Thursday, 31 May 2012

Ice, Ice Baby!

OK, so I'm returning to the topic of finding something cool and yummy that's also dairy free. I don't know if you've happened to go looking for a dairy free ice lolly yet, during our little heatwave. I wonder - have you met with any success?

These can be found in some restaurants, as a dairy free dessert option

The other Sunday afternoon, we decided to take Baby to the park. It was hot, very hot, so our 'exit strategy' (as my sister calls it) was to offer Baby the chance of an ice lolly, when it was time to go home. That worked! I'm not sure that Baby actually knew what was meant by 'ice lolly' (I don't recall her having one before) but it obviously sounded like a good trade! Often reluctant to leave the swings (it's sometimes kicking and screaming - not pretty folks, but it has to be done) Baby immediately agreed, so off we trotted to the local shop. Now, our local village shop is a Tesco Express, so I was expecting to find a freezer packed to bursting with lollies of all flavours, shapes and sizes etc, made by well-known companies. But no!

Obviously everyone else in the village had the same idea, that weekend, because the ice cream/lolly unit was pretty much empty - apart from some chocolate ice cream type things, made by... Tesco. Bah! No point even trying to read the labels on those, then!

Not to be defeated, I located the freezer where they sold desserts and found something that looked promising - a box of fruit flavoured ice lollies by Robinson's Fruit Shoots. Then, remembering a tip-off from 'Sugarpuffish' on Twitter, I checked the label. Bah! I can't quite remember whether it said, 'may contain milk,' or 'not suitable for milk allergy sufferers due to manufacturing methods used,' but it was enough to put me off the thought of even trying.

Baby was pretty good about the whole thing - though there's no doubt that she was disappointed. 'It's alright,' I said, to her, ' Mummy's got some ice lollies in the freezer at home. You can have one as soon as we get back.' 

Fortunately, for Baby, several weeks ago, I happened upon a pack of ice lollies in a local health shop (they can also be ordered from Amazon). They were of the kind that you freeze yourself. I had been intrigued enough to buy some and stock my freezer and there they had lain, waiting for an opportune moment, which had now arrived! Now I just had to hope that my fussy Baby would like them!

Not too bad!
Called 'Smooze,' they are produced by Kara (now Koko), who manufacture coconut milk. As you can see they are produced in a twisty form, which resembles a humbug. Described as a 'fruit ice,' I didn't think they tasted fruity at all, more creamy. Once my taste buds became accustomed to their slightly unusual flavour, they reminded me most of a vanilla 'Mini Milk'  (as made by Wall's). The good news was Baby loved them. Unable to clutch hers for long (as the heat melted it quicker than she could lick) we opened the packaging with scissors and emptied the contents into a cup with a straw, from which she was quite happy to guzzle, for a good while.

Unfortunately, the flavour that we had no longer seems to be available - our local health food shop can no longer get hold of it and they're out of stock on Amazon, although you can sign up to a notification, if they get them in. However, you might be interested to know that Kara make their lollies in other flavours - mango, pineapple and guava, but I haven't got around to trying those yet. This is mainly because I've only seen them on Amazon and you have to buy them in bulk - £116 worth! However, I have just found that you can buy them from a company called Free From For Kids and online Vegan store Alternative Stores.

Disappointing in size!
Meanwhile, casting around the shelves of a Waitrose near us I found these, by Calypso! I seem to remember having lollies like these, when I was little. I remember being disappointed that as you got to the end, they were little more than ice, as by then, all the juice had been sucked out, but they were better than nothing! I bought a box, and when I got it home and opened it was disappointed all over again! They were tiny! OK for Baby, maybe, but they seem to have shrunk somewhat since I was a tiddler!

Having sampled one, I was disappointed on another level - could they have possibly become more watery over time, as well?

Waitrose also stocked the Jubbly lollies. I seem to remember having these as a teenager. Back then, these were more of a hit, than the other lollies, as they had a proper juicy flavour. Again, by Calypso, they come in several flavours, and I think you can get these from most supermarkets. The ingredients looked pretty natural to me, but you can judge for yourself, by following the link to their website.

Since the other Sunday, when we couldn't find a suitable lolly, I've also been conducting a mini investigation into the packets of frozen ice lollies that are sold in the supermarkets. I've found similar comments to those I found on the backs of the packs the ice lollies that I checked that Sunday afternoon. Good job I hadn't tried buying a Calippo from an ice cream van then! However, there are some that are OK. and it's worth knowing, if you happen to be out and about. 

Ribena's ice lollies also seem to be dairy free, but the back of the pack stated that they were unsuitable for children under the age of three, so no good for Baby, then.

Yay for Rowntrees!
However, Rowntrees have come up trumps! Their 'Fruit Pastilles' and 'Sour Pastilles' lollies seem to be dairy free although their packets warn of the possibility of nuts. Sainsbury's own ice lolllies also seem to be free of dairy and anything else apart from their mixed pack, which oddly enough contains barley and gluten!

Larger Tesco stores are also a good place to hunt for dairy free lollies. Their 'Goodness Rainbow Lollies' are similar to the Rowntree lollies, but a better size for tiny hands. Baby seems to enjoy them.

Another place from which to obtain an ice lolly, when out, is Holland and Barrett. My local branch had  a fruity ice lolly called 'Frenzy,' when I looked the other day. It's shaped like a Calippo, but I've no idea what it tastes like, as I've not tried one yet. These can also be ordered from Goodness Direct.

One final suggestion - Strada and Nando's both stock 'Chilly Billy' which looks a bit like a Calippo in shape, but is actually made completely from natural fruit juices. 

I'm sure there must be others out there that I've missed, but I haven't been looking too hard, because ever since watching a TV chef make his own, my mind has been considering the very same! No Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall (the chef in question) I did think his recipes looked achievable (even for me) so watch this space! I'll let you know how we get on. Meanwhile, I'm on the hunt for BPA free lolly moulds. Ideas anyone?

DON'T be tempted by Del Monte's '100% fruit juice' lollies, if you're at all sensitive to milk proteins. Somehow although they're '100% fruit juice' they may contain milk - where is the logic in that?? We know to our cost that they do contain milk - Baby had one of these and suffered a bit as a result. 

Also be careful about R White's Lemonade ice lollies. From information on the packets, you might think they are dairy free, as milk is not listed in the ingredients. The lolly packets used to say that they contain milk. They don't say so any more, but the Tesco website says they contain milk traces.

Update 2:
Tesco have a new ice lolly, the Helter Skelter, which is dairy free! We have seen two flavours - fruit and a strawberry and coconut milk. We have tried the strawberry and coconut milk and it is delicious (well I think so, but my fussy 'Baby'... *sighs*)! Unfortunately, no sooner did they appear then they seem to have disappeared again *bigger sighs*! Oh well! Was nice knowing you Helter Skelter - that's what happens when Tesco release a new dairy free ice lolly in the Winter (smacks forehead in frustration)! They were good, too!

Related Posts:

Anyway, if you'd prefer a dairy free ice cream, and have missed my posts on this subject, the links are below:

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