I wanted to make something with the cacao nibs that I got in my recent iHerb haul and I’ve also been brainstorming about some popsicles to make use of a $2 popsicle mould that I picked up from Daiso a while back. So I combined the two and I came up with these banana smoothie flavoured popsicles that are studded with cacao nibs.
I have been seeing cacao nibs on the interwebz for a while now and I wanted to try them. Apparently they are the result of one of the first stages of making chocolate. After the beans are roasted, the shell is removed and they are cracked, resulting in these uneven nib shapes. The cacao nibs are then ground up and cocoa butter (and sometimes sugar) are added to result in smooth blocks of chocolate.
Cacao nibs definitely have a strong dark chocolate taste but with no hint of sweetness so they can be bitter if not paired with something sweet. They are full of antioxidants as you would expect, but I also found when researching them a little, that they have high amounts of theobromine in them which has been used to treat high blood pressure, which I have. I better have a few more popsicles then :)
I called these banana smoothie popsicles because they include everything that I include in my banana smoothies. I prefer really ripe and spotty bananas, but it’s up to you what you use.
One kitchen item that I have missed a lot this year is my blender. I’ve included instructions on how to do this with and without a blender below. Alas, I had to do mine the hard way. First world problems ;)
Make sure you leave space for the cacao nibs and expansion when you fill the moulds.
The cacao nibs are perfect in this but if you don’t want to buy some just for this, I assure you some dark chocolate chips will work just as well.
Your popsicles will need around 10 minutes out of the freezer before you will be able to unmould them.
Refreshing on a hot day and kinda-sorta healthy too :)
Banana Smoothie Popsicles with Cacao Nibs
Ingredients – Makes 5 small popsicles
- 2 medium sized bananas
- 1/3 cup of milk
- ½ tbs of raw honey, alternatively use normal honey
- 1 tbs of cacao nibs
- 1/3 tsp of vanilla paste
- If you do have a blender, blend all of the ingredients except the cacao nibs, until the mixture is smooth and frothy.
- If you do not have a blender, mash the bananas, honey and vanilla with a fork in a medium mixing bowl.
- Add the milk and then whisk it together very well until it’s well blended and slightly frothy. A few remaining banana chunks are fine.
- Pour the banana smoothie mix into the moulds leaving space for expansion.
- Sprinkle even amounts of the cacao nibs into the base of each popsicle and then put the popsicle sticks / handles into the mould.
- Freeze overnight. Let the popsicle moulds sit on the bench for about 10 minutes before attempting to unmould the popsicles.