Ice cream on a stick dipped in chocolate can mean only one thing: Summer!
That’s right! Summer is in fullllllllll swing here in Boulder. My kids are on summer break and I’m working hard to keep all the balls in the air (because let’s be honest – it’s not about balance – it’s about juggling.) and find that sweet spot between “go outside while I work” and “hey, let’s spend some quality time together”. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a neglectful mom. I just don’t think they need to be in my face all. day. long when they can be outside in the back forty playing and letting their imaginations run wild which they’re great at doing.
I feel like ice cream is a lot like my relationship with my kids this summer. I don’t want it in my face all of the time but when I do, I want to experience it while being fully present. The sweetness, the drips, the bittersweet ‘good-bye for now’ when it’s gone – fully knowing that since I have a place for all foods in my life that I can indulge when I want to. That’s not to say that I eat ice cream everyday. Because I don’t. Through my journey to optimal health I’ve learned to listen to my body. I know when it would both taste AND feel good to indulge and when I’d rather not.
And this my friends, felt so right.
My hubby loves raspberries more than any other fruit so I knew that I needed to make something with our fresh raspberries from the garden for Father’s Day last week. So into the blender went the ingredients for my Dairy-free Vanilla Bean ice cream along with a handful of berries and viola! The perfect no-cook, egg-free base for raspberry ice cream.
To make ice cream I use the KitchenAid Ice Cream Maker attachment for my KitchenAid stand mixer. I’ve had the ice cream maker about 8 years now and it’s held up beautifully through hundreds of batches of ice cream, frozen yogurt and sorbets. I like that it’s an attachment for an appliance that I already own and I only have the freezer bowl to store (in my freezer, of course). The only downside is that you need to refreeze the bowl for about 12 hours between batches unlike fancier machines with a built in compressor that allows you to make batch after batch. But then again, I have yet to have a need to make this much ice cream. And if I did, I’d bring out the old-fashioned 1-gallon hand-cranked ice cream maker from the root cellar and enlist the help of the kids and their friends.
Pops = Perfectly portable ice cream
If you have kids or have ever visited the Minnesota State Fair (sorry, Iowa) then you know that everything is better on a stick. Notice I didn’t say ‘healthier’. I said ‘better’. As in more fun. And less clean up.
Though I have to say, that as far as ice cream goes, this isn’t the unhealthiest either. Coconut milk makes it dairy-free while keeping it rich and creamy. With just 1/2 cup of honey in the mix it’s pleasantly sweet without being a sugar bomb. And do I even have to tell you how
delicious healthy that dark chocolate coating is? Well, it is. It’s full of antioxidants.
But I digress. We were talking about things on sticks, right?
After freezing the ice cream base in the ice cream maker and achieving a nice soft-serve consistency I spooned the ice cream into freezer pop molds. I have a smattering of them that I’ve collected over the years but basically they’re like these:
And because I’ve learned my lesson when it comes to turning kids out into the backyard with popsicle sticks that are meant to be reused (and having several not return) – I’ve taken to using good old wooden popsicle sticks instead. For ice cream pops, I just insert a stick into each mold and freeze. For pops made with juice or thinner consistency smoothies, I place a sheet of aluminum foil over all 6 molds then gently poke the sticks through the foil. You could also put the pops in the freezer to freeze for an hour before inserting the stick but if you forget, you’re going to have stick-less pops. Womp, womp.
Depending on how many pop molds you have, you’re likely have some extra ice cream which you can pack into a freezer-safe container and freeze for another day. I used the 6 wide pops and 6 star pops pictured above and this used about 1 quart of ice cream, just in case you’re wondering or you want to skip making your own ice cream and opt instead for some store-bought ice cream with clean ingredients.
And now, for the magic “shell”
This part is the crowning glory of the ice cream pop, in my opinion. You remember Magic Shell from the 80’s, right? That magical concoction of chocolate, sugar and all kinds of artificial things would harden nearly instantly when you poured it over your ice cream. And then, like the commercial, you could whack the ice cream with the back of your spoon and it was supposed to crack effortlessly. More times than not, this isn’t how things played out at our table. We’d have ice cream and Magic Shell everywhere.
But being that this blog is all about real food, I went with the simple 2-ingredient homemade magic shell made with my favorite dark chocolate chips and a little coconut oil. And I think you should too because it’s so easy.
I hope you’ll give these Chocolate Raspberry Ice Cream Pops a try – they’re simpler than you think and totally worth the effort!
- 2 14-ounce cans full-fat coconut milk
- ½ cup honey
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 ½ cups fresh or frozen raspberries
- Pinch of sea salt
- 1 ½ Tablespoons Vital Proteins Grass-fed Gelatin (Green canister)
- ½ cup boiling water
- Place coconut milk, honey, vanilla, raspberries and sea salt into the container of a blender and mix until combined.
- In a small bowl, gradually add boiling water to gelatin - whisking vigorously until gelatin has dissolved.
- Add liquified gelatin to coconut milk mixture, replace lid and blend again for 15 seconds.
- Pour cream mixture into an automatic ice cream maker and process 20 minutes (or according to manufacturer's directions) until soft-serve consistency is reached.
- Spoon ice cream into freezer pop molds. Place a wooden stick in each mold and freeze until firm (2-3 hours).
- When pops are frozen, gently remove each pop from its mold. Running hot water along the side of each mold will make this process easier. Place pops on baking sheet in the freezer until ready to dip in chocolate.
- In a small bowl set over a pan of simmering water (or a double boiler), slowly melt chocolate chips and coconut oil. Stirring with a spatula until completely melted and liquid.
- Remove pops from freezer and quickly dip each pop into the chocolate (or spoon over pops using a small spoon). Holding the pop upside down, twirl it a few times to allow the excess chocolate to drip back into the bow. Return pops to a parchment-lined baking sheet and freeze until ready to serve. Store unused chocolate in a small jar in the pantry for up to 1 month. To use, place jar with lid in a pan of simmering water and stir until melted.
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What’s your favorite food on a stick? Even if it’s not ice cream – we want to hear about it in the comments below. We love talking about food.
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