Creamy Cacao Mint Crunch ‘Sicles

I love frozen and creamy almost as much as I love cake, so when I was coming up with this twist on a creamsicle, I knew just the ingredient to deliver the right texture. Using fresh mint and maple syrup brings some local, seasonal goodness to these creamy ‘sicles loaded with heart-healthy avocado. The pleasant bitterness of cacao nibs is a welcome crunch, but for those who need some more sweetness, use mini chocolate chips instead.

mint cacao nibs pops

Creamy Cacao Mint Crunch 'Sicles

3 small avocados*
6 tablespoons coconut milk beverage
6 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1 1/2 cups packed mint leaves (got chocolate mint? Even better)
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch fine sea salt
1/4 cup unsweetened cacao nibs

Put the flesh from the avocados, coconut milk, maple syrup, mint leaves, vanilla extract, and salt in a food processor or blender. Process until smooth, scraping down the sides of the container if necessary. Stir in the cacao nibs.

Divide the mixture into the molds and freeze until solid. Unmold and serve. Store extras in a sealable container or plastic bag in the freezer.

*Once exposed to air, the avocados discolor quickly. Taste-wise, it won’t affect anything, but if this is an issue for you on the aesthetic-front, add 2 teaspoons  lemon juice, though it will slightly affect the flavor. That’s why mine are ugly–but it doesn’t affect the taste.

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Peachy Wine Spritzer Pops

Essentially, you can pour anything into a mold and chill it to popsicle perfection. Pureed fruit? Sure. Pudding? Definitely.  Your morning smoothie? Why not? Heck, you could even make ‘em savory and pour in a tomato-basil gazpacho. Here, these adults-only ‘sicles have a hint of bubbles, a splash of wine, and juicy peaches, giving you refreshing and sweet alternative for that hot afternoon sun.

peach white wine spritzer pops

Peachy Wine Spritzer Pops

1 cup white wine, preferably something slightly sweet
1/4 cup club soda
2 ripe peaches, cut into chunks
Pinch salt
Agave nectar to taste

Put the wine, club soda, peaches, and salt in a food processor or blender. Process until combined, leaving small pieces of peaches throughout the mixture for some texture.  Add the agave nectar to taste, depending on the sweetness of the peaches.

Divide the mixture into the molds and freeze until solid. Unmold and serve. Store extras in a sealable container or plastic bag in the freezer.

Choose a wine that you enjoy the taste of, since it will be prominent in the flavor of the pops. For a list of vegan wines, check out barnivore.com. I’m partial to local Niagara wines, but of course, get what you love.

Lemon Frozen Yogurt

Coconut milk-based nondairy yogurt adds a lot of richness to this incredibly easy springtime dessert. The lemon flavor is a lovely complement to a cake (always!) or just topped with fresh raspberries (do the cake route).

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Lemon Frozen Yogurt

  • Servings: 1 1/2 quarts
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3 3/4 cup plain coconut milk nondairy yogurt (this is what I used)
1/2 cup agave nectar
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

Put the yogurt, agave nectar, lemon juice, lemon zest, and sea salt in a large bowl. Whisk until smooth and well combined. If you aren’t making the frozen yogurt right away, put the bowl in the refrigerator until needed.

When ready to churn the frozen yogurt, freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Serve immediately for soft serve consistency or put in a freezer safe container and freeze for about 4 hours for a perfectly scoopable texture.

If you don’t have an ice cream maker, pour the yogurt mixture into a baking dish. Freeze for 45 minutes, then stir vigorously with a whisk, breaking up any ice crystals. Freeze again, and continue to check and whisk every 30 minutes, until the mixture is soft-serve consistency, about 4 hours.