13 Popsicles Made With The Highest Quality Ingredients

colorful spread of popsicle boxes
colorful spread of popsicle boxes - Static Media / Getty

Popsicles are the perfect sweet treat on summer days, especially when the weather outside is hot. But what you may not know is that these frozen treats were born on a particularly cold night in San Francisco. In 1905, 11-year-old Frank Epperson accidentally left a soda drink outside overnight. The soda froze around its wooden stirrer, creating a delicious and convenient treat. Epperson originally called his invention the Epsicle, though this later changed to the now well-known Popsicle.

While most people refer to any frozen dessert on a stick as a Popsicle, the name remains under trademark. Today, Popsicle is owned by the corporation Unilever, which also owns Ben & Jerry's and Breyers Ice Cream. Since Popsicle is legally off limits, other brands call them ice pops, fruit bars, or dessert bars. Ingredients and flavors vary from brand to brand; some have fruit, some are dairy-based, and others are basically frozen candy on a stick.

To help consumers narrow down their options, we've put together a list of the icy pops and bars made with the highest quality ingredients. We looked for brands that use real ingredients and stay away from artificial flavors, preservatives, and high fructose corn syrup, but more on that later. Like any dessert, Popsicles are a sweet indulgence. While it's difficult to call any of them healthy, you can at least rest assured that these pops only include the finest ingredients.

Read more: 12 Popular Ice Cream Brands, Ranked Worst To Best

1. Outshine Fruit Bars

box of Strawberry Outshine bars
box of Strawberry Outshine bars - Outshine

A brand you'll likely find just about anywhere is Outshine, which sells its fruit bars at Safeway, Target, and countless other stores and markets nationwide. Outshine makes its frozen treats with flavors that include strawberry, pineapple, mango, and creamy coconut. Unlike many popular Popsicle brands, Outshine uses real fruit in its recipes. For example, the strawberry flavor lists the fruit as the first ingredient, and it uses juice concentrate to impart an even bolder flavor. Instead of artificial sweeteners, you'll find cane sugar, turmeric, and beets lend their color in place of anything artificial.

Outshine aims to make fruit bars only with simple, recognizable ingredients. This also means no high fructose corn syrup, which can contribute to obesity, Type 2 diabetes, and other health issues if eaten in large amounts (via Cleveland Clinic). Additionally, Outshine has a no-sugar-added line of pops, which may be preferable for those who are sensitive to sugar.

2. GoodPop Bars

Orange Cream GoodPop popsicle box
Orange Cream GoodPop popsicle box - GoodPop

Just like its name suggests, GoodPop makes frozen treats that are better for the body as well as the planet. Everything at GoodPop is plant-based and free from artificial ingredients. The brand uses real fruit from local sources, as well as coconut cream, or oats in place of dairy. You also won't find high fructose corn syrup, GMOs, or refined sugars, and every single ingredient is either USDA Organic or Non-GMO Project Verified, meaning that you can feel good about what you're eating. Plus, as a Certified B Corp, GoodPop is environmentally conscious and ensures its ingredients are sourced ethically.

GoodPop makes the usual strawberry and mango-flavored bars, but also more uncommon offerings such as Hibiscus Mint and Watermelon Agave. The label also makes its own versions of popular ice cream bar flavors, including dairy-free renditions of chocolate fudge, cookies and cream, and orange cream. These are flavors that are typically made with artificial sweeteners and flavors by other brands, but this isn't the case here. Taking a closer look at Orange n' Cream, for example, the main flavor powerhouses are coconut cream, orange juice, plus natural vanilla, and orange extracts. A dash of Fair Trade cane sugar adds a sweet kick. You can find GoodPop at Whole Foods, Kroger, and other large grocery stores nationwide.

3. Chloe's Pops

Chloe's raspberry pops box
Chloe's raspberry pops box - Chloe

Chloe's is another brand that you're likely to come across in your weekly shopping. With products in more than 10,000 stores across the country, like Safeway and Whole Foods, this label is determined to bring its better-for-you popsicles to consumers everywhere. The project is the work of Chloe Epstein, who set out to create a healthier alternative to artificially flavored frozen sweets that still satisfy all the familiar cravings. Chloe's makes a variety of frozen pops that are plant-based and free from artificial ingredients. The brand's fruit-based line of pops features flavors like mango, lime, and raspberry, and its oat milk-based line includes cookies & cream, salted caramel, and chocolate peanut butter flavors.

No matter which kind you choose, you can rest easy knowing that you're enjoying real, whole ingredients and nothing extra. For example, Chloe's raspberry fruit pops feature a puree made of raspberries, lemon juice, water, and cane sugar -- that's it. Some say there's beauty in simplicity, and we find that to be the case for the ingredient lists of our favorite sweet treats.

4. JonnyPops

box of fruit-based JonnyPops
box of fruit-based JonnyPops - JonnyPops

Started in Minnesota by college roommates Erik Brust and Connor Wray, the JonnyPops brand focuses on using simple, wholesome, and organic ingredients. The good news is that the label has options for everyone, featuring fruit, dairy, and oat milk-based lines of popsicles. Flavors include Cotton Candy Cloud, Summer Sunrise, Old-Fashioned Root Beer Float, and many more.

You won't find artificial flavors or dyes in any of the ingredients lists. Summer Sunrise, for example, is made up of a blend of orange juice, strawberry juice, and natural flavors. Its striking rainbow of colors comes from vegetable and fruit juice sources, and organic cane sugar serves to sweeten up the recipe. Mangos, one of the brand's dairy-based flavors, uses real mango fruit, heavy cream, whole milk, and cane sugar. While more of an indulgence, this creamy pop doesn't contain anything unnatural or artificial. JonnyPops frozen treats are available nationwide at Target, Whole Foods, and other various major retailer locations.

5. Whole Foods Fruit Bars

box of 365 strawberry popsicles
box of 365 strawberry popsicles - Whole Foods

The upscale grocery store chain Whole Foods is known for its selection of health-conscious, but exorbitantly priced food and goods. Shoppers at the chain may know that its in-house brand, 365, often offers the lowest prices on the shelf for any given item. While the quality of different 365 products can be a hit or miss, there's no denying that the brand's line of pops is a home run.

The icy treats come in a variety of flavors, including lime, strawberry, and Caribbean Mix fruit bars. For the less fruit-inclined, there are also ice cream, fudge, and Greek yogurt-based bars to choose from. 365's dessert bars are made with natural flavors and simple ingredients, many of which are organic. Take the flavor strawberry, for example. Real strawberries are the first ingredient on the label, followed by water, and cane sugar. Guar gum, and carob bean gum, which also come from natural sources, act as stabilizers. Maybe unsurprisingly, since it's Whole Foods, you won't find any artificial sweeteners or coloring agents.

6. Alden's Dessert Bars

box of Alden's strawberry bars
box of Alden's strawberry bars - Alden

Since it was founded in 2004, Alden's has been dedicated to making organic milk and cream more accessible. The brand's products include frozen dessert sandwiches, bars, and ice cream, made with dairy from family-owned farms where cows are free to graze and eat organic feed. Alden's bars come in several varieties: full dairy, dairy-free, and Greek yogurt-based. Flavors include Strawberry Cream, Mint Fudge Twist, and Root Beer Float.

Strawberry Cream, for example, puts milk and cream first and foremost. Its fruity flavor comes from a mix of strawberries, natural vanilla and strawberry flavors, and citric acid, a natural compound that contributes to the fruit's tart taste. Instead of artificial food dye, the bar uses red beet juice concentrate for a pink color. Alden's desserts are free of any artificial flavors, sweeteners, or high fructose corn syrup. You can find the treats at Whole Foods, Sprouts, and other major chains nationwide.

7. The Hyppo Ice Pops

popsicle with blueberries and lemons
popsicle with blueberries and lemons - The Hyppo

Compared to the majority of other options on this list, The Hyppo pops may be a little harder to track down. The brand originates from Florida, where today it operates five brick and mortar shops. Outside of these sources, these icy treats can be found at various local markets, businesses, and Whole Foods locations, primarily in the Southern states.

Made with simple, quality ingredients, The Hyppo flash freezes its fruit at the height of freshness to ensure the best flavor. Its offerings change with the seasons, highlighting a variety of different fruits and specialty ingredients all year round. While you'll find your typical pop flavors, more adventurous dessert seekers can try creations such as Pineapple Cilantro, Blackberry Goat Cheese, and Tequila Dragon Fruit. One flavor that's likely more approachable for most is Blueberry Lavender Lemonade. It only has four ingredients: blueberries, lavender tea, tapioca flour (a gluten-free starch), and evaporated cane juice, which is less refined than regular sugar.

If you're not located in one of the 11 states where The Hyppo sells its pops, don't despair. The company ships to all contiguous U.S. states.

8. Mauna Loa Paradise Pops

box of Mauna Loa popsicles
box of Mauna Loa popsicles - Safeway

The Hawaii-based company Mauna Loa is at the forefront of macadamia nut-centered frozen desserts. As these nuts require less water to grow than others, Mauna Loa seeks to increase their popularity while giving back to the island where they grow. The company uses sustainable farming and processing practices, running entirely on renewable energy. Among the brand's offerings are Paradise Pops, which repurpose several of its most popular ice cream flavors into frozen bar form. Flavors like Mango Liliko'i Vanilla, and Strawberry Guava capture the essence of Hawaii by using real fruit, natural flavors, and milk from the island's signature nut.

More specifically, Mango Liliko'i Vanilla gets its flavor from mango puree and passion fruit juice concentrate, mixed into a base of macadamia nut milk, coconut cream, and cane sugar. The pop also contains stabilizers and emulsifiers, but these are all naturally derived. Another flavor, Kona Coffee Crunch, uses sustainably sourced chocolate in partnership with Cocoa Horizons. Mauna Loa's Paradise Pops are currently available at select Safeway and Smart & Final locations.

9. Sprouts Fruit Bars

box of Sprouts strawberry popsicles
box of Sprouts strawberry popsicles - Sprouts

With over 380 locations nationwide, Sprouts is the go-to natural foods store for many Americans. The chain sells a variety of fresh, organic foods, including its own line of products under the same name. Alongside pints of ice cream and gelato, the brand has several options for popsicles, including strawberry, mango, and piña colada. Made with simple ingredients like real fruit and cane sugar, these pops stay true to the Sprouts philosophy of clean eating.

Sprouts' strawberry bars, for example, list the fruit as the first ingredient, followed by water, cane sugar, natural stabilizers, and citric acid. Note that there's no mention of artificial flavors, sweeteners, or coloring -- so you can enjoy your dessert knowing that you're getting an authentic strawberry experience. Even the piña colada fruit bars are made simply and naturally. Instead of strawberries, a blend of pineapple and coconut cream deliver that signature tropical flavor. As there's no rum to be found here, they're the perfect summer treat for both adults and kids alike.

10. Yasso Bars

box of Yasso mint bars
box of Yasso mint bars - Yasso

Yasso aims to make the freezer the new go-to place for snacking. The brand's frozen dessert bars, sandwiches, and other sweet treats are all made with creamy Greek yogurt and natural flavors. Unlike other frozen treat brands that bill themselves as low-calorie alternatives, Yasso never uses artificial sweeteners. Instead, the company uses real sugar, just less of it than most other frozen dessert brands.

Yasso's bars are inspired by well-loved ice cream flavors, such as Mint Chocolate Chip, Cookies 'n Cream, and Birthday Cake. Or, if these aren't indulgent enough for your tastes, several flavors also come encased in a crunchy shell of chocolate. Looking at the nutrition label, the first ingredients in Mint Chocolate Chip are nonfat milk and Greek yogurt. Mint extract provides the flavor, and natural stabilizers help keep everything together. The soft green color comes from a mix of fruit juice and spirulina, a type of algae that is said to have several health benefits. Even the chocolate chips are naturally derived -- they're made with powdered sugar, cocoa, coconut oil, and soy lecithin, a natural emulsifier. You can pick up a box of Yasso bars at many Safeway, Whole Foods, and CVS Pharmacy locations across the country.

11. Talenti Mini Bars

box of Talenti raspberry bars
box of Talenti raspberry bars - Talenti

You may know Talenti for its intriguingly transparent pints of gelato, often packed with bright colors and indulgent layers of goodness. But a short walk to the pops section of the freezer aisle reveals Talenti's line of mini gelato and sorbetto bars. These tiny treats take inspiration from the brand's most popular flavors. For the gelato lover, there's Vanilla Caramel and Dark Chocolate, made with sustainably sourced cocoa. For those who prefer Talenti's tangy, dairy-free sorbetto, Roman Raspberry, Zesty Lemon, and Alphonso Mango are a few of the current offerings.

Like with its pints, Talenti's mini bars use high quality ingredients sourced from all over the world. For instance, Roman Raspberry is made with fresh berries from California and Chile, and Alphonso Mango sources its namesake fruit from Maharashtra, India. Both flavors list fruit as the very first ingredient, then water and sugar. The signature sorbetto tartness is achieved with a dash of lemon juice, while carob bean gum, and guar gum help them stay in bar form. You can find Talenti's mini bars at various Target locations nationwide.

12. O Organics Or Open Nature Fruit Bars

box of Safeway mango bars
box of Safeway mango bars - Safeway

Whether your local store is Safeway, Vons, Pavilions, Albertsons, ACME, or another from a long list of grocery chains now owned by Albertsons Companies, you can expect to see some of the same branded products wherever you shop. O Organics and Open Nature are both private labels owned by Albertsons and can be found at any of the company's stores. Though separate, both brands make pops that have similar quality and ingredients.

Flavors vary from store to store, but common finds are mango, watermelon, lime, and peach. Unlike other options you might find in Albertsons store freezers, these frozen treats are made with simple, natural ingredients like real fruit and sugar. For instance, after water and sugar, mangoes are the main ingredient in Open Nature's mango fruit bars. You won't find any artificial flavors, sweeteners, or coloring. Natural sources such as annatto, fruit, and vegetable juice give the bars their yellow-orange hue. Similarly, O Organics' mango fruit bars contain real mango, though with this label it's organic and listed as the first ingredient. No matter which of these brands you come across, the Albertsons bars are a solid option if you're craving a fruit-based treat.

13. Good & Gather Fruit Pops

box of Target strawberry bars
box of Target strawberry bars - Target

Like 365 is to Whole Foods, and Open Nature is to Safeway, Good & Gather is none other than Target's own brand. And like these other private labels, Good & Gather also makes a line of frozen fruit bars. Currently offering strawberry, berry pomegranate, pink lemonade, and mango, the brand's selection is small but mighty.

These pops are free from artificial flavors, sweeteners, coloring, and preservatives. They also use sugar instead of high fructose corn syrup. To take a closer look, the strawberry fruit bars list the berries as the main ingredient, followed by water and sugar. Beet juice concentrate gives them their bright pop of color without resorting to synthetic food dye. Similarly, the pink lemonade fruit pops are flavored with real lemon juice and colored with beet juice concentrate. Natural stabilizers help hold everything together. With such simple recipes, Good & Gather's fruit bars are a no-brainer when you compare them to other brands' pops, which are often full of artificial ingredients and low-quality sugar substitutes.


spread of fruit popsicles
spread of fruit popsicles - Alvarez/Getty Images

To determine our selection of Popsicles made with the highest quality ingredients, we searched through the online freezer aisles of major retailers and grocery stores across the nation. We looked for frozen dessert bars that have their full ingredients lists available online. When it came down to it, we prioritized pops made with naturally derived ingredients. For example, brands that use real fruit and juice triumphed over those that rely on artificial flavors. In fact, none of the frozen treats we selected use any artificial flavors, fillers, or additives. We also excluded any that contain high fructose corn syrup or artificial sweeteners like aspartame or stevia. While the Popsicles in this list are made with the finest ingredients, please keep in mind that many of them still carry a lot of added sugar per serving. Always read the nutrition label and make decisions based on your own needs and preferences.

Read the original article on Mashed.