Popsicles are one of those things you can pretty much make without a recipe. Take some sweet stuff, freeze it with a stick coming out, enjoy. So I feel a little sheepish sharing what is an extremely simple “recipe” – only four ingredients in fact, but these were way too delicious to keep to myself. It’s basically frozen piña coladas, with maple syrup instead of rum, and chia seeds for some extra texture/protein/hippie cred. The flavor reminds me of this amazing soft serve pineapple ice cream they used to serve at the Champaign County Fair back in my central Illinois youth. Creamy, tropical, and sweet, with just a bit of tang.
If you haven’t worked with chia seeds before (aside from making a terracotta-based shrubbery back in the 80s), they are totally weird. When you put them in something wet, they get this swollen gel-like coating around the seed. I’m making it sound kind of gross, but they’re actually quite yummy. Like a mix between a tapioca ball and a kiwi seed. But it takes a while for them to swell, so mix a few tablespoons of chia into one can of light coconut milk, and then stick it in the fridge for a few hours.Meanwhile, chop up your pineapple.Once you’ve cut off the tough outer skin, you can give your leftovers to your sous chef for her to practice her knife skills on.Cut the bald pineapple into quarters, lengthwise,and trim out the tough core. We don’t want any fibrous bits in our creamy frozen tropical heaven.Cut into chunks and purée.When your chia-coconut mixture is ready, mix with the pineapple purée, along with a goodly amount of maple syrup. How much you need depends on how sweet your pineapple is. Mine was super ripe, so I used only about 1/4 cup.And finally, pour into molds and freeze over night, or at least 5 hours.That’s it! Easy peasy. These are best enjoyed in a warm breeze, with eyes closed and some Ramito playing in the background.
Pineapple Coconut Chia Pops
makes 10-12 pops, or more, depending on the size of your molds
1 can light coconut milk
3 tablespoons chia seeds
1/4 cup maple syrup, or more, to taste