Ice lollies (or ‘popsicles’ if you’re American) are popular cold treats for all the family, on hot days. However, most conventional ice lollies are made with artificial colours (guaranteed to turn your child hyperactive!). They are mostly sold on wooden lolly sticks, in packaging with plastic lining. Ice pops are usually sold in long plastic packaging too. Wild Strawberry Popsicles (Vibrant Plate) is a lovely local zero food waste treat. Who needs red food dye, when you have real berries?
Keep lolly sticks away from pets and children (choking hazard). Many plant-based lollies are made with coconut milk, so choose a brand not harvested by monkeys. Never use xylitol to sweeten if near pets, as it’s lethal to them.
So what’s to do? The simplest solution is to make your own. It’s pretty simple, as long as you have a lolly mould. Just pour the fruit in and freeze. This way you don’t have to worry about disposable lolly sticks, as you just use the mould sticks they come in, wash and use again. You can make ‘milk lollies’ by adding some plant milk to the juice.
Zero Waste Ice Lolly Moulds
Rather than plastic, you can buy silicone ice lolly makers (this is a food-grade substance that does contain oil, but does not break down into micro-plastics, unlike conventional plastic). And is easily recycled, after years of use. Fill them with fruit and water, vegan yoghurt and berries (or gin and tonic to make flavoured ice cubes). Dishwasher-safe to last years, sold in a set of 4 with star-shapes.
The other option is stainless steel lolly moulds that include bamboo sticks and silicone rings, to make 6 lollies at a time. The fast-freeze moulds are easy to clean and will last a lifetime. Just hold the mould in your hand for a moment (or dip in room temperature water) to release the lolly.
Simple Fruit Lolly Recipes
Roasted Cherry Pineapple Popsicles (Short Girl, Tall Order) are the perfect frozen treat, sweetened with maple syrup.
Watermelon Berry Popsicles (Crowded Kitchen) combine local berries with tropical hydrating melon.
Frozen Lemonade Popsicles (Plant Based Junior) is a recipe by two mothers who are also respected nutritionists.
Pina Colada Popsicles (Addicted to Dates) are made with just 4 ingredients. Obviously omit the rum, if serving to youngsters.
Vegan Leche Merengada Pops (Simple Vegan Blog) are a Spanish take on the ‘milk ice lollies’. Naturally sweetened with maple or agave, these are flavoured with cinnamon and lemon.
The Most Sustainable Ice Lolly Brands
If you prefer to buy your ice lollies at the store to keep in the freezer, here are some of the most sustainable brands. These are all made from real fruit (and sometimes sugar) but free of artificial nasties. A couple are in compostable packaging. If not, then you can recycle the lolly sticks and cardboard packaging, but may need to find a local facility to recycle the wrapping (most supermarket bag bins now take all kinds of plastic).
- Pip Organic makes fruity squeezers, made with real fruit. Buy individually or in multi-packs to store in the freezer. The mixed flavours are quite similar to those multi-coloured rocket lollies.
- Lickalix makes 6 flavours with organic fruits, in compostable packaging. Choose from Strawberry Lemonade, Citrus Birst, Mango Raspberry Swirl, Oh So Berry, Natural Cola or Simply Chocolate.
- Wellnice Pops (Ireland) are made with natural fruits and vegetables, invented by two friends (a nutritionist and an engineer). Choose from carrot/orange/ginger, pepper/lemon/pineapple, beetroot/potato/apple or kale/cucumber/apple. :
- Deebee’s Organics (US) were created by a medical researcher who specialises in toxins to avoid for children. Therefore inspired by creating healthy pops for her own family, the brand is now feeding families nationwide. Choose boxes of 30 classic or tropical freezies.
- GoodPops Organic Freezer Pops (US) are made from fruit juice and puree, and come in 3 mouthwatering flavours: cherry limeade, fruit punch and concord grape. The cardboard packaging and wood sticks are recyclable and biodegradable, you’ll have to drop off the wrapping in locations that recycle plastic film.
- Happy Pops (Canada) are made in small batches in Toronto from natural ingredients, sweetened with real sugar. The mango and date-coconut flavour draw on the natural sweeteness of fruit, with no added sugar. Choose from many flavours including blueberry, lychee and chocolate.