Creamsicle Yogurt Popsicles for breakfast? Maybe on its face they are an odd choice for breakfast. But “on the merits” (as we former lawyers say), these yogurt-based treats are a wonderful way to start out the day.
First of all, they are simple to make. With only 3 ingredients, they take just a few minutes to prepare. You can make them the night before, put them in the freezer and they are ready whenever you are in the morning.
Second, they are relatively healthy. Sure they have a bit of sugar. But honestly, on most days do you do better than low-fat or nonfat yogurt and a quarter of an orange in the morning? You could even eat two and still be on the plus side of my breakfast-eating healthy chart. Granola has lots of sweetener, so if you normally throw a few tablespoons of crunch on your yogurt, the popsicles are probably in the same ballpark, sugar-wise.
Third, they are yummy. When I was a kid, ice cream trucks came down our street every once in a while. If it was the Good Humor Truck, I pretty much always chose a chocolate eclair pop. (I couldn’t resist that semi-hard chocolate center and the crunchy coating.) But if the truck was a Pied Piper or a Mister Softee, I went for a creamsicle.
On its own plain yogurt (or vanilla ice cream), doesn’t thrill me. But add orange and suddenly that plain flavor has pizzazz. These popsicles amp up the orange flavor by mixing the orange rind into the sugar. Simply by mixing those two ingredients with your fingers gives the sugar an incredible orange fragrance. (What a bonus – you get to play with your food! As if eating a popsicle in the morning wasn’t fun enough.)
Now the disclaimers. What Creamsicle Yogurt Popsicles are Not.
- This is quick, but not the creamiest frozen yogurt. The best homemade frozen yogurt is made with full fat yogurt, churned in an ice cream maker. The more fat in the yogurt – and even better with a bit of added heavy cream – the fewer ice crystals in the frozen yogurt. If you’re making a frozen yogurt dessert, that’s definitely the way to go. The two best articles on the how and whys of homemade frozen yogurt are from my favorite food information sites, Serious Eats and The Kitchn. But this is breakfast. And my yogurt of choice in the morning is low fat. So I’ll live with a few ice crystals in my Creamsicle Yogurt Popsicles.
- The sugar. You need sugar to make yogurt freeze well. Otherwise the yogurt, which contains a lot of water, is just too icy. The best sugar to use is quick dissolving, sometimes called superfine or bar sugar. If you use “regular” granulated sugar, you can eliminate granules in the popsicles by dissolving the sugar in a tiny amount of heated orange juice or water. It’s not simple syrup (the proportions are totally off), but it will turn the sugar into liquid.
- Truth in packaging – it’s not a true creamsicle with the plain (vanilla) in the center and the orange on the outside. I just couldn’t figure out how to do that. Maybe there is a more ingenious popsicle-maker than me out there. If so, let me in on the secret. I’ll be glad to spread the word, giving you heaps of credit for being an incredible DIY popsicle engineer.
- Popsicles require molds, or at least small paper cups and popsicle sticks. If you don’t have molds or paper cups and sticks, you can still make these using muffin tins. However, sorry to say that you won’t get the full joy of holding the popsicle in your hand in that case.
Creamsicle Yogurt Popsicles
Fun treats for breakfast or anytime. With just 3 ingredients, you can make these in minutes.
- 1 1/2 cups Plain, Greek-style yogurt (full fat, low-fat or plain)
- 3 tablespoons sugar, preferably quick dissolving
- 1 navel orange
Grate the orange rind and mix it with the sugar, rubbing the rind and sugar together with your fingers until the sugar becomes orange-colored.
Mix 1/2 cup yogurt and 1 tablespoon of the orange sugar. The more you whisk the yogurt (to aerate it), the more you'll get an ice cream/commercial frozen yogurt texture. Set aside.
Squeeze the juice out of the orange. Add the pulp (the membrane left behind from juicing) to the juice. Optional - For the smoothest frozen yogurt, blend the pulp and juice together with a regular or immersion blender.
Whisk the remaining cup of yogurt with the remaining 2 tablespoons of orange sugar, and 1/2 cup of the orange juice. Again, more whisking yields a creamier yogurt. However, I didn't whisk mine much at all, and it was fine.
Pour the yogurt and sugar mixture into the bottom of the popsicle molds. If you have the time, let that set for 20-30 minutes. But if you're in a hurry, you can skip that and just pour the orange yogurt on top immediately. The only difference is that you won't get the stripe of white, then orange if you don't let the white set first. Let the popsicles freeze for at least 2-3 hours.
If you have regular yogurt, turn it into Greek-style, with this handy guide.
You can make your own superfine or quick dissolving sugar by whirling "regular" granulated sugar in a food processor.
I used plain yogurt. If you prefer a true creamsicle flavor with vanilla, add a few drops of vanilla to your plain yogurt.
The number of popsicles this recipes makes is obviously dependent on the size of the popsicle mold. Mine appear to be fairly typical in size.