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.
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?
Cucumber Chile Lime Paletas
Paletas de Pepinos
Inspired by SweetLifeBake
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.