Vegan, gluten-free, naturally-sweetened and protein-packed fudge pops. What more could you ask for?!
My brother got married last week in a casual, lighthearted, and fun party for friends and family. There was an area for kids to tear around in, which made wrangling a 16-month-old that much easier, there were lawn games, a taco truck, and dancing dinosaurs. It was a great day.
My mother, ever the pragmatist, doesn’t believe in making a big fuss over a rehearsal dinner when there’s going to be a party the next day. So in our family rehearsal dinners are always laid back affairs, usually some manner of burgers on the grill, this time with a trio of lasagnas made well in advance, and dessert is always fudgsicles.
I’ve had it in my head for a long time now that I could probably tweak my black bean brownie smoothie recipe (one of the most popular recipes on this blog, FYI) into a pretty good fudgesicle, and darned if I wasn’t right. I added an avocado for creaminess, bumped up the cocoa powder, and threw in a few extra dates. Plus banana, black beans, and almond milk all blended to silky smooth. A quick trip to the freezer in some spiffy popsicle molds and boom! Dairy-free, gluten-free, vegan, protein-packed, naturally-sweetened fudge pops.
Does it get any better?
Let’s be honest, if you are expecting these to taste exactly like legit fudgesicles you will be disappointed. These bad boys are sweetened with banana and dates, not refined sugars, so they’re not ridiculously sweet. The texture is a tad icier than a classic fudgesicle, but if you let ’em soften up a bit it’s pretty close. Do they taste bean-ey? Not even a little bit. Avocado-ey? Nope. Banana-ey? Maybe a touch. But mostly they’re cool, creamy, chocolately goodness that you can feel virtuous about. And my toddler was totally enthusiastic about them which made me happy because it means he’s eating Beans! Bananas! Avocados!
Q: Do I need special equipment to make these?
A: You’ll need either a food processor or blender to create the purée, and you will indeed need some sort of popsicle mold. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, even those dollar store popsicle molds will do ya just fine.
Beans, b*tches! Black beans are a good source of folate, dietary fiber, protein, phosphorus, iron, copper, magnesium, manganese, potassium and vitamin K. The protein-plus-fiber combination in black beans is one of the things that makes them special. A one cup serving contains 15g of fiber (over half of the daily recommended intake), and 15g of protein. Much of the fiber is indigestible, which supports digestive health, particularly in the lower part of our digestive tract. The protein-fiber combination is also key in stabilizing blood sugar levels, as both protein and fiber move through our digestive systems at a moderate pace. Black beans are also rich in soluble fiber, which is helpful for lowering blood cholesterol levels and supporting cardiovascular health.
- One large or two small bananas (the riper the better)
- One large ripe avocado
- 1 cup black beans, well rinsed and drained
- 4 medjool dates, pitted
- 4 Tablespoons cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 cups almond milk or other milk of choice
- Place all ingredients into a blender or food processor and blend until completely smooth and creamy.
- Carefully pour into popsicle molds, place sticks half way down, and freeze until completely firm - preferably overnight.
- To release the fudge pops run the popsicle mold under hot water for a few seconds and wiggle to release.
-My popsicle mold makes 10 standard popsicles and I ended up with just a bit of the mixture leftover - just drink it down like a smoothie!
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