5 Tasty and Fresh Latino Springtime Snacks

From left to right: Brazilian grilled pineapple, Puerto Rican piragua, Colombian tostones, Mexican fruta con chile and Venezuelan cocada
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Spring is the perfect season to enjoy snacks made from nutritious ingredients like fresh fruit. These snacks are more than just delicious treats, they're a true reflection of the rich and diverse culinary traditions of Latin America.

So, get ready to indulge in these 5 easy-to-make snacks that are perfect for springtime (or any time, really.)


Grilled Pineapple

This popular Brazilian street food and BBQ favorite features fresh pineapple slices seared over charcoal or flames until they reach the perfect level of caramelization and char on the outside while remaining juicy and sweet on the inside. Whether it's served as a side dish or as a topping for meat, like a sizzling steak or pork, this treat adds a deliciously fresh and fruity twist to any meal.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pineapple
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt
  • Skewers

Instructions:

  1. Preheat grill to medium-high heat.
  2. Cut off top and bottom of pineapple, remove skin.
  3. Cut pineapple into slices/chunks.
  4. Whisk brown sugar, honey, lime juice, cinnamon, and salt.
  5. Thread pineapple onto skewers and brush with mixture.
  6. Grill for 2-3 mins per side until lightly charred and caramelized.
  7. Remove from grill and serve warm.

Cocada

If you're looking for a cool and refreshing drink to quench your thirst on a hot day, look no further than Cocada. This beverage is made with creamy coconut milk, sweet sugar, and ice, creating a perfect balance of flavors and textures. It's a popular drink in the Caribbean and Latin American countries, especially in Venezuela. Give it a try!

Ingredients:

  • 1 can of coconut milk (13.5 oz)
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 2 cups of ice
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • Shredded coconut for garnish (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Blend coconut milk, sugar, ice, and vanilla extract until smooth.
  2. Adjust sweetness by adding more sugar if desired.
  3. Pour the cocada into glasses and sprinkle shredded coconut on top.

(Note: For a cocktail, add a shot of rum or preferred liquor to the blender when blending ingredients.)

Tostones

If you have yet to try Dominican tostones, you're missing out on a crispy and savory slice of heaven. They’re made by frying up unripe green plantains twice until they're crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. It’s the perfect side dish to complement any meal or to enjoy as a filling snack with your favorite dipping sauce.

Ingredients:

  • 2 green plantains
  • 2 cups vegetable oil
  • Salt, pepper, and garlic powder (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Peel plantains and cut them into 1-inch thick rounds or chunks.
  2. Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  3. Fry plantains for 2-3 minutes until golden brown.
  4. Remove plantains from oil and flatten them with a tostonera or the bottom of a glass cup.
  5. Return plantains to the hot oil and fry for another 2-3 minutes until golden brown and crispy.
  6. Remove tostones from oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and garlic powder (if using).
  7. Serve hot as a side dish or snack.

Piragua

If you're craving a sweet treat to cool down on a hot summer day in Puerto Rico, you can't go wrong with a Piragua. This shaved ice dessert is a Puerto Rican classic that will satisfy your sweet tooth and leave you feeling refreshed.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup of fruit juice (passion fruit, mango, or any other flavor you prefer)
  • 4 cups of shaved ice
  • Paper cones

Instructions:

  1. Boil water and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until syrup thickens.
  2. Remove from heat and stir in fruit juice. Cool to room temperature.
  3. Pack paper cones with shaved ice.
  4. Pour fruit syrup over the ice.
  5. Serve immediately and enjoy your Puerto Rican Piragua!

Note: You can experiment with different fruit syrups or other toppings, such as condensed milk or caramel, to create your own unique flavor combinations.

Fruta con Chile

This refreshing snack is a hit among street vendors and markets all over Mexico. They slice up fresh, juicy fruits like mango, watermelon, and pineapple, and give them a sprinkle of chili powder and lime juice that adds a zing to every bite. Our mouths are watering already.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of mixed fresh fruit (mango, watermelon, pineapple, jicama, etc.)
  • 1-2 tablespoons of chili powder
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges

Instructions:

  1. Wash and slice the fruit into bite-sized pieces.
  2. In a small bowl, mix the chili powder.
  3. Squeeze some lime juice over the fruit and sprinkle the chili powder on top.
  4. Mix the fruit gently with a spoon or your hands to ensure that the chili powder is evenly distributed.
  5. Serve the fruta con chile with lime wedges on the side.

Note: You can adjust the amount of chili powder and lime juice according to your taste preference. You can also experiment with different fruits to create your own unique flavor combinations.

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