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Apr 22, 2012 10:56 AM

How to avoid ice crystals in popsicles?

Guar Gum, Xanthum Gum, Carob Bean Gum (also known as Locust Bean Gum)

All of the above have been mentioned in posts (as well as knox Gelatin - but I'm trying to avoid it so we can stay "vegan" - but am willing to try if it gets the desired end result)

I would love to know of anyone using any of these (or a combination of) or any other ingredients that help prevent the ice crystals --- I know flash freezing helps....but I don't happen to have one of those laying around ....

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  1. I don't think there's anything that isn't vegan about any of those.

    (Oops, just realized that the non-vegan comment was about the gelatin.)

    And popsicles are supposed to be icy, not like sorbet. They need to freeze hard so they stay on the stick instead of in your lap.

    The high amount of sugar in typical Popsicle formulas -- unless you are just trying to freeze regular fruit juice (you could use a bit of Corn/Karo syrup as well) -- will keep the popsicles from being quite as solid as an ice cube -- still biteable but firm enough to hold onto the stick.

    2 Replies
    1. re: acgold7

      Thanks - I definitely want them "icy" but not full of "ice - crystals" - I get what you are saying about them not being like sorbet though - it is kind of like if you freeze ice it is rock hard and you can't bit it - but if you freeze fruit juice and agave it breaks apart as you bite it (and still has crystals just a little too big) I'm sure I just need to find the right amount (and right kind and way) of sugar
      Castor sugar
      Cane sugar
      Simple syrup

      I'm getting some great flavors with my many attempts/creations - but just not the right consistency as of yet (well except for the ones I have added coconut milk into - which I believe they have the better consistency because of the guar gum in the coconut milk

      1. re: JillBHooch

        How about honey? I haven't tried it but it's worth a shot. Or is that not vegan? Perhaps a very small amount of rice flour or tapioca flour.

    2. A link to a site that links you to many many recipes. No need for guessing

      1. How are you making them? Two secrets are: a good quantity of easily dissolved sugar and mostly freeze them in the ice cream maker before pouring the mix into the pop molds. The latter seems to help for mixtures more complex than freezing instant drinks with added sugar. I would like to try the V-8 V-Fusion Mango Smoothie stuff as popsicles.

        4 Replies
        1. re: travelerjjm

          I haven't been using an nice cream machine (thinking that it would add too much air?) either whisking or blending ingredients together and then into molds and into freezer - I was contemplating putting the mixture in the freezer for 20 or 30 minutes, bringing it out and giving a quick stir and then putting it into the molds....

          1. re: JillBHooch

            Chilling your mix, either in the fridge or freezer, before filling your molds helps a lot and speeds up freezing time. Also need to make small batches that can be consumed within 48 hours. They get too hard and icy after that for many recipes.

            1. re: Melanie Wong

              Also, freezing the empty molds before filling.

              1. re: greygarious

                Good idea. I'll try that soon now that paleta weather is with us again.

                BTW, letting the mix chill overnight also improves the flavor typically. Better integrated, deeper.

        2. For sorbet I have used xanthan gum with great success, I am sure this would work for popsicles as well.

          You could try different flavours though and it might help. I only needed xanthan gum in sorbets that were high in water content like citrus. Sorbet that had a lot of fiber or pectin I didn't need any. Raspberry, pear, strawberry, peach all had excellent texture without xanthan.

          1. I used to make popsicles out of Jello for my daughter because it didn't drip so much that way. I guess it was the gelatin that always made them the perfect temperature.