Popsicles are classic summertime coolers, but too often are little more than sugar, water and coloring.  Making your own pops is a great way to incorporate fruit, yogurt, nut butters and other healthy foods into your treats.  Cookbook author Robin Asbell shows us some creations.

Blueberry Yogurt Pops

2 cups blueberries
2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup
1 1/2 cups Greek Yogurt
cups and sticks

In a blender, combine berries,honey or maple  and yogurt and puree until smooth and frothy. Divide between six 4 ounce cups and freeze for an hour before inserting the sticks. When completely frozen, store in a zip-top freezer bag.

Vegan Fudgecicles
Makes 6

1 15 ounce can coconut milk
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa
1 tablespoon arrowroot
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Whisk all the ingredients in a small pan and bring to a simmer over medium heat, whisking. When thickened and bubbling, take off the heat and let cool. Pour the cooled mixture into molds and freeze for an hour or more before putting the sticks in.

Freeze overnight and transfer the pops to a freezer bag when firm.


Peanut Butter, Granola and Chocolate Pops
Makes 10

1 1/2 cups non-fat Greek yogurt, plain
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 medium banana
1 cup granola
4 ounces dark chocolate (optional)

Set up your popsicle molds, or place 8 small paper cups on a sheet pan.

In a blender, place the yogurt, maple, peanut butter and banana. Secure the blender lid and blend, raising the speed to high and blending until very smooth. Scrape down and repeat, if needed.

Sprinkle a tablespoon of granola into the cup or mold. Pour 2 tablespoons of the peanut butter mixture in, then sprinkle in another tablespoon of granola, finish with the remaining peanut butter mixture.

If using cups, place the pan in the freezer for about two hours before inserting sticks. Freeze completely.

If desired, melt chocolate, and let come to room temperature. Take pops out of molds or cups, then drizzle with chocolate and return to the freezer.  Store in a zip top bag or other airtight container for up to a month.


Frozen Bananas

You don’t need a mold to make these tasty pops!

2 ripe but firm bananas
6 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
2 tablespoons canola or avocado oil
1/2 cup granola, chopped pistachios or peanuts, or toffee bits

Line a baking sheet with nonstick foil or parchment paper.

Cut the bananas in half and insert a Popsicle stick into each half. Place them on the baking sheet and freeze for 15 minutes.

Melt the chocolate with the oil in a Pyrex measuring cup in the microwave (check it every 30 seconds) or in a half-full pan of simmering water (about 2 minutes). Stir until smooth.

Roll each banana half in the chocolate, then quickly sprinkle with your topping (if using).

Freeze until the chocolate sets, 30 minutes. Serve or freeze in an airtight container for up to a week.

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