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?
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
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.