Friday, April 26, 2013

#ILoveAvocados for Cinco De Mayo Sweepstakes {Cinco de Mayo Paletas}

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Avocado App. All opinions are 100% mine.
Cinco de Mayo Paletas | www.girlichef.com
Cinco de Mayo is a huge day around these parts.  Sure, we use the old American excuse to party, drink margaritas, and eat lots and lots of tortilla chips and guac in commemoration of the Mexican victory in the battle of Puelba.  As many of you know, my hubby hails from Mexico (not Puebla, though) and he had never celebrated it before moving to the States.  It's really a localized celebration there.

Aside from those fabulous reasons to celebrate, we actually have FOUR Cinco de Mayo birthdays in the family (and one the day before)...one of those being my youngest hijo.  So really, we have no other choice than to celebrate the day to its fullest!  By mid-April, the search is on for Cinco De Mayo recipes that are going to make an appearance that year.

Though the menu always varies, there are two constants: cake (birthdays, remember) and avocados.  Without fail, there is guacamole (because I'm an addict).  But I like to try to mix things up and add another dish or two that contains avocado.  Aside from the slices and/or chunks that we add to our other dishes, of course.
Cinco de Mayo Paletas | www.girlichef.com
This year, I knew I wanted to make some paletas (popsicles) to add to the celebration.  It's usually about this time that I'm dusting off my popsicle molds, anyway!  I thought it would be a lot of fun to go with the colors of the Mexican flag.  For the red layer, I went straight-up strawberry.  For the white layer, my favorite paletas of all time, coconut.  And for the green layer, I used (I bet you saw this coming a mile away) AVOCADO!  I also added a bit of kale to the green layer.

Speaking of avocados, have you checked out the Avocado app?  The hubby and I have been giving it a test-run over the past couple of days.  Available for iPhone, Android, and the web, it is a "shared" app (between you and that someone special).  It's a way to stay connected, share photos (of that delicious guac you're eating on girl's night) or of the two of you, and send private messages.  We've had fun playing with it, and I think it will be a great way to stay in touch if/when one of us is "on assignment", per se.  Plus, I adore the icon (yes, I'm that girl).
Cinco de Mayo Paletas | www.girlichef.com

I also wanted to give you a heads-up about the I Love Avocados For Cinco De Mayo sweepstakes from Avocados from Mexico and Avocado (the app).  You can win up to $1000 + a premium version of Avocado app (that's 1st place...there's also 2nd and 3rd prizes) by simply posting a photo of you and your other half with your favorite dish made with Avocados from Mexico (or just the dish itself).  Enter by going to the sweepstakes tab after clicking on the Avocados on Facebook link at the bottom of this post.  Sound good to you?  Mmm hmm, me too.

And one last bit of avocado goodness to share, you will not want to miss the #iloveavocados for Cinco de Mayo Twitter party (May 7, 3-4pm ET) hosted by @Avocado and @guacgrl.  Be sure to join us for the chat, it's going to be delicious!

Cinco de Mayo Paletas (Strawberry, Coconut, & Avocado-Kale Ice Pops)
Cinco de Mayo Paletas | www.girlichef.com
by Heather Schmitt-Gonzalez
Prep Time: up to 24 hours
Cook Time: n/a
Keywords: snack dessert vegetarian avocado coconut kale strawberries Cinco de Mayo popsicles American Mexican spring summer fall

Ingredients (10 (2.5 oz.) Pops)
    for the red layer:
    • 2 cups fresh strawberries, hulled & quartered + a couple extra, chopped (optional)
    • 1/2 cup simple syrup
    • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
    • pinch of fine sea salt
    for the white layer:
    • 6.25 fluid ounce (just over 3/4 cup) canned coconut milk
    • 7 fluid ounce (scant cup) sweetened condensed milk
    • 1/3 cup half-and-half
    • big pinch fine sea salt
    • big splash pure vanilla extract
    • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons unsweetened, shredded coconut
    for the green layer:
    • 1 avocado, pitted & scooped out of peel
    • 1 cup chopped kale (leaves only, packed)
    • 1/2 cup simple syrup (more or less, to taste)**
    • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
    • pinch of sea salt
    • 6-8 tablespoons coconut water (or milk of any variety - cow, coconut, almond, rice, soy)
    Instructions
    To make these ice pops, you will need: a blender, a popsicle mold (or plastic cups), popsicle sticks (or skewers)

    red layer:
    Begin by blending all of the ingredients under smooth in a blender. Fill the bottom third of your popsicle molds with the mixture. Add a few small pieces of chopped strawberry, if you wish. Freeze until solid (or at least extremely firm); it will take a few hours.

    You can either add the popsicle sticks the molds after an hour or so, when they're just firmer than slushy, or you can wait to add the sticks until you've added the next layer. It really depends on the size of the molds you're using and how deeply you want the sticks to go.

    white layer:
    Toast the coconut in a small pan until golden in spots (watch it carefully, so that it doesn't burn). Pour out of pan (into a bowl or onto a plate or parchment) and let cool completely.

    Add the cooled toasted coconut plus all of the other ingredients for the coconut ice pops to the jar of a blender, and turn on until combined. Fill another third of your popsicle molds with this mixture. Freeze until solid (or at least extremely firm); it will take another few hours.

    If you didn't add the popsicle sticks already, slide them into the center of the pop once this layer has gotten just harder than slushy (after about an hour in the freezer).

    green layer:
    Place everything in the jar of a blender and puree until smooth, adding as much of the liquid as you need to make the mixture pourable (but not thin and runny).

    I find the easiest way to get this last layer in around the popsicle sticks is to transfer it to a zippered baggie, snip off a small corner, and squeeze it in to fill the top third of the popsicle molds.

    Freeze until solid, another few hours.

    Pass them around your Cinco de Mayo celebration!

    notes:
    You may have a little bit of one or another mixtures. If so, just freeze the extra into individual pops. Likewise, you could multiply any of the layers and make individual colored pops. Try making some striped and some of each individual color for a fun variety. If you don't have that many popsicle molds, you can still make a bunch, you'll just have to start a few days in advance. Once you make a batch and it is frozen solid, remove the pops from the molds, immediately wrap them in wax paper, and put into freezer baggies (store in freezer). Make as many more batches as you like until you have a stockpile of Red, White, and Green Paletas to celebrate Cinco de Mayo!

    **Sweeten the avocado layer generously - when food is served cold, you need a bit extra seasoning to make sweet or salty flavors shine (in applications like this, or cold soup, for example).  You could substitute agave nectar, honey, splenda - just do it to taste.  Sweetened condensed milk would also work.
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    Cinco de Mayo Paletas | www.girlichef.com

     photo b58c3aa5-dc72-4281-a6ab-8816b01b7ab5_zpse92c1fc2.jpgLooking for more AVOCADOS FROM MEXICO fun for Cinco de Mayo:


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