Spring has rolled in (YEA!) – the grass has finally transformed from sickly yellow to bright green and there are purple blossoms on our newly planted tree. *sigh* I’m cautiously optimistic that the sun may be here to stay for while. So, in the spirit of spring, we decided to plant our own vegetable garden. For those who know me know that I don’t have anything close to resembling a green thumb. I can’t keep a potted plant from dying and the tulips I purchased a few days ago have already wilted and died…and I just noticed today. Whoops! So to say the least, growing a vegetable garden will be a big learning curve.
We decided to plant tomatoes, a bright red chilli pepper plant (c’mon, I’m Indian so you had to expect that one!), some herbs (thyme, cilantro and Thai basil)and we added some onions and cucumber, because why the heck not!?
I knew that after a long day in our new garden, we’d need something to cool down. What would be a better time than this to bust out the new popsicle molds?! I had some extra fruit hanging out in the fridge and this was my chance to make Mexican paletas (a type of popsicle, used with fresh fruit and naturally sweetened).
Inspired by the colours in Martha Stewart’s recipe here, I grabbed some strawberries out of the fridge, added honey and thyme (from the garden!) and pulsed it in the blender to leave some strawberry pieces remaining. I blended frozen peach slices with a little honey as well and separated the mixture equally into two bowls. Then, I mixed vanilla Greek yogurt with coconut flakes from the pantry and added 2 tablespoons of the yogurt mixture into one of the bowls containing the peaches, creating a creamy peach-coconut flavour. I alternated the layers in the popsicle molds to create stripes, freezing the molds with each addition.
The minute I dug into these paletas, it reminded me of being in Mexico a few years ago. We were there on a volunteer basis, helping to build homes and work with the children. I know it sounds like a great idea, but when you have the upper body strength of a kitten, you don’t always feel so useful. BUT, I knew how to eat a good paleta!
We would sit on the sidewalk after a long day, sweaty and quite possibly smelly, slurping away at the fruit paletas in front of us. I’m embarrassed to say this but I wasn’t always so adventurous when it came to food, so strawberry was always my go-to flavour. This was our small reward after each long day. We talked about our encounters with the local children, their smiles and struggles, and the challenges of laying down a house foundation in the sweltering heat.
Feel free to adjust this recipe to your own taste! Use any frozen fruit you have tucked away in your freezer and combine it with leftover herbs in your fridge. Think blueberry and basil, watermelon and mint, mango and chilli powder or raspberry with lavender! There are so many options and I think I’m going back to the kitchen to make more….I may have eaten all the paletas in the freezer already while writing this post…
- 1 cup of strawberries, chopped
- 1 cup of frozen peaches
- honey to taste
- 2 sprigs of thyme, leaves removed
- water to thin
- 1 cup of vanilla Greek yogurt
- 2 tbsp flaked, sweetened coconut
- Combine the strawberries and thyme leaves in a blender and roughly blend so there was still chunks of strawberries remaining. Sweeten to taste with honey. Set aside.
- Blend the peaches and sweeten with honey. If the mixture is too thick, add a little water to thin it. Divide equally into two bowls and set aside.
- Mix the greek yogurt with the coconut.
- Add 2 tbsp of the yogurt into one of the bowls containing the peach mixture and stir until combined.
- You should have four layers = strawberry, peach, peach with Greek yogurt and Greek yogurt.
- Pour small amounts of each layer into each of the popsicle molds then freeze for 20 mins. Repeat with alternate mixtures to create stripes and add the popsicle sticks. Freeze for 20 mins. Repeat pouring and freezing until you reach the tops of the molds.
- Freeze until very firm or overnight.
- Remove and place in individual ziploc bags to maintain freshness until you're ready to eat (if it lasts that long!!)