(WASHINGTON POST) - In the heat of the summer when you trade your hot coffee for iced, why not add some extra chill to your morning smoothie, too? That is essentially what these fun breakfast pops are: a frozen smoothie on a stick.
They are creamy and fruity inside, made with a blend of fresh strawberries, banana and yogurt, and crunchy outside with coating of finely chopped toasted almonds. They get most of their subtle sweetness from the fruit itself - and a very ripe banana is key to that end.
The little bit of honey that is used to make the nuts adhere adds a layer of sweetness as well. They remind me of the crunchy-coated ice cream bars I would get from the truck when I was a kid.
But while these taste like a real treat, they are officially nutritionist-approved as a breakfast food because they are made with those healthful smoothie ingredients. Grab one as you dash out the door in the morning or pass them around next time you host a summer brunch for a playfully cool way to start the day.
Strawberry Almond Breakfast Pops
You will need six 75g popsicle moulds or small paper cups. The uncoated pops need to be frozen for at least five hours, to set firmly, and can keep up to two months.
1 cup hulled strawberries
1 medium very ripe banana
1/2 cup plain low-fat Greek yogurt
2 Tbs low-fat milk (1 per cent)
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 Tbs honey, or more as needed
3/4 to 1 cup slivered almonds
2 tsp boiling water
1. Combine the strawberries, banana, yogurt, milk and vanilla extract in a blender or food processor. Puree until smooth. Taste and add a little honey, as needed.
2. Divide the mixture among the popsicle moulds and insert the sticks or handles. Freeze for about five hours or until solid.
3. Toast the almonds in a small, dry skillet over medium heat for about five minutes, until browned and fragrant, shaking the pan to avoid scorching.
4. Let cool completely, then pulse in a mini food processor or use a knife to reduce them to the size of small pebbles.Transfer to a plate.
5. Once the pops are frozen, stir together the tablespoon of honey and the boiling water in a small bowl. Cut six 25cm-long pieces of wax paper.
6. Working with one at a time, hold the closed side of the popsicle mould under running hot water just long enough to unmould the pop. Brush it generously with the warm honey mixture, then coat it with one-sixth of the almonds. Wrap the popsicle in wax paper and place in a freezer-safe zip-top bag. Repeat with the remaining five. Seal and freeze for at least 30 minutes and up to two months.