Treat of the Week: Summer Paletas

As the summer months continue, we will all begin looking for ways to beat the heat. Since childhood, I’ve had a love of popsicles, but it wasn’t until I moved to Texas that I realized how amazing popsicles could really be. Dotting neighborhoods throughout San Antonio are fruterias and palaterias, shops dedicated to selling fresh fruit cups and Mexican fruit juice bars or popsicles. Until then, my popsicle experience was limited to cherry flavor and red No.5. I would never have imagined a popsicle with cucumber and jalapeño.

The paletas, often delivered through the neighborhood by a fellow riding an adult tricycle fitted with a cooler on the back, are always made with fresh fruit. The combinations are endless and delicious. The key is starting with the best and freshest produce. Add a little acid to cut sweetness where necessary and make plenty to go around. Try the recipes below for a fresh popsicle experience or come up with some combinations of your own.

savour... turning your popsicle stick sideways to get that last bite

Cucumber Jalapeño Paletas by Sam Henderson of Today's Nest

Cucumber Chili Paletas

  • 3 cups cucumber, peeled, seeded and cut into chunks
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 1 medium sized alapeño, rinsed with seeds and pith removed, diced small

Combine all ingredients in a food processor. Process until smooth. Press mixture through a fine mesh strainer and discard solids. Pour mixture into popsicle mold and freeze until solid, several hours or overnight.

Strawberry Paletas by Sam Henderson of Today's Nest

Strawberry Paletas

  • 3 1/2 cups fresh strawberries, rinsed and hulled
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Process berries in a food processor until smooth. Press berry puree through a fine mesh strainer. Discard solids. Add sugar and lemon juice. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Pour mixture into popsicle mold and freeze until solid, several hours or overnight. 

Sour Orange Paletas by Sam Henderson of Today's Nest

Sour Orange Paletas

  • 2 1/2 cups fresh squeezed orange juice
  • 1 cup fresh squeezed lime juice
  • 1/2 cup sugar

Add all ingredients to a bowl and stir until sugar is dissolved. Pour mixture into popsicle mold and freeze until solid, several hours or overnight.