Strawberry shortcake ice cream bars are healthy, amazingly delicious and easy. Mouth watering creamy, intense berry flavor from slow roasted berries, deliciously sweet with a crumbly topping. Your childhood frozen treat with better nutrition. Great for kids.
Other favorite cold frozen treats are Melon Popsicles and Badam Malai Kulfi (Ricotta popsicles).
Strawberry Shortcake Ice Cream Bars
I have an easy trick to take these shortcake ice bars up a notch. That is to slow roast the strawberries, making the berries intense in flavor and reducing the moisture levels. That helps with making smooth popsicles and minimize large ice crystals that would have otherwise resulted from the water content in berries.
This strawberry shortcake ice cream bar recipe is a healthy alternative to the richer store bought and homemade versions. It is a great option to satisfy the unending cravings of kids for frozen treats.
Try it with blueberries and add lemon zest to give it a different dimension in flavor. The shortbread cookies and the freeze dried strawberries give it a crumbly coating, while further intensifying the berry flavor.
- Greek yogurt
- Frozen bananas
- Strawberries (or blueberries)
- Medjool dates
- Flavors - Vanilla, Lemon zest (optional)
- Shortbread cookies (or vanilla cookies/wafers or butter cookies)
- Freeze dried strawberries
Step by Step Overview
1. Roast strawberries until they become soft and bubbling with thick juices. Chill the berries and process with dates and lemon zest (if using), until very smooth.
2. In a food processor, pulse chilled yogurt, frozen banana chunks, vanilla and a pinch of salt until soft and creamy.
3. Spoon yogurt-banana mixture and berry mixture randomly into a container with a spout. Swirl once with wooden skewer or any pointed utensil to create a marble pattern and then transfer to popsicle molds. Close the top of the popsicle molds or insert sticks.
4. Freeze the strawberry ice cream bars.
5. Process shortbread cookies until coarse. Take some of it aside and add freeze dried strawberries, pulse to a fine crumb stage. Combine all shortbread crumbs and spread on a flat baking sheet.
6. Run the popsicle molds under hot water and release the bars. Dip the ice cream bars into the cookie crumbs and press gently to coat evenly.
7. Freeze the popsicles on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet for 30 minutes.
8. Store in the freezer for 3 to 4 weeks in an airtight container.
Healthy Berry Popsicles
These strawberry shortcake ice cream bars are nourishing while satisfying your cravings.
Yogurt provides high quality protein, calcium, potassium, magnesium vitamin B 6 and vitamin B 12. It is a good source of probiotics, which benefit gut health. Some probiotic strains may also boost the immune system.
Regular consumption of yogurt is also associated with lowering of the risk of high blood pressure, prevention of osteoporosis and better weight management. Be sure to purchase yogurt that does not have added sugars and with active cultures in the product. Since yogurt has a low amount of lactose, it may be better tolerated than milk, by a lactose intolerant person.
These popsicles are mainly sweetened with bananas and dates. The natural sugars from these fruits come along with several other nutrients, unlike refined sugar. Bananas are a rich source of fiber, vitamin C, potassium, vitamin B 6 and magnesium. Frozen bananas also give a naturally creamy ice cream like texture.
Strawberries are a great source of powerful antioxidants and support prevention of certain chronic diseases. They are a healthy choice for diabetics and known for better regulation of blood glucose. Berries also have a good amount of fiber and water content, so they help with satiety, hydration and regularity.
You can use whole grain shortbread cookies to make these ice cream bars. Watch for a posting of that recipe on this blog.
The crushed freeze dried strawberries add a natural sweetness, intense flavor and crumbly texture to the exterior.
Some suggestions you could try. I have not tried the following variations.
- Vegan and Dairy Free: Use non dairy yogurt and vegan shortbread cookies.
- Gluten Free: Try using rice flour or oat flour based shortbread cookies, crushed oat granola or crushed toasted almonds for the outside coating.
Tips and Tricks
Make sure to choose thick Greek style yogurt that is not “tart”. And I prefer to use whole milk Greek yogurt for a creamy wholesome texture.
Chill all the ingredients and freeze the banana slices very well. To ensure softer bite, popsicle mixture should be thick and chilled before pouring it in molds.
If the ingredients warm up and the mixture becomes thin, then try to semi-freeze the mixture, give a quick stir and then transfer to the molds.
The mixture should be more sweet than you like because some of the sweetness will be lost after freezing. The pinch of salt also enhances the sweetness.
Use whole grain shortbread cookies prepared with whole wheat pastry flour, oat flour or rice flour based cookies. Watch this blog for a future recipe post.
If using optimally ripe bananas, the mixture should be quite sweet. However, you can add some maple syrup or honey to make it sweeter if needed.
Can I Use Dehydrated Strawberries?
Freeze dried strawberries are affordable and easily available at Wal-Mart, online, whole foods and healthy food stores. Those are definitely better than using homemade dehydrated strawberries, as they have a crumbly and lighter texture. Dehydrated strawberries flatten out and the color doesn't remain bright red.
More Summer Treats:
- Mango Cake with Whipped Cream
- Pineapple Cupcakes (Butterfly Cupcakes)
- Chia Mahalabia (Rose Milk Pudding)
- Mango Gelato
★ DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE? PLEASE COMMENT AND GIVE IT A STAR RATING BELOW!
Best Lemon Poppy Seed Cake
- 250 g butter 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons, room temperature, softened
- 1¼ cups sugar 250g
- 2 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest from organic lemons
- 2 tablespoons finely grated orange zest from organic oranges
- 2 teaspoons vanilla optional
- 6 large eggs room temperature
- 2¼ cups all purpose flour 275g
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1¼ cups almond flour 125g
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons orange juice
- ⅔ cup poppy seeds 100g
- Extra butter and flour for preparing the pan
Lemon Glaze (optional)
- 1 cup powdered sugar 125g
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice or water
- Prep: Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 10 inch bundt cake pan generously with soft butter and dust with flour. Shake off excess flour and set aside.
- Wet Ingredients: Using a hand mixer (or a stand mixer with paddle attachment), whisk butter at high speed until creamy. Add sugar and beat the mixture until very fluffy, scraping down the bowl in between, about 5 minutes. Stir in lemon and orange zest. Add eggs, one at a time, while continuing to beat, about ½ minute per egg.
- Batter: Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a mixing bowl. Whisk it into butter-sugar-egg mixture in 2 batches, beating at medium speed, and adding lemon juice and orange juice in between. Whisk in the poppy seeds at low speed until well incorporated. Then add almond flour in 2 batches.
- Consistency: The batter should have a slow dropping consistency. Adjust the amount of juice needed accordingly. Tip: Each time, fold the flour in evenly and scrape the bottom of bowl to not miss any flour. But don't over mix the batter.
- Bake: Transfer cake batter to the prepared bundt pan and bake in the center rack for about 45 to 60 minutes, until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Do not over-bake.
- Cool: Remove the cake pan from the oven. Let it rest about 10 minutes and invert the cake from the baking pan onto a cooling rack and let it cool completely before pouring the glaze.
- Glaze: Top with lemon glaze if desired. To make the glaze, combine powdered sugar with lemon juice to form a thick mass of slow-pouring consistency, adding more juice, a few drops at a time, if needed. Drizzle the lemon glaze over the cake. Sprinkle some poppy seeds on top and let it set
- Use all ingredients at room temperature.
- Measure the ingredients accurately by fluffing the flour, spooning it into the measuring cups, and then leveling it off. For even greater precision, use a kitchen scale to weigh your dry ingredients.
- To use other baking pans, follow this guide.
- Poppy Seeds: Buy these fresh from stores with a fast turnover. They can turn rancid (off flavor) quickly, so freeze them always.
- Glaze: For a more opaque glaze that is not tart, use milk, cream or combine greek yogurt with milk.
- Storage: Keep in an airtight container at room temperature for 2 to 3 days, or refrigerate for about 5 days, but expect some drying when refrigerated. For freezing, wrap the cake with parchment paper or plastic wrap, place it in a freezer-safe bag, and freeze for up to a month.
- For more information on ingredients, variations, recipe FAQs and serving suggestions, scroll up the page to the blog post.
Healthy Strawberry Shortcake Bars
- 2 cups strawberries or blueberries
- 2 medjool dates
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest if using blueberries
- 1 cup Greek yogurt plain, whole
- 1 cup bananas chunks, frozen
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 pinch salt
- maple syrup or honey optional
- 3 oz shortbread cookies or vanilla cookies/wafers or butter cookies (1¼ cups)
- 1 oz freeze dried strawberries (¾ cup)
- Rinse the strawberries and pat them dry. Cut them in halves and place them in a single layer on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and roast at 400 degrees F for about 15 to 20 minutes until they become soft and bubbling with thick juices. Take it out of the oven and let the berries chill completely.
- Using a food processor or a blender, puree the roasted berries, dates and lemon zest (if using blueberries), until very smooth and set aside.
- Take chilled yogurt, frozen banana chunks, vanilla and a pinch of salt in a food processor and process until soft, fluffy and creamy. Use the pulse action if needed. The mixture should be a bit sweeter than your preference, as the sweetness will lower after freezing. If necessary add some honey or maple syrup.
- Spoon yogurt-banana mixture and berry mixture randomly into a container with a spout. Swirl once with wooden skewer or any pointed utensil to create a marble pattern.
- Then divide the mixture into the popsicle molds leaving some room for it to expand on the top. Close the top of the popsicle molds or insert sticks as applicable. Tip: Alternatively, you may stir the berry puree into the yogurt mixture completely before dividing it into the molds.
- Freeze the strawberry popsicle bars overnight or at least 6 hours until completely frozen.
- Pulse and process the shortbread cookies until coarse. Take some of it aside and add the freeze dried strawberries and pulse to a fine crumb stage. Combine with the coarse shortbread crumbs and spread it all in a thin layer on a flat baking sheet.
- Release the popsicle bars from the mold by running it under hot water. Dip the soft surface of the ice cream bars into the cookie crumbs and press gently to coat evenly on all sides.
- Place the shortbread crumb coated popsicles on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet and freeze for about 30 minutes until completely frozen.
- Store in the freezer for 3 to 4 weeks in an airtight container.
- Choose thick Greek style yogurt that is not “tart”.
- Chill all the ingredients and freeze the banana slices very well.
- Popsicle mixture should be thick and chilled before pouring it in molds. If the mixture becomes thin, semi-freeze it and give a quick stir and then transfer to the molds.
- Preferably use whole grain shortbread cookies prepared with whole wheat pastry flour, oat flour or rice flour based cookies.
- Freeze dried berries are affordable and easily available at Wal-Mart, online, whole foods and healthy food stores.
- Nutrition facts based on ready made standard shortbread cookies.
OMG! Wow do these sound fabulous! I could eat 2 or 3 right now.
Thanks Andrea. Enjoy :)
I am swapping out the strawberries for blueberries, and this is just divine!
These look absolutely delicious!! Love that they're a bit healthier as well - so I can have two, or five ;)
Thanks Emmeline :)
Wow, what a great idea! Especially for kids. Love the inclusion of dates and shortbread cookies for crunch.
What a great idea to roast the strawberries! It really increases the flavor of the berries, these pops are so delicious!
So happy you like it. Thanks Pam :)