By Jen Mons aka Healthy Beach Girl | Contributor
Warmer weather in North Florida brings more beach days, fun in the sun and gourmet fruit popsicles. These tasty treats are handcrafted locally with fresh fruits and herbs, without all the junk. This means no high-fructose corn syrup, preservatives, artificial colors or flavors. It’s like getting the health benefit of a smoothie with the enjoyment of a frozen treat all in one. For those of you looking for gluten-free, dairy-free or vegan treat options, today’s healthy popsicles will blow your mind … and your taste buds. Even better, you can find them all over Northeast Florida.
Entrepreneur Stephen DiMare started Hyppo pops in 2009, as a humble popsicle stand in downtown St. Augustine with the inspiration of a Mexican-style gourmet popsicles known as paletas. They now have over 450 flavors and can be found locally at Native Sun.
Rhonda and Suzana of Bold City Pops stand out with their adorable little 1969 vintage camper, Pearl. These women have such a love for Florida’s abundance of fresh fruits. You can learn more about them with their colorful photos and stories on their blog.
Guanabana Artisan Pops owners Julieta and Oliver wanted to bring their South American roots to Jacksonville. They carry traditional flavors, but specialize in importing tropical fruits for flavors such as passion fruit, Guanabana (soursop) and Mora (blackberry). You can find them at local markets and events with their hand-built tricycle, just like you find in South America.
Backyard Pops was started by a young family that wanted to share their love for creating yummy and healthy treats. Chesley and Ashlee were parents to a picky toddler and got creative with hiding fruits and veggies in a delicious dessert. Make sure you try the raspberry lime, currently their hottest, or rather coolest, flavor. As they like to say, “Backyard pops, kid tested and approved, but loved by all!”
Next time you find yourself at a Jacksonville event, the Riverside Arts Market, or your local health food store, check out the healthy popsicle craze health spreading across North Florida.