There is no better way to cool down on a warm day than the sweet frozen beauty of a popsicle.
Except paletas, that is, the Mexican ice pop filled with chunks of fruit.
These treats are sure to thrill both adults and children alike (or just adults, as some recipes are spiked with a bit of boozy enjoyment). Otherwise, they are a healthy alternative to their neon, sugar-filled and store-bought counterparts.
Nadia Robinson, owner of Hippie Pops, a business that supplies vegan paletas to businesses around Burlington, Ontario (about 40 minutes from Toronto), shares this recipe for Café Con Choco-Latte Paletas with Roasted Bananas.
The combination of coffee, chocolate, and cinnamon brings a burst of flavor and caffeination, while the chunks of fruit add creaminess and texture.
Because of their wholesome ingredients, they even make a filling breakfast – a great replacement for your morning coffee! Like standard popsicles, they make for an excellent cooling treat for summer.
If you enjoyed this recipe, check out another one of our unique popsicle creations of tahini, fig, and bananas for more of the tropical theme. Yum!
Cooking By the Numbers…
Step One – Roast
Place three of the ripe bananas with their peels still on in a shallow pan and roast at 350°F. They will turn dark brown and soft in 20-30 minutes.
Using tongs, flip the fruit halfway through roasting to cook evenly on each side.
Once they’re done, scrape the mushy fruit out of the peel and let cool.
Bananas can also be roasted outside the peels, so they’ll take on a nice caramel-brown color. Keep an eye on them so they won’t burn – they may roast more quickly this way.
Step Two – Blend
Step Three – Dice
Dice the remaining raw banana into small pieces. Place a few in the bottom of each popsicle mold, evenly distributed between all of the molds.
Step Four – Pour
Pour the paleta base into the molds over the fruit. Make sure to leave one-quarter of an inch near the top, since the base will expand as it freezes.
If you want to make an adult version of this treat, you can add a splash of liqueur. We recommend Kahlua, rum, or Frangelico, an Italian hazelnut liqueur.
Don’t be tempted to go too far though, as more than a tablespoon or so per batch will prevent the mixture from freezing firmly enough to stay on the sticks.
Step Five – Freeze
Add the sticks to your popsicle molds and freeze according to the manufacturer’s directions, about 5 hours.
Once they are frozen all the way through, unmold and enjoy!
You won’t be disappointed by these creamy, healthy, and flavorful delights. If you’re looking to mix things up and add a bit of a kick, you can even try adding a sprinkle of cayenne pepper.
What are your favorite flavors of ice pops? Let us know in the comments below!
Recipe photos by Kendall Vanderslice, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Additional photos and recipe provided by Nadia Robinson, Hippie Pops.
About Kendall Vanderslice
Kendall’s love of food has taken her around the world. From baking muffins on a ship in West Africa and milking cows with Tanzanian Maasai, to hunting down the finest apfelstrudel in Austria, she continually seeks to understand the global impact of food. Kendall holds a BA in Anthropology from Wheaton College and an MLA in Gastronomy from Boston University, and has worked in the pastry departments of many of Boston’s top kitchens. Based in Somerville, Massachusetts, Kendall helps to run a small community supported bread bakery and writes about the intersection of food, faith, and culture on her personal blog, A Vanderslice of the Sweet Life.