Guys. It has been far too long since we talked chocolate.
Far too long. I was just looking at the Half Baked Harvest home page and there’s not even one post containing chocolate. I can hardly believe it. I guess I’ve been too wrapped up in spring strawberry recipes and brunch cocktails…not that I’m complaining because I love these spring recipes.
BUT sometimes you just need some chocolate, and today is the day when chocolate returns! And because it has been so long (honestly still in shock), I figured I needed to come at you guys with a chocolate lovers kind of recipe. Yes, please! You guys, these popsicles are going to be your new (HEALTHY) dessert obsession. They’re creamy, chocolatey, swirled with peanut butter, topped with a little salty peanut “granola”, AND then, for that extra touch, dipped in chocolate.
The best part? Everything in these popsicles is complete health food. <–no messing around, health food…and you’d never even know it.
OkOK. I know, I just made like a lot of claims, so let me back up a little here and explain.
To be completely honest, I’ve been having such a hard time with desserts lately. I am just totally stumped on what to make. Should it be something over the top indulgent? healthy? springy? summery? full of berries? chocolate? Like what, I’m just in between on everything at the moment.
So what have I been doing? Just making the things my family and I love most. A lot of brunch recipes (coming soon) and then these chocolate peanut butter popsicles. The weather was so nice all last week, which totally had me craving sunny weather eats, meaning popsicles! As a kid, I always loved the fudgsicles my mom would buy from the grocery store. I’d eat them all the time as an after school snack or dessert after dinner.
For a while, I kind of forgot about fudgsicles, but then other week something got me thinking about them and suddenly it hit me that I should make a PEANUT BUTTER swirl version. I mean, how freaking good does that sound?
Trust me, it’s GOOD.
Let’s run through these bars ingredient by ingredient….
…creamy coconut milk. I like to used canned full fat, for extra creaminess and sweet coconut flavor. This ingredient is KEY to achieving a creamy popsicles and not a super icy one.
…PEANUT BUTTER. I mean, this one is obvious. Use a natural, salted peanut butter.
…super ripe bananas. These are added mostly for sweetness and creaminess, but I do LOVE the slight hint of banana flavor. PB + banana + chocolate = best combo.
…plump dates. For just the right amount of sweetness.
…cacao or cocoa power. Gotta get that chocolate in.
…hemp seeds. For a little protein boost. These are completely optional, so if you prefer to leave them out, no big deal.
…vanilla. Always, always gotta add vanilla.
Everything is added to a blender and pulsed until it looks just like a thick and creamy smoothie. Then grab your popsicle molds and layer the chocolate mix with a little more creamy peanut butter…and as if that wasn’t already good enough, I decided to finish these off with a little raw “granola”, aka oats, peanuts, and dates…salty sweet goodness. Add that to the top of the pops and FREEZE.
Patiently wait the four hours or so..and then eat and eat and eat.
Bring on the warm and sunny days, right?
Also, I honestly did not intentionally try to make these healthy, it just happened to be that all the ingredients I used ended up being good for us ingredients. This almost never happens, but when it does, I jump for joy…and then reach for another popsicle…because hey, they’re HEALTHY!
And I swear, give these to anyone, even a super picky, non-health food eater and they’re going to love them. You’d never guess that there’s zero added sugar, zero bad for us fats, and that they’re full of protein too. These are truly just the creamiest (and I do mean the creamiest), chocolate and peanut butter loaded treat. They are SO GOOD…enough said.
Weekend plans…make popsicles…eat popsicles…out in the sun.
Peanut Butter Swirled Chocolate Fudge Popsicles
1. In a high powder blender or food processor, combine the coconut milk, 1/4 cup peanut butter, bananas, 6-8 dates, cacao powder, hemp seeds, and vanilla and blend until completely smooth and the consistency of a thick smoothie.
2. To assemble, layer the chocolate mix and the remaining 1/3 cup peanut butter evenly among 10-12 popsicles molds. It's OK if the layers are not perfect.
3. To make the granola: in a food processor, combine the remaining 1/3 cup dates, oats, and peanuts and pulse until the mix is finely ground and resembles granola. Sprinkle the "granola" over the tops of the pops, gently pressing into the pops (you will not use all the "granola"). Insert popsicle sticks, cover the tops of the mold and freeze until firm, about 4 hours. To remove the popsicles run the mold under hot water for 10 seconds and then pull the popsicles out of the molds.
4. If desired, dip each popsicle in chocolate and then quickly sprinkle with the remaining "granola". Store in the freezer.
4 Hours Chill Time
Chocolate and peanut butter, it’s just a combo you never ever tire of…love it! Happy FriYAY!