Come Y Bebe – Tropical Fruit Salad

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Last Updated on May 10, 2022 by Britt Ervin

Close view glass of come y bebe.

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What is Come Y Bebe?

In Latin America popsicles are known as paletas. There are two types of paletas, one type is fruit based and the other is milk based. The milk-based one starts with a combination of coconut milk and sweetened condensed milk. These kinds of paletas are called Paletas de Coco, and fruit can be added to make numerous varieties. Some common flavors include passionfruit, mango, and papaya, which make it more tropical.

Then there are juice-based paletas, that come from a popular fruit salad called Come y Bebe. Come Y Bebe translates as Eat & Drink, since the fruit is chopped very small and served in juice so it is drinkable with a straw. This is especially popular in Ecuador and Colombia, where someone had the ingenious idea to freeze it and thus juice-based paletas were born.

Where I found Come Y Bebe

On Wednesdays, I work in Queens. I live in Brooklyn, so it’s quite a commute. A few weeks ago, it was an especially warm day. With my suitcase of supplies in tow, I needed some sustenance to provide me with energy for my 90-minute commute home. That’s when I saw this delicious-looking fruit salad and bought a cup.

Since I had my suitcase, I take the elevator at the train station, which usually finds me with elderly elevator companions. An older Colombian woman got on the elevator with me and saw me drinking my Come y Bebe fruit salad. Without request, she started a discourse on the fruit drink. She talked to me about how she prefers Come Y Bebe without banana because with banana it is very filling. All assuming I speak Spanish, which luckily, I do!  She found an interested audience in me, while the other elevator passengers (moms with baby carriages) were probably wondering when she was going to be quiet, as they were rolling their eyes.

Every week the Come y Bebe fruit salad is different. I guess it depends on what fruit is on hand. Sometimes it is in watermelon juice and other times it is in orange juice or mango juice.

Inspiration for This Come Y Bebe (Tropical “Fruit Salad” Punch)

This Wednesday was the last class and my students all presented me with handwritten notes. I sometimes get tired of lugging around all the supplies I need for class. The hats, aprons, knives, and food on the trains and buses as I go to my different job sites. I’ve considered doing more corporate work which would be more lucrative, but I could never get such heartfelt satisfaction as I do from these endearing kids. These notes make it all worth it. Inspired by my students, who I will miss over the summer, I made this fruit salad that I know they would love.

Thank You Notes.

Frequently Asked Questions

Ingredients

  • watermelon
  • pineapple
  • papaya
  • banana
  • orange juice
  • fruit puree (made with some of the watermelon, pineapple, and papaya)

How to Make Come Y Bebe

  • First make the Fruit Puree: Chop the watermelon, pineapple, and papaya into small uniform pieces. Add equal portions of each chopped fruit (for a total of about 3 1/2 cups) into a blender and blend well.
  • Strain puree, then add it with the orange juice in a large pitcher.
  • Add chopped fruits to the juice mix and refrigerate until chilled.
  • Serve as-is or over ice.

Recipe Tips and Variations

It is important to make sure that the fruits are chopped small so that you can easily drink it up with the juice.

Even though I have used watermelon, pineapple, papaya, and bananas in my Come Y Bebe mixture, you can create this drink with any combination of fruits. I suggest trying it with peaches, mango, or nectarines.

If the fruits are already ripe and sweet you may not want to add any extra sweeteners. If you do think that it needs a little extra sweetness, I suggest adding honey or sugar to taste.

Make this an adult fruit punch “salad” with alcohol by adding a shot of rum to the drink before serving.

This recipe is great to make ahead. Prepare a batch of tropical fruit punch and keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. However, watermelon does tend to get a bit of a sour flavor after 3 days and I therefore recommend you sub with mango or nectarines – and omit the banana – if you plan to store in the fridge for the full 5 days.

Come y Bebe - Tropical Fruit Punch
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Come Y Bebe – Tropical Fruit Punch

This drinkable fruit salad from South America is the perfect summertime treat!
Prep Time20 mins
Total Time1 hr 20 mins
Course: beverages
Cuisine: South American
Servings: 8 people
Calories: 133kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 cup chopped watermelon
  • 1/2 chopped pineapple about 2 cups
  • 1/3 chopped papaya about 1 1/2 cups
  • 2 chopped bananas
  • orange juice from 7 very juicy oranges
  • 3 1/2 cups mixed fruit puree strained (pineapple, papaya & watermelon)

Instructions

  • For the fruit puree, combine any combination of fruits in a blender. Puree well. Strain.
  • Add the fruit puree to the orange juice in a large pitcher.
  • Add the chopped watermelon, pineapple, papaya and banana. Stir to combine.
  • Chill in the refrigerator.

Notes

Make sure you cut the fruit very small. You should be able to just slurp up the fruit as you drink. A spoon is not necessary.
If the fruit is ripe and sweet, no additional sweetener is needed. However, if necessary, you can add some honey or sugar.
You can use any combination of fruit you prefer.

This should last about 3 days in the refrigerator, but watermelon turns sour rather quickly. If you would like it to last longer, sub another fruit for the watermelon like mango, peaches or nectarines. I would also omit the banana if you want to keep it longer.
With these changes, Come y Bebe will last in the refrigerator about 5 days.

Nutrition

Calories: 133kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 3mg | Potassium: 399mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 27g | Vitamin A: 1487IU | Vitamin C: 79mg | Calcium: 25mg | Iron: 1mg
Did you try this recipe? Leave a comment below.Please follow me on Instagram @chefmireille or tag me #chefmireille with your pics! I’d love to share them!

For more summer drinks, I suggest these refreshing recipes:

Need more culinary inspiration? Check out the Recipe Index with over 1500 Recipes from Around the World with lots of Vegetarian πŸ₯•πŸ†πŸ…and Gluten Free Recipes!

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Comments

  1. Its so good to read about your adventures.. today I felt as if we were travelling between Queens and Brooklyn… πŸ™‚

    The fruit punch looks so good and inviting ! I especially envy the juicy oranges you get out there πŸ™‚

  2. Mir, I enjoyed your travel notes and yes I felt I was next to you..:)..wish I got to drink this as well..so lovely to see your students’ handwritten notes…it really makes up for lot of our efforts..

  3. Before reading the post I was wondering what come-y-bebe and sound exotic. As always enjoyed reading about the punch and the history behind. It is so sweet of your students to give you those handwritten notes..

  4. Thanks for the recipe for Come Y Bebe! I’ve enjoyed this an d never knew that it is fairly easy to make. Now I need to try this on my own!

  5. Lovely post Mir and as I was reading it I started laughing because I remembered you telling us about your loooooooong walks at the train stations and your elevator ‘journeys’. At least if you find good company like this nice Colombian lady, your commutes might be more memorable. Love those notes from your students. I’m sure you are going to miss them too.
    That fruit punch looks and sounds so refreshing and delicious.

  6. It’s lovely to read about your travel as also the notes. Refreshing looking paletas! I guess they are the perfect pick me up! Did I mention I love your blog url too?! Shall start prowling all over this site over the weekend!

  7. On a really bad day, these cute hand written notes, really brings back that spirit in us and makes all the sweat worth it!!!
    I m loving this be be, baby!! I m going to make it definitely! !

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