Along about the start of the 115-degree summer, I stumbled upon Nestle Foods’ “Outshine” popsicles. They’re incredibly delicious, and just the thing to beat the summer heat. They’re all good. The best, though (IMHO) is the coconut version, followed closely by the banana and then by the strawberry. NUM!
The things are supposedly mostly fruit purée or juice — to persuade you of this, Nestle posts the calorie count in big glowing characters on the box. But…the things do contain refined sugar. Personally, I like to know exactly how much refined sugar is in my food.
I happened to have a can of coconut milk in the cupboard, so decided to experiment. Found a recipe on the Internet that looked good — it called for a lot of vanilla. Don’t do that: vanilla does NOT go well with coconut milk.
More experimentation led to a pretty fine result…
Get your hands on:
• about 1½ cans unsweetened coconut milk (NOT the low-fat variety)
• 1/4 cup (more or less) powdered sugar
• 1/2 to 1 cup (as desired) unsweetened shredded coconut
• a whole lime
• Optional: good quality unsweetened powdered cocoa
• Optional: a handful or two of chocolate chips
Combine the coconut milk, sugar, and shredded coconut in a bowl or quart measuring cup. If desired, grate off the lime’s zest and add that to the coconut batter. And also if desired, squeeze the lime juice into the mixture.
(Lime and coconut is a surprisingly wonderful flavor combination.)
Pour this stuff into some popsicle molds. Stick ’em in the freezer and wait. Takes about four to six hours for them to freeze deliciously solid.
Okay, that’s the plain vanilla(-free) version. If you really want to go berserk with these things, though, dust the inside of the popsicle mold with the best powdered cocoa you can get your hands on. Doesn’t have to be a lot: just enough to lay down a thin dusting on the mold. Then pour the coconut batter into the mold and freeze.
This gives you a sweet, refreshing iced popsicle with just enough chocolate flavoring to be awesome! And it adds exactly zero sugar.
Now, if you have no fear of sugar and “awesome” does not suffice for you, you also can mix a handful or two of chocolate chips to the coconut batter before you pour it into the molds.
The batter is thick enough to hold the chips in suspension, especially if you’ve mixed in enough shredded coconut. And let me tellya: God made coconut and chocolate to be eaten together.
One of my students contributed a whole chapter of boozicle recipes to the 30 Pounds/4 Months Cookbook. These are popsicles for grown-ups, but they certainly can be toned down for kids or for the teetotalling (just omit the packaged goods). They’re mostly fruit juice or fruit purée mixes: cold, refreshing, and convincingly dietetic.
Don’t forget that 30 Pounds/4 Months, the diet cookbook for people who love to eat, will be going on sale in just a week! If you don’t have it yet, now’s your chance: watch for the 99-cent offer on July 21.
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