Sweet Treats

If you know me, you know I just don’t have a sweet tooth most days. Dense cakes, fake frosting, and pie crust just don’t do it for me. I go to get custard or ice cream with Lance just to hang out. He could eat ice cream for all three meals! 

But sometimes desire strikes, and it strikes hard. So imagine my thrill finding three recipes that are not cloyingly sweet yet still satisfy. Packed with a good grain, flax seed, and natural sweetener, these approach “good for you.” The bites help me with portion control, 1-2 and I’m done. In fact, I have a couple for breakfast with a hard-boiled egg and a smoothie. 

The popsicles are genius. Sarah at Live Eat Learn wrote a whole book on popsicles, so stay tuned for more summer recipes from her. I quickly bought her suggested mold from PopsicleLab; it’s fantastic. The recipe is dare I say healthy, and includes coconut milk and spinach (for color, you don’t taste it I swear).

I’ve wanted to make this scrumptious Thai dessert for years, and never got around to it. This recipe is so easy, you must try it. The hardest part was cutting the mango, which I learned watching a video online. Not as intimidating as I thought it would be! 

Lighten up your summer, the family will love these. Stay cool!


Peanut butter chocolate bites

Yields about 20 bites


1 cup dry old-fashioned oats

2/3 cup toasted unsweetened coconut flakes

1/2 cup creamy peanut butter

1/2 cup ground or whole flax seed

1/3 cup honey 

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Stir all ingredients together in a medium bowl until thoroughly mixed. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least half an hour, to make the mix easier to handle and mold.

Once chilled, roll into balls of whatever size you would like. (Mine were about 1″ in diameter.) Store in an airtight container and keep refrigerated for up to 1 week.

-slightly adapted from gimmesomeoven.com 


Creamy chocolate mint popsicles

Makes 6-7 popsicles depending on mold size


1 14-oz can full-fat coconut milk 

¼ cup sugar 

1 cup packed fresh mint leaves 

1 cup fresh spinach 

½ cup dark chocolate chips, optional


Steep: Add coconut milk and sugar to a medium saucepan over medium/low heat. Heat until hot and steaming, but not boiling, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and add mint leaves. Stir to combine and let mint leaves steep for 15 to 30 minutes. Fish out mint leaves and discard.

Blend: Add minty coconut milk and spinach to a blender. Puree until spinach is completely broken down.

Freeze: Pour mixture into popsicle molds, leaving a little space at the top for them to expand. Add 5-6 chocolate chips to each popsicle. Add popsicle sticks and freeze until hard (at least 6 hours).

Serve: Remove popsicles from the freezer and run the container under warm water for a few seconds to loosen them up. 

-slightly adapted from liveeatlearn.com 


Mango sticky rice (Khao Niaow Ma Muang)

Makes 3-4 servings


1 cup sticky rice

1 1/2 cups water, divided

4 to 5 tablespoons brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 can full-fat coconut milk 

2 ripe mangos


Gather the ingredients. Soak rice in 1 cup water for 20 to 30 minutes. Do not drain the rice.


Add 1/2 cup more water, plus 1/2 can coconut milk, salt, and 1 tablespoon brown sugar. Stir well.Bring to a gentle boil, then partially cover with a lid (leaving some room for steam to escape). Reduce heat to medium-low, or just until you get a gentle simmer.


Simmer 20 to 30 minutes, or until coconut water has been absorbed by the rice. Turn off the heat, but leave the pot on the burner with the lid on tight. Allow it to sit for 5 to 10 minutes.


To make the sauce, warm (do not boil) the rest of the can of coconut milk over medium-low heat (5 minutes). Add 3 tablespoons brown sugar, stirring to dissolve. Taste test sauce for sweetness, adding more sugar if desired. (Note that it will taste less sweet when added to the rice.)


Prepare mango by cutting it open and slicing into bite-size pieces. 


Scoop some warm rice into each serving bowl, then drizzle lots of the sweet coconut sauce over. It should look like an English pudding with custard sauce, with the rice swimming in sauce. Arrange mango slices on the rice and drizzle over more sauce. Sprinkle with optional cinnamon.


-the spruceeats.com