When the temps and humidity are high, who doesn’t love the sweet chill of a frozen treat? A quick glance at the MANY options in the grocery store freezer shows just how popular these icy concoctions have become.
Some frozen treats are cheap and others are WAY too pricey. Many are ultra- processed and have lots of unwanted additions such as high fructose corn syrup, gums, acids and artificial dyes. Most are nothing more than sugary treats. Even those that are “healthy” can pack a LOT of sugar (often from juice and / or added cane sugar, honey or agave nectar).
Consider an alternative to store bought versions of this summer favorite and make your own! This recipe is easy and calls for only a few real ingredients. The creamy sweet result is rich in antioxidants and healthful fats (courtesy of the avocado), and the Greek yogurt adds protein and calcium. It might be argued that this frozen “treat” actually qualifies as a healthy snack!
Frozen Avocado Vanilla Greek Yogurt Pops
One large avocado (or may use 2 smaller avocados), peeled and cut into chunks
1 cup vanilla Greek yogurt (NOT low fat or fat free)
¼ cup milk (OR almond milk OR coconut milk OR half and half cream)
1 tablespoon of honey
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
Place all ingredients into blender.
Process until smooth (stop blender as needed to scrape sides).
Pour or spoon mixture into ice pop molds (leaving a one inch space at top of mold).
Attach the lids onto the molds then place into the freezer until solid (3 to 4 hours).
Briefly run mold under warm water to help release.
Although delicious as is…… here are some optional add-ins to consider:
Add ¼ cup raw almonds to the blender with other ingredients
Eliminate honey and replace with one SMALL grated apple OR ¼ cup of fresh pineapple chunks OR ½ of a large ripe banana
Replace milk with one half block of silken tofu.
Add 2 tablespoons of ground flax seed.
NO ice pop molds? Ways to Improvise:
Line loaf pan with wax or parchment paper. Use enough to bring up over the sides and drape over the top of the pan.
Pour mixture into loaf pan and bring the wax or parchment paper up and over the mixture, allowing it to lightly touch.
Place pan into freezer.
When almost frozen, cut slits into the wax or parchment paper and insert wooden popsicle sticks down the center of the pan, allowing 1 ½ to 2 inches between each stick.
When fully frozen, lift from the pan while holding on to the wax or parchment paper.
Remove the paper and slice evenly.
Small paper drinking cups or empty individual yogurt containers
Pour mixture into paper cups or empty yogurt containers, filling each to a level of about one inch from the top.
Place each cup or container into the freezer.
When almost frozen, insert small Popsicle® sticks into the center of each.
Allow to completely freeze.
Briefly run cup or container under warm water for a few seconds to loosen the contents.
Gently remove from the cup or container.
Written by Jenny Favret, MS, RD, LDN: Nutritionist, Duke Pediatrics Healthy Lifestyles Program.
Photo from Miguel Andrade via unsplash.com.