Coconut-Lime Paletas

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Craving something light and refreshing?  Paletas are a good way to go.  A cold, icy treat to help stave off the heat.  Now paletas come in several different flavors (such as Pepino con Chile and Vegan Almond Chocolate) and the possibilities are endless.  However, when refreshing is what you want coconut water with fresh lime is the way to go.  Lime offers this great punch of acidity and flavor while coconut water counters it with a touch of sweetness.  Not to mention, coconut water can be hydrating.  Ohhhh yummy. Continue reading

Vegan Mexican Cocadas

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Although cocadas vary greatly from country to country the Mexican version resembles a macaroon.  Flakes and flakes of coconut are mixed with condensed milk to form airy poufs of sugary sweetness that then get baked.  The end result is a concoction with a crunchy outside and a soft, chewy gooey center.  Yum.

So for this version I decided to nix the traditional condensed milk and use a vegan version making the dish dairy free.  If you want to go nut free as well, to skip the walnuts as they are totally optional.  Trust me the vegan version is just as sweet, just as gooey, just as coconutty and just as delicious as the traditional version. Continue reading

Tembleque

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You cannot go wrong with coconut custard.  Puerto Rican coconut custard is rich and delicious.  A hint of cinnamon and sugar add great flavor to this decadent coconut dessert. This tasty treat has a creamy, smooth texture, but is still firm to the touch.  It stands somewhere between a custard and gelatin.  As a bonus, this Puerto Rican favorite is easy to make.  It takes just a few minutes in front of a stove and a few hours in the refrigerator- and dessert is done.  A sweet tropical treat to finish any meal. Perfect for any fans of coconut desserts. Continue reading

Strawberry and Peach Chia Pudding

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Chia seeds have been around in Mexico and Central America for centuries.  The Mayans even included them in their diet.  And why not?  These crunchy little seeds add a lot to any diet.  They are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, are a great source of protein, fiber, antioxidants, and calcium.  Plus they do not have a distinctive flavor which means they can easily blend into any flavor you wish.

Seeing how these seeds expand in liquid to form a gel-like consistency I decided to make a vegan-friendly “rice pudding/tapioca” like dessert using chia seeds.  Once the chia seeds expand in the milk it creates this creamy consistency similar to that of rice pudding or tapioca.  I started with a vanilla based dessert then folded in some yummy summer fruit and voila!  A light dessert that is also healthy.  Score and score. Continue reading

Ensalada de Fruta

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Not your typical fruit salad.  Anyone who has visited Mexico is familiar with the fruit carts that line the street.  Cups filled with fresh fruit, diced up and piled high.  Try to find something more refreshing than that!  Mexican-style fruit salad is a little unique as it adds some lemon juice, a little salt and chile pepper for a touch of heat to really help bring out the fruits sweetness.  You get this sweet, tart, salty, spicy bite that is quite tasty. Continue reading

Dark Chocolate Toasted Almond Paletas (Popsicles)

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Dark chocolate and toasted almonds make for a great pair, don’t you think?  Now take that flavor combo and chill it to make a great warm day yum-yum.  Paletas are a perfect way to cool down.  This recipe incorporates a creamy almond milk base with rich, slightly bitter dark chocolate and some toasted almonds mingled through.  Add a little sea salt to the mix for a nice little salty kick and you got one awesome vegan-friendly frozen treat. Continue reading

Mexican Brownies

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Time for dessert.  Then again it is always time for dessert?  It is hard to resist ending a meal without having something sweet so why not end it with brownies.  Not just any brownies, Mexican brownies.  They are a bit of a cheat but the end result is still delicious.  I use store bought brownie mix (I know, I know) to make these extra special brownies.  A simple addition of cinnamon and cayenne pepper turn them into an incredible dessert.  Top them with cajeta, a goat’s milk caramel, or dulce de leche and you get these wonderful slightly hot, spicy, sweet, chocolaty brownies that are heavenly.  Nirvana is a good way to explain the result. Continue reading

Frijoles Charros

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Frijoles Charros roughly translates to cowboy beans.  These yummy beans originated out on ranches as a way for cowboys to make a hearty, warm pot of beans.  Glad someone thought to do this because they are yum-my.  The key ingredient to frijoles charros (aside from the beans) is good old fashioned bacon.  It helps give it a smoky zing.  I have substituted it with vegetarian bacon but the salty smoky flavor is still there.  Add some onions, tomatoes and chilies and you got yourself one filling bowl of beans. Continue reading

Pepino con Chile Paletas (Cucumber & Chile Popsicles)

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Paletas are a gift from the heavens. Nothing is better on a warm day (but let me tell you they are not too shabby on a cold day either). Paletas are made using either a milk or water base, fruit and sweetener. Just like that. It really could not be any easier. Mix everything together, pop in the freezer and a few hours later you have an amazing treat. Continue reading

Mexican Capirotada

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Mexican style bread pudding, capirotada, consists of a mixture of veggies and fruits such as onions, tomatoes, apples and raisins on top of stale bread, nuts and cheeses. It is a staple during lent. The day old bread is moistened with a simple syrup infused with several warm spices. Capirotada is a balance of sweet and savory; although this recipe lends more to the sweet side. For this recipe I used apples and apricots and a bit of mild Monterrey jack cheese in order to keep it more on the sweet side (that’s how I like it) but some recipes involve sharper flavors like onions and cotija cheese. The ingredients are up to you. I am sure there is no way to ruin bread pudding! Continue reading