Thursday, June 19, 2008

DIY Nutritional Information for Fruit Ice

DIY Nutritional Information

To calculate calories or "points" for a recipe, one needs to consider the entire amount of calories, fat, and fiber for the entire dish prepared, then divide these totals by the amount of servings prepared. As an example, I'll calculate the "points" for my Pineapple Ice made in the last posting.

I'm calculating "points," so I need to know the calories, fat, and fiber for each ingredient. Here's a great web resource:

1. Consider calories, fat, and fiber for all ingredients.

A. 24 oz Pineapple Juice According to my juice container a serving is 200 ml, calories: 128, fat: 0, fiber: 0. So I have to convert my ounces to milliliters.

On converting ml to 24 oz, I use a google trick. On google, I write "24 oz to ml" and I get a conversion.
Now I divide approx. 700 ml by 200 ml = 3.5 servings of Pineapple Juice.
Now I multiply the calorie count (128) by the number of servings used (3.5).
128x3.5= 448 calories in the 24 oz. of juice I used.
fat = 0g x 3.5 servings = 0g of fat
fiber = 0g x 3.5 servings = 0g of fiber

B. 1/2 cup of Sugar. According to, there are 770 calories in a cup of sugar, and no fat, no fiber. So, 770/2 = 385 calories from sugar.

C. 1/2 cup of Lime Juice. According to Green Tea Health News, there are 3 calories in one tbsp of lime juice, no fat, no fiber.

So again, I use the "google trick" to convert 1/2 cup to tbsp.

Since I used 8 tbsp of lime juice, I'll multiply 8x3 = 24 calories in 1/2 cup of lime juice.

The other ingredients (water and salt) are calorie, fat, and fiber free.

So, I'll add up the calories, fat, and fiber for the entire recipe. I used a table to do this.
Now how many servings do I have? I can add up the ounces of liquid used and figure out about how many cups of ice I have. 24 oz of juice + 4 oz of lime juice + 12 oz of water = 40 oz of liquid, or 5 cups. A typical frozen treat is a 1/2 cup serving. So this recipe yields approximately 10 servings. Therefore, to figure out calories, fat, and fiber per serving, I divide my totals by 10. 857/10 = about 86 calories per serving. Of course, no fat, no fiber in this one.

And, by the magic of a diet-plan-that-shall-not-be-named, I know that this ice is only 2 "points" per serving. Not bad.

Remember also, that this ice can have some other great nutritional benefits, too. These juices can contain protein, vitamins A and C, and fiber, among other things. Check the nutritional info on the juice container before buying. To calculate any nutritional value per serving, just use the same formula for the different values you're tracking.

In order to lower calories, use lower-calorie juices, and use less sugar. You may be able to substitute Splenda for sugar, but I haven't tried that yet. I'm sure it'd work well, though.

Special thanks to Ms. Boino for teaching me to calculate conversions in 10th grade Chemistry class.