Popsicle Fever!


Little Lettice’s Sara Cabot and I are well aligned in our food philosophies, and our families similarly share a passion for popsicles. Today, Sara shares information on sugar content in commercial popsicles as well as tips for homemade popsicles. I add comments at the end of her feature regarding popsicle molds and homemade chocolate pops:
"As the owner of a frozen organic baby food company, I spend a lot of time standing near the frozen section of Whole Foods. My children love popsicles at this time of year so I decided to check out what’s on offer in the freezer aisle.

As I mentioned last month in my article on yogurt, low fat often means higher sugar content in many food products. Always check the sugar content on any treat that you buy and weigh up the options. First, I’ll present information I collected from the freezer section at Whole Foods, then some ideas on homemade popsicles.

Sugar Content In Commercial Popsicles

Brand: Gaga
Sugar per 100 g: 33 g
Organic?: No
Comments: Milk content will add sugar in the form of lactose. Local company from Rhode Island.

Brand: 365 (Whole Foods)
Sugar per 100 g: 27 g
Organic?: No
Comments: Best price

Brand: Kulfi
Sugar per 100 g: 25.5 g
Organic?: No
Comments: Unusual flavors like saffron and pistachio

Brand: Sweet Nothings
Sugar per 100 g: 18 g
Organic?: No
Comments: Look more like real fruit bars

Brand: Palapa
Sugar per 100 g: 17 g
Organic?: No
Comments: Look more like real fruit bars

Brand: Frost Bite
Sugar per 100 g: 13.5 g
Organic?: Uses organic ingredients
Comments: Unusual flavors like honey, maple, and jasmine. Local company from Maine.

Homemade Popsicles – Economical and Waste Saving

Homemade popsicles are the most economical option for popsicles, and using popsicle molds cuts down on waste. We pour in left over orange juice from breakfast, the dregs of a lemonade carton, or the last bits of one of those expensive juices that my kids never quite finish. Leftover smoothies make lovely creamy popsicles too.

For a smoothie popsicle: Blend 1 cup of strawberries, 1 banana, juice of 1 lemon, 1 cup of natural yogurt, and ½ cup milk. Pour into popsicle molds.

Organic: You can ensure that your popsicles are organic by making them yourself – you also know exactly what’s gone into them.

Teething babies love to suck on something frozen, which makes it even more important that there is no sugar content apart from what’s in the fruit (fructose). Take care to remove the popsicle stick before given baby the frozen pieces!"

Editor’s Note: We love making popsicles at home due not only to the issues Sara raised above, but also because we find that the double stick sized popsicles at Whole Foods are just too huge for us, and thus definitely too big for Laurel (although she probably wouldn't argue gobbling them down). Whole Foods also doesn’t carry chocolate pops, which motivated us to make our own.

We have an older (8 pop) version of the Cuisipro Rocket Pop Molds that works well, but I might suggest something like the new Cuisipro Sailboat Pop Molds (shown). The latter is nice because you don’t have to worry about buying popsicle sticks or losing the popsicle base covers (both pieces are part of the sailboat keel) as with the other model. We’re missing one of our base covers (Laurel used to love to play with these as a baby so I’m amazed we’re only missing one…) and recently I had to make 3 stops before finding basic popsicle sticks at a craft store ( I struck out at Whole Foods and CVS).

Our Cuisipro set comes with a recipe booklet that included a recipe for chocolate pops. Just stir together 1 can of evaporated milk, 1/3 cup chocolate syrup, and a 1/2 tsp vanilla then pour into molds. Also, a couple summers ago I developed a recipe to allow us to adjust the sugar content in the chocolate pops; it takes a little more time but is quite yummy: Heat 1 can of evaporated milk over low heat (do not boil) and stir in 4 ounces of chopped dark chocolate until melted. Stir in 1 tsp vanilla, a splash of soy or regular milk, and sugar to taste. Pour into molds.

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