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Each time I make a new batch of paletas, I find myself exploring more and more flavors. Flavors of my youth, flavors that I currently love, and even flavors that just seem like they may be good together. This latest is the latter. I’ll be honest, I have never cared for cantaloupe, I’m definitely more of a watermelon gal. However, I just returned from touring a few farms up north, thanks to CA Farm Water, and have a whole new respect for melon growers (and water for that matter!). One farm we visited was Del Bosque Farms and we got a chance to speak to Joe Del Bosque, the owner and President of the farm. He expressed so much passion in his crops and told his story of how he took his melon farming skills he learned from his dad, and developed them into organic melon farming techniques. Del Bosque is the main organic cantaloupes and honeydew supplier for Whole Foods. Did you know it takes 60 gallons to grow one single cantaloupe? I sure didn’t. Just think of all the produce in the world and how much water goes into each….95 gallons for cherries, 135 for asparagus!! I never looked, or even thought about the process of water when it came to my food…all that mattered to me was that it was there in my faucet. My eyes have been opened, and I’ll be telling you all a little more about what I learned while on the tours next week. Let’s get back to the cantaloupe…hehe.
After touring the farm and seeing just a little bit of how the workers pick the fruit and package them for sale, Joe sent us home with a cantaloupe for each of us. Yippee! But, never having been a cantaloupe eater, I thought… what am I gonna do with this? The answer is my latest paleta recipe!
Paletas de Melón y Damasco con Estrella de Anís or Cantaloupe Apricot Star Anise Paletas
- 2 Cups Coconut Milk ( I actually used Coconut Dream…you can use the real stuff if you’d like, but I’d add more sugar)
- 1/2 cup Sugar
- 8 Anise Stars
- 1/2 Cantaloupe, chopped
- 5 Apricots, pitted and chopped
- In a small pot, combine coconut milk and sugar and heat stirring often.
- Throw in the anise stars, and keep stirring until sugar has dissolved. Bring to a slow boil, then remove from heat. Let cool for about 30 mins.
- In a blender, add chopped cantaloupe and apricots. Add coconut milk mixture.
- Cover and blend on high for about 4 minutes.
- Remove and strain into a pitcher.
- Pour into paleta molds (popsicle molds). Insert popsicle sticks (tip: wet ends in warm water for about 30 seconds and insert. These help weigh the sticks down to stay put!) This made 10 for me.
- Freeze 5-7 hours.
- Remove from freezer and run room temperature water on mold to remove one by one, place into sandwich bags (I can fit 2 per, and fold them over so they don’t stick)
- Enjoy whenever you would like!