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.

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.

Chocolate Cherry Fudge Pops

Starting with a pudding base, these rich fudge pops shine with a chocolate-cherry combination that everyone is sure to love. You can buy molds for under $2 at the grocery store.

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Chocolate Cherry Fudge Pops

  • Servings: 6 to 8 pops
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2 cups nondairy milk*
1/3 cup agave nectar or maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons tapioca starch
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup sweet cherries, pitted and finely chopped

Whisk the nondairy milk, agave nectar, and vanilla extract together in a medium saucepan. Add the cornstarch and cocoa powder; whisk until smooth. Bring to a boil on medium heat, then reduce to a simmer, whisking often, for 2 minutes, until thickened. Stir in the cherries. Let cool 10 minutes, then pour into the ice pop mold. Chill completely, at least overnight. To serve, run hot water on the side of the mold to loosen.

*For the nondairy milk, I used unsweetened coconut milk beverage in the carton. Almond milk is a great option, too.

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