Ice pops made without proper sweetener will often turn out rock hard, too watery and usually have a more diluted flavor.
The most common reason I’ve seen for ice pops made without the right amount of sweetener is that someone will simply pour plain old juice into a mold and freeze it OR blend up a fruit or veggie that’s not very sweet and then not add sweetener to the mix.
If you suspect your pops may need sweetened, below is a recipe for a basic simple syrup.
Organic Simple Syrup Recipe
Place 1 cup of organic granulated white sugar and 1 cup water in a pot on a medium high heat. Cook the mixture until it comes to a boil. Remove the mixture and allow it to cool before using it.
To use your simple syrup:
The general way to use simple syrup is to mix 1/2 cup of the syrup with 1 cup of fresh blended fruit or 1 cup of fluid (say juice).
However, various ice pop recipes call for different amounts of sweetness. For example, berry ice pops won’t require as much simple sugar, but lemonade pops need a ton of simple syrup or they’ll be way too tart. Play around with amounts and see how the freezing quality and taste is affected. The more you use sweeteners in ice pops, the better you’ll get at guessing how much sweetener a specific mix will need.
The sugar syrup egg test
If you eat eggs, and thus have them around the house there’s a test you can do to see if you’re using the right amount of simple syrup in your ice pop mixture.
- Wash a raw egg (very well).
- Grab whichever the ice pop mixture you’re using and pour it into a container.
- Place the egg, shell and all, into the mixture and it will sink to the bottom.
- Start pouring in your simple syrup slowly.
- Once the egg floats up to the top of the mixture, exposing about a dime sized portion of the egg above the liquid, you’ve got enough sugar to combat rock hard pops. If less than a dime sized circle is showing you need to add more sugar syrup. If you’ve got too much egg exposed, you’ll need to add more ice pop mixture.
Don’t eat eggs?
If you don’t want to do the egg test, just add about 1/2 cup sugar syrup per 1 or 2 cups ice pop mixture (the average amount) and see how your pops turn out. If they don’t turn out perfect, adjust your mix the next time you make popsicles.
Don’t like sugar?
You don’t always need to use the syrup sweetener above. You can get the same effect by adding ice cubes and a sweetener to your mix during the popsicle making process. Anytime you add a sweetener like sugar or honey, some fresh fruit or veggie puree, a dairy base like milk or ice cream, or even vegan gelatin the result will be a more flaky, less rock hard ice pop.