Concord grapes while on this incredible tour:
- Research suggests that consumption of purple/blue produce is associated with increased nutrient intake and reduced intake of added sugar.
- Purple and blue foods are associated with a reduced risk of metabolic syndrome, a cluster of conditions including high blood pressure, high blood triglyceride levels, low HDL (good cholesterol), high blood sugar and excess body fat (high Body Mass Index).
- Natural plant polyphenols that contribute to plants' flavor and color, may play a role in protecting our hearts. In fact, more than a decade’s worth of research suggests that drinking 100% grape juice made from Concord grapes can help support a healthy heart.
- Welch's 100% grape juice is made from whole Concord and Niagara grapes – skin, seeds and all! They are pressed to release polyphenols straight from the fruit.
Enjoy making these frozen pops! Get the kids involved by having them pluck and wash the grapes, squeeze the lemon juice and pour everything into the popsicle molds. Have fun!
Lemony Grape Juicy Frozen Pops
Recipe by: Christy Wilson
Prep time: 10 minutes
Total time: 6 hours (or overnight)
Servings: 4 popsicles
- 4 ounces 100% white grape juice
- 8 ounces 100% Concord grape juice
- 8 green and/or purple grapes, diced (use what you have!)
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
- For simplicity, mix all ingredients together and evenly divide mixture into molds. Freeze juice mixture for 6 hours or overnight.
- To make two-toned frozen pops :
- In a small bowl mix white grape juice, four diced grapes, 1/2 teaspoon of lemon juice and 1/4 teaspoon of lemon zest together. Pour evenly into popsicle molds.
- Place mold tray into freezer and allow this first layer to freeze for about 90 minutes, or until frozen solid.
- Once the first layer is frozen, mix Concord grape juice, 4 diced grapes 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice and remaining lemon zest in a small bowl. Pour mixture evenly into remaining space of each popsicle mold.
- Place popsicle handle over the top of the mold and gently press to secure. Place mold tray into freezer and allow pops to freeze for about 4 hours, or overnight.
- To release pops, press each mold from the bottom with one hand while gently pulling on the handle with the other. Peel silicone removable mold from frozen pop.
Note: I used Zoku Round Pop Mold for this recipe. Each mold holds 3.25-3.5 ounces of liquid.
A few snapshots from my vineyard tour with Welch's last fall.
*Disclosure: I am a proud member of the Welch’s Hand-Picked Bunch. Welch’s sponsored my attendance to the Welch’s Vineyard Tour and Harvest Event and provided coupons for products used in this recipe. Thoughts and opinions are my own.