It seems that as each summer passes, my tolerance for warm weather (to me that qualifies as anything over 75 degrees) goes down tremendously. I already run fairly warm, so the additional heat increases my irritation and lethargy. On my days off, I don’t feel like doing a thing. My to-do list of everything I need to conquer in the day goes out the window and consequently I feel like a failure. I don’t even really like drinking beer (I know, right?! CRAZY!!). You won’t find me lying out in the blazing sun (unless I have eleven coats of sunscreen on). You won’t find me out frolicking in the ocean. Find me a large tree with shade covering, a moderate breeze, a large-brimmed hat, an icy cool treat, and then we can talk. Otherwise I just can’t deal. I hibernate.
You know how some people get SAD in the winter? I feel like I get it in the summer. Apparently there is such a thing. About 10% of people get “summertime SAD”. It’s true. I’m definitely a part of that equation. Bring on the fall and winter, and I’m happier than can be. The hiding out in the bedroom thing with the AC on full blast while watching pay-per-view has definitely been my mode of operation the last two months or so. My motivation to bake and cook in the kitchen hits an all time low, which is partly the reason for the lack of recipe posts around here. My remedy? Popsicles. And lots of them. Pretty much the only way my boyfriend and I survive our stifling, humid 3rd floor apartment is to eat a ton of popsicles. It’s pretty much a requirement that we have some form of popsicle (usually lime) in the freezer at all times. When we run out, all hell breaks loose. And it isn’t funny.
I had been wanting to try my hand at making paletas this summer, being that I purchased this book last year and hadn’t made a recipe out of it yet. Paletas are virtually the Latin American version of American popsicles. Literally, “a frozen stick item”. You’ve probably seen them at convenience stores with refreshing summer flavors such as watermelon, coconut, guava, cantaloupe, coffee, etc (see recent trip to the flea market with watermelon and cantaloupe paletas in hand). Paletas can be water or cream-based. Most of the fruity paletas are water based, and the nutty, non-fruit paletas are creamy. What draws me to them the most is the simplicity of the flavor choices, and they always hit the spot for a cooling summer treat.
Avocados seem to be in pretty much anything these days, so why not paletas? I know it may sound a little unusual, but I assure you, it works. Avocados enhance the icy flavor without any dairy… it’s pretty magical. I adapted the original recipe by subbing out raw honey for the white sugar, and adding in a bit more lime, fearing that the avocado flavor and texture might weird me out a bit if there wasn’t enough citric acid to balance it out. Plus, it would preserve the beautiful green color. I was a little nervous these would brown and turn into a glob of goop, but after a few days of freezing them went by (I had to hold off on this photo shoot for a week until the temps dropped down into the 80s!) my worries eased. After taking my first test drive with one in hand this afternoon, I have to say you are in for a treat. The creamy, icy texture paired with the lime and honey basically tastes like an frosty, sweetened guacamole. Ok, that doesn’t sound all that great to be honest, but trust me on this one. You’ll feel like a gourmet popsicle machine whipping these bad babies out of the fridge when you start to feel that irritable “it’s way too hot out I’m going to loose it” vibe. Keep cool with your AC on full blast and carry on through the rest of summer. I promise these will help.
PS. If you’re new to popsicle making and need a list of the basic equipment, here’s what I recommend. I think August will be my popsicle month… I have another recipe coming very soon!
These stinkers were sleeping all morning, until I decided to set up my photo shoot corner. They were very intrigued by what was behind the black boards. It was a struggle to keep them off, until after about 2-3 times of scooting them off the table they got the memo. So they just sat on my stool and chairs instead. My little assistants… it’s a good thing they’re cute. (Also- coconut water & soy milk boxes are the perfect poster board props.)
- 1 cup water
- ½ cup raw honey
- 2 small, ripe avocados
- pinch of salt
- 3 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
- Combine the water and honey in a small saucepan and cook over medium-high heat, stirring, until mixture comes to a boil and honey has dissolved. Let cool to room temp.
- Scoop out the avocado flesh (no pits, of course) into a blender along with the honey syrup and salt. Blend until smooth, scraping the sides as needed. Add the lime juice, and blend until just combined.
- Divide the mixture among the molds with the help of a funnel (I promise, you'll be glad you used one), snapping on the lid and inserting the sticks. Freeze until solid, at least 5 hours or overnight.