At the height of summer when the weather is too hot for anything, a refreshing ice pop comes to the rescue, so you run to the store to get one. But for me, even the ones “labeled” vegan are not very appealing. Store-bought ice pops are full of sugars, such as corn syrup, refined sugar, or sugar syrup, so I prefer to make my own using bananas and nuts. You will need 12 wooden ice pop sticks.
- 6 ripe but firm medium bananas
- 1 jar or package creamed coconut or coconut butter (at least 7 ounces), sealed in its original packaging
- 1-2/3 cups raw cashews, soaked overnight and drained
- 3/4 cup nut milk
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla powder
- 5 tablespoons maple syrup
- pinch of salt
- 2 ounces blueberries (thawed, if frozen; I prefer wild blueberries, if you can get them)
- 2-1/2 tablespoons cacao or carob powder
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Peel the bananas, then halve them crosswise. Gently insert a wooden stick vertically into the center of each piece so it runs about halfway through the banana. Lay them on the lined baking sheet and freeze for 2 to 3 hours, until firm.
- Meanwhile, bring some water to a simmer in a small pan. Place the creamed coconut or coconut butter, still in its packaging, in the water and heat until it becomes liquid. If the package size was more than 7 ounces, measure 7 ounces into a high-speed blender and reserve the rest for another use.
- Add the soaked cashews, nut milk, vanilla powder, maple syrup, and salt to the blender and blend until the mixture is very smooth. Pour half the mixture into a bowl and set aside. Add the thawed blueberries to the remaining mixture in the blender and blend well. Pour the blueberry mixture into a glass.
- Return the mixture without blueberries back to the blender, add the cacao powder, and blend until well combined. Pour this into a second glass.
- Take the frozen bananas out of the freezer and dip six of them into the blueberry-cashew mixture, gently shaking off any excess and making sure each one is coated before placing it back on the lined baking sheet. Dip the remaining six bananas into the chocolate-cashew mixture in the same manner. Return the bananas to the freezer for at least 3 hours to set the coating. Enjoy them straight from the freezer.
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Cover courtesy of Kyle Books
Excerpted with permission from Vegan for Good: Deliciously Simple Plant-Based Recipes for Everyday Living by Rita Serano (Kyle Books, 2019).