Pops for breakfast? These are nutritionist-approved

 29 Jul 2017 - 17:27

Pops for breakfast? These are nutritionist-approved
Strawberry Almond Breakfast Pops. (Photo by Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post)

By Ellie Krieger / The 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's 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's 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

These fun breakfast pops are essentially a frozen smoothie on a stick. Creamy on the inside, crunchy on the outside, with a subtle sweetness that comes mostly from the fruit itself, they are a playfully cool way to start the day.

You'll need six 2 1/2-ounce popsicle molds or small paper cups.

MAKE AHEAD: The uncoated pops need to be frozen for at least 5 hours, to set firmly, and up to 2 months.

Ingredients (6 servings)

1 cup hulled strawberries

1 medium very ripe banana

1/2 cup plain low-fat Greek yogurt

2 tablespoons low-fat milk (1 percent)

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 tablespoon honey, or more as needed

3/4 to 1 cup slivered almonds

2 teaspoons boiling water

Steps

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. Divide the mixture among the popsicle molds and insert the sticks or handles. Freeze for about 5 hours, or until solid.

Toast the almonds in a small, dry skillet over medium heat for about 5 minutes, until browned and fragrant, shaking the pan to avoid scorching. 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.

Once the pops are frozen, stir together the tablespoon of honey and the boiling water in a small bowl. Cut six 10-inch-long pieces of wax paper.

Working with one at a time, hold the closed side of the popsicle mold under running hot water just long enough to unmold 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 2 months.

Nutrition | Per serving (with 1/2 cup slivered almonds): 110 calories, 4 g protein, 12 g carbohydrates, 5 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 10 mg sodium, 2 g dietary fiber, 8 g sugar

Author Information: Krieger is a registered dietitian, nutritionist and author who hosts public television’s “Ellie’s Real Good Food.” She blogs and offers a weekly newsletter at www.elliekrieger.com.