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.
Made with homemade coconut milk, these vegan treats are great for those with dairy, gluten, or nut allergies and intolerances. They whip together quickly and freeze in just a few hours.
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!
- 4 very ripe bananas divided
- 1/2 cup organic sugar, cane syrup, or equivalent (more or less, according to taste)
- 1 cup coconut milk or any nut milk, preferably made from scratch
- 1 cup cold coffee or 1/2 cup espresso, (depending on how strong you want the coffee flavor)
- 1/2 cup raw cacao powder (or cocoa powder)
- 3/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 tsp cinnamon (Ceylon preferred)
- 1 tsp Lemon juice
- pinch of salt
- 1 tbsp Kahlua, rum, or Frangelico (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Roast 3 bananas in a shallow pan until they are dark and soft (about 30 minutes), turning once halfway through cooking. Using tongs, scrape the mushy fruit into a bowl and let cool.
- Transfer the roasted bananas to a blender. Add the sugar, coconut milk, coffee, cacao powder, vanilla, cinnamon, lemon juice, and salt and blend well.
- Dice the remaining banana and dispense the pieces evenly into the molds.
- Allow the blended mixture to cool completely before pouring into molds. For an adult version, add about 1 tablespoon per pop of Kahlua, rum, or Frangelico (an Italian hazelnut liquor) to the mixture and stir thoroughly before freezing.
- Add sticks and freeze for five or more hours.
Recipe by Nadia Robinson, provided by Michele Sponagle.
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
Once the fruit is cool, add the sugar, coconut milk, coffee, cacao powder, vanilla, cinnamon, lemon juice, and salt. Blend in a blender or buzz with an immersion blender until completely smooth.
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.
6 thoughts on “Café Con Choco-Latte Paletas with Roasted Bananas: A Mexican Ice Pop Specialty”
Oh, wow! To have these as breakfast replacement for coffee would truly be a treat! Who could refuse such a delight as this to start your day right? It could truly perk up one’s day. 🙂 I love that this recipe calls for bananas. I love this fruit – no matter the kind. Anyway, while I’m a certified chocolate lover, I wouldn’t mind having cookies and cream-flavored ice pops. Curiously, it’s only with ice pops that I prefer cookies and cream over any chocolate-flavored ones.
My kids and I are glued to this recipe. This is one we’re going to try, but we have to eliminate the coffee.
Well I have to say that these Mexican desserts that keep appearing here are very satisfying and intriguing, each one a little more then the previous one too. In the crazy heat that we are getting right now, I am for anything that can help beat the heat, and these certainly seem like good fir for that. Bananas are very good and pretty cheap this time of year too, so that is a win. I will have to keep this one ready for use, so thanks for sharing.
When I was in high school, one of my favorite things to do was to go to the local ice cream stand with my girlfriends. When we were younger, we always ordered the same old boring soft serve until we discovered the local shop also made chocolate covered bananas that were frozen on a stick. Since then, the combination of chocolate and banana has been a favorite of mine. This recipe is definitely something I will have to try to make for that same bunch of girlfriends the next time we have a reunion. Particularly, the adult version that adds some liquor!
I really love when bananas look like that, the flavor is definitely stronger. This dessert looks really awesome, I am from a Hispanic country, but I had never heard of this masterpiece, it looks tasty and also easy to make, I will copy down this one and try it as soon as I can, the only detail will be the chocolate, it’s quite expensive here, but there’s no wall that the interest couldn’t break, thank you for sharing this! Really appreciated.
I saw the other varieties of these but I don’t remember seeing these. Wow! I’m going to have to give those a shot.
Even the name makes me want to have some, ha ha.
I’ve never had roast fruit, but I bet it’s good. I just keep finding more new things to try. I bet the kiddos will want to help with this one (the making and the eating).