In honor of #popsicleweek, I am bringing a traditional cake recipe new life with these tasty Red Velvet Pudding Pops. Of course, there’s a twist. I boosted this sweet treat with nutrient-dense whole foods, so you can have your cake and nutrients and eat it, too!
It wasn’t too long ago that I snuck a little cauliflower into some popsicles here on Tasty Yummies. I’m hoping if you tried that recipe, you still trust me and know that despite these strange ingredient combos, I will never lead you astray. It was a fun surprise to find that the cauliflower brought another level to the treat, with creaminess and also of course, nutrients. While I don’t feel that every dessert should have a veggie snuck into it, I do love the unexpected nutritional boost that this provides. And why not?
So, I am back at it again today with these Red Velvet Pudding Pops. As traditional Red Velvet Cake is simply a subtle amount of cocoa with red food coloring, it’s actually a cake flavor that has forever eluded me. I never really understood it. It’s not chocolate and the red color has nothing to do with flavor. But not too long ago I tried a gluten-free Red Velvet cupcake and I am not gonna lie. I was into it. But, ya know, it was loaded with sugar and grains. Additionally, red food dye used in baking is almost always derived from Red #40 (Allura Red) an artificial food dye. According to a CSPI report, some of the most commonly used food dyes may be linked to numerous forms of cancer, along with hyperactivity and other behavioral problems in children.1http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/02/24/are-you-or-your-family-eating-toxic-food-dyes.aspx The European Union has recently placed regulations on labeling food dyes to inform consumers of the health risks, but the United States has no such requirement.
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1. ↑ http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/02/24/are-you-or-your-family-eating-toxic-food-dyes.aspx
I am an official ambassador for Dole Fresh Fruit and Fresh Vegetables. Dole provided me with compensation for my time. As always, all opinions expressed in this post are mine.
These Chocolate Covered Strawberry Fudgesicles are a fun and tasty way to encourage the kiddos to get more fruits and veggies. I would like to just go ahead and get this right out of the way – I added a veggie to your dessert and I am not sorry. I am going to just need for you to trust me on this one, until you make them yourself. I have never steered you wrong, have I?
Let’s also discuss the idea of “sneaking” veggies in on kids. Listen, while I am an auntie to many, no, I don’t have my own kids, so I won’t pretend to understand the daily struggle of getting them to eat what you want them to. But I have borne witness to many of these altercations as a sidelined viewer. I do know that vegetables, especially, can be a contentious topic with the littles, that doesn’t always have an amicable resolution. But, while I don’t have my own children, I do work as a nutritional therapist with many adults. I see many, many iterations of various challenging habits and food aversions, lifelong unhealthy patterns, that often stem from childhood and not being led by example, not being taught, empowered and encouraged when it comes to making lasting, healthful choices. Read the rest of this entry »
Summer kicked off this week, we’ve had a killer heat wave in Southern California and wait for it…it’s also #popsicleweek!! ‘What is popsicle week?’, you ask. It’s just an epic celebration with basically ALL the food bloggers of the entire internet participating. OK that may be a bit of an overstatement, but whatevs, it’s over 100 popsicle recipes brought to us by our friend Billy of Wit & Vinegar. That’s right, for the fourth year in a row, the king of popsicles has declared a whole week dedicated to this summer-inspired frosty goodness on a stick.
So, this week is awesome and the popsicle week party is pretty much the be all end all of summertime frozen goodness. For my first popsicle recipe of the season, I bring you these beautiful, tasty Roasted Peach and Vanilla Bean Matcha Popsicles. Loaded with vibrant color and flavor.
We food bloggers can get pretty serious about our food. Clearly. So much so that at times this adoration might get down right borderline stalker-level, crazy. What the heck am I talking about, are you wondering? Oh no big deal, just this little thing called POPSICLE WEEK!! That’s right, for the third year in a row, our friend Billy of Wit & Vinegar has declared a whole week dedicated to this summer-inspired frosty goodness on a stick.
Considering I have no shortage of love for this frozen treat, as evident of the many popsicle recipes I have posted over the years, I finally decided this year to join the 50+ other food bloggers and get in on all the frosty fun. I decided to pull out all stops and get a little crazy with my popsicles and mix things up a bit.
These Creamy Tahini Raspberry Rosewater Popsicles may sound a little strange to some of you, a bit of an odd flavor pairing for some of you, but you have to trust me. The creamy rich and sweet coconut milk pairs so beautiful with the strong, nutty flavor of the tahini and the rosewater in that layer is the perfect pairing, floral, sweet and delicate. The beautifullly vibrant bottom layer with the tart raspberries brings it all together so nicely and it offers the palate a little something bright and light, to offset the creamy, richness.
In my opinion, it isn’t summer until you make the first frozen treat of the season! I’d love to say I have the energy and time to bust out the ice cream maker every week throughout the summer. I don’t. Homemade ice cream is good, but just so much work and there are so many steps. Honestly, popsicles are my favorite! Always an easy way to celebrate the season and all of it’s beautiful, fresh offerings. I also love that if you are smart with your ingredients you can make popsicles that will work for just about everyone at your party, no matter their eating style or preferences. No need for an ice cream maker or anything besides popsicle molds and you can even skip on those, just pour these into paper cups, add a popsicle stick and call it a day. Easy!
If you haven’t been able to tell by the 5 years of posts up until now, I am slightly obsessed with roasting. OK a lot obsessed. It’s my easy answer to bringing out the best in foods. Fruit or veggies, there is just something about roasting, even in the dead of summer, I refuse to deny myself. Especially when it concerns fruit, roasting brings out the inherent sweetness, it provides pretty bursts of color and flavor and it’s a simple way to maximize all that juicy, saucy, sweet goodness. So yes, I am complicating something meant to be simple, by adding the extra step with the oven here, but you have to just trust me on this one.
These popsicles have the perfect mix of sweet and tart, one of my favorite combos. I tend to go light on the sweetness myself, so if you want them more sweet than tart, you may want to add a bit more coconut sugar when roasting and/or more maple or honey. I like to barely fold in the roasted berries, to keep the gorgeous swirls of purple, violety blue.
I opt for my homemade coconut yogurt to keep these popsicles dairy-free/vegan, but you can also go with Greek yogurt, regular yogurt or goat’s milk yogurt. I just suggest whatever you choose, to go with full fat if you can, this give you the rich creaminess and the extra fat which cuts down on the icy factor.
Though the end of summer is just around the corner, I would say it is hard to know that at times here in Southern California. We had some pretty hot days last week and since we don’t have any air conditioning at home and we both work out of the house, I found myself with a serious craving for some tasty, creamy homemade popsicles. And the beach.
I had been craving some of my homemade chai recently, but the idea of hot chai tea was very quickly dismissed, while I found myself sweating in the summer heat. Naturally, the next logical thought was a popsicle version of the tasty hot coconut chai lattes, that I make during the winter months. With the abundance of figs we have coming from our tree, I was dying to find a way to incorporate them into whatever popsicle I made, so the idea was born for these delicious, creamy Chai Spiced Coconut Fig Popsicles.
For lack of sounding like I am bragging, these are THE BEST homemade popsicles I have ever made. They are full of amazing chai flavor and they are so perfectly creamy and rich. The only bad part of all of this amazingness was the day I decided to photograph these, it was well over 90 degrees in our house and the popsicles were melting so fast I couldn’t keep up. I was scrambling, running, yelling and snapping. I was able to snap these two photos and before you know it I had a puddle of creamy goodness on my hands. I tried to pull the few remaining popsicles out and they had melted so quickly in the molds they were disfigured and wonky, the sticks came out of a couple, it was just a hot mess. Literally. The remaining few were more than good enough to eat, but not really pretty enough for photos. A shame really.
I thought about remaking these and photographing them again, but that would just delay me getting this amazing recipe to you, and I couldn’t bear that thought of that. These are far too delicious not to share. So, please excuse the photos, but trust me when I tell you that you need to make these ASAP.
There are some blogs and cookbooks that I feel like were created just for me, thumbing through the pages or scrolling past the recipes, I feel like every beautiful photo was taken for me, each recipe created with my eating choices in mind. While I am not so arrogant to believe this to be actually true, it is really amazing to know that there are people out there, just like me, eating intuitively – loving and celebrating all of the beautiful, seasonal, healthy whole foods available to us. When I started reading The Year in Food, sometime last year, I instantly felt connected to Kimberley Hasselbrink, the creative mastermind behind all of the recipes and beautiful photos. Like me, Kimberley has a background in design, she, hailing from the world of furniture design, me, from a life of graphic design and it is clear in every recipe she develops. Her creativity shines brightly, as she creates a feast for the eyes by combining colors, textures, and flavors into her gorgeous, dynamic dishes. When I heard of her brand new book, VIBRANT FOOD, I knew right away before ever seeing it, that this was a book that I would absolutely love and would become a resource I turn to often. I was right.
It is clear that Kimberley’s look at food is viewed through the eyes of an artist in search of beauty as well as flavor and that she’s wildly inspired by the vivid hues of produce. In her debut book, Vibrant Food Kimberley captures the radiant colors of each of the seasons with recipes that transform meals into captivating works of art. It is apparent the passion that Kimberley has for cooking, each recipe a celebration of color, flavor and mood. Besides being an inspiration in the kitchen, it is hard not to be inspired visually, as well, as you make your way through the incredible, drool-worthly photographs on each page.
Vibrant Food invites you to look at ingredients differently and let their colors inspire you: the shocking fluorescent pink of a chard stem, the deep reds and purples of baby kale leaves, the bright shades of green that emerge in the spring, and even the calm yellows and whites of so many winter vegetables. As Kimberley mentions at the start of the book, “when we intuitively let the colors guide our choices, we can trust that we are eating well, and taking care of ourselves and celebrating food for its dynamism, its vibrancy, its flavor and its colors, as much as we are for its benefits to our health.”
Thankfully it has since broke, but this past week, we had the most insane heat wave here in Southern California. After living here just over a year, I haven’t felt anything quite like this. Several days of right around 100ºF and many days even a few degrees more. Now, we don’t get any of that nasty humidity I am used to from my days on the East Coast, but mugginess or not, 100 degrees is DAMN hot.
Early in the week, we had been in the desert, in Palm Springs, on a much needed anniversary getaway and we came home ready to work our butts off on the various projects we have going on in our cooler beach breeze town of Long Beach. Instead, without any air conditioning and not a breeze to be found, we found ourselves doing a lot of laying around in undergarments, drinking tons of water and we planned lots of meals at restaurants in air conditioning. Seriously guys, I sweat in places this week, that I didn’t even know was possible.
After our lovely organic farmer, Tony, dropped off our CSA box on Wednesday afternoon, I took a peek inside at the goodies and saw some beautiful freshly picked apricots and I instantly thought that they would be perfect for some boozy popsicles for the next day, that might help take my mind off of the furnace we were living in.
I know to many of you, sharing a popsicle recipe in September might seem silly, it seems everyone has already made the switch to fall foods, but we had some seriously hot weather out here in Southern California last week, it was in the 90s for several days in a row. Even in spite of that, I am not looking to rush summer off so quickly. I love it, we have plenty of months ahead to enjoy pumpkin recipes and hot soups, let’s enjoy this while we have it.
We are back down to more manageable temperatures this week, but I am sure we will get more of that heat again before we totally settle into fall, so treats like this will be perfect. A great way to enjoy what is fresh and in-season, but appropriate to the temperatures. In the midst of that heat I was still picking figs from our tree and although I have tons of baked goods and other delicious recipes for the figs lined up, I wasn’t in the mood for any of them. I wanted something light, cooling and sweet. I was able to roast the figs for this recipe early in the morning when it was still cool out, so it didn’t affect the temperature of the house too much, you could also roast them at night and place them into the fridge until the next day.
After the popsicles had set and were totally frozen, I ended up waiting until mid-afternooon the next day to enjoy one outside on the deck in the sun, during the hottest part of the day and it was heaven! These popsicles are so creamy and rich, the perfect amount of sweetness with a lovely robust and almost savory flavor from the balsamic roasted figs. You could also roast the figs with a red wine or liquor, such as Grand Marnier, Chartreuse, or Cointreau, you just might want to take down how much honey you add, though, so they aren’t too sweet. Read the rest of this entry »
I told you guys I am on a major homemade popsicle kick lately. I have seriously been thinking of popsicle flavors at the most random times. The idea for these came to me when I threw together a quick batch of my avocado chocolate mousse the other day. As I was eating it, I was thinking how simple it was to make and how it could make the perfect rich and creamy fudgesicle. I tweaked the recipe a bit to make it work for freezing and I also decided to use some beautiful organic dates, I got from our farm share this week for sweetening. If you don’t have dates or want to skip them, just add a bit more sweetener to taste. I used a great local raw honey that I had in the pantry, if you wish for these to be vegan you can go with maple syrup, coconut nectar or you could try just using dates, too.
There is one thing I can tell you for sure about this recipe, you will have a really hard time not wanting to just eat ALL of the pudding/popsicle mix as you are filling the molds. It is so sinfully good. Feel free to make less popsicles and eat this as is, as a pudding. It is incredible and it is addicting, you will want to make it all the time.
If someone tells you they couldn’t devour a large amount of chocolate chip cookie dough, if given a chance, they are lying. There is no way around it. It has to be some of the yummiest stuff that man has ever created. So how about some summer-ready chocolate chip cookie dough, without the flour or raw eggs, the heat of the oven and the mess in the kitchen?
A week or two ago a vegan friend of mine posted a link to some chocolate chip cookie dough popsicles made with whole milk and two kinds of refined sugar. He mentioned wanting to figure out how to make them vegan. I of course decided to help out and veganize the recipe. Yeh, I wanted to help him, but selfishly as soon as he posted the link, I was unable to get them out of my mind and I couldn’t wait to get a cookie dough popsicle into my tummy! Read the rest of this entry »
This week as part of my ongoing Restricted Diet series with Free People, I created a simple Strawberry Coconut Smoothie recipe featuring the beautiful fresh strawberries that are in season here in California right now. I still cannot believe how much earlier in the year they are in season here, they are everywhere and so delicious.
When I made the smoothie to photograph it, I wasn’t in the least bit hungry so I didn’t want to drink it, but I obviously also didn’t want to just pour it out, so I was thinking of what I could do with the mixture. Then I recalled the popsicle molds I got for Christmas from my mom and dad. Perfect!
I just poured the mixture in and let it freeze up. Later that night I was ready for a treat! Here’s the original post on Free People highlighting the smoothie, but I couldn’t let these frozen fruit pops go ignored!
Since there is no sugar or sweetener in these, when they freeze up they aren’t overly sweet. Just the perfect amount sweetness from the bananas and strawberries and just a little tartness, too. If you like things to be a bit sweeter, you can add a little honey or maple syrup, or even try blending 1 or 2 dates into the mixture. Also, depending on how much coconut you add to the mixture, if you decide to, you will see pretty white flecks of coconut in the pops. I didn’t think to add any until it was too late, but next time I certainly will.
[print_this]Strawberry Coconut Frozen Fruit Pops / Smoothie – Gluten-free, Vegan + Sugar-free
makes 6 frozen pops or 1 large smoothie
1 cup fresh organic strawberries, hulled
1 frozen organic banana
3/4 cup Unsweetened Organic Coconut Milk (light or full fat)*
1/2 cup ice cold cold water
1 tablespoon Chia Seeds
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut, optional
Add all of the ingredients to your blender and blend until smooth and creamy. Pour into a glass and serve for the smoothie. If you are making the frozen fruit pops – pour the mixture into your popsicle molds and chill for a minimum of 4 hours or until completely solid.
I use these popsicle molds – Tovolo Groovy Ice Pop Molds
*Note – Look for a non-BPA containing canned coconut milk, if you can.