Totally easy peasy vegan smoothie bar into a popsicle.. No added sugar of any kind but so smooth without any ice crystals either .. Magic ?? Nah…
Scorcher of a day : check You need a popsicle : check Don’t want extra sugar in it : check
Don’t want to spend extra time on it : check
Smoothie in a popsicle:: How did you do that??
Would you like a techie geek’s popsicle or the simple plain kind?
Aaaah…. the glorious days of summer vacation has begun! Kids love it naturally. Where else can you just chill out in hot blazing sun. And also because they know they would be loaded with treats and so many of them. While we do occasionally enjoy and indulge in fancier preps, a fresh juicy fruit in a smoothie or popsicle is always welcome as this kind is the super healthy and super quick to make .Just 4 ingredients. No added sugar and just perfect for a hot summer day.
I had spied a neat set of Robot popsicle mold or casing in Home goods.. And had to have it. My youngest one is currently on that phase and would totally enjoys decimating robots. Go figure !
So while we chug along in the prep for Father’s day this weekend.. We made this quick and easy one, loaded with the fresh fruits of summer and gorgeous !
Without much ado here is the recipe. I sure hope you enjoy it as well..
Prep time : 5-8 minutes chopping + 15 minutes initial freezing + 5 minutes of blending time
Freezing time : 6 hrs. – overnight
No. of Popsicles : 6-12 depending on the size
Banana : 1 ( sliced)
Strawberries : 8-10 ( sliced)
Orange : 1 ( quartered)
Orange juice / Water : 1/4 cup
If using orange juice, please do consider the no added sugar kind
Honey : 1 Tbsp. ( optional)
Prep the fruits and freeze them for about 15 minutes. This will aid in smooth blending.
Blending, popsicle molds and freezing:
Add the prepped fruits and a 1/4 cup of water or sugar-free orange juice to help in the blending process.
Blend super smooth. In my Nutri Bullet it took about a couple of minutes or so.
Taste the mix before freezing please . If you end up with super tart strawberries or oranges, a Tbsp. of honey or so will definitely help to balance it out.
Pour out into the casings or molds of choice and freeze .
To unmold, run it under hot water and you should get it put fairly easy.
Without much ado, here it goes. A sure winner in Diwali Mithai list!
Prep time : 15 min Cooking time : 10 min Setting time : 1 hr Yield : 15- 20 pieces
Chopped Dates : 2 cups
Chopped Nuts : 3/4 cup ( mix of cashews, pistachios and walnuts)
Poppy seeds / Khus -Khus : 2-3 Tbsp.
Clarified Butter / Ghee : 1.5 tsp.
Chop the dates ( I used the sticky seedless kind) to yield about 2 cups of the chopped quantity. About 20-25 dates would yield this depending on the size and quality of the dry fruit.
Run it in the blender. This is going to be a slightly sticky mass. Do not over process it or add any liquid to this.
In a wok or non stick kadai, toast the poppy seeds on medium heat and keep aside. An easier option would be to nuke it in the microwave for about a min.
Also toast the nuts for a min or two. The result is 2 pronged – you get the crunch in the nuts and get rid of the raw edge of it too. Again do not over process it. Remove it and keep aside.
Next add in the 1.5 tsp. of ghee or clarified butter and add in the blended dates. Please process this on medium heat for about 5 min or so. You will notice the darkening in the color of the dates and a heavenly fragrance too.
Add in the nuts at the stage.
Make sure the nuts are distributed throughout the dates base. Now depending on the freshness of your dates, you might need to add in a teaspoon more of the ghee to bind it all together if required.
Turn off the heat and remove on to a parchment paper lined plate.
Let it cool for just a minute and roll out into logs of your desired thickness.
Coat it with the toasted poppy seeds and set it in the fridge for about an hour.
Remove, slice the logs to yield thick wedges of this .
Result is a delicious slice of dates and nuts without any added sugar!
Day 4 dawns with a sunny and bright disposition.. Hitting 90’s weather and it is still officially spring in NC. Unofficially though it’s like we rolled out of winter with bare cursory knock into spring and right into summer! It’s time for chilled salads, popsicles and fruit treats!
A trip to the grocery yielded much of the bounty but I was so tempted to bring in these sweet white corn. Oh, they looked just perfect !
And todays lunch called for cold, crunchy nutritious salad.
The festival of lights, can be the occasion to indulge in quite a few calorie laden and very rich as in very fattening sweet meats or mithai. Indulging in wisely is the key, otherwise we find our hearts lighter and the scale heavier by the end of the festive season. This particular dessert is the rule breaker. This is so rich and wonderful in taste, that we almost miss the fact that this has no added sugar – gasp, seriously no added sugar or fat to the fudge. Oh my! These can be quite addictive . They are such a delish to make and absolutely wonderful to indulge in. And they are truly versatile. You can add in any kind of nuts and dried fruits you like. The two main key ingredients forming the base are figs and pitted dates. Just make sure you get these in, and let your imagination take over. Prep time : 15 minCooking time About : 15 minYield : 36-40 fudge pieces/ ladoos
Ingredients : ( For measurements , I used the standard pyrex glass measure. Not very accurate I suppose, but served the purpose nevertheless.)
Dried figs : about 2 whole cups
Pitted dates : 1 cup. Finely chopped.
Mixed Raw Nuts : walnuts,almonds, pistachios and cashews : 1.5 cups total – Finely chopped
Flavorless oil or ghee : 2 tbsp.
Few strands of saffron
Crushed cardamom pods – 6 nos.
In a large sauce pan, boil about 3 cups of water. Dunk in the dried figs, so they soften and rehydrate. The process should take about 10 min. Note you are not boiling the figs. Just added the figs to the hot boiling water and keep it covered.
Once the figs are softened, puree them in a blender.
In a large heavy bottomed saucepan, preferably non stick one, add just a tbsp of the fat of your choice to grease the pan.
Add in the pureed figs and cook on medium heat for about 7- 10 minutes. By now the gooey mass of fig puree would be supremely sticky.
Add in the crushed saffron strands and cardamom pods at this stage if using.
Mix well and turn off the heat.
Add in the chopped dates and nuts and stir well. You should have a nice mass of fruit and nut mixture by now. ( Note : If you think it is not in a thick mass, by all means heat up the mix again for a few minutes. usually 5 more minutes should do the trick.)
Meanwhile take a baking tray of your choice, or a thin rimmed platter should do the trick as well and grease it with the remaining tbsp of fat of your choice.
Add in the dry fruits and nuts mixture and pat it down so it can set in evenly.
Let it rest for a few minutes say about 5-7 minutes , and with a greased or ceramic knife cut in the squares or patterns of your choice.
Let it set in the refrigerator for at least 15 minutes.
Dish out the pieces and enjoy .
Roll up the pieces to form spherical balls or ladoos for variety. Also, please do note that these are soft set fudge .
Verdict: Awesome ! The crunch from the figs, the sweetness of the dates, the nutty indulgences all makes this a royal dessert. Go ahead and indulge. This one is definitely worth it!