Summer Pops that Will Cool You Off and Fuel You Up
In the hot days of summer, when a quick walk outside leaves you sweaty, there is nothing I like more than an icy, cold treat. The only problem is that most frozen snacks, like ice cream or even FrozeFruit bars, don’t have much to offer by way of nutritional value.
In an effort to avoid empty calories, I started playing around in the kitchen, making frozen pops with a host of different ingredients. The coffee flavors didn’t work out so well, I must admit. But then I started playing with various fruits, like blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, and sliced bananas, and I made a few delicious options, sometimes adding yogurt, sometimes just a little bit of sugar.
I kept playing around, getting a bit more creative with some ingredients I had on hand. And I hit on a real winner that will not only cool you down, it will fuel you up with protein, fiber, and a dose of healthy carbs.
“An icy cold treat that can do all that, you say?” Yep, that’s right.
Between the Greek yogurt and the milk, these pops offer a lot of calcium and protein and the dates provide a burst of juicy sweetness. In fact, I tried these without the honey and I thought they worked even better. So, if you are not a honey fan or you prefer to cut down on the sugar like I do, you can still enjoy this treat.
You can also leave out the tahini, which packs a lot of protein, but isn’t necessarily a kitchen staple. So, basically these pops offer a lot of options and versatility and they are super easy to make – they won’t take you more than 10 minutes. They do, however, need a good five hours to freeze thoroughly so keep that in mind if you want to serve them at your next bar-b-que. Your guests will thank you.
Recipe: Dark chocolate, date, and sesame pops
1 1/2 cups full-fat Greek yogurt
1 cup whole milk
8 Fruit Bliss dates
2 tablespoons tahini paste
3 tablespoons honey
3 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
1. Place the yogurt, milk, dates, tahini and honey in a blender. Blend until smooth. Sprinkle in the chocolate, cover and pulse briefly to crush the chocolate. Make sure the chunks are incorporated into the mixture.
2. Divide the mixture evenly among the pop molds, pouring so that you leave about one-half inch of headroom at the top. Once they are filled, tap the molds gently against the counter, allowing the liquid to settle evenly into the molds and dislodging any air bubbles that may have formed. Cover the molds and fit with a popsicle stick, if necessary. Freeze the molds until completely firm, at least 5 hours. For easy unmolding, run the frozen pops under warm water for 10 to 15 seconds before removing them.