Snack: Mango Lassi Popsicles, Fudgesicles and Mojito Pops
Brain Booster Rating: Mango Lassi: 9 out of 10. Packed with protein from the Greek yogurt, Vitamin A from the mango and healthy minerals from the cardamom. Fudgesicle: 6 out of 10. These definitely fall under the sweets category, but the kick of sugar can boost your energy while the chocolate can make you more alert and help you focus. Mojito Pops: 5 out of 10. Yes, these do contain alcohol, but not enough to ruin your concentration. The bright citrus flavors will definitely wake up your taste buds, and a hint of rum may be just the thing to calm your nerves if you're under alot of stress.
Equipment: Blender/food processor, sharp knife, medium saucepan, pitcher, muddler or wooden spoon, popsicles molds and sticks
As we approach adulthood, the summer months become less like a vacation and instead transform into much needed catch-up time for all those things we put off throughout the year. Those balmy days are no longer spent lounging in a beach chair without a care in the world. Many of us might spend this time working a job to build up our bank account for the coming year, filling out internship or job applications that fell to the wayside during our busy schedules, or taking a summer course to get our credit count up to speed. But just because our play time has sneakily diminished over the years doesn't mean that all of our childhood memories of summer have to go out the window. In fact, even more reason to treat ourselves!
Instead of reaching for store-bought popsicles, which are often very high in sugar and contain colored dyes, make your own grown-up versions at home. Instead of cracking a beer after work, keep some icy mojito pops in the freezer to battle any lingering workday stress with a mini cocktail-on-a-stick. Extinguish the summer heat while satisfying your sweet tooth with a chocolaty fudgesicle, more rich and flavorful than any store-bought version. And for a healthy energy boost, grab a mango lassi popsicle made with protein-rich Greek yogurt to stave of any urges to munch.
Mango Lassi Popsicles
Adapted from Desserts for Breakfast
Makes 8-12 popsicles, depending on the size of your molds
2 cups ripe mango, chopped
1 1/2 cups Greek yogurt
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons sugar
big pinch of ground cardamom
big pinch of salt
- Combine the ingredients in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth.
- Pour the blended mango mixture into the popsicle molds and freeze until solid, preferably overnight.
- To unmold, run hot water around the outside of the molds for a brief time until you can easily pull the popsicles out.
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
Makes 4 standard-sized popsicles
2 tablespoons semisweet chocolate chips
1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 1/2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/4 cups whole milk
Pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter
- In the bottom of a medium saucepan over very low heat, gently melt the chocolate chips, stirring constantly until smooth. Stir in sugar, cornstarch, cocoa powder, milk and salt and raise heat to medium. Cook mixture, stirring frequently until it thickens, anywhere between 5 and 10 minutes. Remove from heat, add vanilla and butter and stir until combined.
- Set aside to cool slightly then pour into popsicle molds. Freeze 30 minutes, then insert popsicle sticks. Freeze the rest of the way before serving.
Adapted from Erin Cooks
Makes six 8-ounce pops
1 1/2 cups fresh lime juice (about 8 limes)
2 1/2 cups Club Soda
1/3 cup fresh mint leaves
1 lemon, peeled and cut into wedges
3 limes, peeled and cut into wedges
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 tablespoons light rum
- Pour the lime juice, club soda and 1 cup water into a pitcher and let sit for 5 minutes.
- Add the mint, lemon and lime wedges, sugar and rum to the pitcher. Mash all of the ingredients together with a muddler or a wooden spoon.
- Pour into pop molds, being sure to distribute the fruits and mint evenly among the molds. Insert the sticks. Freeze for at least 12 hours. Remove from the freezer; let stand at room temperature for 5 minutes before removing the pops from the molds.
-- Hannah Doolin for Small Kitchen College