While everyone’s focused on getting the kids back-to-school right now, it’s still officially summer for a few more weeks and we’re taking full advantage of the hot days and warm nights. This time of year is also the peak of peach season, one of my all-time favorite fruits. If you’re lucky enough to live in one of the 24 states that grow peaches in the U.S., try to take advantage of a pick-your-own farm to ensure you get the freshest, ripest peaches around. Otherwise, farmer’s markets and grocery stores in every state should all be boasting big delicious peaches this time of year. And what better way to enjoy peaches in these final days of summer than with peaches and cream popsicles?
Picking your peaches
Last week, the kids and I went peach picking at our local orchard and ended up with 37 pounds of fresh peaches. Whoever said you cannot have too much of a good thing obviously never had to deal with 37 pounds of peaches! We bought a popsicle maker at the beginning of the summer and have been making popsicles with every imaginable ingredient, so I was excited to give peaches a try. These peaches and cream popsicles have probably been our favorite ones all summer! When selecting peaches to use for this recipe, try to choose ripe peaches — you will be roasting them to soften, but you’ll get a much sweeter (less tart) flavor with peaches that are already soft and ripe.
Roasting the peaches
Start by slicing ripe peaches and arranging them on a baking sheet. Make sure your pieces are small enough that they’ll fit inside your popsicle molds when soft, but not so small that they’ll shrink down to nothing. Drizzle them with honey and a sprinkle of sea salt and roast for 30-40 minutes or until they’re soft. Try not to eat all the peaches at this point… they will be incredibly tempting!
Creamy popsicle base
While the peaches are roasting, make the yogurt popsicle base. I’ve made this recipe once before, but this time I made a few modifications in order to make the pops slightly creamier. Instead of low-fat Greek yogurt, I used a mixture of full-fat yogurt and low-fat cottage cheese. Using low-fat yogurt is fine, but it will give you icy popsicles (as opposed to creamy). The whipped and creamed cottage cheese gives the popsicles a cheesecake flavor that really adds richness without adding lots of calories. If you don’t like/want the cheesecakey-flavor, just use all yogurt. You can use vanilla extract, but I really like using vanilla bean paste, which gives it so much more vanilla flavor without making your mixture runny. Plus, you can actually see the vanilla specks, which I love.
Freeze and pop
Once the roasted peaches have cooled, gently fold them into the yogurt mixture. Spoon the mixture into your popsicle molds, carefully pressing down the peach chunks as you go. If the chunks are too large for your molds, you can slice them, but I didn’t have a problem and I really loved the big chunks of peaches in the popsicles. Freeze the pops according to the directions of your popsicle maker. If you’re using traditional molds (or cups), then freeze at least 4 hours and run them under warm water to loosen.
Pop them out and enjoy! These popsicles are rich and creamy, but still healthy and all natural. They have a great creamy texture (like a pudding pop) with an added honey roasted goodness flavor. Sure to be a big hit with kids and grown-ups!
- 1 pound ripe peaches (about 3 medium), peeled and sliced into wedges
- 6 tablespoons honey, divided
- Pinch of sea salt
- 1 cup plain yogurt (regular or Greek)
- 1 cup low-fat cottage cheese
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a bowl, toss sliced peaches with 2 tablespoons honey and a pinch of salt. Arrange the peaches in a single layer on parchment. Roast for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the peaches are soft and juicy (stir halfway).
- While peaches are roasting, whip up the cottage cheese in a food processor to smooth. Blend together the creamed cottage cheese, yogurt, remainder of honey, lemon juice and vanilla in a medium bowl. Feel free to add more honey or vanilla to suit your taste. Place the mixture in the refrigerator.
- Remove peaches from oven and let cool. Scrape the peaches and juice into the yogurt. Gently fold the mixture together.
- Use the spoon to transfer the yogurt blend into the popsicle mold. Insert sticks and freeze according to popsicle maker directions (or at least 4 hours if using traditional mold).
- When ready, remove popsicles and enjoy immediately.