A healthy and refreshing cool treat, you will love these lightly sweetened pineapple coconut chia popsicles!
Popsicles aren’t just for kids, grown-ups can enjoy some too! This hot weather has me craving something cold and sweet to get a quick cool down. I naturally would gravitate towards a big scoop of coffee ice cream, but with how often my sweet tooth hits, I know I need a healthier yet still satisfying option. I’ve been enjoying chia seeds lately since they have some stellar health benefits. This recipe for pineapple coconut chia seed popsicles is a perfect way to get all that I want out of a lightly sweetened treat.
What Jess, it’s only 4 ingredients to reach popsicle bliss? That’s right! This recipe contains a simple yet flavorful combination of crushed pineapple, coconut milk, chia seeds and a sweetener of your choice (honey, agave nectar or maple syrup), that’s it. I use my Norpro Ice Pop Maker , which creates 10 popsicles at a time and make sure I buy extra popsicle sticks.
Chia seeds add an interesting texture similar to tapioca in this pina colada blend of pineapples and coconut milk. When the chia seeds come into contact with the liquid, they swell up, which takes about 30 minutes. This creates a pudding thickness and makes it super easy to scoop into the molds. You can even eat the mixture as is if you want to have it as a breakfast or snack, like my chia pudding with berries and almonds recipe.
These popsicles have a nice cool yet creamy texture, and they don’t melt or drip like fruit or dairy-based pops. I enjoy the extra texture with each bite from the chia seeds, and the whole pieces of frozen crushed pineapples are delicious!
I love popsicles because you can customize the flavors and sweetness just the way you like. You can totally omit the sweeteners since the coconut milk and whole pieces of pineapple are already naturally sweet, however just adjust to what your sweet tooth desires. Trying to keep it on the healthier side, just a touch of sweetness worked for me (I added 1 tablespoon of honey), but Jason would have liked it a bit more. If you want an entirely vegan treat, use agave nectar or maple syrup, but slowly add the sweeteners and taste as you go since the flavor profiles are different.
Popsicles are a fun, nostalgic healthier sweet treat that your whole family will enjoy! I can’t wait to make them for baby James and see how he likes them. I always make the popsicles the day before so that I can just grab and devour at any time. Are you new to making popsicles? Check out my easy homemade fruit popsicles, or my strawberry yogurt granola popsicles to get you going!
What are the health benefits of Chia Seeds?
These tiny nutrient rich seeds sure pack a big nutritional punch! Each seed is rich in dietary fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, protein and other beneficial nutrients and is an easy way to add healthier ingredients into each meal. Each serving of this chia seed pudding contains about 1 tablespoon of chia seeds. From a nutritional standpoint, an ounce of chia seeds (about 2 tablespoons), contains 136 calories, 4.6 grams of protein, 8.6 grams of fat and 9.6 grams of fiber (Source: LiveStrong.com). Each pineapple coconut chia seed popsicle contains about 1.2 teaspoons of chia seeds per serving. That’s almost 1 gram of fiber not counting the ones naturally coming from the pineapple!
- 13 1/2 ounces unsweetened coconut milk , (full fat)
- 20 ounces crushed pineapple in 100% juice , canned, (divided, see below)
- 1/2 cup pineapple juice , drained from can of crushed pineapple
- 1/2 cup crushed pineapple , from can of crushed pineapple, use remainder for layering popsicles
- 1 1/2 tablespoons honey , or agave syrup or maple syrup (to your sweetness liking)
- 1/4 cup chia seeds
In a medium sized bowl, add coconut milk, 1/2 cup of drained pineapple juice, and 1/2 cup crushed pineapple, whisk to combine. Blend mixture for 30 seconds. You can skip this step if you like a chunkier pineapple texture. Add 1 to 3 tablespoons of sweetener of your choice, depending on how sweet you like your popsicles. Stir or blend for another 15 seconds to combine. Transfer the coconut-pineapple mixture back to the medium sized bowl.
Add 1/4 cup chia seeds to the mixture. Stir until combined, and allow to sit at room temperature for 15 minutes. Stir to distribute the seeds (they should be thickening the mixture) and allow to sit for another 15 minutes. Stir to combine one last time. The mixture should be like a thickened pudding.
Begin layering your popsicles as follows: Add 1 teaspoon of crushed pineapple, followed by 1 teaspoon chia mixture, then 1 teaspoon pineapple, 1 teaspoon chia mixture, 1 teaspoon pineapple, 2 teaspoons chia mixture, and 1 teaspoon pineapple as the last layer. Gently tap each layer as you add them to allow the layers to settle evenly in the mold. You want the molds to be mostly full (about 95%), with just a small amount of room for expansion as it freezes. Insert the popsicle sticks into the molds, they should stand up by themselves.
Freeze for several hours until the popsicles are completely frozen.
To remove the popsicles from the molds, run hot water over the sides of each popsicle for about 15 to 30 seconds, or until the popsicles are just loosened.
Remove the popsicles from the mold and enjoy immediately, or tightly wrap them in plastic wrap and store in a resealable plastic bag in the freezer.