People say I’m “unique”…that’s a nice way of them calling me “weird”. Really, I’m just a person that likes to dance to the beat of my own drum. I’m very much like these Pineapple Cilantro paletas, aren’t I? Quirky, odd and pretty cool- if I do say so myself…and I do.
I love coming up with recipes that pair up odd flavors. Maybe not odd, but more like, “I would’ve never put those two together!” When I was toying around with the idea of a Cinco de Mayo post, I knew a paletas recipe would need to be included. Take a walk down any street of a predominately Hispanic neighborhood and you’ll find some version of a “paletero” plying his wares. In Puerto Rico and New York City, we had the “piragüero”; every guy has his own version of ices. Typically, the one with the longest queue is the one who makes the most interesting varieties. None, that I know of, have tried this flavor combo.
Pineapple screams ISLAND to me. The Puerto Rican town of Barceloneta is known as La Ciudad de Piña, or Pineapple City. They have pineapples there- shocker, I know. They have such a large pineapple farms that you can smell the pineapples from the next town (or two) over. Naturally, the nickname developed. For me, there’s nothing like a ripe, juicy pineapple to satisfy a sweet tooth. I’ve taken to dehydrating (here’s my dehydrator) ripe pineapples for snacking on throughout the week. My husband lovingly refers to them as “crack”. Because “crack” is a good thing? I don’t think so.
After thinking about how boring pineapple paletas would be, I started to consider all of the foods that would compliment it. I finally settled on cilantro after remembering how much I enjoy salsa with pineapple. After a bit of tweaking and experimenting, I fell in love with this combo. Not only is it light and refreshing, it’s interesting and exciting. As a result, it’s an excellent addition to a hot summer’s day or an delightful palate cleanser between courses.
Make these for your next fiesta and enjoy on a hammock while dreaming of the islands!
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Pineapple Cilantro Paletas
A unique flavor combo packed into a handheld treat.
- 1 large pineapple
- pinch of salt
- 1/2 cup cilantro
- 1 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1/4 simple syrup*
- 1/4 cup water
Begin by cutting your pineapple into fourths lengthwise. Lay the pineapple on its side and core it by slicing 1/4" of the pointed part (the core) off. Now, slice the pineapple into 1" slices without going through the rind.
Turn the pineapple 90° and slice the length of the pineapple, again without going through the rind.
Finally, run the knife the length of the pineapple segment in between the flesh on the rind to remove the pineapple from its skin. Place into your blender.
Add the salt.
Roughly chop your cilantro. You want fairly large leaves of cilantro to avoid them being too finely processed in the blender. Too much processing will result in a murky-looking popsicle.
Add the cilantro, lime juice and simple syrup. Pulse four times to combine.
Add the water and blend until smooth.
Carefully pour the mixture into popsicle molds and cover. Freeze for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, insert popsicle sticks into the top of the mold. Allow to freeze for an additional 7 1/2 hours, or overnight (preferred).
Unmold* and enjoy!
Simple Syrup Recipe:
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup water
In a small pot, combine the sugar and water. Stir to dissolve slightly. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Once the sugar has dissolved, remove from heat and allow to cool completely before use.
*Some molds release the paletas easier than others. My foolproof way to get mine out is to running really hot water over the inverted popsicle mold, turn it right side up and unmold quickly. I run hot water over them again if they fail to release easily.
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