Thursday, July 22

Las Paletas Inspired Lemon Basil Popsicles

My biggest regret over the last year (bold statement I realize) is that I've missed out on countless excursions to a little slice of frozen heaven here in Nashville.  You see, my husband and I moved here a little over a year ago, and since arriving in the south we've been cornered several times by emphatic patrons of a local popsicle shop named Las Paletas.  Personally, I'm more of a “fro-yo” girl, so the whole popsicle phenomenon that made otherwise-normal people into stick-carrying apostles of frozen ice and cream, had not really spiked my curiosity…that’s until someone took a popsicle out of their mouth long enough to explain the flavor they had just purchased…"Chocolate-Wasabi."

Popsicles are usually too sugary and contain neon colors that frighten me, and it’s not that I need my frozen treats to be sophisticated, but how good can frozen juice on a stick be?  Las Paletas is located in the super cute, up and coming neighborhood of 12 South, tucked between Burger Up (a new sit-down that serves grass-fed beef, lamb and quinoa black bean burgers) and the GreenLight Market and Deli (an exact replica of my future dream business) that offers local organic produce and specialty items from local artisans.  If my husband finds me missing one day, he should probably start looking (he better start looking) in 12 South, because I've probably moved into the building that houses my 3 favorite new eateries.

Las Paletas serves only popsicles…but what they do, they do very well.  They have cream and fruit based selections that change on a daily basis depending on what's in season (probably my favorite part!) and the flavor combos are brilliant...Mango-Chili Pepper, Blackberry-Lime, Tamarind with Chili, Hot Chocolate with Peppers, Hibiscus, Strawberry-Coconut and my personal favorite, Basil!  Well, it was Basil until I tasted Rose Petal this week.  Yes, Rose Petal.  AND, the owners told us that come fall, they carry Pumpkin and Sweet Potato Paletas.  I'm a sucker for anything that is reminiscent of a season, so I guess it’s fairly obvious what my current obsession is...

It's in these moments of pure joy that I find inspiration.  I've been insisting on eating popsicles every night, and recently attempted my own healthier version of a Basil Paleta.  I used a killer popsicle mold made by Zoku that is perfect for instant gratification.  You simply freeze the Zoku mold for 24 hours, pour in your desired liquid and the popsicles will be frozen and ready to eat in 7 minutes flat.  Nothing short of perfection for a hot summer evening!

Lemon Basil Paletas
makes about 6 popsicles
1/3 cup agave nectar
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 cup water
3/4 cup plain yogurt (whole fat retains all the good cultures and enzymes)
1/2 cup packed fresh basil leaves

In a small sauce pan, combine agave, water and lemon juice over medium heat.  Bring to a boil and reduce heat, simmering for 5 minutes.  Remove from pan and let cool, about 20 minutes.

In a blender, combine yogurt, basil, simple syrup and blend until smooth.  Taste and add milk if too sweet.  Pour into popsicle molds and freeze until ready.  Enjoy!

P.S...please beware of chopped basil getting completely stuck in your's a horrifying sight, and slightly embarrassing if you run into friends without realizing your smile has turned dark green.


  1. Those look interesting, I will have to try them. The pumpkin ones you mentioned for fall sound delicious. Remember way back when...your mom and I tried to make healthier frozen delights out of juice. All you kids thought it was quite a treat. It sure sounds like you have some great places there in Nashville. I can't imagine a place that only sells popsicles.

  2. Sherri aka SissyJuly 23, 2010 at 4:01 AM

    It's funny you mentioned the hazard of basil getting stuck in the teeth, because that was the first thing I pictured when you told me the flavor of the popsicles:) I can't waaaiit to try them. I think I may attempt the Mango-Chili Pepper also. Although I have to say that I am quite curious about the Rose Petal, how do you think they make that one? I could be like Momma and Auntie and spend the whole day in the kitchen trying out new popsicle recipes, though it would only be right if I had a partner in crime and a couple cups of Postum.

  3. I remember! Oh, Mom and Auntie's days in the kitchen with their Postum! I guess we know where we get it from :) So, the owners of Las Paletas said they use mostly ice cream for the popsicles, and I'm guessing, because it was so creamy and delicious, they used straight up organic (red or pick) roses chopped up and infused with the cream over the stove. The taste was completely unadulterated. And I think you and I just share a phobia of getting things stuck in our teeth sissy :)

  4. Only 7 minutes to heaven...I can do that! Entirely realistic.

    Amy, I'd be critical too, but isn't it nice to go into something with lower expectations?? Personally, I think setting the bar low is ideal so you can be open to receive the goodness! :) Oh, and your "stick-carrying apostles" was extremely clever...had me totally giggling all by my lonesome!

    Hmm, I think I'd be in on the blackberry-lime, but just wait until Fall came a-blowin' and I'd be right there proudly ordering my "punkin!"

    And by the way, Danny went grocery shopping the other day and proudly got Hanna some Scooby-Doo neon yogurt; I was horrified! It was even stain-worthy, it was THAT bright!

    P.S. Girls, did you know Postum is a has-been? That's right, they no longer make it! So sad. It's now all about the Perro! Did it for over 9 months!

  5. No more Postum! I can't believe it! My childhood-self would be very disappointed...I couldn't wait to grow up so I could drink Postum with the adults too.

    Well, I bet at least miss Hanna was excited about her Scooby-Doo yogurt. It's worth it's weight in gold as a kid...I never could resist the bright colors and was always so dismayed when mom wouldn't let me throw it in the shopping cart. Thank goodness!

  6. Daughter, thank you for sharing your yummy treats! I am going to have to find me some of those Zuko molds! Can't wait to try them on little Rudy! Be sure to post any other recipes of that sort when you figure them out. I look forward to each and evey entry!

  7. Well sissy, I tried the recipe and I love the paletas, so do the doggies! The flavor was so yummy and refreshing, I couldn't stop at one. You mentioned the popsicle shop uses mostly ice cream, I wonder if I made a frozen yogurt ice cream and used that instead of the regular yogurt, I bet that would be delicious too!

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