Disclosure: I received free samples of California walnuts mentioned in this post. By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by the California Walnut Commission and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.
One of my fondest childhood afternoon snack memories is from the freezer. I’d take fruit flavored yogurt like blueberry, strawberry or raspberry, pour it into popsicle molds and wait for the magic to happen while they froze. A couple hours later, we’d get a tasty, creamy treat so simple to make that an elementary school kid could master them.
Since I probably hadn’t made a yogurt pop in at least 25 years, I was way overdue! This time around, I needed to make something a little more sophisticated for the adult palate. Something creamy and refreshing, with an exotic twist. Something with a little sweetness, but not too overly cloying. Adding a textural component like chopped walnuts and dates makes the treat more substantial since you’ve got something to chew! Walnut, honey, orange blossom and date Greek yogurt popsicles were the result of my craving for a childhood taste memory. The plain yogurt provides a subtle tang that you don’t get from vanilla or fruit flavored yogurt. As an added bonus, the Greek yogurt has more protein than regular yogurt! You’ll get 8 grams of protein for one of these babies, not to mention calcium and vitamin B-12. I love adding walnuts to a dessert like this because you’re getting the ALA form of omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium, and disease fighting phytochemicals. By adding the textural component from the walnuts, it’s necessary to chew your food instead of just letting it melt in your mouth, making these frosty pops more satiating than a traditional frozen dessert. Not bad for a sweet treat!
These pops are creamy from the yogurt, yet have texture from the walnuts and dates. The orange blossom water adds a hint of exotic flavor, with a touch of sweetness from the honey.
- 3 cups (24 ounces) of plain 2% Greek yogurt
- 1-1/2 tsp orange blossom water
- 3 TBSP honey
- 3/4 cup plump, pitted dates, chopped into small pieces (about 8-9 large dates)
- 3/4 cup walnuts
- Popsicle mold and sticks, or wax coated paper cups ( I used the Norpro 10-3 ounce mold)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Place walnuts on a sheet pan and bake in the oven until toasted, about 8-10 minutes.
- Allow walnuts to cool. Once cool, chop the walnuts into small pieces, almost finely chopped.
- In a large mixing bowl, mix the walnuts, yogurt, honey, orange blossom water and dates until well combined.
- With a teaspoon, evenly fill popsicle molds. Periodically tap mold on counter and use a butter knife to push yogurt mixture down into mold. The goal here is to get rid of the air pockets. If you have skinny molds like I do, this part can get a little messy.
- Freeze until solid, about 2 hours.
Run popsicle mold under hot water to remove yogurt pops.