A couple of years ago, stuck in a winter funk and dreaming of summer , I ordered Paletas: Authentic Recipes for Mexican Ice Pops, Shaved Ice, & Aguas Frescas. I bought a popsicle mold to go with it, and since then we've been eating paletas on a fairly regular basis, particularly when the weather turns warmer. I feel better about the kids eating homemade paletas than those neon chemical laden popsicles from the store. While it's certainly not health food, at least they are getting some fruit. That's what I tell myself, anyway. I didn't think much about it until the other day when my use of the word paletas was questioned. "Aren't they just popsicles? Why do you call them paletas?" I sputtered and mentioned something about Mexican ice pops and real fruit and cream. Then I had to attend to an urgent matter in another room.
Once I got over the insult of being called out -- in my own house -- by my own husband -- I set about finding out the difference between paletas and plain old ice pops. And guess what? There really isn't one. Granted, not all popsicles are paletas. You wouldn't call Otter Pops paletas. Paletas are generally either fruit or cream based and more substantial than most popsicles. The ones pictured above were made with Greek yogurt and fresh blueberries. I added a little stevia to the yogurt since it tastes less sweet when frozen. Other than that, I just spooned about an inch into the molds, let it freeze for about half an hour, then added the blueberries and the rest of the yogurt, and put in the sticks. They were delicious -- and healthy enough that I didn't feel guilty serving them for breakfast this morning. And, pretentious or not, they will always be called paletas in our house.