Paletas

One of the greatest benefits of eating seasonally is that foods begin to speak of the seasons themselves. I only need to hear the words rhubarb crisp or see a photo and I’m instantly cast into mid-July. Peaches, berries, and sweet corn do something similar to me. But here in the desert where it’s so brutally hot, it’s hard to contemplate a dish that will require us firing up the oven. Conversely, there’s nothing so welcome as a cool refreshment.

Paletas de Pepino - okay the sticks are a little off-center!

While I’ve been known to make summer berry tarts, the fact is that I rarely make dessert. It’s too hot to turn on the oven and frankly, we don’t need the calories. Paletas are a different story however. When temperatures are blazing well above 100 degrees farenheit, paletas (also known as popsicles in many neighborhoods) have the ability to bring a smile and to cool us down.

When I was younger, we had  “popsicle man” who would steer his truck laden with frozen sweets through our neighborhood. Where we live today, I’ve seen only one and then it was a variety of heavily dyed expensive confections. Paletas are a Latino treat. In our home, we thrive on varieties such as Mango con Chile and Coconut. Today at our market, cucumbers were plentiful.

What’s your favorite summer treat?

Armenian Cucumbers

Stacking the Blender

In the Freezer

Cucumber Chile Lime Paletas

Paletas de Pepinos
by Agrigirl
Inspired by SweetLifeBake

serves 10

Ingredients:
5 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
1/2 cup water
1 tsp salt
2 Tbsp lime juice (I didn’t have a lime and used 2 whole peeled clementines)
1 Tbsp agave
1 tsp chile powder or tajin

Place the first five ingredients in a blender or Vitamix and blend until smooth. Look for a medium consistency – not too thick and not too thin. Pour into a popsicle mold, insert wooden sticks and freeze. When ready to eat, run the mold under warm water to loosen the paleta. After removing the paleta, you can sprinkle it lightly with chile powder or tajin (a chile lime salt). My 8 year old informed me that it would’ve worked better had I put the tajin right into the mixture. Either way, enjoy.

PS. I purchased my popsicle molds at a local kitchen store. You can freeze this in anything that you already have on hand.

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65 Comments

  1. This is just wonderful, thanks Tammy! I am inspired :)

    Reply
  2. I just love the way seasonal food can jog your memory :) These sound great – I may have added some tequila to match the lime! When summer comes around and the heat wave visits I may have to try this :)

    Reply
  3. What a wonderful sounding flavor combination! And I love the idea of a bit of hotness in the cold popsicle. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  4. Tammy! This is beautiful! I love the idea of a cool treat that’s not sweet. I’m with you: when you eat seasonally, you can really “hear” what foods need to be eaten when, and how to use them. Love this! Thanks….
    Eleanor

    Reply
    • You’re welcome. There’s a lot that you can do with these also – add mint and other fruit.

      Reply
  5. Jeez. You are brilliant. I am totally sharing this on facebook.

    Reply
  6. Lisa H

     /  July 21, 2011

    Cucumber popsicles, I would never have thought to make those! We’ll definitely give them a try. We’ve been making watermelon popsicles and then I make a margarita with the leftovers. It certainly is a refreshing treat after a hot day (and night…and morning…). It’s also a wonderful tradition to start with your boys. I’m sure they will look back, as you have, over the fond memory of homemade treats.

    Reply
    • Watermelon sounds perfect – especially the part about using them for margaritas. Try the cucumber and let me know what you think.

      Reply
  7. Sally Mom

     /  July 21, 2011

    YUMMY! I am drinking hot tea, trying to warm up in the am here in the N.W.,
    but will try these pops tomorrow as our weather will be warmer. I also used to make Honey or Cinnamon ice-cream on Saturdays when the boys were growing up. You can use coconut milk instead of cream.
    I agree with Tandy and Lisa has inspired me tonight with company coming!
    Thanks tammy!

    Reply
  8. Cucumbers–what a great idea! We make a lot of smoothies here and in the summer we pour that into popsicle molds for a healthy cool-down treat. Now, if I could only stomach the idea of using up all this zucchini that way…

    Reply
  9. Hmm . . . frozen margarita pops. Or strawberry daiquiri pops. Or pina colada pops. I’m inspired. :D

    Thanks, Tammy!

    Reply
    • Amazing how all of our minds went that direction so quickly! Those sound terrific and may require a future post on adult Popsicles.

      Reply
  10. Tammy . . .you are a genius! They look and sound wonderful . .. and it’s hot where I am at right now, so no problem with a cool treat! :) Thank you!

    Reply
  11. Looks really yummy and refreshing! When summer comes, I can’t wait for the first tomato to ripen to a vibrant red in my garden. A fresh picked tomato is aboslutely my favorite summer treat.

    Reply
    • Funny you should say that. I went out to eat tonight and had to order the heirloom tomato salad – yum!!

      Reply
  12. oh this looks so amazing and it sounds so interesting. I would never thought of cucumber Popsicle in the million year :) Very cool :)

    Reply
  13. AHH!!! Just perfect. I’m making coconut icecream this afternoon.

    Linda
    http://coloradofarmlife.wordpress.com
    http://deltacountyhistoricalsociety.wordpress.com

    Reply
  14. Oh, YUM, Tammy!! Despite the fact that it’s mid-winter here, we have fresh juice every day, usually drawn from fruit salad & cucumber in equal portions. Time to go and make some :-D

    Reply
  15. Gracious! Savoury paletas! Here’s something new with which to experiment during our Summer months! Thanks Tammy…

    Reply
  16. I really need to get some of those moulds. I have a desire to make cucumber & mint mojito lollies now! Paleta, never heard them called that before, I like it!

    Reply
    • Yeah, cucumber and mint is another great combination. Sans the alcohol, it also works well for a morning smoothie.

      Reply
  17. What a refreshing post! I can totally relate to this. We had our Popsicle man too; my fav flavors were cola and orange. I so miss those days.
    Im very tempted to share this funny story about popsicles. When we were really young, my sister used to freeze sugar syrup with rose petals. And that was THE treat back then. Lol, we were so innocent, we actually use to relish it and for that bit, we would do her bed, take her share of work..almost anything!! I wonder if my niece would even appreciate it now!

    Reply
    • sugar water with rose petals. Interesting idea and how great that it worked as a bribe for you to do her work.

      Reply
  18. Cucumber ice? That’s such a cool (literally) idea! :D

    Having your own garden or shopping at local food stores tells you so much about the seasons. I love that.

    Reply
  19. Tammy, what a great idea. Yummmmm!

    Reply
  20. Oh my god! This is going to be fantastic. I have cucumbers in my fridge and coming out of my ears. But I do need to find one of those molds.

    Reply
  21. Holy moly, fascinating! I honestly would never, ever, ever have considered cucumber popsicles! This is definitely something I’ll have to remember when it’s no longer winter in Australia :)

    Reply
  22. HI Tammy, When it’s hot outside, anything like your treat has to taste really delicious… We make frosties here and drink them for lunch (ice, yogurt, splenda, banana, other fruit such as pineapple).. Blend it all in your blender –and it’s yummy!!!!!

    Stay COOL.
    Hugs,
    Betsy

    Reply
  23. Oh, so jealous of the Vita-Mix. Cucumber popsicles sound like a perfect way to cool down on a hot day. Haven’t had too many of those around here to complain about, though!

    Reply
  24. Hmmm, another possibility for my (really) abundant cucumbers. I know just what you mean about not wanting to fire up the oven this summer–just did a really easy sorbet in my vitamix (just blend and pop in freezer!) at http://artofnaturalliving.com/2011/07/24/soooo-easy-freezer-sorbet/

    Reply
  25. Cool! (literally).
    I’ve never thought of vegetable-based popsicles, but there you go. :)

    Reply
  26. Cucumber popsicles sound delicious! My wife and I will have to try that recipe. Lately we’ve been putting cucumber slices in our ice water. We even tried refrigerating the water we use to boil kale and drinking it as a refresher; it’s pretty good, actually.

    Reply
  27. Renee

     /  July 27, 2011

    I’ve been trying to find some new ideas for all my csa cukes and. . . voila! Your recipe for paletas! Can’t wait to try them!

    Reply
    • Let me know how you like them! They’re also great with mint and agave – a sort of frozen mojito.

      Reply
  28. I love your paletas!!! I have been living off cucumenr water, so refreshing ..but into a paleta!! brillant!! thanks for sharing, gonna share this on facebook!!

    Reply
  29. These Mexican ice pops — chock-full of chunks of fresh fruit and available in a hypnotizing array of colors and clear not-too-sweet flavors — conjure images of hot afternoons in the park time spent on a bench under a shady tree clear blue skies dotted with red white and green balloons..Thats not just some idyllic Latino-Rockwellian fantasy. Really youve never had Popsicles or ice cream bars like these — a treat so idolized that one city in Michoacn has even raised a statue of a paleta at the entrance to the town..Luckily the paletera business here is expanding reaching Latinos and non-Latinos alike. We have to explain that everythings made with fresh fruit and that theyre all made in the store every day — we do everything by hand.

    Reply
    • We have a local shop here called Paletas Betty and I adore it. 8 – 10 flavors everyday from creamy nueces to mango con chile.

      Reply
  30. Hmmm…never heard of them (paletas) before so I will try it this coming summer. Thanks Tammy

    Reply
  31. Thanks for the shout out.

    Reply
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