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Mexican Paletas

Kelly Lowdon

Mexican Mixed Fruit Paletas (Ice Lollies)

These Mexican Paletas were really fun to make.  I was astonished that I could turn rice and almonds into milk.  I soaked my rice over night and when I felt it the next day it was still rock hard.  I was kind of puzzled as to how I was ever going to blend it up.  However I gave it a go ( I actually used my nutri-bullet) and it worked so well.  I was left with a fine milk like substance (known as horchata milk) and after I strained it, it looked just like milk.  The rest of the recipe was easy, just a matter of blending it again with dates.  You will notice in the photo I have added a little red to my Paletas, which was simply watermelon and strawberries, blended and strained.  The Kiwi and banana were really easy, blend and go.  To be honest you can mix and match any number of fruit combinations, however I think the horchata Paletas are a really interesting way of using simple ingredients in a new and exciting way. 

INGREDIENTS
Kiwi, Banana & Avocado Paletas
4 ripe bananas
1 avocado, halved, stone and skin removed
6 ripe kiwi fruits
4 tbsp clear honey (preferably unheated) or maple syrup
120 ml (4 fl oz/ ½ cup) water
juice of ½ lemon

METHOD

Peel and roughly chop the bananas and avocado and place in a blender. Peel the kiwi fruit and add 4 of them to the blender. Slice the remaining 2 thinly. Add the honey, water and lemon to the blender and pulse until smooth. Pour into 8 icey pole  molds, leaving about 1 cm  unfilled. Place in the freezer for 15 minutes to firm up slightly, then push a kiwi slice down each side of the banana mixture in each mould to decorate – the mixture will then fill the mold. Insert lolly sticks and freeze until firm. The paletas will keep in the freezer for about a month.

Horchata Paletas
½ cup brown or other wholegrain rice
75 g (½ cup) blanched almonds
750 ml (3 cups) water
12 fresh dates, pitted
a pinch of sea salt
60 g (2 oz ) 70% minimum cacao dark chocolate


Rinse the rice in a sieve under cold water. Place the rice and almonds in a large bowl and cover with hot (not boiling) water. Leave to soak for at least 3 hours, preferably overnight. Drain off the soaking water and tip the mixture into a blender (or I used my nutri bullet), add the water and run at high speed until smooth. Depending on the quality of your blender it might remain slightly grainy.  (there was virtually no grain at all with the nutri-bullet)
Set a fine sieve (or a cheesecloth if you want it completely smooth) over a jug. Strain, pressing on the solids to extract as much as possible of the creamy liquid. Rinse the blender or jug, then pour the horchata milk back into it. Add the dates and salt and blend until smooth. Pour the horchata mixture into the icy pole molds and place in the freezer to firm up for 30 minutes. Insert lolly sticks and freeze until firm.
To serve, melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of gently simmering water. Hold each paleta mold under warm water (not hot) until the paleta loosens. Remove from the molds. Dip a spoon into the melted chocolate and drizzle across the paletas to create a striped chocolate pattern on both sides. Serve immediately. The paletas will stay fresh in the freezer for about a month before coating in the chocolate.  (Alternatively mix coconut oil and cocoa powder together and drizzle over the paletas for a dairy free, vegan option.