Date and Peanut Butter Chocolate Swirl Pops
Yields: 2 cups liquid ( 6 pops) Prep Time: 20 minutes Total Time: 8 1/2 hours (plus date soaking time)
No refined sugar, iron and protein packed, plus a deliciously tasty combo of chocolate and peanut butter – in a popsicle! Made mainly with dates, peanut butter and a banana, these naturally sweet treats are made even sweeter with a swirl of melted chocolate chips!
6 dates, soaked in a little over 1/2 cup water (save this water for later)
1/2 cup natural smooth peanut butter
2 tablespoons high quality cocoa powder
3/4 cup water (additional to date water)
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract*
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons semi-sweet chocolate chips (vegan if desired)
1/2 teaspoon coconut oil
**A note about the vanilla. Vanilla extract is often made by soaking the vanilla beans in alcohol to intensify and preserve the flavor. After researching on various raw food websites, I learned that anytime vanilla is used in raw food recipes (ie: the vanilla is not heated) and it contains alcohol, the recipes opt for an alcohol free vanilla (often made with vegetable glycerin) or pure vanilla beans (scraping the inside of the actual bean). The reason for this is while the alcohol is usually cooked down when heated, that is not the case with raw recipes. While not a safety concern, the alcohol flavor overpowers the vanilla
1. Prepare dates and soak in airtight container in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours up to overnight.
2. After dates have soaked, place them (make sure they are pitted) plus 1/2 cup of the water the dates soaked in, 1 banana, vanilla, cocoa powder, peanut butter and 3/4 of a cup of water into a high speed blender. Blend until smooth.
3. Pour equally into popsicle molds leaving a small space (less than a tablespoon) at the top.
4. In a saucepan (or however you want to melt the chocolate chips) combine 1/2 teaspoon of coconut oil and 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons of chocolate chips. Heat on low heat until melted.
5. Spoon about 1 tablespoon of melted chocolate into each of the popsicle molds. I used a knife to swirl in the chocolate to get all the way to the bottom of the mold and then use the popsicle stick holder to swirl one more time before putting in permanently.
6. Freeze for at least 6 hours until popsicles are frozen. Enjoy!
First off, let me preface this whole recipe off with the comment that the picture doesn’t do these pops justice! I’ve been making these for the past few weeks to have on hand, but the challenge is, with three kids, one batch only lasts for two servings each. While that seems adequate, it goes fast!
So, last weekend, I finally made them again, with intention of having the full 6 to work with photographing. Well, of course Daddy gave the girls each one while I was out at the store (and I innocently thought these pops were working on freezing in the freezer). Then, Daddy also helped himself to one as well.
Normally, I am all excited when everyone enjoys my creations. However, this was a hard one, because I like to have backups in case things break or just don’t look pretty to photograph. And I had two pops with which to work. On top of all of this, it just happened to be one of the warmer days we’ve had in a while, and these little pops were starting to melt. I did make another batch, and oh, well, we just had more to eat!
Needless to say, some recipes and photos come together and work like a charm. And others, just are more challenging. So, while everything with the recipe worked out, it was the photographing that was hard to work around. All in all, it all worked pretty well. But, every time I look at these photos, I am reminded of all the chocolate pop drama!
I will say, the deliciousness of these little guys makes up for the drama. A bonus is some of the melted chocolate hardens in the middle of the pop. So, when you bite in, you get an unexpected chocolate chunk that is a delightful surprise!
The nice thing about these is not only is there an absence of refined sugar, but these are also packed with protein and iron from peanut butter and dates. So, they not just missing “empty calories”, they are also packing nutrient dense ingredients. Plus, it’s like a healthier peanut butter and chocolate cup frozen on a stick!