by Tammy Taylor
Aaaahhhh, summer fun. Picnics, swimming, baseball and cookouts. Who doesn’t love summer? But summer in Texas also means hot, hot, HOT! Of course living & working on a ranch means that RancherMan & I work outside during these dog days of summer so we’re always looking for ways to keep cool. A few weeks ago I started playing with recipes for making my own healthier popsicles. I used RancherMan as a very willing guinea pig for several batches until I perfected it. (Taste-Testing Homemade Fudgesicles? RancherMan’s got a tough job, huh? Poor guy!) I wanted to make my own popsicles for several reasons: They’re healthier, produce less landfill trash, are much less expensive and c’mon let’s be honest – it’s EASY!
So that we wouldn’t have to go through quite as many popsicles while searching for the perfect balance of chocolate & sweet I cut the ingredient quantity down so I was only making 6 popsicles per batch. The first attempt was waaaaay too sweet (and prepare yourself for this) too chocolate. Whaaaa…??? Is it even POSSIBLE for something to be TOO chocolate?? Stay with me now – although I love all things chocolate, the cocoa was so overpowering that even though the fudgesicle was too sweet the cocoa made the popsicle almost bitter.
The second batch was better, but the flavor of the yogurt was a little too prominent for my taste. And although the cocoa proportion was improved I also wanted more intensity in the actual chocolate flavor. Hummm… back to the drawing board I go.
Today is batch 3 – and I think we’ve got a winner! RancherMan declares that these are not as icy as previous batches, more creamy with a good balance of sweet & chocolate. Here’s what I did:
I like to mix everything into my large 4-cup glass Pyrex measuring cup – it just makes everything easier since it already has a handle and pouring spout. I start out by mixing the cocoa & yogurt together first because I think the yogurt helps blend the powdery cocoa more thoroughly. Since I make my homemade yogurt in 1/2-pint canning jars (which measures 1 cup) I don’t even need to measure it, just plop it into the bowl with the cocoa and get to blending. After the yogurt & cocoa are thoroughly combined I simply refill the yogurt jar with skim milk to get a 1-cup measure & add it in. Finally I add the other ingredients into my bowl – local honey for a natural sweetener, vanilla for flavor and coffee to intensify the chocolate flavor. Oooh really?? Chocolate AND coffee in the same recipe? Oh my, I’m in heaven! Now all that’s left to do is mix until it’s all thoroughly combined. Yeah, you can see how I slave in the kitchen for this cold summer treat but that’s just me – I’m a giver!
I already have a convenient pouring spout to pour the fudgesicle mixture into my popsicle molds so filling them is a snap. After they are all filled I just place the molds in the freezer until they’re frozen and ENJOY!
Of course now that we finally have a keeper recipe I’ll be doubling the ingredients to make 12 fudgsicles at a time. HEY – don’t EVEN act like you wouldn’t do the same! 😉 I love that I can give RancherMan the sweet cold treat he craves and that it’s much healthier than store-bought versions since it uses wholesome ingredients and is sweetened with local honey.
Without further adieu – my slaving-in-the-kitchen homemade fudgesicle recipe follows.
Homemade Healthier Fudgesicles (fills 12 popsicle molds)
- 2/3 cup honey
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
- 2 cups low-fat yogurt
- 2 cups skim milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 2 Tablespoons coffee
Mix all together in a mixing bowl until thoroughly blended. Carefully pour into popsicle molds and place in the freezer for 3-4 hours until frozen. ENJOY!
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