Sometimes you just can't make it into the kitchen to cook. Dr. Gourmet has reviewed over 1,000 common convenience foods, ingredients, and restaurant selections so that you know what's worth eating - and what's not. View the Index of all Dr. Gourmet's Food Reviews
The Delicious 6-Week Weight Loss Plan for the Real World
Timothy S. Harlan, MD, FACP has counseled thousands of his patients on healthy, sustainable weight loss. Now he's compiled his best tips and recipes into a six-week plan for you to learn how to eat great food that just happens to be great for you.
Get the prescription for better health as well as healthy weight loss, including:
The name alone is enough to make you happy. And there, in the freezer case, they are: Jolly Llama. You could just say it over and over to yourself like a mantra. Jolly Llama, Jolly Llama, Jolly Llama.
The package also says "delicious enlightenment" which is as bold as the names is happy. Why would a cream pop be enlightened? What does it take? Can they really be? How?
Further inspection of the package reveals that these are gluten free, dairy free, non-GMO frozen pops that are made with whole fruit or other natural ingredients. In addition to sorbet pops they have a line that is made with coconut cream, presumably so they are dairy free but still creamy (coconut cream is creamy, right?). There was one of each at the store, a sorbet and a coconut cream pop - strawberry and dark chocolate, respectively. That doesn't seem all that enlightened but it does seem like they are popular flavors. Five flavors would be interesting – a hundred would be enlightened, maybe.
First up was the dark chocolate. Note that I didn't use the term dark chocolate. It is on the package and is part of their coconut cream pop line and the difference in calories is evident. There are over twice as many in this pop than the strawberry sorbet pop, coming in at 140 per serving. Presumably that is from the coconut cream which also brings 10 grams of fat to the equation. Glancing at the ingredients, there is no actual chocolate, but there is cocoa powder and that is the predominant flavor: cocoa, not chocolate (and certainly not the flavor of dark chocolate).
This is often the cheat of "low calorie" chocolate desserts. They are not really chocolate but cocoa flavored. They are often, as is the case with Jolly Llama, not even low calorie. I like cocoa, but not when it tries to pass itself off as dark chocolate. At 140 calories, 10 grams of fat, and 10 grams of sugar, it would seem that these would be creamy - the name "Cream Pop" should be an indication. They aren't. The push up pops never get creamy when they thaw and simply stay kind of chunky, coming apart in pieces.
This is a complete failure as a treat: not creamy, not dark chocolate, and not low calorie.
At the opposite end of the spectrum in every way are their strawberry sorbet pops. These are only 65 calories and made mostly from strawberry puree and sugar. The result is a very creamy pop. When you push it up, the texture is that of a good, rich, creamy frozen yogurt, even though it is dairy free.
The flavor is all strawberry and tastes real and not artificial. Not like a fresh strawberry, mind you, but like real strawberries frozen. This pop is intensely satisfying. The flavor is right, the texture is right, they are just about the right portion size, and they are low in calories. Because of the fruit they even contain a gram of fiber.
A big win and a big, big loss for the folks at Jolly Llama (still makes me happy saying the name though). Bad dark chocolate that is not really chocolate. Great strawberry pop.
The question remains, just how do these offer delicious enlightenment and what does that mean anyway?
Reviewed: March 31, 2017