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Starfruit Popsicle Recipe – Costa Rica

This post may include affiliate links. As an Amazon associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

This simple starfruit popsicle recipe is the perfect antidote to a scorching summer day. Just two ingredients plus water, and packed with vitamin C. The perfect frozen snack for summer!

You guys, right now my kids are popsicle obsessed. It all started a few months ago when we moved to Costa Rica- where we call popsicles paletas. We have a Friday farmer’s market, and the produce is so stinking cheap. So I started buying tons of fruit…

Way more fruit than is possible to eat in a week, in fact. So instead of letting it go bad and throwing it away, I started making popsicles.

And I’ve made a ton of varieties- guava ginger paletas, blackberry popsicles, creamy blackberry popsicle, pineapple popsicles, mango popsicles..just to name a few.

Now the girls are eating paletas on the daily- and it’s guilt-free for me because the homemade ones are all natural. No dyes, no added sugars, and delicious. 

What Is Starfruit?

Ok- so let’s start with the starfruit. Here in Costa Rica, we call starfruit carambola. It’s a native plant grown here, and it’s in season all year.  It’s also common in other parts of South America and Southeast Asia (like in Sri Lanka). It can be a staple in some South Indian dishes as well.

Starfruit is a bright yellow colored fruit with 5 ridges running down the sides. When ripe, it’s more of a dark yellow, and can have some light brown spots. When it’s not ripe yet, it can be more light yellow and there’s usually some green in the fruit. Ripe star fruit is firm to the touch.

Carambola is easy to get in Costa Rica, and super cheap (like 2.5 pounds for $1.25 right now). It is most often used to make homemade fruit juices (batidos).

I like to use carambola for all kinds of things, though, because for me it is still a bit of a novelty. I love to add it to the top of a tropical fruit salad, or make it into a slushy frozen cocktail with vodka. As a garnish star fruit just too pretty because the fruit literally makes a star.  

Array of popsicles on a cutting board with starfruit next to them

Health Benefits of Carambola 

Carambola is a citrusy fruit- even though it’s not part of the citrus family. The entire fruit is edible, and it has the consistency of the inside of a grape.

What I love about starfruit, however, is that it is a great source of Vitamin C. Since we are having a huge flu epidemic in Costa Rica right now, I am more than happy to give the girls carambola popsicles basically whenever they want. 

Frozen starfruit popsicles and starfruit halves arranged on a wooden cutting board.

Where To Buy Carambola

So if you are still with me, and you don’t live in Costa Rica, you might be wondering where the heck you can even buy star fruit.

I can’t tell you where to buy it worldwide, but I can tell you that in the United States, I often see it at natural grocery stores like Sprouts. It is a novelty item, so not as cheap as it is here in Costa Rica. 

There is also a company that sells all kinds of world produce, called Frieda’s. You can locate where they sell different types of products at Frieda’s store locator.

How To Cut Starfruit

Ok so now that we have the star fruit, we need to know how to work with it. Some starfruit paleta recipes call for boiling the fruit to make a paste before freezing it.

I think that’s too much work. I make it waaay easier.  First, I thoroughly wash the fruit, and get out your knife and cutting board.

Then, I just cut the ends off of the fruit and discard them. Next, I roughly chop fruit horizontally- the cross-section of the fruit is a star shape.

I throw them all in a blender and add maybe a half of a cup of water. Then I puree it as much as I can in the blender while it’s all still at room temperature.

Now, when you use the carambola for the paleta, you want a nice and smooth texture. (Or is that just me?) So I use a fine mesh colander and put it on top of a largemouth pitcher or bowl.

Pour the star fruit/water mixture from the blender through the strainer.  Then, I pour some more water over it, pushing the puree down with a spoon or spatula, a few more times. That gets all the flavor through the strainer and leaves behind the rough skin.

From there, you are ready to make starfruit paleta, starfruit juice, carambola cocktail, carambola frosting, starfruit cake, carambola jelly… you get the idea.

Starfruit Popsicle Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 lb Starfruit/Carabmola Ripe- little to no green   
  • 3-4 tbsp granulated sugar 
  • 4 cups water divided- 2 cups and 2 cups  

Instructions

  1. Wash starfruit and cut off the very ends of all.
  2. Roughly chop fruit, width wise.
  3. Place fruit and 2 cups of water into a blender.
  4. Blend together until as smooth as you can get it- about one minute.
  5. Pour the star fruit/water mixture from the blender through the strainer. 
  6. Pour some more water over the fruit puree, pushing the puree down with a spoon or spatula, a few more times. That gets all the flavor through the strainer and leaves behind the rough skin.
  7. Add the last cup of water to the strained liquid, more or less to taste.
  8. Stir in the sugar or sweetener.
  9. Pour into the popsicle molds and freeze-preferably overnight.

A Note On Popsicle Molds

Finally, I like to have a lot of fun with the popsicle molds. There are so many cheap ones on Amazon.  I also often see them at this time of year in the seasonal aisle at the grocery store or the dollar store. 

The starfruit will definitely settle in most molds- so you have to decide if you are ok with that. We like it because there is a burst of carambola flavor that gets less intense as you eat the popsicle.

If don’t like that style, you might have to boil the starfruit, water and sugar so that it combines better. Then let it cool before pouring into a mold. Just depends on how picky you are.

Substitutions

You can substitute Stevia, brown sugar, cane sugar or other sweetener for the sugar to cut down on calories.

Variations

Make these creamy by adding 3-4 tablespoons of powered milk to the mixture before freezing..

Printable Recipe

Yield: 6 popsicles

Starfruit Popsicle - Paleta de Carambola

Starfruit popsicles on wooden cutting board with yellow 5 pointed carambola fruit.

This simple starfruit popsicle recipe is the perfect antidote to a scorching summer day. Just two ingredients plus water, and packed with vitamin C. The perfect frozen snack for summer!

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 12 hours
Total Time 12 hours 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1lb starfruit- ripe (little to no green)
  •    3-4 tablespoons granulated sugar (or sugar substitute like Stevia)
  •    4 cups water - divided 2 cups and 2 cups

Instructions

  1. Wash starfruit and cut off the very ends of all.
  2. Roughly chop fruit, width wise.
  3. Place fruit and 2 cups of water into blender.
  4. Blend together until as smooth as you can get it- about one minute.
  5. Pour the star fruit/water mixture from the blender through the strainer. 
  6. Pour some more water over the fruit puree, pushing the puree down with a spoon or spatula, a few more times. That gets all the flavor through the strainer and leaves behind the rough skin.
  7. Add the last cup of water to the strained liquid, more or less to taste.
  8. Stir in the sugar or sweetener.
  9. Pour into the popsicle molds and freeze-preferably overnight.

Recommended Products

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

6

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 56Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 5mgCarbohydrates: 13gFiber: 2gSugar: 11gProtein: 1g

Please double-check this information with your favorite nutrition calculator.

About the Author

Christa profile image

Hi- I’m Christa! I fell in love with Latin America in my 20s, and I’m still head over heels! Here at Pura Vida Moms I celebrate what it means to be bicultural- Costa Rican recipes, bilingual parenting and family travel.

Follow her at: Instagram / Twitter / Facebook / Pinterest.

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One Response

  1. Love carambola – I tasted the agua de carambola in Oaxaca a few years ago and was hooked. These paletas sound so good – wish we had sweet start fruit in Colorado!

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Christa profile image

Hi- I’m Christa, and I’m on a mission to help the world fall in love with Costa Rica through food, language and travel. I’m a Latina mom, bicultural, bilingual (English/Spanish), and 100% in love with celebrating parenthood in all its forms, (even the sucky parts). I’m so happy you found the site- WELCOME! Find out more about me here.

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