I fell in love with paletas last summer. In fact one of my earliest posts was about these very addictive Mexican fruit ices. It’s early spring but temperatures are already beginning to soar. We are expecting the thermometer to reach 28 C tomorrow. I’m going to keep my cool with a ready supply of Watermelon, Mint and Lime Paletas. At only 57 calories a serve they are a perfectly refreshing 5-2 fast day treat.
These fruity flavour bombs on a stick couldn’t be easier to make. All you need is an abundant supply of fresh fruit and a simple sugar syrup. Blend the watermelon, mint and lime into a sweet puree, pour into paleta moulds and freeze until solid. More detailed instructions for making perfect paletas can be found in my original post Hola! Mad About Paletas.
Not quite in the mood for a fruit ice on a stick? The beauty of this recipe is that it can also be adapted to produce a marvellous granita. Just pour the puree into shallow metal trays, occasionally scraping the ice into coarse crystals as it freezes. One recipe. Two delicious fast day treats to help keep you cool as the temperature soars.
Watermelon, Mint and Lime Paletas or Granita
Makes 12 Ices (57 calories a serve)
1/2 cup sugar (386 calories)
1/2 cup water
1/2 bunch fresh mint stems
3 tablespoons mint leaves, shredded (3 calories)
juice and finely grated zest of 1 lime (20 calories)
1 teaspoon salt
6 cups watermelon diced (276 calories)
MAKE a simple syrup by combining the sugar and water in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Take off the heat and pour the syrup into a glass jar. Add mint stems and refrigerate until cool. Strain mixture through a sieve to remove the mint stems before using.
PUREE watermelon, mint infused simple syrup, salt, shredded mint leaves, lime zest and juice in a blender until smooth.
To Make Paletas
DIVIDE purée among moulds, remembering to leave up to a one centimetre buffer from the top of the moulds for expansion.
SNAP on the lids and freeze until mixture begins to set around edges, about 45–60 minutes. Insert sticks and freeze until solid, about 4 hours.
DIP moulds briefly in hot water to release paletas.
To Make Granita
POUR mixture into two shallow 20cm x 30 cm metal trays.
FREEZE for about 2 hours until mixture is partially frozen, it will be just starting to freeze around the edges.
REMOVE from freezer and use a fork to break the granita into large chunks, stirring them into the centre. Return to freezer. Repeat 3-4 times, every 30 minutes, until the mixture resembles coarse crystals. Freeze overnight, if desired.
ONE hour before serving, use a fork to scrape the mixture into crystals. Return to the freezer for an hour to set the crystals and give the granita its crunchy texture. Spoon into serving bowls or glasses and serve immediately.