Friday, April 27, 2012

Mango Lime Coconut Milk Ice Cream

Who put the lime in the coconut?

Kermit did; that's for sure. But, so did I. With some mango. And then I put that in the ice cream maker. And you know what happened?

Yumminess happened.

I buy mangos quite frequently because I can get them relatively cheap and they are so deliciously sweet. Of course, they are one of the fruits highest in sugar, but they also have a good amount of fiber, Vitamin B6, A and C.

I think the combination of coconuts, mangos and limes is really a no-brainer -- nothing ground-breaking here -- but this ice cream get extra points in my book for being refined sugar-free and dairy-free. Now if I can only figure out how to make it calorie-free...

I've tried making frozen concoctions using coconut milk before and the flavor just wasn't there -- and either was the texture. I needed to get my husband's chisel from the basement so I could get a piece off. (Ice cream shouldn't be doled out in pieces.)

I've learned from the School of Hard Knocks, there are a few things at play when it comes to ice cream:
  • If you're using a non-dairy base, such as coconut milk or almond milk, there aren't any sugars (like lactose in milk) that help keep ice crystals at bay. Now combine that with alternative sweeteners and you've got yourself a recipe for an ice block -- not ice cream. The more sweetener you use, the creamier the ice cream. The sugars help break down those pesky ice crystals.
  • You need a good mix of fats; it's very hard to create smooth and creamy ice cream without any fat. And good fat is good. So that's no big deal; good results simply require finding the right ratio.
  • You don't need any gums -- xanthan or guar. I experimented extensively with them in a hopes to create a more scoopable ice cream, but all they proved to do was make things thicker (not in a good way) instead of making it smoother.
  • Grinding frozen bananas in a food processor and then calling it ice cream should be outlawed. I've tried it many times in an attempt to recreate a low-calorie, low-sugar, low-fat ice cream. Yes, the texture is quite reminiscent of ice cream, but it tastes like bananas. More importantly, it's very hard to cover up the banana flavor. So if you're looking for ice cream that tastes like ice cream using bananas, it's not going to happen. But if you grind up one frozen banana with some other type frozen fruit like strawberries, you still don't get ice cream, but you sure do get something mighty tasty.
For this ice cream, I used a mix of coconut milk (from the can) and light coconut milk (from the can) in an attempt to keep the fat down, but not at the risk of a "creamy" texture. But like most dairy-free ice creams, you do need to leave this out for about 5 minutes before you can scoop, but when you do scoop, it is very creamy -- not as creamy as ice cream, but awfully close.

Mango Lime Coconut Milk Ice Cream

Makes about 6, 1/2-cup Servings


2 cup diced mango
1 cup full fat coconut milk
2 cups light coconut milk
2 limes
1/4 cup xylitol
1/2 teaspoon stevia

Add everything to a blender, including the juice from two limes (discarding the lime solids) and pulverize.

Pour the mixture into your ice cream maker and process according to your machine's directions. I usually let my spin for about 20 minutes. It should be thick upon coming out.

Eat then or transfer to a container and freeze for later.  If eating later, let the container sit out for 5-10 minutes before serving. 

Happy ice cream making!

Nutrition Information Per Serving (1/2 Cup): Calories 154; Total Fat 12g; Total Carb 11g; Fiber 1g; Sugars 1g; Protein 2g


  1. What a great post on how to make dairy free ice cream! This looks great! Thanks for the recipe :)

  2. I love the way you said Yumminess Happened! It does happen, doesn't it? Especially when you've put mango, lime and coconut together!

  3. This looks fantastic! I so need to buy an ice cream maker! I too LOVE mangoes!

  4. This looks great! I've pinned it to Pinterest. Thank you!

  5. Gasp! This is just gorgeous Gina!

    I'm nuts over homemade ice cream, and I love using coconut milk. Great job keeping this sugar free! This is on my to-make list this weekend! Really beautiful recipe.

    Have a great weekend.

    Be Well,

    P.S. Pinned and sharing on FB!! :-)

  6. We recently made this and I LOVED it!!! Our dinner guests also described it as "perfect"... and so simple!

  7. yeah......just tried making coconut milk vanilla ice cream with my ice cream maker.....subbed splenda for the sugar......probably why it turned into a rock...:P

    I'm also using So Delicious brand coconut milk which has only 5 grams of fat in every cup so I don't know if that's a factor too? not enough fat?

    1. Ha! Yeah, I think you need more fat. Plus, the splenda probably didn't help either! I would try it with half full fat canned and half light canned and splenda and see if there's any difference. If it's still ice block city, I think you might need a touch of a natural sweetener -- you could try splitting it at that point -- half splenda and half honey, agave, whatever. Good luck! Dairy-free ice cream is ALWAYS an experiment!

    2. indeed it is...the base recipe I found on the internet for vanilla ice cream is:

      3 cups lite coconut milk (the canned stuff)
      3/4 c. sugar
      1/2 tsp. salt
      1 tbsp. vanilla extract

      Just supposed to mix it all together and chill the base for a bit before putting in the ice cream maker (I think we might have the same make and model since your ice cream maker bowl looks exactly like mine)

      I'm gonna try using all sugar with the SD brand coconut milk and see if that helps...if not I'll just follow the recipe to the letter (using canned lite coconut milk).....the number of points it came to for what a serving presuming it makes about 8 1/2 cup servings is only 4 WW points just by following it to the letter which isn't too bad.

    3. Experiment number 2 still with the So Delicious brand coconut milk but with the sugar the original recipe called for instead of splenda seems to be doing much better. After 5 hours in the freezer I can still scoop it. I'll check once more before I go to bed to see if I can still scoop it. But I am more hopeful about this batch.

    4. Using the sugar with the So Delicious brand coconut milk was a definite success. The mouthfeel was more like that of a sorbet probably due to the surprisingly low fat content of the SD brand coconut milk (5 grams per cup, about the same as that of 2% milk) but that's OK with me. However if I'm ever in the mood for a creamier treat I saw that my local Dollar Tree store has cans of coconut cream that I can dilute with water to get it to the appropriate fat content of canned lite coconut milk. But as I said the sorbet is also fine with me. And for the holidays the SD brand also has holiday nog and chocolate mint flavors of their coconut milk out that should make for great bases for this inadvertent sorbet that I made with that ice cream recipe. I'm gonna try one more experiment to see if the splenda/sugar blend has enough sugar to stabilize things. I suppose if I really wanted to make a no sugar added ice cream I could use sugar alcohols which are similar enough in molecular structure to sugar that it would serve the same function sugar does in ice cream. Sugar alcohols metabolize independently of insulin so they cause little, if any, rise in blood sugar levels. Just watch out for the unfortunate gastronomic side effects of these sugar alcohols when consumed in excess. The dairy no sugar added ice creams I've seen sold in stores tend to utilize these sugar alcohols (maltitol and sorbitol are popular ones) in combination with a little splenda. But sugar alcohols, being a natural product tend to carry a high price tag. I saw a 1 lb. bag of xylitol that was almost $10! Yikes!

    5. Thanks for reporting back and I'm glad you found the ratio that works for you! Also GREAT idea about the "nog" beverages!

    6. The splenda/sugar batch is OK....a little hard but not impenetrably hard like with all splenda

      tried to make another batch with all sugar for thanksgiving as that seems to work best but found out that evidently coconut milk fat and dairy milk fat do not mix well.....I was a little short on the coconut milk so used 2% milk to make up the difference (as they're both roughly the same fat content) and after mixing the base I put it in the fridge for a little while....the base separated

      I re-mixed it and churned it anyways and it's now in the freezer.....who knows....maybe by some miracle it will actually turn out good


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