Toasted Coconut Popsicles (+ Some Big News)

Toasted Coconut Popsicles | A Sweet Spoonful

Hello from our guest bedroom where I have officially taken up refuge as our upstairs bedroom is stifling hot and my inexpensive drug store fan doesn’t seem to be doing the trick. We’re having a bit of a heat wave in Seattle, and Sam has been out of town all week so dinner has been a mellow affair, usually consisting of quesadillas or, on occasion, a big bowl of berries + whipped cream or popsicles. I finally just bought a popsicle mold and am not quite sure what took me so long, but I’m hooked and these coconut numbers were the first recipe I tried. The ingredient list seemed deceivingly simple, and I thought there’s no way they could be as velvetty and luxurious as the ones I buy from our local co-op. But they are, and you can tailor them to fit your own taste in terms of sweetness and amount of toasted coconut. I’m not quite ready to share how many of these I’ve eaten this week, but I thought it was time I shared them with you.

There are a lot of popsicle molds on the market today, and choosing one can be a bit daunting. I bought this one thanks to a recommendation from Molly and am loving it so far. It’s a pretty basic design, but the popsicles are easy to unmold after running a bit of warm water around the edges and I can’t help but feel like the options are endless here: mango lime (my sister Zoe’s idea), fresh raspberry, watermelon. It’s going to be a good summer. I started with coconut as it’s my favorite flavor and after some research I realized how most coconut pops are really just coconut milk with a little sugar and possibly some vanilla. I saw a great recipe from Leite’s Culinaria that I based my pops on, and then I was intrigued by Joy the Baker‘s use of toasted coconut in her pops. So this recipe is a bit of a mash up of the two married with my desire to use as little sugar as I could get away with. I think you’re going to like them.

Toasted Coconut Popsicles | A Sweet Spoonful

If you’re not a big fan of toasted coconut, you could leave it out altogether and make very simple coconut pops. I like the texture but realize not everyone does. And please do yourself a favor and use full-fat coconut milk; the light version is more watery and will result in a much less delicious popsicle. Last, the amount of sugar is really personal preference so I indicated a small range in the recipe. I used 2 1/2 tablespoons in mine and was very happy with them, but I will say that for whatever reason (someone out there must know the science behind this?!) the mixture will taste sweeter warm or at room temperature than when you freeze it. So if it’s tasting not quite sweet enough while you’re warming it, you’re going to want to add a little sugar. If you fear you may have bumped up the sweetness just a bit too much for your taste, it’s likely perfect.

Toasted Coconut Popsicles | A Sweet Spoonful

Now as if homemade coconut popsicles aren’t exciting enough, I’ve been waiting to share some big news with you: I’m pregnant and Sam and I are expecting a new addition to our family in early November! I’ve been excited to share the news with you here, but also hesitant and nervous — continuing to wonder if everything was o.k. and if it was an appropriate time to tell a wider audience than just family and close friends. Apparently for some people that feeling of never being quite sure if everything is o.k. never really goes away, and I’m afraid this will likely plague me for the next few months. But! So far it looks like we’re giving birth to a real live human and not a lizard (good news!) We’re going to try to not find out the baby’s sex, and to let it be a surprise; I’ve started to want to know, to be honest, but Sam really wants to be surprised and I’d like him to have that. And in the big picture of things, there aren’t that many great, great surprises in life are there? So I’m trying to hold out … although I have suggested we stop calling the baby by the girl’s name we’ve chosen as there’s a strong change it could be a boy and it’s just going to start to get weird. So now we have lots of neutral names, mostly after vegetables for some reason. My dad calls the baby Foxy. I like that.

I’ve been lucky so far in that I haven’t gotten very sick and besides general tiredness, have felt pretty strong. The first trimester I was fascinated by foods that I typically love that I no longer wanted anything to do with — I’m always a little skeptical of certain medical rumors and figured all of those pregnant women who talked about cravings and aversions were just … looking for an excuse to eat more hot fudge. But it really is true: I was repulsed by coffee (which I usually love), salads, and most hearty vegetables. I could do butter lettuce but that was about it. Instead, I was a fiend for potato salad (which I usually make maybe once a year and never buy), pineapple and pretty mediocre cheese. I was actually making trips to the market to buy quarts of the pre-made potato salad at the deli, barely recognizing myself but kind of delighting in the strangeness of it all. Morning would come and I’d find myself standing by the sink eating pineapple out of the can. Lately, I’ve rediscovered the simple potato chip and BOY are they delicious! Yesterday when I picked up a poster we were having framed, the woman at the frame shop looked me up and down and said in all earnestness: “anyday now, eh?”; hopefully that is not a result of the potato chips (sour cream and onion! barbecue!) and instead a sign she doesn’t know what a 20-week pregnant lady looks like. Let’s all just assume it’s the latter because I think the chips may be here to stay.

2015-06-17 19.14.52-2
This photo was taken as part of a weekly series I’ve been doing just for my own records so I don’t forget what I look like. Some weeks it’s actually amazing to see how much my belly has grown in a mere seven days. This was week 19 after a snack of almonds and a chocolate milkshake (highly recommended). I hope you’re staying cool in your neck of the woods, and I’m excited to be able to speak more freely about what I’ve really been cooking and eating lately — especially now that vegetables and salads are back in the pro column. See you back here soon.

Toasted Coconut Popsicles

Toasted Coconut Popsicles

  • Yield: 6
  • Prep time: 5 mins
  • Cook time: 10 mins
  • Inactive time: 3 hrs
  • Total time: 3 hrs 15 mins

Feel free to double this recipe depending on how much space you have in your popsicle mold; I certainly will next time. And I noticed some recipes call for a pinch of salt, so you could experiment with that as well. If you don’t have a vanilla bean, you could use 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract instead, but you won’t have those pretty little flecks which, if you’re anything like me, will likely make you happy.

Adapted from: Leite’s Culinaria 

Ingredients

1/3 cup shredded unsweetened coconut flakes
1 13.5- or 14-ounce can full-fat coconut milk
1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and seeds scraped
2 1/2 -3 tablespoons natural cane sugar (or granulated sugar)

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Spread coconut onto a rimmed baking sheet and toast in oven until golden brown, about 3-4 minutes. It can burn quickly, so keep an eye on it. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool completely.

In a small saucepan over medium heat, whisk together the coconut milk, vanilla bean and seeds, and sugar. Stirring occasionally, cook until the sugar has completely dissolved and the mixture just barely begins to bubble (although don’t let it boil). Remove from the heat, cover, and let it steep for 1 hour.

After steeping, remove the vanilla pod and discard. Whisk the coconut milk mixture well and stir in the toasted coconut. Pour it into a bowl with a spout or a large measuring cup for easier pouring. Fill 6 ice-pop molds evenly with the mixture. Freeze until firm, at least 2 hours or up to overnight.

Comments

  1. Mardi (eat. live. travel. write.)

    Megan and Sam, I could not be more thrilled for you :) Smiling from ear to ear as I read this post. Also, those popsicles? Yes please!!

  2. Chelsea@TableForOne

    Why have I not bought a popsicle mold yet! We are dying of heat over here and these popsicles look like the perfect snack for this weather. I must make these!

  3. Mary

    Yay!! Congratulations on your little one! :o)

  4. Nancy

    Megan, you look beautiful, this ice cream is working because you have that glow.
    The recipe sounds so good. I have everything that I need to make this except the ice pop molds. If I have time to make it in a container, I will try it for this weekend. I will practice on the grandchildren at hand while waiting for 'Foxy'.

  5. Heather

    Congratulations! That's so exciting for you!

  6. Jennie

    You look so beautiful, and those popsicles are going right onto my "must-make" list!

  7. Laurel

    Congratulations! What a wonderful gift! (Btw, you DO NOT look like you are due any day. That lady certainly hasn't seen many full-term pregnant women.)

  8. Carly

    Congratulations from a long time lurker/first time commenter/fellow November 2015 baby haver/pregnant pineapple craver who is also not finding out the sex (we didn't with my son and it is the best to hear your spouse say "it's a ___!!") And for these popsicles! I think these are happening tonight.

    1. megang

      Hope you enjoy the pops, Carly. Hope you're feeling well, too and staying cool this summer. Hooray for November babies! ~mg

  9. Mary

    Congratulations!

    I made those coconut popsicles on Leite's Culinaria and thought they were great. I like the idea of adding toasted coconut for more complex coconut flavor.

  10. Amanda @ Once Upon a Recipe

    What exciting news! So happy for you and Sam! I think I have the same popsicle mold as you and will definitely give this recipe a try. I love anything made with coconut milk!

    1. megang

      THANK YOU, Amanda! xo

  11. Susan

    OH YEA !!!~ That is SO exciting and I am very pleased for both of you :)

  12. brittney

    Congrats! So excited for you guys. My first baby was born early Nov. :)

  13. brittney

    http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2014/06/limonada-de-coco/

    This a great drink to beat the heat when you're pregnant.

  14. Adriana

    Congratulations and blessings for you both, this is the real adventure, starting a family. We didn't find out our babies sex and it was such a pleasant surprise when they were born. Take care and the best wishes for you

  15. June

    Congratulations from another long-time lurker. You look lovely and certainly not due any time soon. Take it from one who had twins. Your popsicles sound like the best way to stay cool in our heat wave. I live just sixty or so miles north of you and understand how warm you must feel.

    1. megang

      Ah thanks so much for the sweet comment, June. Yes, it sounds like we're in for another toasty week ... I don't remember a stretch quite this long here. Hope you're staying cool. ~mg

  16. Jenna

    Congratulations!! Thank you for sharing!!
    Also the popsicles look ammmazing.. :D

  17. Carole

    What wonderful news! Heartiest congratulations! How well I remember the waxing and waning of food cravings and food aversions. Glad you haven't felt too punk. That can certainly take the shine off a very happy time of life.

  18. lori

    Congratulations, Megan! This is such wonderful news. All the best to you and Sam as you start this new chapter. And, of course I wish for you a baby who is a good sleeper!

  19. Kathleen

    Huge congrats, Megan! (Sam, too!) You're absolutely darling!

    I hated coffee, too. The only time in adulthood I didn't absolutely LOVE and NEED coffee was while I was pregnant. Also, I had to walk about four blocks out of my way on my typical commute to work just to avoid Spuds. The smell always made me sick. I "rewarded" myself with a ham and cheese croissant from a nearby cafe every morning that I happened to get sick. I think that baby had nearly 30 of those suckers via the cord! Whaddaya know, he loves cheese, butter and meat.

    It's a crazy, wonderful journey. (And that feeling of everything not going to be ok never goes away. Parenting is scary. But you'll get more used to it and hold things with an ever opening hand as they grow...)

    1. megang

      Very funny, Kathleen. I like the croissant reward. Mine tends to be ice cream and I feel like at least yours has a little nutritional value :) Have a great weekend, ~mg

  20. Courtney

    Happy days to you from a first-time commenter but longtime reader (surrounded by fans just down the road in Tacoma). Good luck to you as you plan for your inside baby to join you on the outside (and for keeping it a boy/girl surprise!). My spouse and I celebrated our first anniversary three weeks after finding out we were having a babe. She's now 2.5 (exactly, just today), and it has been such fun. And speaking of popsicles, the girl and I made yogurt pops today (plain whole yogurt with some leftover rhubarb/apricot compote). They make a terrific dinner (and breakfast, I'm sure).

    1. megang

      Thanks so much, Courtney! And yes, yogurt pops should be next on my list ... have a great long weekend. ~mg

  21. Erin

    Amazing news! Welcome to the wonderfully beautiful (and sometimes harrowing) world of parenthood.

  22. ciudadanaB

    Congratulations!!! You look really nice with your pregnant belly, it suits you a lot.
    The popsicles look really yummy too, I'll try and get the mold for our summer here when it comes back (middle of winter now in southern hemisfere!).
    Good luck with the coming months!
    Anita

  23. Kris

    Congrats!! I actually decided to make these today since I was planning to make popsicles and just hadn't decided what I wanted to do yet! The instructions don't say when to add the toasted coconut flakes I think?? So I added them at the end right before pouring the mixture into the moulds. Hope that works! Thanks!

    1. megang

      Thanks for the heads up, Kris! Yes you're right about the timing of adding the coconut; I updated the recipe. Thanks so much for the note + hope you enjoy the popsicles ~mg

  24. Kimberley

    SO EXCITING! Congratulations. I love hearing about your curiosity around food likes and dislikes; it's like you're playing anthropologist with yourself, watching, fascinated. xoxo.

  25. Toasted Coconut Popsicles - Alaska from Scratch

    […] of the bell grew quieter and quieter in the distance before it disappeared. When I spotted this blog post by A Sweet Spoonful, I was immediately transported back. And I thought the ideas of toasting the […]

  26. Kara

    Many congratulations! I have made your recipes for my two boys and I'm sure your baby will enjoy them too! They are very good eaters, although my younger son said he wanted to give quinoa up for lent! Sometimes, they just want Popsicles! You will do great!

  27. Kathryn Nelson

    Wonderful baby news, congratulations.

    Science answer: receptors in your taste buds are more and more sensitive to all tastes as the food temperature increases. Besides popsicles think cheese.

    Now I'm off to add toasted coconut to the coconut pops I've already begun today. Thanks.

  28. Rachel

    Hi Megan,
    I made a modified version of this recipe with my sis and sis in law right after reading your recipe. We had a bowl full of cherries that needed to be used to avoid the compost bin, so we threw them in the vitamix along with a can of coconut cream and vanilla extract. Tossed in the toasted coconut flakes just at the end with a pinch of sea salt. There was plenty of sweetness in the cherries so we didn't add sugar. Thanks for the inspiration. The combination of cherry and toasted coconut was somehow reminiscent of cherry crisp. Also, for readers like me who are minimizing kitchen purchases, we poured these into muffin tins with the paper liners. That way one can just hold the liner or stab a kebab stick in for eating. Maybe unconventional, but it worked great!

    1. megang

      Sounds AMAZING, Rachel. Thanks so much for sharing. Can't wait to try them with cherries (and without the sugar). Great idea. ~Mg

  29. Elizabeth Batte

    Congratulations, Megan!! So excited for you. What a wonderful Thanksgiving that will be!!! My mom and I are trying these popsicles tonight. Thanks for the recipe!

  30. Ileana

    Congrats!!! How exciting and a baby just in time for the holidays. So sweet. :)

    Btw, I have that same popsicle mold. It's great! Can't wait to try these coconut pops.

  31. Heidi - Apples Under My Bed

    Congratulations, Megan! This is so exciting :) I so severely know what you're talking about. I'm at week 31 myself (wait, what!?!?!?). It's an amazing time. Cool to be going through this at a similar time and ('m looking forward to hearing about what yo've been eating! Wishing you all the very best. Hope you stay cool during your heat wave!! Popsicles help keep you hydrated ;) x

  32. Sarah

    Totally amazing news! So happy for you!! All the best for this next chapter in your lives! :)

  33. Lindsey @ a honey blossom

    These popsicles look amazing! My mom loves coconut so I will have to make these for her. What a nice treat for a hot day.
    Also, congratulations on your pregnancy! How exciting.

  34. Aimee

    I was one of those women for whom that feeling of never being quite sure if everything is o.k. stuck around. It makes for some hard moments, but, I think for some of us it's really normal. I am happy to report that everything was okay and once he was born that aspect declined quite a bit. Congratulations and best of luck!

  35. Viola

    thanks for the idea,this looks delicious. Yes, you’ve got it. Good job!

  36. Lydia

    I'm about to make these! David Lebovitz said something about cold food not tasting as sweet, so your ice cream custard, etc should be sweeter than you'd ordinarily make it.

Join the Discussion

Spring Desserts

Whole Grain Any-Fruit Crisp

Whole Grain Any-Fruit Crisp

On Monday our little family of three is headed to the airport at 6 am to board our first with-baby cross-country trip. We'll be visiting Sam's family in New Jersey for a few days, then renting a car and driving over to meet up with my family at my mom's lake house in the Adirondacks. Sam's younger sister and her kids have yet to meet Oliver; my grandpa has yet to meet him, and Oliver has yet to take a dunk in a lake, see a firefly, or spend quality time with energetic dogs -- of which there will be three. A lot of firsts. This week my family has been madly texting, volunteering to make certain meals or sweets on assigned days while we're at the cabin and it got me thinking about really simple, effortless summer desserts -- in particular, ones that you can make while staying in a house with an unfamiliar kitchen and unfamiliar equipment and still do a pretty bang-up job. I think fruit crisp is just that thing. 

Read More
Cherry and Poppy Seed Yogurt Cake

Cherry and Poppy Seed Yogurt Cake

Somehow, in what seems to have been a blink of an eye, we have a six month old baby. In some ways I can't remember a time we didn't have an Oliver, and in other ways it's all a blur broken up by a few holidays (a Thanksgiving thanks to grocery store takeout, and our very first Christmas in Seattle), a few family visits, a one-day road trip to Portland, a birthday dinner out, a birthday cake, weekend drives to nowhere in particular, swimming at the pool with Oliver, weekly get-togethers with our parent's group, doctor's visits, hundreds of walks around the neighborhood, hundreds of cups of coffee, dozens (or more?) of scoops of ice cream. Most of the worrying about keeping a baby alive has made way for other concerns, and Oliver's need for constant stimulation or soothing walks and car rides has been traded for stretches of time playing with a new toy or checking out his surroundings. In truth, it's thanks to that tiny bit of baby independence that this humble, summery cake came to be in the first place. So we've all got an Oliver to thank for that. Or, really, we have a Yossi Arefi to thank, as it's from her beautiful new cookbook that I've bookmarked heavily and am eager to continue exploring.

Read More
For Now, For Summer

For Now, For Summer

We walked to the library last week and I had a strange realization standing in line watching Sam check out his usual massive stack of books: Will I ever have the time to read stacks of books again? I used to be much more of a reader than I am today -- a fact I'm not at all proud of. But when evening rolls around and the more formal workday ends, I find emails and other odds and ends creep in. Walking home from the library, I began obsessing over free time for reading, asking Sam if we'd ever be those two old people who study bird manuals and can recognize birds on walks. I want to have the time to read bird manuals someday. For now though, we're young and we're working a lot. We did sneak away on that one-night camping trip I told you about, and cooked some interesting, haphazard meals which I hope to share with you soon. For now though, for summer: a strawberry dessert recipe.

Read More
Good and Simple

Good and Simple

Much like friends, types of Sunday mornings, or books -- there are many different kinds of desserts. Sometimes you may be in the mood for a light French cake piled high with summer fruit. Other days, a thick slice of fragrant pound cake will do. And then there are those days when you crave a rich chocolate mousse that you share after a night of good conversation and a little too much wine. But let's be honest. When it comes right down to it, the most basic and unassuming dessert of all is sometimes the only one that will do. A good and simple affair. Vanilla ice cream. So I want to talk about that today--about a dessert that withstands the test of time, that will always be there for you. A dessert that is far from trendy, that doesn't play favorites or  trick you into thinking it's something that it's not. It's a good foundation. A solid beginning.

Read More
Visions of Greatness or Something Like It

Visions of Greatness or Something Like It

[ Pie. if you've been around here much in the last few months, you know that I make pie. A lot of pie. And I'm particularly excited to share this pie with you today because it helped me break out of a rut. A pie rut. A baking rut. A Marge inspiration rut.

Read More