Pineapple cucumber lime paletas

Paletas made with pineapple, cucumber and lime juice are a refreshing, healthy treat you can enjoy without any guilt! This all-natural, no sugar added popsicle recipe is one of my favorite ways to cool off from the summer heat, without consuming lots of empty calories or sugar. The lime zest gives these paletas a bright zip of color and a citrusy aroma that lime juice alone just can’t provide. I also love how the lime zest sinks to the bottom of the popsicle mold as it freezes, embedded in the pineapple juice and some of the cucumber juice naturally floats to the top of the mold. It makes for a pretty layered look with zero effort for it to turn out that way!

Pineapple, cucumber and lime #popsicle #recipe on theothersideofthetortilla.com #paletas

After going 10 days without eating sugar last month, I began thinking a lot about how much added sugar we actually consume in our household. Although we won’t completely cut all added sugar out of our diet, there are definitely some places we can easily cut back to make healthier choices. And although it’s true that pineapple has a moderately high amount of natural sugar, the juice, when cut by cucumber  and lime juice and divided into 10 popsicles, still has way less sugar per serving than almost any store-bought popsicle, and absolutely no preservatives, chemicals, sugar substitutes or artificial color dyes.

If your family consumes a lot of popsicles in the summer like mine does, then you probably already know that making your own ice pops can be both cost effective and healthier. Especially if you’ve got little kids  you don’t want eating lots of sugar, this recipe is a great, tasty option. Be sure to cut the skin off the cucumber so that the flavor is mild and blends in well to mellow the sweetness of the pineapple. Leaving the skin on the cucumber often results in a bitter flavor that throws off the balance.

This pineapple, cucumber and lime popsicle recipe is vegan-friendly, dairy-free and gluten-free…. 

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Fruity guacamole with pineapple and pomegranate

This fruity guacamole recipe that includes pineapple and pomegranate seeds for a little touch of sweetness, and red onion and garlic for a little touch of savory, has quickly become a favorite among our family in Los Angeles. I recently made several versions of guacamole for a family game night gathering, and this one was the quickest to disappear. If you’d rather not mix sweet and savory, you can leave out the jalapeño and garlic if you prefer. But after trying this recipe, nobody was eating the classic guacamole recipe I brought! I love to buy a whole bag full of avocados and make several different versions of guacamole for parties because it’s so easy to do. Just keep the base the same with avocado, garlic, lime juice and salt, split up the base between several bowls, and add other ingredients as you like. It looks fancy but takes very little time to do.

This fruity guacamole recipe with pineapple and pomegranate seeds is a sweet-and-savory spin on traditional guacamole and is gluten-free and vegan-friendly. | Get more Mexican recipes at theothersideofthetortilla.com

This nontraditional recipe is perfect for any party or get-together with family or friends, especially if they’ve never had anything but classic guacamole before. I hope you enjoy it as much as my family does!

This guacamole recipe with pineapple and pomegranate is gluten-free and vegan-friendly. … 

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Wordless Wednesday: Store-bought Tepache

As I’ve been checking out as many Mexican grocers in Los Angeles as possible, I’ve noticed one product (made by a few different brands) that was not common to find in the Mexican supermarkets in Chicago: bottled tepache. I haven’t tried any yet, but I think I will soon just because I’m seeing it everywhere and I’m getting more and more curious how it tastes compared to the homemade tepache I’ve had in Mexico and Chicago from taquerías and street stands.

tepache_TOSOTT

The fermented pineapple drink has a hard cider quality and is originally from the state of Jalisco.

For a home-brewed recipe, check out this step-by-step tepache recipe and tutorial from my friend Pati Jinich from Pati’s Mexican Table.

I used to frequently find tepache at an aguas frecas stand at the Maxwell Street Market (every Sunday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.; free admission and most vendors only accept cash). For more places to find tepache in Chicago, check out this August 2012 article from the Chicago Tribune.

  • Have you had store-bought or bottled tepache? Is it any good and do you have a preferred brand I should try?

AGUA FRESCA: AGUA DE PIÑA

During my last visit to Mexico City, I was a bit rushed to squeeze in my favorite places to eat since I was only in town for a few days before and after our family trip to Aguascalientes for Abuelita Ana’s birthday.

After visiting the Frida Kahlo museum with my suegra in the late morning and a quick stop at the mercado Coyoacán to pick up a few goodies to take back to Chicago, we headed to El Bajío in Polanco for lunch.

As we pulled up to the restaurant on the corner of Campos Elíseos and Alejandro Dumas, the afternoon sky turned gray and it looked as if it was going to rain. Just as we were seated it began to sprinkle and the dining room, usually bright with sunlight thanks to its large plate glass windows and a few skylights, grew a bit dim. One of the many things I love about Mexico City is how it sometimes rains in the afternoon just for a few hours and then the sun comes out shining again. The afternoon rain somehow always appears just at the right time for a siesta and reminds me to take it easy. It’s like mother nature’s way of telling us to rest and relax; to take respite from the daily grind to refresh our spirits.

Since we were in no hurry, what with the rain and all, we settled in to a cozy little table for two in the back near the beverage bar where they make the coffee and juices. We each decided to have agua de piña to drink, so when it came time to order we asked for a large pitcher to share. The pitchers used at El Bajío, and common all over Mexico, are made of a thick hand-blown glass with a cobalt blue rim. Sometimes there are little bubbles still in the glass – one of those slight imperfections that makes them so beautiful to begin with; a reminder that they’re handmade and each is unique.

My suegra has a set of these cobalt-rimmed drinking glasses as well as little tequila glasses in the liquor cabinet in the living room. I’ve always wanted to bring a set of these glasses home with me, but since my suitcase is usually full of other goodies, I never quite have the room. Someday I’ll reserve a spot in my suitcase for them to travel back with me, but until then I’ll just have to dream about it. And I’ve got many memories to choose from – every place I’ve ever been in Mexico, from Baja California Sur all the way east to Quintana Roo, I’ve been served aguas frescas in a cobalt-rimmed glass…. 

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