When the hazy days of summer arrive, our preferred way to cool down, other than diving into a nice pool, is snacking on a frozen pop. There are a slew of options for pops in the frozen-food aisle, from paleo to chocolate-dipped. Though you’ll find many more to love, here are a few that had us in a frozen state of mind.
We used our typical rating scale of 1 to 5 (5 being the highest) for this taste test. Each brand was evaluated based on taste, texture and nutrition, paying special attention to calories, fat, sugar, and vitamins A and C.
Cost: $3 per box of 4
Per serving: Calories 90; Fat 0 g; Sugars 21 g; Vitamin A 90%; Vitamin C 35%
We thought there was a mix-up in the freezer when we saw carrots in the ice cream section. Thankfully, we were wrong. These veggies were exactly where they belonged. The first bite into the deep flaming orange fruit and veggie bars had our mouths humming. The unexpected flavor of the sweet carrots combined with the tang of tangerine resulted in a winning bar that we want to eat again and again.
Cost: $3 per box of 4
Per serving: Calories 100; Fat 0 g; Sugars 17 g; Vitamin C 25%
While the Carrot Tangerine won our hearts, the Tropical Greens variety wasn’t as stellar. Perhaps it was the dark green color (by way of the addition of spirulina) that threw us off, but upon first bite there was nothing “tropical” we could put our finger on. The ingredient list shed some light, with banana listed first. After a second sampling, the flavor that shone through was definitely the banana, followed by a myriad of greens. But at the end of the day we prefer our spinach, kale and bananas in a smoothie.
Cost: $2.29 per box of 4
Per serving: Calories 110; Fat 0 g; Sugars 28 g; Vitamin C 6%
These citrusy-syrupy pops tasted like the ice pops of our youth, without the artificial coloring. Tart, juicy, limey — the perfect refreshment for a “three-H” day. Unlike the Whole Foods brand pops, Trader Joe’s offer little in the way of nutrition, yet can’t be dismissed, as they are in line with other brands’ calorie and fat content.
Cost: $5-$6 per box
Per serving: Calories 45; Fat 0 g; Sugars 9 g
Brewla first caught our attention with their luscious appearance and then, after a taste, with their fresh, fruit-forward palatability. Each variety of these all-natural fruit-and-tea ice pops comes with a bonus addition of antioxidants, vitamins or minerals. The juicy Cherry-Pomegranate + Red Tea not only hits the mark with its bold cherry-licious flavor, but it also offers 110 percent of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin C in addition to substantial percentages of zinc, niacin, and vitamins B12 and B6. Brewla’s pops go through a unique freezing process, which makes it so they are never grainy or sandy and always smooth and clean.
Cost: $4.39 per box of 4
Per serving: Calories 90; Fat 2 g (Saturated 1 g); Calcium 10%
This summer we think our morning yogurt could easily be replaced with a frozen yogurt bar for breakfast. Smooth and creamy, with just the right amount of sweet berry taste, the tartness of the frozen yogurt added a nice tang. Though we liked Strawberry best, additional flavors include Blueberry, Peach, Lemon and Pineapple.
Kiri Tannenbaum is a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu Paris and holds an M.A. in food studies from New York University where she is currently an adjunct professor. When her schedule allows, she leads culinary walking tours in New York City and is currently at work on her first book.