Pilsen Paletas: Dairy-free Cinnamon Brown Rice Popsicles

All summer long in my neighborhood—Viva Pilsen!—you can hear the bells ringing from either the bicycle-powered or pedi “paleta” carts. For one dollar, you can choose from a variety of frozen popsicle flavors like strawberry, coconut, mango, lime—even tamarind. My all-time favorite flavor is arroz con leche—basically rice pudding or horchata on a stick. It had been a long time since I had a taste of that cinnamon creaminess (with the chewy bits of rice), until today. Here’s my dairy-free, soy-free version that tastes even better than my memories. And the best part is, I didn’t even need popsicle molds.

Makes: 6 popsicles
Preparation Time: 30mins prep, 2-3 hours freezing time

Ice cream maker (optional)
1-1/2-Quart Glass Loaf Dish or popsicle molds
Wooden popsicle sticks (if going the no popsicle mold route)

Try to buy everything organic. Here’s why.
1 cup cooked brown rice (how to cook)
1/3 cup grade B maple syrup

Ice Cream:
2 cups of young coconut meat
2 tbsp virgin coconut oil
1 tsp organic vanilla extract (look for gluten-free if you have a sensitivity)
1 tbsp raw, wild-harvested honey (serious vegans can leave this out)
1/4 tsp pink Himalayan or Celtic sea salt
1 1/2 cup fresh almond milk (make your own)
1/2 tsp organic cinnamon

Let’s Get Started:
You can use short-grain brown rice (left) or long-grain (right)—I prefer short (textural preference), but they taste the same.

Start cooking your rice. Once simmering…

in a high-powered blender, mix all of your ice cream ingredients (not the rice or maple syrup yet) until thoroughly blended.

If using an ice cream maker: transfer to a glass pitcher or bowl and chill for 10-15 minutes in the freezer while your rice continues to cook.

If not using an ice cream maker: transfer to a glass bowl and chill for 30 minutes in the freezer while your rice continues to cook.

When rice is done cooking, line your glass loaf dish with parchment paper. To get clean, unwrinkled folds, I use two sheets. One to run length-wise through the dish, and one to run width-wise. It’s okay that the corners are open, the parchment is used to make popsicle removal from the dish easy, once frozen.

If using an ice cream maker: process your chilled ice cream mixture according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Once ice cream is moderately firm, stir in your cooked rice. Next, stir in half of your maple syrup and set the rest aside.

If not using an ice cream maker: remove your slightly firmed up ice cream mixture from the freezer and stir/break up with a spoon. Stir in your cooked rice. Now stir in half of your maple syrup and set the rest aside.

With both preparations, fill your parchment-lined dish. Pour the remaining maple syrup on top and with a knife, swirl into mixture. Cover top of dish tightly with plastic wrap.

Break through the plastic wrap with your popsicle sticks and push them to the bottom of the dish. Evenly space out your sticks. Place in freezer for 2-3 hours, or until frozen.

Once frozen, remove from the freezer and let thaw on counter for about 15 minutes.

When you can easily lift the parchment away from the edges and out of the dish, do so. Using a large knife, slice between your popsicle sticks length-wise, and width-wise. Enjoy!

If you have popsicle molds, stir together all chilled ingredients, spoon into molds and freeze.

Raw, vegan, plant-basedENJOY

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  1. These popsicles look so delicious! Thanks for the recipe, I can’t wait to try it 🙂

  2. Sarah

    THANK YOU for posting this! I love paletas and I love making my own and have been on the hunt for the perfect arroz con leche recipe.

  3. Just discovered your beautiful blog! I had to go back and read your previous posts…just wonderful. You made me hungry!
    Eco Mama

  4. These look AMAZING! I cannot wait to try them out myself! I have a serious horchata addiction.

  5. Melissa

    Do you think these would work without the young coconut meat? I would really like to try the recipe, but can’t get my hands on any! Or, do you have any suggestions for a replacement?

    • Melissa~
      I bet you could always pick up a coconut-based ice cream at your local health food store ( I love Luna & Larry’s) let it get to room temp and fold in the cinnamon, rice and maple syrup and pour into the mold. Quick and easy!

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