Thursday, January 30, 2014

Cocoa-PB-Banana Pops


Yes, it is bitterly cold outside, and the town of Wilmington,NC has been shut down for the past two days due to the sheets of ice and snow that have kept most folks off the road.  And it is probably more stew weather, and less popsicle weather.  However, being stuck indoors for the majority of the day calls for experimentation in the kitchen... at least in this house :)

Zeina got me these cool popsicle molds for Christmas, and I've been waiting for a chance to try them out!  I'm a sucker for sweets, but the dietitian in me knows to limit added dietary sugar, so to satisfy both sides of me, I like to make my own desserts.  That way I have all the control over ingredients.

All you need for these is a blender, popsicle molds and a few simple ingredients.  If you don't have popsicle molds you could also use solo cups and then just eat your frozen treat with a spoon.  The beauty of these is that you can use any fruit, spice, milk, yogurt combination your prefer.  But my ultimate flavor combination is banana and chocolate... or maybe chocolate and peanut butter... or maybe peanut butter and chocolate!  I couldn't decide, so I went big and did a chocolate-banana-PB pop... mind blown.

Start by putting your bananas, peanut butter, almond milk, cocoa powder and coconut sugar in your blender.  Coconut sugar has the same sugar and calories per gram as your classic white variety- however, it has a richer flavor and does not go through as many processing steps if you prefer your foods in a more natural state.  I also added chia seeds for texture, but you can leave these out if you want a smoother pop.

Blend until all ingredients are smooth and well combined.  

Then pour into your popsicle molds!   

Place your tops on your pops and get them in the freezer- you'll want to allow for at least 4-6 hours to freeze thoroughly.  When completely frosty, take your pop out and enjoy the sweetness (minimal added sugar)!

Cocoa-PB-Banana Pops
makes 6 servings
2 bananas (the riper, the better)
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
2 Tb natural peanut butter
1 Tb coconut sugar (you can use date sugar, sugar in the raw, white sugar or honey)
1 Tb chia seeds (optional)
Blend all ingredients in a blender until smooth.  Pour into your popsicle molds and allow 4-6 hours to freeze thoroughly.  Pretend it's a hot summer day and enjoy!
Nutrition information per serving- 101 calories, 4gm fat, 15gm carbohydrate, 3gm fiber, 7gm sugar*, 3gm protein
*Only 2gm sugar comes from added sugars, the rest is natural from the banana.

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