This weekend, we brought dinner to some friends who just had a baby. For dessert, we brought these cookie dough popsicles. Now, popsicles aren’t the best food item to transport across town, but we couldn’t resist. After dinner, we slid them out of the molds and stood in the kitchen, each slurping our dripping popsicles against the hum of the cicadas. These are delicious, everyone murmured. What’s in them? The baby’s mama held her in one arm and a popsicle in the other. This is life, I thought. Good friends, good food.
And these cookie dough popsicles are more than just good (tasty), they’re good for you too! The recipe is from the book Glow Pops by our pal Liz Moody, a compilation of wholesome popsicles that are nutrient-filled. Instead of straight up sugar, they’re loaded with fruits and veggies that nourish. And they’re not just healthy dessert recipes: Liz points out that some of the pops contain enough fiber, good fat, and protein to make them healthy meals. (She’s even got a few savory pops.) Her approach to health is similar to ours: eat whole, real foods. And her popsicles are full of them.
So just how to achieve a cookie dough flavor with whole, real foods? The magic is in the cashews, which are soaked until blended, they form a creamy consistency. Add a bit of almond butter, some honey (for vegan), and the magic ingredient: a whole lot of vanilla. Blend it all together and you’ve got a delicious, cookie dough smoothie (which yes, I tried right out of the blender). Frozen, these babies are out of sight.
A few more things about these popsicles:
- For the “chocolate” chunks, we chopped ups some large dark chocolate chips and added them to the mixture. The recipe calls for mini chips, but we couldn’t find any at our nearest groceries. We chopped the chips we had onhand to make sure they’d stay suspended in the mix. For the full whole food effect, use cacao nibs; they’re are full of anti-oxidants and have a very dark, almost bitter chocolatey flavor.
- There’s a vegan option. We don’t eat vegan all the time, but eat quite a few meals that are. We especially love vegan desserts. This one can easily be made vegan using maple syrup and cacao nibs.
- They’re protein-packed. Compared to the typical creamy popsicle sold in stores, this version makes for filling dessert or snack that’s not just empty calories.
Lastly, here’s a few popsicle pro tips we learned from making popsicles a few more times this summer:
- Popsicle sticks: The Glow Pops recipes suggest to freeze the popsicles for 1 hour, then insert the sticks and freeze for another 4 hours. This makes the sticks easier to position. Also, I noticed I tend to insert the sticks all the way into the mold so the part of the stick that protrudes is very small. Instead, make sure to leave a few inches of the stick for the “handle” so that it’s easy to eat.
- Unmolding the pops: Most recipes say to run warm water over the molds, then slide them out. With these popsicles, we had trouble with the “running water” method taking quite a while, so we tried placing them in a mug filled with warm water. This did the trick, and much quicker than using with running water. (It was also a little safer, as it’s easy to splash warm water on the pops while attempting to unmold.)
- Storage: If you want to freeze the pops for later use after unmolding, lay them flat on a piece of parchment paper on a baking sheet. Freeze them for 1 hour after unmolding (until they’re completely frozen), then transfer to a sealable plastic bag and store for up to 3 months.
- Popsicle molds: Here’s the mold that we use; we like it and would recommend it.
Congratulations to Liz on a beautiful book full of inspired, vibrant recipes that inspire us to make nourishing popsicles on repeat this summer.
The featured book
Order Glow Pops by Liz Moody.
Looking for healthy dessert recipes?
Healthy dessert recipes (or healthyish, really) are what you’ll typically see on our table. To us, healthy desserts are what Glow Pops are all about: using nutrient-dense foods, natural sweeteners and lighter takes on the traditional dessert recipes. Here are a few healthy dessert recipes that are especially appropriate for summer:
- Angel Food Cupcakes with Maple Cream: a lighter take on a cupcake, these angel food cupcakes feature maple flavor and fresh raspberries
- Bliss Bites: one of our top healthy dessert recipes, it’s an inside-out peanut butter cup that’s made solely with whole foods: oats, peanut butter, coconut oil, maple syrup, and cocoa powder
- Berries and Peaches with Mint Syrup: this healthy dessert recipe couldn’t be simpler: make a syrup with fresh mint, then drizzle it over seasonal berries
- Banana Berry Vegan Ice Cream: this one’s more of a sorbet; it’s creamy, flavorful, and hits the spot on a hot summer evening
- Chocolate Drizzled Peanut Butter Popsicles: these pops are vegan, made with peanut butter and coconut milk
- Strawberry Vanilla Shortcakes
- Strawberries with Balsamic and Greek Yogurt: one of our classic favorite healthy dessert recipes, strawberries are mixed with balsamic vinegar and honey, then perched atop Greek yogurt with a bit of mint
Did you make this recipe?
If you make these cookie dough glow pops, we’d love to hear how they turned out. Leave a comment below or share a picture on Instagram and mention @acouplecooks.
This recipe is…
Vegetarian, gluten-free, naturally sweet (using cacao nibs). For vegan / plant-based, use maple syrup and cacao nibs (or vegan chocolate).Print
- 1 1/2 cups raw cashews, soaked for 1 to 2 hours, then drained
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 tablespoons smooth almond butter
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/3 cup honey (or maple syrup for vegan)
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup cacao nibs or mini chocolate chips (we used dark chocolate chips, roughly chopped)
- Blend together all the ingredients except the cacao nibs until very smooth. Add the nibs and pulse until just combined.
- Pour the mixture into pop molds and freeze for at least 1 hour, then insert sticks and freeze for at least 4 hours more, or until solid.
Reprinted with permission from Glow Pops by Liz Moody
About the Authors
Cookbook Author and writer
Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.
Cookbook Author and photographer
Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.