Cooling Off with Traditional Mexican Paletas

This heat wave has me looking for new and novel ways to cool off.  Long stints at the mall and marathon sessions at the movie theater are wearing into my “will pay for AC” budget.

Thinking back to my younger days of running through the sprinkler and splashing in the Slip-N-Slide, has me recalling the flavors that went along with those cool exerpiences on hot summer days: Popsicles.  These treats were little more that flavored sugar-water but they provided a cooling taste just the same.

In a class led by Chef Aaron Camacho of Artesana Pops, I had the opportunity to learn how to make a different kind of Popsicle, traditional Mexican paletas, or ice pops made with fruit and cream.

Artesana Pops is committed to making paletas with 100% fresh natural ingredients at the peak of flavor. They incorporate milk into their paletas to create a creamy texture while adding essential nutrients like Protein, Vitamin D, Potassium, Calcium, and more.

We learned to make three paletas in the class; Greek Yogurt and Raspberry, Arroz con Leche and Blueberries, and Spicy Mocha.

I really liked the maturity of the flavors in paletas, particularly the Spicy Mocha with the mix of cinnamon, cayenne, and cocoa.

I’m glad that these recipes are easy enough to make – the simplest being to blend the ingredients and freeze – so that I can whip a few pops together to cool off on these last few dog days of summer.

Of course, if you can’t wait for your paletas to freeze, you can always make the trip to Downtown Los Angles and stop by Artesana for one of theirs.

If you follow the recipes, comment and let us know how your paletas turn out!

Spicy Mocha Ice Pop

Makes 8-12 ice pops


  • 5 cups of strongly brewed French roast coffee (or 3 espresso shots)
  • 1 cup of cream
  • 1/2 cup of milk
  • 1 teaspoon of cocoa
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 6 oz. of sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ground ancho chile
  • A pinch of cayenne pepper to taste


Mix all ingredients thoroughly using a blender. Pour into the molds. Place the sticks and freeze for 3-5 hours. To unmold, submerge the molds in warm water for a few seconds until the ice pops loosen and can be removed easily.

Greek Yogurt & Raspberry Ice Pops

Greek Yogurt and Raspberry.

Greek Yogurt and Raspberry.

Makes 10 servings


  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 600g Greek yogurt
  • 7 oz. cup of organic sugar
  • 1 pod organic Mexican or Madagascar vanilla bean
  • 1 cup organic raspberries


In a small saucepan, prepare simple syrup by diluting the organic sugar into enough water to cover it and heating over a medium flame until fully dissolved. Let cool. Split open the vanilla bean pod and extract the vanilla beans. Place the beans in a blender with the yogurt and 6 oz. of the simple syrup and pour the resulting mix into popsicle molds, filling to 4/5 capacity. Wash the raspberries thoroughly and place in a blender with the remaining simply syrup. Strain if you prefer to remove the raspberry seeds. Fill the molds with the raspberry mix leaving a 1/4 of an inch clearance. Stir lightly with a Popsicle stick. Insert the sticks and place in the freezer for 4-6 hours, or until frozen. To unmold, submerge the molds in warm water to the rim for 5-15 seconds until the ice pops slide out easily.

Arroz con Leche Ice Pop and Blueberries

Arroz con Leche and Blueberries.

Arroz con Leche and Blueberries.

Makes 15-18 ice pops


  • 1/2 cup of rice
  • 5 cups of milk
  • 2/3 cup of heavy cream
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 cup of fresh blueberries
  • 1 lemon


Mix in a small pot the rice, 3 cups of milk, the cinnamon, 2/3 cups of sugar and the cream. Split open the vanilla pod and scrape the beans. Add both the beans and the empty pod to the pot. Bring to a boil under medium heat. Lower the heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes or until the rice is soft. Make sure to stir frequently to prevent the rice from sticking at the bottom of the pot. Once the rice is cooked, add the remaining milk and sugar. Let it simmer for  an additional 5 minutes. Chill for 1 hour. Remove the cinnamon stick and the vanilla pod. Place the blueberries, the juice of 1 wedge of lime and 2 spoons of sugar into a blender. Blend until the blueberries are mashed, but not pureed. Pour the rice mix into the molds. Alternate occasionally with a couple spoons of the blueberry mix.  Place the sticks and freeze for 3-5 hours. To unmold, submerge the molds in warm water for a few seconds until the ice pops become loose.


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About the Author

Michael loves grilling, rum, and has a weakness for key lime pie.

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