The Scientific Reason Bananas And Pineapples Aren't Great For Popsicles

Homemade popsicles allow you to get creative and experiment with different flavors and textures. By making popsicles at home, you have control over the ingredients, so you can use fresh fruits and natural sweeteners to make a healthier snack. However, if you are using bananas and pineapples in your homemade recipe, you may run into a problem.

These fruits present challenges when used in popsicle recipes because both contain enzymes that can make it harder for the popsicles to freeze. In bananas, the enzyme breaks down starches into simple sugars. Pineapples contain an enzyme that can break down proteins. These changes to the texture of the fruit can make the popsicles softer, which means it will take longer for them to freeze. These enzymes can also change the flavor of the popsicles over time, causing them to become more sour. Additionally, when exposed to air, both bananas and pineapples can brown, which can result in the popsicle being visually unappealing. There are some ways to make banana and pineapple popsicles, though, that allow you to avoid these issues. 

How to make pineapple or banana popsicles

To avoid these issues with your banana or pineapple popsicles, you can find a recipe that calls for treating the fruits before incorporating them into the popsicle mixture. For example, you can freeze the fruit separately, then blend it with the other parts of the recipe. You can also puree pineapples and bananas to help preserve their texture and flavor, allowing popsicles made from these fruits to freeze at a normal rate.

When your banana or pineapple popsicles do freeze, it's important to keep in mind that these fruits contain a lot of water. That means that they can form ice crystals quickly. To keep them fresh after they have frozen, you will either have to eat them almost immediately or store them in plastic wrap to keep them protected. Adding a few teaspoons of cornstarch to your popsicle recipe can also help reduce the formation of ice crystals because the cornstarch acts as a stabilizer and prevents the liquid ingredients from moving around and forming pockets of ice.

Other fruits that are hard to make into popsicles

Bananas and pineapples aren't the only fruits that may present challenges when making homemade popsicles. Citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, and limes contain natural acidity, which can result in popsicles with a more icy texture and tart flavor. However, you can still use citrus fruits in popsicles by balancing their acidity with sweeter, creamier ingredients like yogurt. Watermelon, cantaloupe, and honeydew have a high water content, and their flavor can become diluted when frozen. Pureeing the melon with other fruits can enhance the texture and flavor.

As with pineapple, kiwi fruits have a high enzyme content that can break down proteins, and that can result in a mushy texture when they are frozen. If you are using kiwi in popsicles, adding the fruit as small chunks rather than blending it can maintain the texture. Berries of every kind can also get mushy when frozen, so blending them with coconut milk or yogurt can give your popsicles a creamy texture.