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Mexican Paletas

James Carrier
Yield Makes 6 paletas
From strawberry to cucumber-chili, the flavor options are endless for these frozen Mexican desserts.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup milk
  • 3/4 cup smoothly mashed ripe banana
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 cup sugar

How to Make It

  1. Pour paletas mixture (choices follow) equally into 6 juice bar molds (see notes). Attach covers. Insert sticks, leaving 1 1/2 to 2 inches of each exposed. Freeze paletas upright until firm, at least 3 hours or up to 2 weeks.

  2. Hold each mold up to the rim under warm running water just until paletas are released from sides of molds, 5 to 15 seconds. Remove covers and pull out paletas.

  3. Banana paletas. In a 2-cup glass measure, combine 1 cup milk, 3/4 cup smoothly mashed ripe banana, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and 1/4 cup sugar; stir until sugar is dissolved (mixture is no longer grainy to taste).

  4. Per paleta: 85 cal., 16% (14 cal.) from fat; 6 g protein; 5 g fat (9 g sat.); 17 g carbo (5 g fiber); 20 mg sodium; 7 mg chol.

  5. Blackberry paletas. In a blender, whirl 2 1/2 cups rinsed, drained blackberries until smooth. Push through a strainer into a 2-cup glass measure; discard residue. Add 1 cup milk and 6 tablespoons sugar to berry purée; stir until sugar is dissolved.

  6. Per paleta: 104 cal., 13% (14 cal.) from fat; 8 g protein; 6 g fat (8 g sat.); 22 g carbo (0 g fiber); 20 mg sodium; 7 mg chol.

  7. Cucumber-chili paletas. In a blender, combine 3 cups 1-inch chunks peeled, seeded cucumber (1 1/2 lb.); 2/3 cup sugar; 1/3 cup lemon juice; and 1 rinsed, stemmed jalapeño chili (1 to 1 1/2 oz.; remove seeds and veins for less heat). Whirl until smooth. Push mixture through a fine strainer set over a 2-cup glass measure; discard residue.

  8. Per paleta: 100 cal., 9% (9 cal.) from fat; 5 g protein; 1 g fat (0 g sat.); 26 g carbo (4 g fiber); 5 mg sodium; 0 mg chol.

  9. Mango paletas. In a blender, combine 2 1/2 cups 1-inch chunks mangoes (from 1 1/2 lb. fruit), 1/4 cup sugar, and 3 tablespoons lime juice; whirl until smooth.

  10. Per paleta: 85 cal., 1% (8 cal.) from fat; 4 g protein; 2 g fat (1 g sat.); 22 g carbo (8 g fiber); 9 mg sodium; 0 mg chol.

  11. Piña colada paletas. In a blender, combine 1 cup milk, 1/2 cup 1-inch chunks fresh or canned pineapple, 1/3 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and 1/2 teaspoon coconut extract; whirl until smooth.

  12. Per paleta: 76 cal., 17% (13 cal.) from fat; 4 g protein; 4 g fat (8 g sat.); 15 g carbo (2 g fiber); 20 mg sodium; 7 mg chol.

  13. Sour orange paletas. In a 2-cup glass measure, combine 1 1/3 cups orange juice, 1/3 cup lime juice, and 1/4 cup sugar; stir until sugar is dissolved.

  14. Per paleta: 60 cal., 5% (9 cal.) from fat; 4 g protein; 1 g fat (0 g sat.); 15 g carbo (1 g fiber); 8 mg sodium; 0 mg chol.

  15. Strawberry paletas. In a blender, whirl 3 3/4 cups rinsed, hulled strawberries until smooth. Push through a fine strainer into a 2-cup glass measure; discard residue. Add 1/3 cup sugar and 1 tablespoon lemon juice to berry purée; stir until sugar is dissolved.

  16. Per paleta: 72 cal., 5% (6 cal.) from fat; 6 g protein; 4 g fat (0 g sat.); 18 g carbo (5 g fiber); 6 mg sodium; 0 mg chol.

Cook's Notes

The paletas that contain milk are slightly creamy; the others are icy. Use frozen fruit bar molds with a 1/4- to 1/3-cup capacity; they're sold in many cookware and hardware stores and through some cookware catalogs.