Paleta de Batata y Coco (Sweet Potato and Coconut Popsicles) is the perfect summer treat, easy to make, refreshing and nutritious.
In my head, Paleta de Batata y Coco (Coconut and Sweet Potato Pops) and summer are indelibly connected.
When I was a kid I spent many a summer in the Santo Domingo neighborhood of San Carlos, where one of my aunts lived. Back then it was the kind of old-fashioned middle-class neighborhood you see in movies depicting the Spanish Caribbean. It was a quiet place of tranquil streets and alleys, and colorful old houses that lent itself to childhood exploration.
Besides the sad memories of Hurricane David pounding Santo Domingo into a pulp, the other clear memory I have of those days in San Carlos was walking every afternoon to buy helados de potecitos (homemade ice cream in baby food jars) at a neighbor's house.
Of all the flavors available in those days -some not very healthy - batata (sweet potato) was my favorite. Some time ago I decided to recreate my favorite childhood treat in the form of creamy popsicles.
About this recipe
These were available as frozen jars, and in ice pops in plastic bags (esquimalitos) when I was a kid, but homemade popsicles are more environmentally friendly, as you can use the popsicle molds time and time again (some come with reusable popsicle sticks). I am sure there can't be many ways to combine these ingredients, so my recipe won't be far from any other.
As the Dominican saying goes: "Cuando el hambre da calor, la batata es un refresco" (when hunger makes you hot, sweet potatoes are a cold drink). And if it is this insane heat to blame for it, make yourself a sweet potato popsicle, the perfect summer treat.
Paleta de Batata y Coco Recipe (Creamy Coconut and Sweet Potato Pops)
- 1 lb [0.45 kg] of batata (sweet potato), peeled
- ¼ teaspoon of salt
- 2 cups of milk (full fat or evaporated)
- 1 cup of coconut milk
- 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
- ¾ cup of sugar (may not be used all)
- Boil batata: Cut the sweet potatoes into small pieces. Boil int salted salt until it's fork-tender. Remove from the water, discard water and let the batata cool to room temperature. Once cool mash a bit (only necessary if you don't have a strong blender).
- Blend: Mix sweet potatoes, milk, coconut milk, vanilla, and sugar. Blend to a liquid state. Taste and add more sugar to taste if you find it necessary (I did not).
- Freeze and serve: Pour into the popsicle molds (Amazon affiliate links) or plastic cups, cover and place the stick. Freeze solid. Serve once frozen.