Who doesn’t love an ice pop on a warm spring afternoon or summer day?! These ice pops are sugar-free and made with freshly squeezed grapefruit juice. I made a raspberry puree and strained the seeds so it is bursting with raspberry flavor without getting the seeds stuck in your teeth, lol. This post will cover this amazing recipe as well as lots of info about my favorite natural sweeteners.
Be prepared for a lot of ice pops recipes coming your way. My girls and I love a good ice pop on a hot day. I don’t love most of the ice pops on the market as they are usually filled with sugar. So I replaced the sugar in this recipe with stevia but after you read below you might want to use another natural sweetener. You choose 🙂
Sweeteners to avoid:
All these sweeteners are made chemically and are not naturally sourced. So I personally avoid them.
- Aspartame (AminoSweet, Neotame, Equal and NutraSweet)
- Sucralose (Splenda)
- Acesulfame ( Equal Spoonful, Sweet One)
- Saccharin (Sweet ‘N Low, Sweet Twin)
Sweeteners to use :
Stevia- We have used stevia in our house for a while, but the after taste isn’t for everyone. Lately, there has been some controversy over it safely and this is what I found from doing some research. No human studies have ever shown any problems from pure and natural forms of stevia and dozens of studies have shown potential benefits from it.
There has been a study done with large quantities showing that it can have potential contraceptive effects on females and males. Now this study was done on a someone consuming large amounts of the stevioside component of the plant, but that only makes up 10% of the sweet compound of the plant. The amount you would have to consume would be a lot. If I had hormone problems I would probably avoid stevia.
Monk Fruit- Monk fruit is very hard to harvest and come by. So this extract is very expensive to buy. I haven’t actually tried this sweetener just do to its high cost. But it does have zero calories and zero grams of sugar. Make sure when buying monk fruit that they aren’t any other cheaper fillers used.
Xylitol- Comes from birch trees, but they also take it out of corn as well. I am not huge on birch tree form of this sweetener as the tree dies when they extract the xylitol from the bark. It takes 15 years for a new one to be reproduced. The corn extract is a more sustainable form of it, so if you are going to buy it seek non-GMO corn sources to help the environment.
Xylitol is low in glycemic levels and has zero calories. It has been shown to help reduce bacteria in the mouth that could possibly help reduce decay that causes cavities. I don’t consume xylitol outside of having it in my toothpaste because it causes digestive upset for me. This can be due to the fermentation that happens in the gut from xylitol. Some people do great with this sweetener and others do not.
Coconut Sugars- We love using coconut sugar in our home. Yes, it is more expensive than regular sugar but it does contain magnesium, iron, and zinc versus white sugar that is void of any nutrients. It does have a lower glycemic index than white sugar. It does hower have a high in fructose level, so those with type 2 diabetes would want to consume it sparingly.
Maple Syrup- This is also another household staple in our home. Many nutrients are naturally found in pure maple syrup, including zinc, potassium, manganese, thiamine, calcium, iron, magnesium, and riboflavin. There are also antioxidants properties in maple syrup as well. You want to avoid uncle bens syrup. This is full of corn syrup and caramel colors. It is not real maple syrup. When shopping for maple syrup make sure it is 100% pure maple syrup. Organic is always better.
Lets get back to the recipe!
You have the option of choosing the sweetener you prefer and also you can adjust the sweetness by testing your juice and puree while you are making it. These ice pops are tart with the grapefruit and raspberries so you need that little bit of sweetness to cut the tartness. My girls and their friends fell in love with these ice pops and kept wanting more! So we will be making these a regular treat at our house.
The raspberry puree is a must. It takes some extra time but so worth strain out the seeds to make the ice pops smooth and yummy. I would also do your very best to freshly squeeze your grapefruit juice. The store-bought ones are going to be boiled and lack those amazing live enzymes and vitamin C, plus fresh always tastes better.
Yields 6 ice pops
These sugar free raspberry grapefruit ice pops will be a perfect treat on those hot days. You can adjust the sweetness to your liking in this recipe and read the blog post to pick a sweetener that works best for you and your family.
8 hr, 20 Total Time
- 4 cups frozen raspberries
- 10 drops stevia or 3 tbsp of other sweetener
- 1 1/2 cups freshly squeezed grapefruit juice (approx 8-10 grapefruits)
- 10-15 drops of liquid stevia or 3 tbsp of other sweetener
- Put raspberries and stevia or sweetener into a sauce pan. Heat on medium low and crush the raspberries with a whisk or fork.
- Bring to boil until it becomes a liquid and simmer on low stirring often for 5 minutes to thicken puree.
- After 5 mins take off heat and put puree through a strainer, using a rubber spatula to push down on the strainer helps get all the amazing puree through. Discard the seeds that are left in the strainer.
- Set puree aside to cool.
- Use a citrus hand or electric juicer to juice grapefruits.
- Add 10-15 drops of stevia or 3 tbsp of other sweetener to grapefruit juice.
- Assemble ice pops by putting 1.25 tbsp of raspberry puree in bottom of moulds.
- Fill the rest with grapefruit juice.
- Place in ice pops sticks.
- Put in freezer overnight or for 6-8 hours.
COOKING TIP: Remember that you can always add more sweetener but you can’t take it away so taste as you add it in to get the right sweetness for you!
Bloggers: Did you know that the word POPSICLE is trademarked?! I didn’t know this until I heard it from minimalist baker. They had to go and re name all the recipes with that word in it. Popsicle is Unilever’s registered trademark. So if your a food blogger like me just be aware 🙂