Healthy Popsicle Showdown: Which Brand Licks Them All?

7

edys fruit barsSuddenly 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"?

Skinny Cow Low Fat Mini Fudge Pops

Taste: 3.5

Texture: 2.5

Melt: 2

Wow: 3

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.

Weight Watchers Dark Chocolate Raspberry Ice Cream Bars

Taste: 3

Taste: 3

Texture: 3

Melt: 1.5

Wow: 3

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.

Edy's Antioxidant All Natural Fruit Bars

Taste: 3.5

Texture: 3.5

Melt: 4

Wow: 3.5

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.

Jala All Natural Frozen Yogurt Bar: Vanilla Pomegranate Swirl

Taste: 1.5

Texture: 3

Melt: 3

Wow: 1

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

desserts, healthy choices, snacks

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RanaA... RanaAurora

Wouldn't buy half of these because of the manufacturer, and the other half because I learned how to make them myself, and DANG are they good! No natural-tasting "flavors", but actual natural flavors. ;)

nonmember avatar Kat

I love the edy's strawberry fruit bars! I was hopeing theyd be on ur list

Dannielle Richins

Edy's goes by Dryer's out here on the West coast :) Just thought that was kind of funny. Great popsicles, but I make my own and I feel a lot better about them.


Oh, except the mandrain flavor...I can NEVER get mine as tasty. Ah, now I want a popsicle!

Char_... Char_gal4

Edy's Smoothie bars are really good too, especially strawberry...  However, don't eat one at my house, unless you want a fluffy grey cat (my Tanner) meowing and begging for a taste.  Fortunately, he only wants a small taste, and leaves after licking barely an inch off the bottom corner.  Plus, he doesn't barf it up later.

Snack... SnackGirl

My problem with the Edy bar is that it could be SO much better if they hadn't added any extra sugar in the guise of corn syrup.  Why not just stick with the natural sugar in the fruit juice?  I have a great DIY popsicle recipe on http://www.snack-girl.com/.

Jennifer Campbell

that last one had to just be a bad Popsicle because vitamins don't have any flavor minerals do. It was definitely NOT the added vitamins giving it a bad flavor.

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