Disclaimer: I am working in collaboration with Wild Hive and the National Mango Board, however all opinions, experiences and enjoyment of mangos are completely my own!
Summers in the Sonoran Desert are intense. Temperatures soar above 100 degrees relentlessly for days and the only goal is to stay cool. When I was a kid, you’d either find me swimming in the community pool with my brother and sister or seeking shade under a big tree at City Hall Park. At the park, my friends and I would often run into a paletero selling refreshing, delicious paletas--frozen pops made with whole fruit or fresh fruit juices (aguas). Whether he showed up in a boxy musical van or manually pushing an umbrellaed freezer-on-wheels, the paletero came ready with icy treats in an array of colors and flavors: paletas de fresa (strawberry), coco (coconut), piña (pineapple) and mango. It was always difficult to choose one, but mango paletas were definitely among my favorites. One thing my friends and I knew for a fact was that each and every one of those paletas tasted better with a little bit of salt and chile!
In effort to recapture the essence of those carefree summer days back in my bordertown home, I bought a frozen pop mold that totally replicates the shape of those paletas from the park (the wooden stick was a must!) and I created this Mango Chile Limón Paleta recipe. After a few delicious tries, I found the bliss point of sweet, slightly tart and spicy in each lick, slurp and bite!
It's always fun to highlight a few facts about the foods in recipes, so here are some about our star ingredient: MANGOS!
- Mangos are bursting with over 20 vitamins and minerals including vitamin A, which helps improve night vision, immune-boosting vitamin C, cancer fighting folate and gut-friendly fiber.
- One cup of mango has only 100 calories, provides 100% of daily vitamin C and 12% of daily fiber needs.*
- Research published in The Journal of Nutrition and Food Sciences suggests that, on average, adult mango-eaters have higher intakes of whole fruit, vitamin C, potassium and dietary fiber while having lower intakes of added-sugars, saturated fats, and sodium. Both adults and children who consumed mangos scored higher on the national Healthy Eating Index compared to those who did not eat mangos.**
- A recent 12-week pilot study by researchers at Oklahoma State University (OSU) indicated that daily mango consumption resulted in significantly lower blood sugar levels compared to baseline levels in 20 obese adults.*** Lower blood sugar levels can help lower the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and help in the management of existing diabetes.
***Reference: Evans S, Peterson S, Perkins-Veazie P, Clarke SL, Payton M, Smith BJ, Lucas EA. Effects of mango supplementation on body weight and composition and clinical parameters of obese individuals. Poster Presentation at Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, 2013. Supported by the National Mango Board.
****FYI: In looking up information about paletas, I came across this fun piece featured a few years ago in the Los Angeles Times.
Mango Chile Limón Paletas
Recipe by: Christy Wilson, RD
Serves: 10 paletas (about 1/3 cup each)
Total time: 15 minutes prep, 5 hours to freeze
- 3 ripe mango (2 1/2 - 3 cups mango pulp)
- 6 tablespoons fresh key lime juice
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 1/2 teaspoon chile powder
- 1/2 teaspoon Tajin Clásico chile powder or similar salty-chile seasoning mix
- 1/2-1 cup ice cubes
- Optional: 1/8 teaspoon Tajin for added flavor
- Add all ingredients into blender and blend to smooth (or slightly chunky) consistency.
- Divide pureed mixture into ice-pop molds (about 1/3 cup). Cover and insert sticks. Freeze until solid or at least 5 hours.
- Dip molds briefly in hot water to release pops.
- Sprinkle pops with a pinch of Tajin seasoning before serving.
Nutrition Facts per serving: 1 paleta
Calories: 45, Total fat: 0 gr; Saturated fat: 0 gr; Trans fat: 0gr; Cholesterol: 0gr; Sodium: 40mg; Total Carbohydrate: 11gr; Dietary Fiber: 1gr; Sugar: 10gr; Protein: 0gr; Vit A: 15%; Vit C: 35%