Watermelon and aloe vera juice

In Mexico, as well as other countries in Latin America, aloe gel (also sometimes referred to as aloe crystal) is used externally for a variety of skin ailments as well as consumed for its curative health benefits, especially for stomach and digestive ailments. Aloe gel or crystal comes from the meat of the leaf, and is easy and inexpensive to extract yourself at home. In Spanish, aloe vera is called “sábila” or “áloe,” and is sometimes misspelled as “sávila.” In Mexico, it’s most commonly referred to as “sábila.”

Aloe vera juice is said to help maintain healthy digestion, and can also help regulate blood sugar, reduce inflammation, reduce acne eruptions, as well as many other health benefits, and is a good addition for those who are conscious of an alkaline diet.

Watermelon aloe vera juice recipe from theothersideofthetortilla.com (jugo de sandía y sábila)

My Tío Eduardo swears by homemade aloe vera juice for digestive ailments. Homemade aloe juice is both easy and inexpensive to make—a single large aloe vera leaf in the produce section of most grocery stores in the U.S. should cost between 99 cents and $2 or $3. If a single leaf is $3 or more, it should be very large and heavy, otherwise check another store for a better price. Most Mexican or Latin American markets will carry them. Aloe leaves available in grocery stores are typically about 4-4.5 inches wide at the base, 22-24 inches long and about 1 inch thick.

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Mango and peach paletas

I’ve been absolutely obsessed with testing paleta flavors all summer, partially because of my access to such a wide variety of fresh fruits in Southern California for months on end, and partially just because I have an inner-kid who still remembers the excitement I felt from hearing the jingle of the bell on the paletero’s cart. This mango-peach paleta recipe has been a mega-hit both in my household and with my office mates who got to taste them when I brought them to work for an afternoon snack to share last week.

mango peach paletas… 

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Guacamole with mango and pomegranate

You may remember from a recent post that my family goes crazy for fruity guacamole. That’s why, when I hosted an #iloveavocados live party with Avocados From Mexico, I wanted to make another version of my fruity guacamole with one of my favorite fruits: Mango. I love to experiment with lots of different sweet and savory guacamoles and this version with mango, pomegranate seeds, red onion and serrano chile is one of my absolute favorit

guacamole with mango and pomegranateMy guests practically licked the bowl clean and there may have been some arguing over who got the last scoop. Another sure sign that the recipe was a success: Some of the guests sent tweets or posted on Facebook the next day that they wished they could have some more!… 

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Guacahummus

Guacahummus sounds a lot like what you might imagine it to be… guacamole (sort of) mixed with hummus. Actually it’s a blend of hummus, avocados and lime juice. I served this simple, healthy dish at my #iloveavocados live party with Avocados From Mexico recently and surprisingly, most of my guests were having it for the first time. The dish was definitely a hit—they scraped every last morsel out of the bowl.

The main reason why this dish is so great—aside from being very healthy—is that you can make a semi-homemade version with a store-bought hummus of your choice (I like Sabra’s classic hummus), which helps you get this dish from food processor to plate in about five minutes. I use a 3-cup Cuisinart mini prep (available in my Amazon aStore, El Mercadito), which fits the ingredients perfectly. A bonus: This recipe is both vegetarian and vegan-friendly and is also gluten-free.

avocados guacamole hummus guacahummus… 

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Avocado paletas

This post is part of a compensated campaign in collaboration with Latina Bloggers Connect and Avocados from Mexico but my love for avocados from Mexico is 100 percent authentic and the opinions and recipe in this post are my own. This post includes affiliate links to my Amazon aStore, El Mercadito, recommending products that I used to make this recipe.

paletas de aguacate | avocado popsicles

Summer means paleta time in my house. And though we like the traditional flavors, I also like to branch out and make flavors that are considered “normal” in Mexico, but that are not as common to see in the U.S., such as avocado. A few friends have looked at me sideways when I said I was working on a popsicle recipe with avocados, but I assure you that you’ll be won over by the creamy texture and pleasantly earthy, sweet taste.

I prefer to buy avocados from Mexico because of that distinctive, earthy taste due to the fertile volcanic soil in which they’re grown. They’re packed with nutrients and are a versatile ingredient that can be used in both savory and sweet dishes—but most people don’t think of using avocados in a sweet dish. The thing I especially love about this recipe is that the light coconut milk and sweetened condensed milk (also known as lechera) don’t overpower the natural flavor so you can still taste the earthiness of the avocado…. 

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Calabacitas con elote

Calabacitas con elote is a traditional Mexican side dish, typically baked in the oven in a casserole dish or olla de barro. But I’m giving it a summer makeover by cooking it in easy-to-make foil packets for the grill. We’re spending tons of time outside with family and friends now that summer grilling season is here and this is a great dish to take to any parillada!

This is a sponsored post in collaboration with Latina Bloggers Connect and the California Milk Advisory Board.  The recipe and opinions are my own.

calabacitas_con_elote_TOSOTT

This vegetarian dish is one of my favorites for serving as a quick dinner side dish as well as for taking to parrilladas (barbeques) that are typically full of meats but lacking enough veggies. If I’m making it for just the two of us, I refrigerate half the recipe and grill it later in the week so that it’s fresh off the grill at dinnertime.

Now that we live in California and have such a variety of fresh, local dairy, produce and meats available to us year-round thanks to the climate, I’ve been consciously trying to eat more locally (and by that, I mean seeking out locally grown produce at the farmers markets and other foods made in my new home state). California is the country’s leading producer of Hispanic dairy products, which are sold nationally, and is the nation’s second largest producer of cheese. In fact, California produces more than 25 kinds of Hispanic cheeses and many other dairy products. A Real California Milk seal means your dairy products are made from 100 percent California milk.

This is what the calabacitas should look like inside the foil packet when it’s done or almost done cooking:

calabacitas_con_elote_grill_packet_TOSOTT… 

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