Frozen orange slices with Tajín

Transform plain orange slices with a little lime juice and Tajín! Serve immediately, or freeze them for a refreshing, frosty treat!

Healthy snack: Valencia oranges with lime juice and Tajín - A gluten-free, vegan-friendly recipe via

The best part of summer is the peak availability of so many fruits; it means you can make a variety of sweet treats with little or no added sugar, such as street food-style mango and orange cups with coconut chips, watermelon aloe juice, and all kinds of paletas. With what seems like a surplus of juicy oranges at my local supermarkets, I’ve been using them in many different ways all summer. Whether it’s juicing them, eating them plain, or sectioning them to make a fruity pico de gallo or ensalada xec (a Mayan citrus and jicama salad), there are lots of possibilities.

This healthy snack is one I like to make in advance, freeze and serve by the pool or in the backyard on hot summer days. It’s great to serve to kids as well because even if they eat two servings, they’re eating only one whole orange. Plus, it’s an easy snack for little hands to hold.

RELATED RECIPE: Mango cantaloupe paletas with chile powder

This recipe is gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan-friendly.


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Street food style mango fruit cups

These street food style fruit cups made with mango, orange, lime juice and coconut are a healthy snack.


I love a good, healthy snack, and I’m always tempted to stop whenever I see a fruit cart on the street. Throughout Mexico, you’ll find these street food vendors with all different seasonal fruits that they’ll cut up and put in a cup and top with chile powder, Tajín, chamoy or some kind of bottled salsa.

RELATED RECIPE: Ensalada Xec (Mayan citrus and jicama salad)… 

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How to make mangonadas

Mangonada #recipe with homemade chamoy from #mexican #flavorstory @mccormickspice

This post is part of a compensated campaign with McCormick & Company but the recipe and opinions here are my own.

A mangonada is a quintessential Mexican treat, made of mango, orange juice, chamoy and chile lime salt, and they’re sold just about everywhere from street vendors to neverías in Mexico.

It’s very popular, especially in the warm weather months, as it resembles an American slushie. You can grab one to go on the street or enjoy it with friends in an ice cream parlor…. 

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Ensalada Xec: Mayan Citrus and Jicama Salad

We’ve been making an extra effort to eat healthy in our house, especially since we moved across the country and have access to more local produce than ever before (hello, California citrus!). This crunchy, spicy, juicy citrus salad from the Yucatan area of Mexico is the perfect healthy snack. Ensalada xec (xec is Mayan for “mixed,” and is sometimes spelled as “xeec,” “xek” or “xe’ek” and is pronounced “shek”) is a staple dish in the region and is sometimes also made as a salsa without the jicama.

This recipe is dairy-free, gluten-free and vegan-friendly.

Ensalada xec: Spicy Mayan citrus salad made with orange, mandarin orange, grapefruit, jicama, lime juice, chile habanero, cilantro and sea salt. #Recipe on

I served my ensalada xec for a salad-themed Food Bloggers LA meetup once, and it was a big hit. I love this recipe because it keeps crunchy in the refrigerator for a few days in the event that you have leftovers. I find this dish keeps best when refrigerated in a covered glass bowl. Some recipes for ensalada xec call for ground cayenne pepper, which is perfectly fine, but I prefer to use fresh chile. Habanero is frequently used in the regional cuisine in the Yucatan, so I used it in this recipe. If your tastebuds can’t handle the heat from a habanero pepper, you can substitute a finely chopped serrano chile or just use a dried chile powder of your choice. You could also use  Tajín (the popular Mexican chile, lime and salt seasoning) sprinkled on top if you don’t want to use fresh chiles; if you use Tajín, remember to leave the salt out of the recipe…. 

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Charred Orange Colada

If there’s one drink I’m guaranteed to order by the pool when I’m on vacation, it’s a classic piña colada. When I talked about this charred orange colada recipe with McCormick Spices Chef Kevan Vetter, it had me salivating for vacation and this interesting twist on the classic frozen cocktail.

It’s a simple recipe to follow, and the charred orange and black rum give this colada a decadent depth that makes it a sophisticated version of the classic.

You can also substitute 2-3 ounces of piloncillo for the brown sugar if you want to give it even more of a Mexican flavor.

In Spanish, allspice is called pimienta dulce, and you should be able to find it in both mainstream and Latino markets.

Charred Orange Colada (Recipe from McCormick Spices)

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Charred Orange Colada (Recipe from McCormick Spices)

This interesting twist on the classic piña colada cocktail has smoky charred oranges, rich black rum and warm allspice in every sip.


  • 4 oranges
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar, divided
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon McCormick Whole Allspice
  • 1 can (13.66 oz) Thai Kitchen Coconut Milk
  • 12 cup black rum
  • 1 teaspoon McCormick Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1-2 cups crushed ice
  • 4 maraschino cherries (optional for garnish)


  1. Cut three of the oranges in half, crosswise. Cut ends off the remaining orange and then cut into 4 crosswise slices. Dip the cut sides of the orange halves in the brown sugar. Reserve the remaining brown sugar.
  2. Grill oranges over medium heat for about 12 minutes or until charred. Turn slices occasionally. Reserve the slices for garnish.
  3. Place orange halves, orange juice, allspice and reserved brown sugar in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and cool completely. Remove orange halves from the pan and squeeze the juice from them back into the saucepan. Mix well and strain juice. Refrigerate until chilled.
  5. Place juice mixture, coconut milk, rum, vanilla and 1 cup of ice in the blender and blend on high until smooth. Add more ice if desired.
  6. Serve garnished with charred orange slices and maraschino cherries.

Want to know more? You can read the full 2013 McCormick Flavor Forecast report on the future of global flavor trends and how they develop the forecast at

Disclosure: This post is part of a sponsored series to promote McCormick Spices 2013 Flavor Forecast global flavor trend report. We received promotional materials and an exclusive interview with McCormick’s executive chef to assist in writing this post, but all opinions in this series are our own.

Pico de gallo

When most people think of pico de gallo, they think of a salsa made of tomatoes, diced onion and fresh green chile (such as serrano or jalapeño), lime juice and cilantro. That salsa is also commonly referred to as salsa Mexicana.

RELATED RECIPE: Salsa mexicana

However, in some areas of Mexico if you ask for pico de gallo you’ll end up with a sort of fruit salad-looking thing that you perhaps didn’t intend to order. But make no mistake, this kind of pico de gallo is one you’ll definitely want to try!

This version of pico de gallo includes jicama, oranges, chile serrano, cucumber, red onion, lime juice and Tajín. Recipe via


It’s a favorite snack in our house–great for a lazy afternoon watching fútbol or even for entertaining guests.

During our last visit to Mexico, one day my suegra made a big batch of this pico de gallo and it was so good that we ate it all before she got a chance to eat any! The truth was, we thought she had saved some downstairs in another dish and given us only a portion of it, so we gobbled it all up. The only solution? To make another batch, of course!

This antojito is especially great for the warm weather months because it’s very refreshing. The crisp, crunchy jicama is the base of the recipe, with cucumbers, diced onion, serrano chile and oranges for a unique salad. The citrusy dressing is a perfect mix of tart and sweet, with a sprinkle of tajín or dash of salt and chile powder on top to round out the flavor…. 

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