Suddenly it's summer and I am roasting. You know what I need? Popsicles. It's ridiculously easy to make your own juice popsicles, but for me, that entails rummaging through storage bins to find my molds -- ugh, weekend project. In the meantime I've been searching the grocery store freezer for the tastiest, healthy-ish popsicles.
Bear in mind, if you want a truly healthy snack, you should eat some actual fruit. But you already knew that. So what I mean by "healthy-ish" is healthy as in doesn't-do-a-lot-of-damage, not healthy as in actually-gives-your-body-something-it-needs.
So which popsicles hit the sunny spot? Keep reading to find my favorites.
I enlisted my husband and son into a little taste test of four different popsicles. Our criteria: texture, taste, melt, and overall wow-factor on a scale of 1-4 (4 being best). In other words, is it creamy or is there weird grainy-ness going on? Is it yummy? Does it melt into a bee-attracting goo puddle 10 seconds after you take it out of the freezer? And when we taste it, do we say "wow!" or do we say "eh"?
These have a fun chocolate pudding taste. The texture is a wee bit gelatinous, though. A serving size is TWO bars, reversing the trend of counting 1/2 of a packaged item a full serving. I like.
I love chocolate-berry combinations (see the more wicked Ben & Jerry's Cherry Garcia ice cream bar). I like that the chocolate coating didn't instantly fall apart. The raspberry filling wasn't as flavorful as it could have been, and it melted too quickly.
This was the clear winner -- by a landslide. We tried all three flavors, acai blueberry, pomegranate, and goji white grape. Personally I think the antioxidant claims are hooey, but these popsicles have bright, natural-tasting flavors that hit the right balance between sweet and tart. And they melt slowly.
I really wanted to like this one, but we all noticed the bitter, chemical aftertaste. Alas! After the taste test, I checked the ingredients list and discovered that they add vitamins A and E. This is an example of a fun "sometimes" food doing duty as a "functional" food -- and why it so often doesn't work.
Image via Dreyers.com