Creamy tahini ice cream swirled with chunks of sweet summer strawberries and flecked with real vanilla bean–these healthy pops are a chilly vegan treat!
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You know how I feel about tahini.
Or maybe you don’t, I actually haven’t talked about it in a while.
Long story short–I think it’s weird. Why must it taste so much like dirt?
I mean I know it’s supposed to be sorta bitter, but when I taste it straight from the jar all I can think about is planting flowers. There is a reason sesame seeds themselves are used mostly as a sparsely sprinkled-on garnish that no one actually tastes. I truly think burger buns have it right.
But since I believe it is possible to acquire a taste for just about anything (except spicy food–just no), I bought a jar of this stuff. Because I knew I wanted the last pop of Popsicle Week to be berries + something, and tahini felt right for filling the something spot.
The only non-hummus occasion I can remember eating and actually enjoying tahini was when I made this toffee sauce–the sweetness and salt balance its seedy weirdness perfectly. Which gave me hope that with enough sweet fruity flavors to counter, I could actually make a tahini-inclusive pop for the tahini-skeptical like myself.
So to play it safe and not push the bounds of my tahini tolerance too far, I used a 1 to A LOT ratio of tahini to frozen banana Which turned out to be about 2 not-heaping tablespoons for the entire blender of banana ice cream.
Baby steps. Baby steps.
If you adore tahini like 93% of the world seems to–double, triple, dump the whole jar. Okay maybe just half the jar. Or if you are even more tahini-averse than I am, cashew butter = AMAZE-ing instead. I may have a minor cashew butter obsession though, so actually any nut or seed butter will do. Oooh if you go with peanut butter it would be like a PB&J pop!
Berries. I used fresh strawberries because they were staring me down and drawing me in with their sweet scent the moment I walked into the produce section. In season and on sale–yes please! If the strawberries hadn’t been so persuasive, I probably would’ve opted for blueberries because they are my go-to berry.
Fresh or frozen will work, just defrost and then blend/pulse until you have a chunky berry sauce. You can sweeten with a little bit of maple syrup if your berries are too tart.
Ice cream. Just like the previous pops, these start with a banana ice cream base. To that creaminess I added the tahini (or whatever nut/seed butter you are using) and vanilla bean powder because it felt like a perfect addition to these flavors.
Layering. I started with a few spoonfuls of berry in the bottom of my popsicle molds. Next was the vanilla tahini ice cream and some subtle swirling. At about 3/4 of the way full I added a small dollop of tahini to each pop, because hey I’m trying to embrace the stuff. And then fill them to the tippy top with more ice cream.
Sticks. Freeze. Wiggle out. Devour!
I can’t say I am crazy about tahini by itself yet, but I can tell you I am crazy about these pops.
So Tahini–disgust moving towards acceptance. Maybe.
Creamy vanilla bean tahini ice cream pops with chunks of the sweetest in-season organic strawberries–love em!
Strawberry Tahini Ice Cream Pops
Creamy tahini ice cream swirled with chunks of sweet summer strawberries and flecked with real vanilla bean--these healthy pops are a chilly vegan treat!
If using frozen berries, defrost them. Blend/pulse the berries to a chunky sauce consistency. Taste and add the maple syrup if desired. Set aside.
Blend the frozen bananas, tahini, and vanilla bean powder until creamy. Add more/less tahini to your taste.
Fill each popsicle with a couple of tablespoons of the berry mixture.
Next add the tahini ice cream and gently swirl.
When the pops are about 3/4 full, add a small spoonful of tahini and swirl.
Continue filling to the top with ice cream.
Insert the sticks and freeze overnight.
The following day, carefully remove the pops from the molds. Enjoy!
This is the popsicle mold I used here. If you don't have a popsicle mold, paper cups work too! Just freeze for about 30-60 minutes and then insert the sticks.
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