Vegan Mango Ice Cream
Ice cream for me was an occasional treat on birthdays, anniversaries, Christmas, New Years and other special occasions. It was not something that you would have found stocked in our fridge, just waiting for that midnight-snack raid. It was a once-in-a-while dessert that was not around long, considering the number of members in the family.
Becoming a vegan made that experience even rarer. That once-in-a-while treat came to a halt and got deleted from our grocery list, not only because ice cream almost always contains animal milk, but also because it is highly processed and loaded with sugar (my husband and I avoid those foods). And God knows what else is added to make it taste like the advertised flavor or what preservatives are in it to make it last longer.
So, I stopped eating ice cream altogether—not that I miss it, because, trust me, I can live without it for a lifetime. Since becoming vegan, my taste buds stopped craving such foods. They only crave the natural sweetness that comes in fruits.
Experimenting With Vegan Ice Cream Recipes
Still, I am glad that my husband encourages me to try out new things, even if they're processed (slightly, but still processed). So, for the last couple of months, I have been reading ice cream recipes and experimenting with my own. The results were tolerable. My taste buds surely didn't complain about them. But something else was missing.
I'd been interested in making ice cream with coconut cream, based on a few recipes I found, but the coconut cream in those recipes was canned. Canned coconut cream can only be bought in supermarkets which are located 200 kilometers from where we live. And although it can be bought online, the price is as high as the Himalayas, and I was more worried about the preservatives. So, I didn't even try ordering it. I wondered, though, as to how to make coconut cream at home.
Using a Fresh Coconut
When our coconut was lying around in the kitchen for a week and I was not able to think of any recipe for it, I decided to make an ice cream out of it. Paired with mango, which is in season, I made a delicious mango ice cream right at home. Now, I know what to do, and I don't need to be in the city to have some ice cream.
And you can make it, too! Here's how to make a vegan mango ice cream!
- Two ripe mangoes, large (about 600 grams)
- 1/2 of a coconut
- 1/2 cup plant-based milk, chilled
- Pitted dates or date syrup or white sugar (optional)
- Muslin cloth
Everything is homemade or processed at home. So, here's how to start.
Step 1: Make the Coconut Cream
- Chop the coconut into pieces and blend for a few seconds—first without water, and then while slowly pouring in a little at a time.
- Using a muslin cloth, strain the coconut and squeeze off as much milk as you can.
- When done, keep the milk in the fridge for at least two nights. You'll notice that the cream starts to settle at the, surface separating from the water. When it's thick, the cream is ready to be scooped out and used.
Step 2: Prepare the Mango
- Wash and peel the mangoes, then slice them into small chunks for easy blending.
- Store in a box and keep in the freezer overnight.
- Once frozen, remove and keep aside to thaw for a while, making sure the mango slices are not fully iced. It will be difficult to churn if you don't have a powerful blender. Mine is not that powerful, so I had to thaw the mango for about 5 minutes.
Step 3: Make the Ice Cream
- In a blender, add mango slices and coconut cream. Blend until the mixture is smooth and no mango lumps are visible. After the first churning, add milk and your chosen sweetener. Blend again.
- Check the sweetness and do what is required. I added 6 teaspoons of white sugar to this recipe, and it came out very sweet for me. If I make it again, I'll reduce the sugar to 3 teaspoons—or, perhaps, I'll leave the sugar out.
- Transfer to a box and freeze for a few hours.
- I used one of the sweetest varieties of Indian mangoes available around this time. It is called chausa mango. Since I used large mangoes, add one or two more if your mangoes are not that big.
- I used our usual plant-based milk for cold coffee—almond and peanut milk combo. Cashew milk may be good with this.
- If you are fortunate enough to find a tender or young coconut, you can use the meat as a base as well. I would have tried that, but I live in a non-coconut-growing state of India, and though it's available sometimes in a few fruit and vegetable shops, the price is just ridiculous. I wouldn't waste my money on it.
- I used the "okara" or the coconut pulp left after straining and squeezing to make buns. We, including our fur-friends, enjoyed them a lot. It can be added to cakes, pancakes, dosa, etc. as well.
- Depending on how much ice cream you want to make, for two mangoes, half of the coconut was enough for the amount of cream I needed.
- Most importantly, the fruit ice creams (banana, persimmons) I made previously were coarse, rough and icy, but this one is NOT. It is mostly due to the coconut cream. It is soft, smooth and creamy.
- Chopped pistachios can be added, too.
- The third time I made this, I added a few cashews and pistachios while churning. It turned out nice as well.
- Let me know if you have any other suggestions for additions or variations!
Tips on Eating the Ice Cream
- I prefer consuming it slightly melted.
- Since my husband only had a spoon of it (he'd rather eat the mango or the coconut alone than process them into something else), it took me four sittings to finish a small 6x6-inch box of this ice cream.
Enjoy this simple yet appetizing vegan mango ice cream!
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© 2017 Rham Dhel