Summer has officially begun. As this may be one of the hottest summers yet, we’re all looking for a way to stay cool. And who doesn’t enjoy a cold summer treat? A favorite of mine for those hot days has always been popsicles.
As a child, I remember coming inside the house after basking in the warm sun and reaching into that box in the freezer for a cold popsicle. I still love a good pop as a way to cool off, but I don’t go for any of the brands I had as a child. The popsicles may have tasted sweet, but learning what was in them makes the memories bittersweet. The ones I had as a child were all filled with some of the worst ingredients you can find in food, including high fructose corn syrup, MSG, artificial dyes and flavors. Many of them lacked any real ingredients.
Fortunately, things are beginning to change. Since starting my blog almost a decade ago, I’ve seen a steady a growth in popsicles made with real fruit. I seem to discover a new real popsicle brand pop up (no pun intended) every year. In addition to using fruit in place of chemicals for flavor and color, a number of these natural popsicles also include some vegetables. Additionally, some of the companies make creamsicles using either grass fed or plant based dairy. A couple of these popsicles use no sugar or added natural sweeteners while others add a small amount of cane sugar.
In alphabetical order, here are 6 options for popsicles made with real fruit:
Chill Pop began with its founders Elizabeth and Maggie Pryor selling their popsicles out of a cart at farmers markets and flea markets in Cleveland. They were fans of the Ohio based Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream and noticed that the real popsicle trend hadn’t hit Cleveland yet. They’re now sold at supermarkets with their inventive flavors, combing together different types of fruits, vegetables, and grass fed dairy.
Chloe was assistant district attorney who started to pay more attention to eating healthy food as she was pregnant with her first child. After leaving the law, she began experimenting to create a product with just fruit, water, and cane sugar. First, a shop was opened in New York followed by the product being sold in stores as well. Chloe’s has regular fruit popsicles, fruit popsicles dipped in chocolate, oat milk popsicles, popsicles with licensed Marvel Comics and Nickelodeon characters, and even pina colada popsicles powered by Zumba.
Dionne Baker has a PhD in medical research in the field of maternal-fetal toxicology. She wrote her doctorate on the effects of exposure to chemicals in terms of fetal development during pregnancy. Dr. Dionne strongly supported the health science behind organics and wanted start a company which would allow people to snack consciously while still being able to have fun. One afternoon at home in her kitchen, one kid was making tea while the the other was making popsicles. The two kids were fighting for help from their mom. Then the older child came up with the idea of joining forces and making teasicles. Soon TeaPop was created. Now known as DeeBee’s Fruit Pops, they make a variety of popsicles with different fruit combinations. They’ve since started making freezies, popsicles which are stored in plastic sleeves and don’t require refrigeration. Their freezies include a line with the characters from Disney’s Frozen II movie.
Another farmers markets to supermarket success story. GoodPop was the idea of a college student Daniel Goetz in need a cold treat on a hot summer day in Texas. Unfortunately, all of the places were selling popsicles filled with artificial flavoring, coloring, and ingredients he couldn’t pronounce. So he decided he needed to make ones with natural ingredients himself. GoodPop has dabbled into all kinds of flavors. Along with various fruit combos, they have a couple of dairy free coconut cream varieties. These include orange ‘n cream and a gluten free cookies ‘n cream flavor. GoodPop also has expanded into making freezies and push pops. GoodPop also partners with a number of nonprofits and organizations.
Ruby Rockets first originated with founder Wendy McKenna watching a doctor on a talk show make a green drink. Wendy thought it looked good, so she tried it herself. This led to her going on a mission to eat healthier. Her daughter then wanted to try the drink if her mom put apples and other things she liked in it. This gave Wendy the idea that she could actually sell a product with fruits and vegetables to kids. So Ruby Rockets was born. Their popsicles don’t contain any added sweeteners. Additional products from Ruby Rockets use coconut milk in fruit and veggie bars to provide more dairy free options to consumers.
Uncle Matt’s Organic
Growing up in Florida, Matt McLean came from a family with a long history of growing citrus fruits. After starting a juice brokerage business, he went into researching the organic juice business. He decided he wanted to produce a juice which uses 100% organic fruit which is free from synthetic fertilizers and pesticides. He saw this as a both a way to promote healthy living and also a return to great grandfather and grandfather would grow citrus. In 1999, Uncle Matt’s Organic was launched. And then last year, the company diversified themselves more by introducing probiotic popsicles made from organic oranges, cherries, and strawberries. In addition to the organic fruit, the popsicles contain strains of Ganeden BC30 probiotics.