by Lisa Nogueira
Who doesn’t love a frozen treat on a hot summer day? These treats are not only a delicious way to cool off; they have surprise nutrients in them as well — the perfect makeover! When was the last time you had avocado, spinach, or cauliflower in your dessert? Don’t worry, you won’t even know it’s there. Now, I’m not saying to double up on dessert because it has avocado or cauliflower in it. Sugar is sugar in the body, so it’s best to limit it to an occasional treat, but these frozen treasures are loved by children and adults alike. They have won over even the pickiest of eaters!
Chocolate and Vanilla Pudding Pops
I absolutely loved pudding pops when I was kid. That was before I knew that it was really just a processed sugar mess. My favorite flavor was the chocolate and vanilla mix, which I have upgraded into a more healthful option that keeps the unbelievably rich and creamy taste. You can choose to make them all chocolate, all vanilla, or mix the two (which I highly recommend). To keep it easy, everything can be made in a blender. The popsicles are amazing, but you can even eat the pudding as is and use the vanilla base for other drinks and desserts, making them the perfect summer staple.
Chocolate Avocado Pudding | Makes two full servings
3 tbsp. cacao powder
1 pinch of salt
1½ tsp. vanilla extract
7 tbsp maple syrup
Add everything to a blender and blend until delightfully creamy. If this is too difficult to add to a popsicle mold, you can blend in a bit of non-dairy milk to thin it out. Set aside. Now make the vanilla base.
Vanilla Base | This recipe makes enough to fill 8-10 popsicle molds
*you can always cut it in half
2 cans full fat coconut milk
1 cup frozen cauliflower (I steam mine and then freeze)
1 tsp. vanilla
8 small dates (soak in warm water for 15 minutes and remove pits)
Add it all to a blender and blend until well-mixed.
To assemble the Pops:
Alternate between adding the vanilla base and the chocolate pudding and use a knife or chopstick to poke to the bottom of the mold to blend a bit. Freeze for at least 7-8 hours, remove, and enjoy!
A CHANCE TO GET CREATIVE
There are endless possibilities with popsicles.
Here are a few popsicle flavor ideas using your vanilla base:
- Raspberry coconut creamy — blend in raspberries
- Vanilla, pistachio, and almond — blend in the nuts either completely or leave some texture
- Piña colada — add in a bit of shredded coconut and pineapple
- Golden milk popsicle — add turmeric, a dash of black pepper, and cinnamon
- Chai — add ginger, cinnamon, cardamom and clove
- Cookie dough — add cacao nibs and ¼ cup blended cashews
- Almond butter or sunflower butter swirl
You can also use different superfoods to make colorful treats
- Red — beet powder
- Yellow — turmeric powder
- Green — spirulina powder
- Blue — blue majik powder (this is an extract of spirulina)
- You can mix the colors to make a more extensive palette!
- You can make red, white, and blue for the holidays by letting each layer set in the freezer before adding the next.
Blender Mint Chocolate Chip Nice Cream
This is a frozen banana-based recipe. The banana must be frozen for this to work. I keep a reusable freezer bag in the door of my freezer at all times, refilling it bi-weekly or whenever I have bananas about to go bad. Slice them up and add to the bag. Don’t toss them, freeze them!
If you are not hip to cacao nibs yet, it’s time. They have zero sugar and still give you that texture that you are looking for in a mint chip ice cream or anywhere else chocolate chips are used. Bonus, cacao is loaded with antioxidants and magnesium.
2 large frozen bananas
¾ cup fresh spinach
1/8 tsp.- ¼ tsp. peppermint extract (Use less if using pure peppermint oil. If it is blended with oil, use more.)
2 tbsp. coconut cream
Pinch of sea salt
3 tbsp. cacao nibs
Slice overripe bananas and put on parchment paper or in a freezer bag and place in the freezer until completely frozen. Add all ingredients except the cacao nibs in a high-speed blender and blend until it is a soft serve consistency. Add the cacao nibs and blend on low until mixed. Now you can either serve as a soft serve or pour into popsicle molds for later.
Lisa Nogueira is a Certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach as well as Licensed Massage Therapist in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Her no-guilt approach to health supports clients taking small steps to create a holistic wellness LIFESTYLE, prioritizing self-care, and navigating their way to their happiest and healthiest lives.