Berry Cherry Yogurt Popsicles from the AICR Test Kitchen

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The American Institute for Cancer Research is dedicated to providing the public with evidence-based information to help them make the right lifestyle choices to lower their risk of developing many types of cancer. One way they do this is presenting tips on diet and nutrition by way of weekly dishes.

This week's dish is a treat: Berry cherry yogurt popsicles.

Combining summer’s sweet cherries and tart-sweet blackberries with tangy yogurt creates delicious popsicles – a cool treat to make with kids and enjoy all summer long.

These easy-to-make popsicles feature pretty layers of mashed red cherries and blackberries with white yogurt. Greek vanilla yogurt contains far less sugar than store-bought frozen yogurt, yogurt popsicles or soft-serve frozen yogurt, making these homemade “pops” a healthier, fruitier treat. Yogurt’s tangy flavor pairs perfectly with sweet cherries and a touch of honey balances blackberries’ tart-sweet flavor. Both cherries and blackberries are in season, though frozen pre-pitted cherries and berries may be used too.

Beautiful cherries, ranging from almost black, dark purple, ruby red to pink, get their color from anthocyanins. These red-blue pigments are cancer-preventive antioxidants. Also containing fiber, vitamin C, potassium and other antioxidants, cherries are on the AICR Foods That Fight Cancer list.

To pit cherries, rinse them, pull out stems, insert a clean nut or crab picking tool, tweezers or unbent large paper clip, twist around the pits and pop them out. You also can pop out pits by pressing cherries down on a pastry tip. Kids will love the hands on activity, and the cherry stains on their hands to prove their cherry-pitting prowess.

Blackberries with their gorgeous black pigment also are abundant in anthocyanins and other phytochemicals such as ellagic acid and quercetin, which may help fight cancer. Like cherries, they are good sources of fiber and vitamin C. Berries also make the AICR Foods That Fight Cancer grade. Look for blackberries that are fragrant, not mushy and black. Skip purple or dark red blackberries because these were picked before being ripe. Store unwashed blackberries in refrigerator loosely wrapped, wash just before using and drain. Make sure to eat or freeze blackberries in three to four days.

Though popsicle molds may be used, we are calling for small paper cups and wooden popsicle sticks or plastic spoons because these are readily available. Making these pops with kids is fun and educational. Kids and the kid in you are sure to enjoy licking these berry-cherry-licious pops on hot summer days.

Berry Cherry Yogurt Popsicles

  • 1 1/2 cup pitted fresh or frozen cherries
  • 1/2 cup fresh or frozen blackberries
  • 1 Tbsp. honey
  • 24 oz. vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 12 (3 oz.) paper cups and 12 popsicle sticks or plastic spoons *

Instructions

In small mixing bowl mash cherries and berries. Drizzle on honey and mix together.

In paper cups, layer alternating spoonfuls of yogurt and fruit until full. Place popsicle stick or plastic spoon in each cup. Freeze.

When ready to serve, tear paper cup off popsicle and enjoy.

Makes 12 paper cup popsicles.

Per serving: 69 calories, 0 g total fat (0 g saturated fat), 12 g carbohydrate, 5 g protein, 1 g dietary fiber, 18 mg sodium.

* For elegant summer dessert, in small glass ramekins, custard cups or clear plastic tumblers, layer yogurt and fruit ¾ full. (Number of servings will vary depending on size of dish, about 6-10.) Cover with plastic wrap and freeze. An hour before serving, partially thaw in refrigerator. Serve garnished with fresh berries and sprig of fresh mint. Another option is to remove frozen dessert by dipping bottom of dish in warm water. Serve inverted in dessert bowl garnished with fresh berries, drizzle of chocolate syrup and sprig of fresh mint.

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