Family Dentists in Franklin TN Serve Up a Summertime Heat Buster – Paletas!
Summertime is here and everyone is looking for something cool and refreshing to rescue them from the sticky hot summer heat. Ice cream, gelato, and popsicles are quick fixes from the store but there are downside tradeoffs to indulging. Ice cream and gelato can be high in fat. And, while we’ve been conditioned to think that frozen yogurt is a healthier choice, the amount of sugar in it and the serving sizes offered at most yogurt shops negate any positive benefits. The typical American popsicle, while high in sugar, is devoid of fat but red, blue and orange tend to get boring after a while.!
Fortunately, we have an indulgent alternative that can so diverse it has the potential to be as decadent or healthy as you choose. It’s fun and creative and offers a perfect opportunity for playing and learning with kids.
Our answer is paletas! Paletas (“little sticks” in Spanish) is the Latin American response to the heat of long summer days. Most paletas are only slightly sweet and are made by hand with natural ingredients. Even better, once you have the basic recipes down, there is no end to the flavors you can develop. We’ve enjoyed sweet varieties like strawberries and cream, healthy fruit-based recipes like pineapple and blueberry, exotic concoctions of rice pudding and mango chili, and savory suggestions like Mexican street-corn paletas with sour cream and lime.
With just a few minutes and some creativity, you and your family can share a summer of experimentation that will bring smiles to the whole family and beat the summer heat. Below are the basics for churning out your first paletas batch and a simple fruit recipe to get started. From there, you can search the Internet for more creative ideas and start experimenting on your own and share your favorites with us.
Here’s wishing you a cool and happy summer! We look forward to learning how you kept cool.
Five Easy Steps to Making Paletas
Step 1: Choosing Your Ingredients. What are you craving today? Seasonal fruits and vegetables are a great starting point. One tip: Overripe fruit (like bananas and strawberries) have more natural sugar and can mean using less raw sugar in your recipe.
As you get more comfortable, you can explore more adventurous ingredients like coconut, hibiscus, and lavender.
Another decision you’ll want to make now is whether your next batch will be milk-based or water-based. If using milk, you can opt for many types – half and half, whipped cream, sweetened condensed milk or even milk alternatives like coconut, soy or almond.
Last, consider adding spices like cinnamon or chili to the mix and adding chocolate either in or on top of your creation.
Step 2: Put It Together. This step can vary depending on your base, but the basics are the same; you combine the liquid with the sweetener over low heat to create a simple syrup. If you are using a milk base, you’ll want to include your ingredients in the mixture when dissolving the sweetener. For water-based paletas, making the simple syrup comes first, then cool it and mix it with your ingredients in a blender.
Step 3: Pour it into a mold. You can use standard popsicle molds, ice trays or plastic or paper cups and wooden sticks. Be sure to leave about half an inch of room at the top of your mold. If sticks are “free form” in cups or ice trays, cover them with plastic wrap and then insert the stick. This keeps the stick centered and upright.
Step 4: Freeze it. Place paletas in the coldest part of your freezer and leave them overnight or about eight hours.
Step 5: Unmold & store. Place your molds halfway deep in warm water and wait 20 seconds. Once you feel them loosen, pull straight up to release them. Once unmolded, place in a ziplock bag or stack them with wax paper in between. Store in freezer for up to a month.
We’d love to see your sweet smile this summer.
Call Aspen Grove Dental Associates at (615) 790-8494, or request an appointment online.