In Ecuador, every tienda or little corner store sells some type of helado or paleta or ice cream. The most common one are helados de palo – translates as ice cream on a stick – or popsicles. There are usually many different flavors: vanilla, chocolate, coconut, strawberry gelatin, fruit, etc. One of my favorite things to do when I was walking home after school on a sunny day was to have one of these yummy helados, sometimes I would save my school recess snack money so that I could buy them.
These ice pops were usually made in tin cups and the stick was made from caña brava – a type of local bamboo. I was lucky enough to find very similar tin cups at the Spanish Table in Seattle. Small paper cups are also good molds for these fruit popsicles. I’ve also used the regular plastic popsicle molds as well to make these fruit salad paletas.
These helados de fruta or fruit popsicles were inspired by an Ecuadorian drinkable fruit salad called come y bebe. Come y bebe – which means eat & drink – is a tropical fruit salad made with diced papaya, diced pineapple, diced bananas, and freshly squeezed orange juice. Making popsicles from fruit salad is a fun and refreshing way to get kids to eat some good fruit and stay cool during these hot summer days. You can also use other fruits, such as mango and berries, to make these fruity popsicles. The quantities in this recipe are for about 15 popsicles.
Recipe for homemade tropical fruit popsicles made with papaya, pineapple, banana and orange juice.
- 10 oranges, juiced, about 4 ½ cups of juice
- 1 large papaya, peeled, seeded and diced
- 1 pineapple, peeled, cored and diced
- 6 bananas, peeled and diced
- Sugar or honey to taste, adjust based on sweetness of fruit
- Combine the diced papaya, pineapple and bananas in a large bowl.
- Mix in the freshly squeezed orange juice, add sugar or honey if needed.
- Fill the tin molds or popsicle molds with the fruit salad mix and place in the freezer for 3-4 hours or until frozen.