A Jello Makeover: Cool Cups

March 18, 2011   5 Comments

Healthy packaged snacks are incredibly hard to find. The "snack" aisle is filled with stuff, but much of it is just plain junk food.

Cool Cups: A Jello Makeover

What to do?

Well, many small business people are trying to make a difference by giving consumers a chance to buy something OTHER than what the large food manufacturers create.

Tom of Cool Cups, has taken on Kraft with his "Cool Cups" gel snacks. Somehow, Tom managed to avoid using high fructose corn syrup, artificial colors and flavors, and gelatin (derived from horse hooves) to create his snacks.

Yes, these are vegan, gluten-free, preservative free and truly tasty. How does he do it? He uses carrageenan which is made entirely from seaweed harvested from the ocean to make it "gel" and fruit juice.

The color produced is actually from the fruit itself. My kids were THRILLED when I brought these home from (you guessed it) Whole Foods.

Tom had sent me a $10 gift card to use at Whole Foods, and it occurred to me that I could use it for anything in the store. Fortunately for Tom, I made it past the artisan chocolate to the Cool Cups.

They come in Orange, Peach-Mango, and Black Cherry - cost $2.99 for four and can be found at health food stores and Whole Foods (see here: Cool Cups).

Kraft's version is $2.99 for 6 cups, so you are paying 50% more for your freedom from additives. These are a great fun snack for a treat!

I am adding one more product find to this post today. Check out GoGo Juice!


Have you ever tried "Organic, Peeled Pear Juice"? Well, I hadn't until Betty sent me some from sunny California. This juice tasted AMAZING and disappeared from my house in record time.

Betty has worked hard to make her juice special. She states:

We take ripened fruit, peel the skins, remove seeds and cores, and juice them. That's it! We do not add any sugar, colorings, fake flavors, preservatives, press aids, filter aids, chemicals or other stuff. And, our ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) is not made from corn or soy.

I guess there are juice companies that don't do this and use all sorts of mechanical techniques including rice hulls, ground wood, and tiny fossilized critters to get the juice out of the fruit.

(I may go buy a juicer!)

Check out her site at GoGo Juice.

These products were received for review consideration. No other compensation was provided.

Please share any packaged snack ideas that work for you.

Want to read about snacks?
This Is Not Your Mother's Rice Krispie Treat
Never Eat Fast Food French Fries Again
Weight Watchers Friendly Recipes on Snack Girl
A Color You Should Be Eating More Of

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Hi there Lisa! Thanks for the tip, but you know because I'm me, I just have to point out that not all gelatin comes from horse hooves, in fact AGAR is seaweed and more widely used because its so much cheaper like certain soy products. Here is to hoping that Kraft sees the light and makes the switch. You have to love a self-sustainin product that is better for you as well as easier to come by!

these jello cups look great! I wonder why I have never seen them before. I will definitely be looking for them.

If you can't find Tom's Cool Cups in your area store (we don't have a Whole Foods store) Trader Joe's has their version and ingredients and price are the same. I was glad to find them as I have a serious vegetarian in my family who will not eat gelatin. (I have also found some gelatin-free marshmellows too.)

Mmmm... sounds good. Being pregnant I have all kinds of cravings, and jell-o has been one of them lately. However, I refuse to eat what I've seen in stores. I may have to see if I can find a Trader Joe's or Whole Foods market store nearby. I know we have them...

And back when I went to Horticulture college, we got the schools own freshly squeezed apple juice. It was TO DIE FOR. Nummers...

hey snack girl, as a biologist, i'm sure you know how to read complicated research studies, of which there are new ones done on carageenan. some of the newest information about carageenan is that lab studies show it has carcinogenic properties. i now avoid all products with this additive. agar is a much better alternative for choosing this kind of prepared snack as it doesn't show to have the same affects on laboratory mice. please check out some of the new information on carageenan, it's an eye-opener.

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