The most challenging part about making this recipe is resisting eating the entire cheesecake batter before putting the pops in the freezer (so, so, ... so, good).
As indulgences go, this one is pretty innocent. In fact, these cheesecake pops are more like a healthy snack than a dessert.
Made with two cups of fresh fruit, protein rich yogurt and delicately sweetened mascarpone cheese, these pops will keep you cool and refreshed while providing you and your family with delicious nutrients.
As summer settles in and temperatures rise, our fluid needs increase. Beyond water, our best dietary source of fluid comes from fresh fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables also provide an abundant source of vitamins, minerals, fibre, enzymes and antioxidants for our bodies. They are truly wonder foods and when paired with a protein - yogurt, cheese, nuts, seeds, beans - they provide a balanced, low glycemic snack that helps keep our blood sugar levels stable and our energy and mood balanced.
Raspberry Mango Cheesecake Pops with an Almond Crust ~ (gluten free)
For the Cheesecake Pops
- 12 x 3 oz. Dixie cups
- 2 cups 2 % fat plain Greek yogurt
- 1 cup mascarpone cheese
- ¼ cup agave nectar, honey or pure maple syrup
- 2 tsp natural vanilla essence
- 2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
- 1 generous cup mango, coarsely chopped + a few smaller pieces for garnish
- 1 generous cup fresh raspberries + a few chopped pieces for garnish
For the Almond Crust
- 3/4 cup ground natural almonds (I use a dedicated coffee grinder to grind nuts/seeds)
- 1 Tbsp brown sugar
- 1-2 Tbsp melted butter
Why Greek Yogurt?
I favour Greek yogurt for its exceptional protein content (and gorgeous texture).
All yogurts, regardless of milk fat content, begin the same way - by adding bacterial cultures to milk. Greek yogurt begins this way but it soon departs from other yogurt brands in that the milk is strained to remove the liquid whey. According to manufacturers, this process of straining means that as many as four pounds of milk are required to produce one pound of Greek yogurt. The resulting product is a far more concentrated source of protein (from casein) and a thick and creamy texture characteristic of Greek yogurt (regardless of fat content - even zero fat Greek yogurt has a gorgeous creamy-like texture reminiscent of sour cream) .
You will pay more for Greek yogurt but I think you will find that you get what you pay for.
Place yogurt, mascarpone, agave nectar (or other), vanilla and lime juice in blender or food processor and blend until combined.
Add mango and raspberries to mixture and pulse just until fruit is broken down somewhat but still retains visible pieces of fruit.
Line up Dixie cups. Drop a couple of small pieces of fruit at the bottom of each cup before filling cups 3/4 full with cheesecake batter.
Gently tap cups down on counter a couple times to allow batter to fully settle into cups and prevent air pockets.
Place a couple more pieces of fruit on top of cheesecake batter.
|hmm...only 11 Dixie cups... |
I wonder what happened to that other portion...
Assemble almond crust ingredients in a bowl. There should be just enough butter in the mixture to allow the ground almond/sugar to stick together. Top each cheesecake pop with a couple tsp of almond crust, pressing down on the crust to allow it to adhere to the cheesecake mixture.
Place a popsicle stick in the center of each Dixie cup.
|I made a few with crust and left some without - |
both versions were delish
Place cheesecake pops in the freezer for about 2 hours.
Because these cheesecake pops are a natural food that do not contain thickeners, stabilizers or emulsifiers, they will freeze like ice (and become rock hard).
Do not let this deter you from making these delicious and healthy snacks.
Instead, you can simply remove the pops from the freezer and allow them to soften somewhat at room temperature on the counter or move the pops from the freezer to the fridge (which is what I do most often) in the Dixie cups. Even if you forget them there, you can simply enjoy with a spoon out of the Dixie cup (like a thick smoothie - delish!).
To eat, remove pops by pressing up on the base of the Dixie cup or, failing that, simply tear away the cup.
I hope you enjoy these as much as we do ('did'). My husband and sons came home from camping this past weekend and wiped out my entire stock! They loved them...