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Low Carb Mexican Paletas: 3 Popular Flavors

Low Carb Mexican Paletas: 3 Popular Flavors
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The abundance of fresh fruit and the heat of summer means icy-cold paletas (Mexican ice pops) take center stage as a low carb treat.  The variety of fruit mixed with different spices is endless, and all you need is a blender, a freezer, some fruit, and a bit of sugar (or sugar substitute). Recipes below include 3 paleta flavors: a spicy strawberry vanilla, a robust blackberry lime, and a creamy coffee-cinnamon-vanilla

Blackberry lime paletas (or ice pops).
Blackberry lime paletas (or ice pops).

Jump to: RECIPE | Easiest Method | Flavor Ideas | Low Carb Substitutions

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Paletas vs 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 the 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).
3 different fruit paletas: strawberry vanilla, blackberry lime & Mexican coffee
3 different fruit paletas: strawberry vanilla, blackberry lime & Mexican coffee

Popular Flavors

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. 

Healthy Blueberry Breakfast Popsicles
Healthy Blueberry Breakfast Popsicles

Substitution Ideas

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

  • Try vegetables as the main ingredient.
  • Strain the blended puree for clear popsicles or leave som chunks of fruit in the puree
  • The low carb 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. 
  • Use different 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. 

Sugar Substitutes

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!

**Tip: Remember that paletas are less sweet than popsicles so you may want to go easy on the sugar.

Blueberry Popsicles with rum.
Blueberry Rumsicles (blueberry popsicles with rum)

Other Sweet Mexican Treats:

There are a lot of hot days in Latin America, which means a lot of cooling sweet treats. Here are my 10 favorites: 10 Popular Cooling Mexican Treats

3 Low Carb Paletas: Strawberry Vanilla, Blackberry Lime and Coffee

3 different fruit paletas: strawberry vanilla, blackberry lime & Mexican coffee
Popsicles made with low carb ingredients and a Mexican flair
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 50

Equipment

Ingredients

Strawberry Vanilla

  • 2 cups fresh strawberries
  • 2 tbsp Truvia
  • ½ cup coconut milk unsweetened
  • 2 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • ½ tsp vanilla
  • ¼ tsp chipotle spice
  • ¼ tsp salt

Blackberry Lime

  • 2 Cups blackberries
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar substitute I used truvia
  • ¾ Cups coconut milk unsweetened
  • 3 Tablespoons lime juice
  • ¼ Teaspoon salt

Coffee Cinnamon

  • ½ Cup brewed coffee fairly strong
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar substitute I used truvia
  • 1 ½ Cup ice
  • ½ Cup heavy whipping cream
  • ½ Teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ Teaspoon vanilla

Instructions
 

Strawberry Vanilla

  • Toss all of the ingredients into a blender and puree.
    2 cups fresh strawberries, 2 tbsp Truvia, 1/2 cup coconut milk, 2 tbsp fresh lime juice, 1/2 tsp vanilla, 1/4 tsp chipotle spice, 1/4 tsp salt
  • Pour into Popsicle molds (can also use dixie cups with a popsicle stick). Freeze.
    When ready to eat, run warm water over outside of mold to release the paleta and ease out of mold

Blackberry Lime

  • Add ingredients to a blender and puree. Use a sieve to strain if you want clear ice pops
    2 Cups blackberries, 2 Tablespoons sugar substitute, 3/4 Cups coconut milk, 3 Tablespoons lime juice, 1/4 Teaspoon salt
  • Pour into Popsicle molds (can also use dixie cups with a popsicle stick). Freeze.
    When ready to eat, run warm water over outside of mold to release the paleta and ease out of mold

Coffee

  • Add ingredients to a blender and puree. Use a sieve to strain if you want clear ice pops
    1/2 Cup brewed coffee, 2 Tablespoons sugar substitute, 1 1/2 Cup ice, 1/2 Cup heavy whipping cream, 1/2 Teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 Teaspoon vanilla
  • Pour into Popsicle molds (can also use dixie cups with a popsicle stick). Freeze.
    When ready to eat, run warm water over outside of mold to release the paleta and ease out of mold

Notes

Notes:
  1. chipotles are smoky. If you want the spice to be bright rather than smoky opt for jalapenos instead.
  2. substitute regular sugar for truvia in a 1:1 ratio

Nutrition

Calories: 50kcalCarbohydrates: 10gProtein: 1gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.2gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.04gSodium: 308mgPotassium: 132mgFiber: 4gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 160IUVitamin C: 19mgCalcium: 53mgIron: 0.5mg
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