Coconut Chai Popsicles with Salted Caramel
"This warm weekend weather has me dreaming of my ultimate summer treat! These Coconut Chai Popsicles with Salted Caramel are seriously divine! I shared them with my neighbours while we had a picnic in their garden. Everyone absolutely loved them and one neighbour even said, “This is the best thing I’ve ever eaten”!
These popsicles are vegan and free of gluten, dairy and refined sugar. They taste absolutely delectable, yet they’re full of potassium from the banana and fibre, vitamins C, E, B1, B3, B5 and B6 and minerals including iron, selenium, sodium, calcium, magnesium and phosphorous from the coconut. Coconuts provide fat that is mostly in the form of medium chain saturated fatty acids. In particular, one called lauric acid. Lauric acid is converted in the body into a highly beneficial compound called monolaurin, an antiviral, antifungal and antibacterial that destroys a wide variety of disease causing organisms."
Makes 5-6 popsicles
You will need popsicle moulds and paddle pop sticks for this recipe.
Coconut Chai Ice Cream
1 400mL can coconut cream/milk (Try to choose a brand that just uses coconut and water – not stabilisers or emulsifiers. Honest to Goodness is a great brand, but if I’m just at a regular supermarket I choose either Ayam or the blue tin from the brand TCC).
2 tbsp. Prana Chai
1 large, ripe banana (or 2 small ripe bananas)
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tbsp. raw honey / maple syrup
200mL (½ can) coconut cream/milk
1 heaped tbsp. raw honey / maple syrup
Extra coconut cream/yoghurt, chopped pecans and cinnamon, to serve (optional)
For the Ice Cream
Place the coconut milk/cream and chai tea in a small saucepan and bring to a gentle boil over medium heat. Reduce heat and allow to simmer with the lid on for 5 minutes.
Remove the tea mixture from the heat and allow to continue infusing while it cools.
Once cooled, strain to remove the tea leaves and add the tea infused mixture to a blender with the banana, vanilla and honey/maple. Blend until very smooth.
Distribute mixture evenly between popsicle moulds. Mine filled 5 moulds, but this will depend on which sized moulds you use.
Place the moulds into the freezer for about 2 hours to part-freeze while you make the salted caramel. Don’t add the paddle pop sticks yet – wait until part-frozen.
For the Salted Caramel
Add the coconut milk/cream and honey/maple to a small saucepan over medium heat and bring to a gentle boil.
Reduce the heat and allow to simmer for 20-25 minutes or until it has thickened and become a caramel colour. Ensure you stir the mixture occasionally and then more frequently towards the end as it is thickened, to avoid burning/sticking to the bottom.
Once the mixture has thickened, remove from the heat and add sea salt until it suits your taste (– ½ teaspoon should work). Allow the mixture to cool.
Once the caramel has cooled and the ice cream is part frozen, add dollops of the salted caramel to each popsicle. I did this by scooping the caramel with a teaspoon and dipping it in and out of the part-frozen popsicle. The aim is to ‘swirl’ the caramel through the popsicle. I also pressed the caramel covered spoon against the side of the mould to ensure some caramel would be seen on the outside of the popsicle when removed from the mould.
Finally, add a paddle pop stick to each popsicle. If the ice cream has softened too much while adding the caramel, you can return it to the freezer for a little longer before doing this. You want to ensure the ice cream has thickened enough to hold the stick in place. Return the ice creams to the freezer and allow to freeze for a further 3 hours or overnight.
This is optional, but you can dip one corner of each popsicle into left over coconut cream or yoghurt and then into chopped pecans. Finish with a light sprinkling of cinnamon. Enjoy!