A quick and fun treat for you today– banana & peanut butter ice pops! To celebrate my recent purchase of a Norpro Ice Pop Maker, I have been playing with flavor combinations (so far yogurt-, fruit smoothie- and sweet tea-based pops) and this is by far the best-tasting result I’ve had. They are creamy, similar to the pudding pops I loved as a kid, and just sweet enough to feel like a treat, but without all the added sugar and weird thickeners found in some store-bought pops. So good! I am notoriously picky about bananas but can’t get enough when they’re paired with peanut butter; I just love that sweet and salty harmony. This recipe is based on my favorite breakfast smoothie, with some honey thrown in because it’s a treat and a little extra milk to get the ideal texture. You need very ripe, soft bananas to get the right sweetness and consistency, but who doesn’t have a couple brown-spotted bananas on the counter needing to be used up, am I right? My smoothie was created to take care of those stragglers, and now I have a second exciting way to put them to use. The honey is optional, as it may not be necessary if you have very ripe bananas, but it adds such a nice flavor in addition to sweetness. I have also made the banana & peanut butter pops with plain, unsweetened almond milk in place of whole milk and had good results; they’re not quite as creamy, but every bit as tasty. So, buy a few extra bananas this summer and let them ripen up, because you’ll want an excuse to make these delicious pops.
Banana & Peanut Butter Ice Pops (makes 4-5 popsicles*)
- 2 very ripe bananas
- 1/4 c. smooth peanut butter
- 2 T. honey (optional)
- 1 c. whole milk
- pinch of kosher salt
Peel the bananas; remove strings and ends and break into 2-3″ chunks. Put all of the ingredients into a blender or food processor and process until very smooth, about 3-5 mins. depending on the power of your appliance. Pour the mixture into your popsicle mold, leaving about 1/4″ of space at the top of each to allow for expansion, and freeze immediately. After about an hour, remove the pops, which should be slushy and not frozen through, and put a popsicle stick in the center of each one. Place the pops back into the freezer until they’re solid, about 2-4 hours depending on your freezer.
Frozen pops can be stored in the popsicle mold or unmolded and stored in plastic bags or sleeves.
*The Norpro tray makes 10 pops, but I usually make 4-6 at a time. To make a full tray (or close), simply double this recipe. If you don’t have the Norpro tray, no worries! Use shot glasses (a trick I learned from Paletas), any other commercial popsicle mold, Dixie cups like I used when I was 8, or an equivalent mold that’s neither too wide nor too deep.
Super Fun Bonus Tip: These pops are pup-friendly! On a hot day, your pup appreciates a cool treat as much as you do. Instead of buying commercial frozen treats for your dog this summer, make some of these: simply fill a few chambers of an ice cube tray with the blended banana and peanut butter mixture and freeze. Some treat-dispensing toys (Kong comes to mind) are freezer-safe and might work, too. Or (being very careful to never leave your pup unattended with a splintery popsicle stick!) you can do what I did and share: