Here's a refreshing, healthy treat for you to enjoy this summer. We made coconut peach popsicles using peaches from our garden and fresh coconuts. The popsicles are made out of a blend of puréed peaches, diced peaches, coconut milk, fresh coconut water, fresh shredded coconut, freshly squeezed lime juice, honey and vanilla beans.
You can't go wrong with these frozen treats. Plus, they're vegan! Depending on what fruit you have available, be creative and combine the fruits and spices you like.
Servings: 21 mini ice pops
1 (13.5-ounce) can coconut milk
1 fresh young coconut
5 small ripe peaches
⅓ cup honey
1 vanilla bean
juice of 1 lime
⅛ teaspoon salt
For the vanilla: Using a paring knife, scrape and gather all the grains of the vanilla bean (see tips).
For the fresh young coconut: Line a wooden cutting board with 2 or 3 layers of kitchen towels. Place the coconut on the kitchen towels. Using a cleaver, cut the top off. Gather the coconut water in a pitcher (strain it if necessary) and scrape the coconut flesh. If the coconut flesh isn't shredded enough, finely chop with a sharp knife.
Prepping the peaches: Peel the peaches (if the fruit is very ripe, the skin should come right off); otherwise here's a neat method to peel them. Make a small, shallow criss-cross cut at the bottom of the fresh fruit using a bread knife (I use a bread knife because the blade won't bruise the fruit). Fill a small saucepan with cold water and bring to a boil. Place the peaches in the water and wait for at least 1 minute. Remove the peaches (I use a large strainer or a slotted spoon), then transfer to an ice cold bath to stop the cooking process. The skin will come right off. Cut them in half and remove the stones. Turn 2 peaches into a purée and finely dice the rest.
In a mixing bowl, combine the coconut milk, coconut water (I gathered 6 ounces), vanilla bean grains, salt and honey. Mix well. Add the lime juice, puréed peaches and diced peaches. Adjust the flavors. It should be lightly tangy from the lime and remember, the popsicle mixture should be slightly too sweet to your taste before placing in the freezer because it will taste less sweet when it's frozen.
Pour into popsicle molds, plastic cups or muffin pan cavities. I used 3 ice cube stick trays. Insert a wooden stick into the center of each mold. Cover with a few teaspoons of the popsicle mixture to cover the wooden stick. Cover with plastic wrap, place the trays into the freezer and allow the popsicles to set for 2 hours or until completely hardened.
Peeling the peaches is optional but I find the velvety skin unpleasant to chew. You could also use canned peaches. If you want the dessert to follow the Paleo diet, you might want to use very ripe fruits so the skin comes right off.
The peaches from our garden were extremely sweet and juicy. If that's not the case, you could sprinkle them with a bit of sugar or more honey.
After scraping the grains of vanilla, don't discard the remaining vanilla bean. Just place it in a jar and cover it with regular granulated sugar. Let it sit for a few weeks and you'll have nice, fragrant vanilla sugar.
We do own ice pop molds but for some reason, I couldn't find them! I used Ikea ice cube stick trays instead and birch wood coffee stir sticks. Our family buys them in packages of 1000; Daddy and the girls use the wooden sticks to build miniature houses with a glue gun .
You can store the ice cream in airtight containers in the freezer for up to 3 months.
I usually add a little salt to most desserts. A pinch of salt will enhance the taste of your sweets and bring out all the flavors.
I used Chaokoh brand coconut milk. You can find it in most Asian stores.