Is it the heat, or is it the humidity? Who cares? It's summer, and we love every minute of it. Even when we are seeking the shelter of air conditioning, we get to revel in the best hot-weather foods. And that includes easy, homemade frozen Peanut Butter Pops. With chocolate drizzle, of course.
Around my house, a frozen pop is the treat of the moment. Fruit-juice pops are perfectly refreshing, when you are reading a book or watching Netflix in the evening. Light, sweet, and cold, it's difficult to keep to one a day.
So I like to make my own variations. This one is a bit more like a meal, with peanut butter, nondairy or dairy yogurt and only a little sugar. A banana adds a sweet, fruity flavor. The protein in the pop makes these a little more like a mini-smoothie on a stick. I used a bar of Equal Exchange Very Dark Chocolate for a really deep chocolate hit, but you can use any type of chocolate, even milk chocolate, if that is your favorite.
All you need is a blender and room in the freezer. I use small paper cups and wooden sticks, and put the pops on a sheet pan in the freezer. Once they are solid, I quickly drizzle them with melted chocolate and put them back in the freezer. To do this, have your chocolate melted, cooled and ready to dip. Then work quickly or the pops will soften and, when you refreeze them, they will not be as pretty. Once they are nice and firm again, I transfer them to a zip-top freezer bag. Easy.
Of course, you can use the molds made for frozen pops. They come in a wide variety of shapes, and if you are really into it, you can get models that freeze your pops outside the freezer for an instant frozen treat experience. The standard size for frozen pops holds about 1/4 cup, but when you get into all the different shapes, all bets are off.
Like everything else, your frozen treats are better when you make them yourself. Use your favorite yogurt and really good chocolate, and you already have all the store-bought versions beat by a mile. Once you make them, you might want to try adding a few chopped strawberries or mini-chocolate chips for variety.
Seize the summer and enjoy your peanut butter pops!
Robin Asbell is a cooking instructor and author of "Big Vegan," "The Whole Grain Promise" and "Great Bowls of Food." Find her at robinasbell.com.