Immune-boosting, vitamin C packed Strawberry-Beet Popsicles. Loaded with fruit and sweetened with maple syrup. Gluten-free, vegan, and refined sugar-free.
Early this summer my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. When you find out this kind of news about a loved one, you go through a gamut of emotions—surprise, fear, worry, helplessness—as it seems all you can do is wait for more information.
In-between her surgeries this summer and the long-awaited results from the oncologist, I did what I felt like I could do: come up with healthy, immune-boosting recipes.
I found myself googling things I'd never thought I would, like "Healthy foods for cancer" and "Nutrition for cancer treatment." Not surprisingly, there was an overwhelming amount of information on the subject.
When it was decided that chemotherapy would be the necessary route for treatment, I wanted to give my mom an easy, cool summer treat, full of antioxidant-promoting vitamin C and other immune-boosting vitamins and minerals.
I was reminded of one of our favorite local ice cream shops with the strawberry-beet ice cream I had tried recently. Strawberries, in their own right, are little immune boosters, and the addition of beets kicks the healthy quotient up a notch (And might even give cancer a good kick in the ass?). So in went the strawberries and beets, mixed with creamy coconut milk.
But here's the thing I really wanted to share with you today. My mom was prompted to get her annual well-woman check-up when a friend of hers, recently diagnosed with ovarian cancer, shared a status update requesting her friends to be sure and get their check-ups. For whatever reason, that request, woman to woman, allowed her to discover the cancer in the early stages.
A little reminder on Facebook.
With all the negativity and ugliness that seems to come out of social media these days, a loving reminder from one woman to many women was all it took for my mom to take action. And thank goodness she did.
My mom has been a trooper so far, and we all know she will get through it with flying colors. Her attitude is inspiring, and we've spent some much needed quality time together. Laughter, tears, and the occasional really bad boob joke.
So, if this is the reminder you need, then I'm happy to provide it. As I see it, we have to take care of each other. And every little bit counts.
Strawberry Beet Popsicles (Gluten-Free, Vegan)
- 3 cups strawberries 1 lbs, tops removed
- ½ medium beet peeled and diced
- 13.5 oz full fat coconut milk 1 can
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2-3 tablespoons maple syrup
- Place all ingredients in a high-powered blender. Blend on high until smooth (this may take 2-3 minutes depending on your blender).
- Pour mixture into a popsicle mold (I used this one). Insert popsicle sticks and place in the freezer for 2 to 3 hours or until frozen.
- When ready to eat, allow popsicle mold to sit out of fridge for a couple minutes and run warm water over the outside of the molds for a cleaner removal.
Wow these are gorgeous! I am always looking for better versions of treats- and these look perfect. Thank you!
Thank you, Amy!! It's kind of like smoothie meets popsicle! ;)
I am sending you and your mom so many hugs and well-wishes. What a hard thing for your mom and her loved ones - you included - to be faced with. I think these popsicles seem like such a great way to say I love you and to support her!
Thank you, Sarah! And thank you so much for your love and friendship. It is so appreciated!! <3
Joyce @ Sun Diego Eats
Thank you for sharing this beautiful post and recipe Tessa! This makes me wonder when the last time my mom has had a check up and I will e-mail her asap. Glad your mom was able to catch it early and hope she is well <3
Thank you, Joyce!! Wonderful! Me too - early is a saving grace. <3 <3 <3
Yay for super healthy popsicles all summer long! These sound delicious!
Power-packed! ;) Thank you, Tori! <3
Cheyanne @ No Spoon Necessary
Oh I'm so sorry to hear about your mother's diagnosis, but happy she was able to catch it early! My father passed away from Mesothelioma, so I completely understand the shock of having a loved one diagnosed with such a serious illness... it forever changes your outlook on life. You most definitely realize what is important! And family and food top that list. ;) LOOOOVE these popsicles! That color though! Just gorgeous! Can't wait to try these! Pinned! Cheers!
*Prayers to you and your mother!*
You sure do - I had no idea, Cheyanne. Thank you for sharing that. Yes indeed, family and food, in that order! :)
I love the color too - it just jumps out at you! Thank you for the love and prayers, it is so appreciated. Hugs to you! xo
Mary Ann | The Beach House Kitchen
So glad your Mom was able to catch things early Tessa. Thank goodness for friends! Food can be so comforting at times and I'm sure your Mom just loves these beautiful popsicles. Such an amazing flavor combination. I will keep you all in my prayers. XO
Exactly!! Food can be a great healer, that is for sure. Thank you for the prayers, Mary Ann. <3 <3 <3
traci | VanillaAndBean
Nourishing, healing and love... to your mom and family as you journey. Cancer touches so many of us is ways we'd never imagine. Thank you for your reminder and love, Tessa. xo
It certainly does. Thank you for your kind words and love, Traci! It is much appreciated! xoxo
rebecca | DisplacedHousewife
Sending lots of love, healing and light to your mom. So glad that she caught it early. Social media can have an ugly side...this is definitely the best of it. Beautiful post. xoxo
I so appreciate it, Rebecca. It sure does, and it is so refreshing when the good stuff shines through. Thank you for the love! <3
Liz @ Floating Kitchen
These are so beautiful and what a sweet thing to make for your Mom. Food can be so healing in so many ways. Your family is in my thoughts. XOXO.
Thanks so much, Liz!! That is so very true - never before I have I thought so much about the healing powers food has. xoxo
Abby @ Heart of a Baker
Oh Tessa, this is a wonderful gift for your mom! It always feels just a little helpless when things like this happen, so the least we can do is show love through popsicles. xoxo
Thank you, girl! Love + food, always. <3 <3
Lily | Kale & Caramel
These are beautiful, Tessa—what a sweet gift for your mom in such an intense time. I'm so glad she caught things early, and I'm sending you both so very many strong thoughts for swift healing.
Thank you so much, Lily. That means the world. <3 <3 <3