Tropical Lime ‘Ice-Cream’

Makes 1 litre/quart
(Vegan; no gluten, dairy, soy, egg or cane sugar)

No ice-cream maker, dairy products or artificial additives are required. Instead enjoy the high antioxidant levels, pale green colour and light fresh tropical contributions of lime, mango, coconut and vanilla. These, with a little maple syrup (or honey), provide all necessary sweetness.

It is best not to announce beforehand one of the central ingredients which provides creaminess without dairy. Although avocado is a fruit, for some people its association with savoury foods will hamper their enjoyment before they are won over by looks and taste. Many raw vegan recipes use avocado as a foundation to silken rich desserts (see my Raw Vegan Chocolate Brownies). In both cases perfect specimens are needed without brown spots or stringiness, so buy an extra avocado as insurance. Note that with freezing time you will need to allow at least 8 hours before eating.

This can be served immediately upon blending. It will go hard in the freezer but readily softens with three hours in the fridge. If you forget, slice frozen chunks carefully with a knife; leave in bowls for 10 minutes or so at room temperature before serving and if necessary smooth or garnish the top. This looks inviting in tall stemmed glasses. Layer with sliced berries, stewed rhubarb, or shaved chocolate. Stud the lip of the glass with a slice of lime, mango or strawberry. For a dramatic extra touch place each glass on a small plate with two small squares of my Chocolate Nut Fudge. It can be prepared in minutes and without cooking.

2 large ripe mangoes
2 large firm but ripe avocado
1 cup coconut cream*
6 Tbsp maple syrup or agave nectar* (or mild honey, but this is not vegan)
Juice and peel of 1 lime
2 tsp vanilla extract*

Peel the mangoes and chop the flesh. Peel the avocados and chop the flesh. Place the pieces on a tray or dish lined with baking paper. Freeze for 8 hours or longer until hard.

Remove from the freezer and allow to sit at room temperature for 10 minutes. This softening will help it process easily. Place in a food processor with the coconut cream, honey, vanilla, lime juice and peel. Process until smooth. Serve immediately (as above). Or freeze in a 1 litre (1 quart) container. To soften, 3 hours (or up to 6 hours) before serving, place the container in the fridge and then serve. Or use the 10 minute version as outlined in the introduction.

Shopping and Preparation Tips*

• Agave nectar: is also called agave syrup. It is obtained from a type of succulent and member of the yucca family. Juice is extracted from the core. The same plant when fermented produces tequila. Agave nectar is caramel in colour, taste and viscosity; available from health stores but fairly expensive. Look for organic agave that has been treated at low temperatures, otherwise it can be as processed and high in fructose as corn syrup. Agave is sweeter than sugar and low GI. But a diet high in fructose is associated with poor liver function, abdominal weight gain, high blood fats and uric acid.

• Coconut cream: a tinned product from the South Pacific and found in most supermarkets. It should have the consistency of pouring cream and contain no dairy, flour or added sugar. ‘Lite’ types are not necessary: they just have added water and more processing. Instead use only a small amount of the ‘cream’ version, or thin with water, Milk Option or stock – depending on the needs of your recipe.

• Vanilla and other Extracts: use top quality vanilla without artificial additives; it and other real flavours such as almond are often termed extract (as opposed to faux essence, often labelled ‘vanillin’). Good brands available locally and overseas are: Heilala Vanilla and Equagold. These are in most supermarkets and health stores.



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