Kids can't resist this healthy Halloween snack recipe of vegan ice lollies. These tasty matcha popsicles are packed with refreshing pineapple and have a hint of coconut flavor. Are you looking to cut back on sugar before Halloween? You are in luck with this frozen dessert because these zombie-shaped popsicles have no added sugar. Hurry up and eat them before they eat your brains!
In case you have the wrong impression about me, let me clear the air. We do not eat the most health-promoting options 100% of the time in my family. We will all definitely be enjoying some candy on Halloween.
Whether and how much someone chooses to indulge on holidays is a personal decision. I am not suggesting replacing your Halloween candy with these fruit pops. We don't do that, and I don't expect someone else to do that either.
I'm thinking of these vegan ice lollies as a way to increase fruit intake in the days surrounding the holiday. Having these themed treats on hand may make it a little less likely I'll reach into the candy bowl. Consider them if you want to cut back on added sugar before the holiday but still satisfy your sweet tooth.
If your family is not always "nutritionally perfect," know that you are not alone! We enjoy occasional treats and mix things up with more nutrient-dense recipes like this one. Too much rigidity regarding food choices may not be a good thing anyway.
However you choose to celebrate, I hope that you have a Happy Halloween!
- What is matcha?
- What are the benefits of making matcha popsicles?
- Matcha Popsicles Ingredients
- The Tovolo Zombie Popsicle Mold
- How to Make Vegan Ice Lollies
- Final Takeaways on How to Make Matcha Popsicles
- Expert Tips from a Dietitian
- What are some other recipes for vegan ice lollies?
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Other Vegan Recipes with Pineapple
- And now for the disclaimer…
- 📖 Recipe
What is matcha?
You may have noticed that these are vegan matcha popsicles. Matcha is a powdered tea made from steamed and ground green tea leaves.
With matcha, you consume the tea leaves. Matcha green tea powder is different from most teas. Typically, tea leaves are steeped in hot water and then removed.
Matcha tends to be higher in antioxidants compared to other teas since the whole leaf is consumed. But admittedly, I did not choose to use matcha here because of the health benefits. Nope.
I chose to use matcha because these are zombie popsicles, and I wanted them to be green. Haha
This recipe is actually an updated twist on the zombie ice pops recipe I first posted in 2019. I originally used kiwi to get the zombie pops kind of greenish.
The kiwifruit seeds sort of made the zombies look like they were suffering from some sort of pox. Even for a Halloween treat, that doesn't really sound appealing, does it? LMAO
Anyhoo, I decided to ditch the kiwi in the original vegan popsicle recipe. I was determined to find something else to make the zombies green. I try to use mostly whole foods here, so I did not want to resort to artificial food dyes.
If you have a high power blender (like a Vitamix), you can throw spinach or kale in there to get things green. Using a regular old food processor, as I have, will leave green leafy flecks in the pops. I needed to find another option.
And that is when I happened upon the Suncore Foods Supercolor Powders. These natural food coloring powders are made of single ingredient whole foods that have been dried and ground. Suncore's Midori Jade Matcha turns foods a lovely shade of green; no high-powered blender is needed.
What are the benefits of making matcha popsicles?
- Only four ingredients needed: Isn't it nice when we don't have to add 10-20 things to the grocery list to make a recipe?
- Packed with vitamin C: These homemade vegan ice lollies are mostly made of pureed pineapple, an excellent source of vitamin C. Most fruits are extremely rich in vitamin C, so you will likely derive this benefit even if you use another type of fruit as the base for your popsicles.
- Helps to increase your fruit intake: Not eating enough fruit? Why not make it dessert, like I'm doing here? Fruit provides antioxidants, phytonutrients, and fiber that may help to keep your body healthy.
- Gluten free, vegetarian, vegan: Did you ever notice how many foods are naturally gluten-free? There's really no need to purchase special gluten-free bakery products if you fill your diet with a wide variety of whole foods. (Of course, you are always welcome to purchase these products simply because you enjoy them!)
- So much FUN! My goodness, folks, these popsicles resemble zombies. Zombies!!! I'm going to tell you all about my zombie popsicle molds below so you can get your own.
Matcha Popsicles Ingredients
Here's what you need to make homemade vegan popsicles:
- Fresh, chopped pineapple
- Light coconut milk (or full-fat coconut milk)
- Coconut extract
- Matcha powder
It is super important to use extremely ripe pineapple for this recipe. The pineapple provides all of the sweetness in these matcha ice lollies.
Using the ripest fruit you can get your hands on will ensure the sweetest results without added sugar. You are not going to like these if you use a pineapple that is barely ripe or underripe.
So how do you tell that a pineapple is ripe? For one, the base of the pineapple should give off a fruity smell. (P.S. If it has a fermented odor, the ripening process has gone too far.)
Second, ripe pineapples tend to be more golden in color and less green. Third, your pineapple should have a little (little!) give under pressure and not be as hard as a rock.
Though I chose to make these matcha popsicles with coconut milk, the coconut milk is really optional. All of the coconut flavor is really coming from the coconut extract.
Finally, we come to the matcha powder, which I talked about above. A little goes a long way with matcha; it's a good thing since it is expensive!
Using matcha to color your zombies is different than using artificial food coloring. Unlike typical food coloring, the matcha adds a strong flavor to your food.
If you like the taste of matcha, you may want to add more to get your zombies a deeper shade of green. If you aren't really fond of it, the small amount we added will get the zombie pops a nice light greenish yellow. You can always mix in more later to get the popsicle mixture the exact shade you want.
The Tovolo Zombie Popsicle Mold
Why use a regular popsicle mold when you can have zombies?!? The zombie pop molds make this one, IMVHO.
You too can have a miniature army of frozen fruit zombies full of beneficial phytonutrients. I mean, who wouldn't want that?
I picked up my molds at Cost Plus World Market, but they are also available on Amazon. If you want to save money, you may get a better price on the molds after Halloween. I noticed the zombie molds always go up in price in October and then drop down again.
I purchased mine for under $10, so check around the brick and mortar stores first for the best deal. Hopefully you'll be able to find a great price like I did.
The Tovolo zombies pop molds have a hard plastic base that holds soft silicone inserts. Each popsicle stick is a zombie's spinal column and rib cage! Oh, the creativity that went into these. Hahaha
To eat the zombie ice lollies, you simply need to pull the pop out of its mold. (It releases easily since it is a silicone popsicle mold.) Then, holding the zombie by its legs and feet, you will eat the head and torso.
Gruesome, but perfect for Halloween.
You can take a gander at what the ice pop molds look like in the recipe video below. Oh, and if zombies aren't your thing, Tovolo has monster pop molds, swords, and other options available. I want them all! Haha
How to Make Vegan Ice Lollies
This simple recipe for homemade vegan ice lollies hardly needs explanation! Start by peeling, coring, and chopping your sweet pineapple.
Next, put the fresh pineapple, creamy coconut milk, matcha powder, and coconut extract in a food processor. Blend until the mixture becomes a smooth and creamy puree. You may need to occasionally stop the food processor and scrape down the sides with a spatula if food is sticking.
Once you get the pineapple puree to a smooth and uniform (and light green!) mixture, use a spoon to fill the molds. This recipe makes five pops. You will fill all four cavities of the zombie mold and have an extra pop to spare.
Insert the zombie spine popsicle sticks into the ice pop molds. Freeze the pops until solid (6-8 hours or overnight). That's all it takes to make these ice lollies that are vegan!
Final Takeaways on How to Make Matcha Popsicles
- If you are new to using matcha powder, start with the small amount I have listed. Taste the puree before deciding whether you'd like to add more. It is strong stuff!
- Make sure to use extremely ripe fruit in this recipe so that these are not too tart.
- There's only a little coconut milk here. You may skip it if you don't have any.
Expert Tips from a Dietitian
This is a level 1 recipe (may help support fat loss). The exact calorie count per matcha ice pop depends on the size of your pop molds. That said, however many pops you yield, you're going to end up with a low-calorie, nutrient-dense frozen treat.
Fruit is one of my top picks for a snack. The fiber and water content in fruit provides filling volume for few calories. It's more difficult to consume frozen fruit quickly compared to fresh, making it easier to be more mindful about intake.
Anecdotally, some kids appear to like fruit more when blended into a pop. I know my son is far more likely to grab one of these than a fresh piece of fruit. (Your mileage may vary, of course.)
By the way, don't be afraid to modify this healthy Halloween snack recipe to fit your taste buds. How about making pina colada popsicles by skipping the matcha and adding in some rum extract? Now that's a frozen dessert I could enjoy year-round!
What are some of your favorite fruit popsicle flavor combinations? There are endless possibilities for frozen fruit snacks that are low in calories but high in nutrients!
What are some other recipes for vegan ice lollies?
I have a ton of vegan-friendly ice lollies on this site, all with no added sugar! Here are a few to get you started:
- What to do with leftover coffee: 15-calorie coffee popsicles (substitute calcium-fortified unsweetened soymilk for the dairy milk to make it vegan)
- Watermelon Ice Lollies with Mango and Pineapple
- Homemade Popsicles with Watermelon, Lime Juice, and Mint
- Mango Popsicles with Coconut and Curry
Frequently Asked Questions
Can vegans eat ice lollies?
Sure, why not? Ice lollies are fully compatible with the vegan diet as long as they contain no animal-derived ingredients (i.e., casein, whey, carmine color, etc.). My answer to "Can vegans have ice lollies?" is a definite yes (if they want to).
Is vegan ice cream more healthy than regular ice cream?
Though this question seems straightforward, context is everything when trying to compare the health value of foods. For example, vegan ice cream will always be healthier than dairy ice cream for individuals with a severe dairy allergy. Conversely, soy-free dairy ice cream would be healthier than soy-based vegan ice cream for someone with a severe soy allergy.
Store bought vegan ice cream and store bought dairy ice cream are both typically high in added sugar and saturated fat. In terms of general nutrition, you can often make the most nutrient-dense ice cream (dairy or vegan) at home.
That said, I would (in general) consider dairy ice cream to be healthier than vegan ice cream. Dairy ice cream is typically higher in protein, calcium, vitamin B12, and other nutrients, compared to vegan alternatives.
Additionally, the fat in vegan ice creams often comes almost entirely from added oils, not whole foods. With dairy ice cream, the milk and eggs provide fat within their natural food matrix, so you get the nutrient benefits of consuming the whole food. Added oils are largely empty calories.
Is Popsicle brand vegan?
According to the Popsicle brand website, their products may not be vegan. Many of their products contain cane sugar (which may have been processed using a bone char filter) and/or natural flavors from unidentified sources. I recommend checking the nutrition information panel of the product you are interested in to see if you are comfortable with the ingredients list.
What do British people call popsicles?
You're more likely to hear popsicles called "ice lollies" over in Britain than you would in the United States. "Popsicle" became a widely used term for all ice pops in the U.S. and Canada because of the ubiquity of the Popsicle brand. This brand was not available in the U.K.
Is matcha harmful?
You should not use matcha if you are taking an L-theanine supplement or are particularly sensitive to caffeine. However, the amount of caffeine in matcha powder is small compared to black coffee.
In addition, there is very little matcha in each of these matcha tea popsicles compared to a cup of matcha tea. That said, it is good to be aware that matcha contains caffeine so that you can avoid it if needed.
Other Vegan Recipes with Pineapple
The recipes below are all vegan or can easily be made vegan by substituting unsweetened calcium-fortified soymilk for dairy milk and yogurt. Please note that all dairy alternatives are not created equal! In general, the best options are calcium-fortified legume-based "milk" with no added sugar.
- Peach Pineapple Smoothie (Low-Calorie, No Added Sugar!)
- Award-Winning Peach and Pineapple Salsa
- Pineapple Macadamia Overnight Oats with Yogurt
And now for the disclaimer…
All recipes on this website may or may not be appropriate for you, depending on your medical needs and personal preferences. Consult with a registered dietitian or your physician if you need help determining the dietary pattern that may be best for you.
The nutrition information is an estimate provided as a courtesy. It will differ depending on the specific brands and ingredients that you use. Calorie information on food labels may be wildly inaccurate, so please don't sweat the numbers too much.
For more information on how the three recipe levels may help with a weight management goal, refer to my overnight oats with yogurt post. Let's get cooking!
Matcha Popsicles Recipe | Zombie Vegan Ice Lollies
- 1¾ cup fresh chopped pineapple (use really ripe pineapple!)
- 1 tablespoon coconut milk (canned, light)
- ½ teaspoon coconut extract
- ½ teaspoon matcha powder
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup (optional; can skip or use sugar-free syrup to keep it added sugar free)
- Peel, core, and chop the fresh pineapple into ½-1 inch pieces (1.27-2.54 cm).
- Blend the pineapple, coconut milk, coconut extract, and matcha together in a food processor until smooth. If ingredients are sticking to the sides of the food processor, stop it, scrape down the sides of the processor with a spatula, then continue blending.
- Taste the mixture and decide whether to blend in the optional maple syrup or sugar-free syrup. (I find it depends on the sweetness of the pineapple.)
- Spoon the mixture into popsicle molds and freeze until solid (6-8 hours).
- Enjoy! Using a Halloween-themed ice lolly mould makes this treat more fun for kids.