Beat the heat with a creamy, dairy free, Coconut Mango Ice Cream or Popsicles – no need to pull out the ice cream maker!
It is HOT outside. We’ve had many days in a row now with temperatures over 30° C. We’re having a heat wave, a tropical heat wave – the words to that song keep playing in my head and I’m feeling all sultry and lazy. Who wants to do anything more than loll around in the shade and sip icy drinks?
Yes, the weather sounds lovely and tropical, but we northerners start to melt in extended heat. Most of our homes don’t have air conditioning (but we do have massive, state-of-the-art, heat-blasting furnace systems) and we don’t know how to deal with the soaring temperatures when they last more than a few days at a time – and neither do our gardens.
The poor little plants are wilted and drooping by midday, a lot of the vegetable seeds we planted just baked, and didn’t even show their heads above ground.
The grass is getting brown and crunchy to walk on (except for the dandelions and clover – they are THRIVING!)
And worst of all, the farmers are starting to seriously suffer. Crops look terrible and will have to be plowed under if we don’t get rain soon. To make matters worse, we’ve had some serious thunderstorms, with hail in certain areas. And though we’ve, luckily, had no hail, we also haven’t had any thundershowers either.
The only water I can use for our plants is the stuff we’ve collected in rain barrels from the few cloudbursts we had weeks ago. Our well water is too full of sodium and will be worse for plants and soil than no water, so I ration out the saved rain water.
Inside, I try all the hot weather tricks: open windows at night to collect every bit of cool air. Close windows late morning. Keep drapes closed during the day to keep hot sun out. We’ve got fans going in every room, and I move from one fan to another as I do the minimum amount of work I can. In the kitchen I have two large fans blasting at me from different angles, and I try not to use the oven to add more heat to the house.
I make big stock pots full of iced herbal and green teas to chill in the fridge, and we eat a lot of salads and cold things . . . like this delicious, creamy, frosty, throat-cooling coconut mango ice cream. It’s actually more like a sherbet or gelato, rich with intense fruity flavour, but the main thing is, it’s cold and delicious. (I could slather it all over my body, but I won’t waste the taste!)
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Kitchen Frau Notes: The beauty of this ice cream is that you can make it without an ice cream maker. Even though I love my ice cream maker, sometimes I’m not organized to think ahead and freeze the canister for the required 24 hours before I can use it – I want ice cream now! So if you have a food processor or powerful blender, you can make mango ice cream in minutes.
When mangoes are in season, it’s easy to cut up a bunch (see How to Cut Up a Mango here), freeze the cubes on parchment-lined cookie sheets, then pop them into zip-top bags to have ready in the freezer, or buy bags of frozen cubed mango to have on hand for smoothies and this coconut mango ice cream. (Superstore sells handy 600 gram bags of frozen mango cubes.)
You need to use full-fat premium canned coconut milk here – the light version will not do – since you need to use the separated thick creamy part that rises to the top of the can. The Thai Kitchen brand I normally buy is usually already separated, but some other brands need to have the can of coconut milk refrigerated overnight in order for the creamy part to separate from the watery part.
Save the watery part of the coconut milk to use in smoothies, soups or curries. It can be frozen for later use, too.
Creamy Coconut Mango Ice Cream
gluten free and dairy free
- 4 cups (600gms) frozen mango chunks
- 1 can (140z/398ml) full-fat, premium coconut milk
- finely grated zest of 1 lime
- 1 tablespoon honey (maple syrup or agave nectar for vegan version)
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
Place the frozen mango chunks in the bowl of a food processor or high speed blender. Tip the can of coconut milk upside down, and open the bottom end of the can. The thin liquid should now be on top. Pour it out and save it for another use. Scoop the thick, white coconut cream that is left in the bottom of the can into the food processor. You should have a little less than a cup of coconut cream. Add the lime zest, honey, and lime juice.
Process until smooth, scraping down the sides a couple times during blending. This could take several minutes. At first it will seem like nothing is blending, then slowly the mass will start to move in the food processor and come together to be smooth and creamy.
You can serve it immediately as Coconut Mango Soft Serve, or freeze it for 2 to 3 hours until it is a firmer texture for scooping. Stir the mixture every hour while it is freezing and it will harden up more evenly. If this ice cream is left to freeze overnight, it gets quite hard – in that case, remove it from the freezer about 30 minutes before serving to allow it to soften enough to scoop.
The mixture can also be frozen in an ice cream maker (follow manufacturer’s directions) for a softer ice cream that won’t freeze as solid if frozen for more than a few hours.
*You can also spoon the mixture into popsicle molds and freeze until firm – it makes wonderful popsicles.
Makes 3½ cups.
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