Low Carb Paletas (Mexican Ice Pops)

Chocolate seems to be in most of the sweet desserts in the winter, but the abundance of fresh fruit and the heat of summer means icy-cold, low carb Paletas (Mexican ice pops) take center stage as my treat of choice.  The variety of fruit-liquid-spices is endless, and the ease of preparation is perfect for the lazy-hazy days of summer.  All you need is a blender and a freezer, some fruit, water and the sugar or sugar substitute of your choice…and maybe a little chile spice or tequila.

Low Carb Paletas (Popsicles)
Low Carb Paletas (Mexican Ice Pops)

What is the Difference Between Paletas and Popsicles?

Paletas are, in their simplest form, simply Mexican fresh-fruit ices, traditionally made with all natural ingredients.  Paletas are distinctive to Latin American cultures and the word paleta means “little stick or trowel” in Spanish.  Paletas are only slightly sweet, as opposed to the sweeter popsicles, and they are hand-made from a variety of fresh ingredients.  Ingredients might include flowers such as hibiscus, fruits such as pineapples, vegetables like cucumbers, perhaps some spirits like tequila and often with spices like cinnamon or chili pepper.

Popsicles in the U.S. have typically been mass-produced and made from water, sugar and artificial fruit flavors.  American grocery store popsicles are typically red, bright blue or neon-colored icy treats with no chunks of fruit visible and they are generally quite sweet.

How to Make Low Carb Paletas:

The easiest way to make paletas is to first toss fruit and liquid (fresh citrus juice or water or cream) into a blender and puree.  Many paletas include the fruit chunks that remain after puréeing, but they could also be strained out at this point. Next, the spices, sugar or enhancements are added and blended thoroughly.  You then pour the blended concoction into paleta molds and freeze (popsicle molds are fine, as are dixie cups with wooded sticks added).

In Mexico and in many Mexican-American communities, you can buy paletas and helados (ice cream) from street vendors who sell them from pushcarts. Popular paleta flavors might include chile-watermelon, strawberry-horchata, mango-chile, tamarind or pineapple-tequila, but really the array of flavors is endless and is up to the creative juices of the maker.

I chose two fruit paletas based on the type of fruit I had handy in the freezer and then chose a creamy paleta made with coffee, cinnamon, vanilla and heavy cream, simply because I love Mexican coffee flavors.  I used Truvia as the sweetener, but you can sweeten with Swerve, Stevia, or pure cane sugar if you like.  Just remember that paletas are typically less sweet than popsicles and if you want them to be low carb, you need to use a sugar substitute.  Just be sure to go easy on the sugar so the fresh flavors can shine through!

Recipes for 3 Mexican Low Carb Paletas:

Low Carb Paletas
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Strawberry Vanilla Paleta

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: low carb dessert, low carb mexican
Servings: 4
Calories: 47kcal
Author: dorothy stainbrook

Ingredients

  • 2 cups fresh strawberries
  • 2 tbsp Truvia
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk unsweetened
  • 2 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp chipotle spice
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Instructions

  • Toss the ingredients into a blender and puree.
  • Pour into Popsicle molds (can also use dixie cups with a popsicle stick). Freeze.
  • Run warm water over outside of mold to release the paleta and ease out of mold.

Nutrition

Calories: 47kcal | Carbohydrates: 12.6g | Protein: 0.5g | Fat: 0.8g | Sugar: 6.9g
Low Carb Paletas
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Blackberry Lime Paleta

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: keto, low carb dessert, low carb mexican
Servings: 4
Calories: 42kcal
Author: dorothy stainbrook

Ingredients

  • 2 cups fresh blackberries
  • 2 tbsp Truvia
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk
  • 3 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Instructions

  • Toss the ingredients into a blender and puree.
  • Pour into Popsicle molds (can also use dixie cups with a popsicle stick). Freeze.
  • Run warm water over outside of mold to release the paleta and ease out of mold.

Nutrition

Calories: 42kcal | Carbohydrates: 8.1g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1.2g | Sugar: 3.7g
Low Carb Paletas
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Mexican Coffee Paleta

Low Carb Strawberry Vanilla, and Blackberry Lime and Mexican Coffee Paletas- Farm to Jar Food #summer #lowcarbdesserts #lowcarbmexican
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: low carb, low carb dessert, low carb mexican
Servings: 4
Calories: 128kcal
Author: dorothy stainbrook

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup brewed coffee (fairly strong)
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar Truvia
  • 1.5 cups ice
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla

Instructions

  • Toss the ingredients into a blender and puree.
  • Pour into Popsicle molds (can also use dixie cups with a popsicle stick). Freeze.
  • Run warm water over outside of mold to release the paleta and ease out of mold.

Nutrition

Calories: 128kcal | Carbohydrates: 10.2g | Protein: 0.2g | Fat: 10.1g | Sugar: 3.6g

Some Variations for Low Carb Paletas:

The basic recipe for this treat can be tweaked to your own liking….they all work.  Here are a few ideas:

  • Experiment with the main ingredient:  Fruit, vegetables, and just about anything edible can be used as the main ingredient.
  • Fruit pieces or transparent:  you can blend it all into a puree, you can blend and then strain, or you can blend half of it and cut up the rest of the fruits into chunks to distribute throughout.
  • Liquid:  I like using unsweetened coconut milk for the icier version and heavy whipping cream for the creamy version.  Lime juice is a classic, but any kind of citrus juice works well.  And don’t forget about using spirits for party pops.  Tequila, of course is typical but rum works well also.
  • Change your sweetener. I used Truvia in the recipes above because that is my favorite sugar substitute.  You can use regular pure cane sugar if you are not doing low carb, or any of the sugar substitutes of your choice.  Remember that paletas are less sweet than popsicles so you may want to go easy on the sugar.

Online Coaching Available:

I have followed the slow carb diet for 2 years, the keto diet for 1 year and now I currently do a nuanced version of the best of both including a 16/8 intermittent fasting protocol.  I have put my “been there done that” knowledge to work helping people figure it out and customize the approach that works for them.  I am currently an online fitness coach (info can be found here if you’re interested), and have just hit the 325-client mark.  Come and visit me and see if online coaching might be for you!

If not for diet or exercise, there are other coaches on the site that coach anything from writing a blog, to getting up early, to getting rid of that pesky procrastination.  Explore the site while you are there.  There are some wonderful coaches and the testimonials will tell you what you need to know.  Click here to get to my profile and then explore others from there.

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