It has never really occurred to me before to make my own popsicles, probably because I'm not really much of a popsicle-eater in the first place. I much prefer smooth, creamy ice cream or frozen yogurt over hard, messy popsicles.
This year though, there seems to be more and more recipes for homemade popsicles popping up on blogs, and I was surprised to see that you can create beautiful, tasty, and healthy popsicles at home with often only a few ingredients. So when I saw a popsicle mold for only two dollars at the grocery store, I went for it!
Surprisingly, for my first adventure in popsicle making I didn't choose a bright and beautiful strawberry or mango popsicle recipe, but a recipe that used dates as the main ingredient. I happen to like dates and was intrigued by the idea of using them in a healthy, creamy popsicle that was different from a lot of the fruit-based recipes out there.
I still ended up adding some fruit in the form of banana because I thought it would pair well with the dates, and I used vanilla Greek yogurt along with some added vanilla extract and cinnamon for flavour. I used coconut milk beverage as the liquid because that's what I had in the fridge at the time, but I bet these would be even better with vanilla almond milk.
I'm happy to report that my first-ever popsicle experiment was a huge success!
The main taste in them was definitely banana, but they were nicely spiced from the cinnamon, and the vanilla and dates added the perfect touch of sweetness. I only made five popsicles and went through them pretty quickly! I loved being able to grab a homemade popsicle from the freezer for a healthy but satisfying dessert, knowing exactly what ingredients were in it.
Now that I've christened my popsicle mold, I can't wait to break it in some more with lots of other flavours! My goal this summer is going to be to try to always have some healthy popsicles ready to eat in the freezer, and to try to resist the temptation to buy every other type of mold out there! I saw some rocket pop molds at the store the other day and had to try reeeally hard not to add them to my cart!
You can probably expect to see many more popsicle recipes here this summer, but if you can't wait, I've started a Pinterest board of frozen treats with some of the recipes I've been eyeing!
Banana Date Popsicles with Cinnamon & Vanilla
Makes 5 popsicles
10 pitted dates
1/2 cup low-fat vanilla Greek yogurt
1 large ripe banana, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup milk – I used coconut milk but almond milk or dairy milk would also work
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Soak dates in hot water for about 5 minutes to soften them, then remove from water and chop them into very small pieces. Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth. Pour into 5 popsicle molds and freeze.
Note: I had just barely enough mix to fill 5 standard popsicle molds so you may want to add a touch more yogurt and milk to the mixture to make sure there is enough, depending on the size of your popsicle molds.