Of the many ways to stay cool during hot and humid August days, one of our all time favorites is enjoying frozen treats. Though often frozen treats are dessert (ice cream!) and provide mostly calories and added sugar without much nutritional benefit. Sometimes frozen yogurt is chosen as a healthier alternative but we are usually less than impressed with this lower fat (and lower taste!) option. But this doesn't have to be the case! With full fat yogurt products and the right flavorings, homemade frozen yogurt popsicles can and will be delicious. We are making frozen yogurt cool again with this recipe, join us!
Our secret ingredient for this popsicle recipe is Kefir - a probiotic beverage made from milk and kefir grains. So you are now probably wondering, what are kefir grains? Kefir "grains" are not actual grains such as wheat, rye, or barley but are referred to as grains because of their similar appearance and size. Kefir grains contain bacteria and yeast that work together to culture dairy milk or coconut milk creating a finished fermented product loaded with gut friendly probiotics. Dairy kefir is also a great source of protein with eight ounces containing eleven grams of protein to help keep you satisfied until your next meal. Dairy kefir is also a great source of calcium with an eight ounce serving containing 30% of your daily calcium needs and is very low in lactose making it a better dairy option for people who are lactose sensitive. Plain dairy kefir has a slightly sour/tangy flavor similar to yogurt and can be used in a variety of ways. We love kefir to drink plain, in smoothies, chilled soups, and frozen into popsicles as we did in this recipe. And not to worry, those amazing probiotics will survive freezing! They will become dormant when frozen but re-activate after consuming to provide the many benefits of probiotics to your gut. Also, a note that we chose full fat kefir for this recipe. We find the full fat option to be the richest and tastiest, so perfect for a frozen treat. Full fat dairy in general provides a balanced dose of both diary protein and fat in its natural state, meaning less processing (yay!) and more satisfying. And despite historical nutrition recommendations to chose skim and low-fat dairy, current research has not shown improved outcomes to support this recommendation. This makes sense to us - the less you mess with the natural form of a food the better. Except of course when you ferment something and make it a probiotic containing superfood like kefir! So let's get to making those kefir popsicles shall we?
Sour Raspberry Kefir Popsicles
PREP TIME: 10 minutes (+ 4 hours freezing time)
TOTAL TIME: 15 minutes
Servings: 6 popsicles
8 oz plain whole milk kefir
4 oz plain whole milk Greek or Icelandic yogurt
3 Tbsp raw honey (regular honey or light maple syrup will also work)
1 oz fresh ginger juice
Zest of 1 medium organic lemon, ~2 tsp
Sprinkle of sea salt
1/4 cup fresh or frozen raspberries, thawed
1 Tbsp raw honey (regular honey or light maple syrup will also work)
2 tsp bee pollen (optional)
In a medium bowl, mix together kefir and yogurt. Stir in honey, ginger juice, lemon zest, and salt then set aside. To make the raspberry swirl, add the raspberries, honey and bee pollen to a small food processor and whip to combine. If you do not have a small food processor mix by hand using a whisk. Please note, you may need to add 1-2 tsp of water to thin the raspberry puree slightly. Evenly pour ~2 tsp raspberry puree into each popsicle mold and top with kefir mixture. As you pour the kefir you should notice the raspberry sauce begin to swirl throughout the popsicle, if not you can swirl by hand with a thin utensil (knife, chopstick etc.). Place popsicle stick into each pop and freeze according to popsicle mold directions. Run molds under hot water to easily remove popsicles once frozen.
Frozen yogurt is making a comeback with these popsicles! So rich and filling from the kefir and with an amazing balance of sweetness and tang from the lemon, ginger and fresh raspberry swirl. You can bet that our freezers will be stocked with these for the rest of the summer season. And as you enjoy this recipe make sure to share the good news about full fat dairy - it's cool again too.
Jess and Cecelia
Jess and Cecelia welcome you to our kitchen. We are fun-loving and passionate foodies working to make the world a healthier, happier place one plant based recipe at a time.