Smooth, rich-tasting, and low-guilt ice cream is my holy grail of sweets. Most desserts I don't bother trying to healthy up — there's little point. But ice cream is one of my great weaknesses, and something I've had to cut back on as the years pass. I've experimented with all sorts of low-fat and low-cholesterol ice creams with mixed results. This tropical version, blending coconut milk and yogurt, is one of my favorites.
Non-fat, Greek-style yogurt has been finding its way into more and more of my dishes lately. It brings creamy goodness without fat and adds a good dose of protein — especially helpful with my kids in an extremely picky phase when it comes to food.
Light coconut milk blends in beautifully for a rich-tasting frozen treat without a drop of cream. This only uses part of a can of coconut milk; try using the rest to make Lemongrass-Coconut Tomatillo Sauce or a Coconut Frappé.
I kept this tropical with an infusion of mango and cinnamon, but you could substitute any seasonal fruit you like.
Coconut Mango Ice Cream
Rather than chill after mixing, I put the mangoes and a can of coconut milk into the refrigerator the night before making it. I prefer unsweetened coconut, but you can use whatever you like.
1 cup light coconut milk
1 cup plain, nonfat Greek-style yogurt
3/4 cup puréed or mashed mango (from one or two mangoes, depending on size)
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon cardamom (optional)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup toasted coconut, plus more to garnish (optional)
Combine all ingredients except coconut in a medium bowl and whisk until smooth. Chill at least 1 hour.
Stir in 1/2 cup of coconut, if using, then pour into ice cream maker and process according to manufacturer’s directions. Serve garnished with remaining toasted coconut, if using.
What if you're not using an ice cream maker?
If you don't have an ice cream maker, you could try this the harder way — see David Lebovitz's guide for mixing ice cream by hand. I don't know how well it would work for this base, however. (It's also pretty time-consuming.) Alternatively, you could try pouring into popsicle molds (or use the paper cups-and-popsicle sticks technique); I think these would turn out as a creamier variation on Anna's Tropical Popsicles from a few weeks back.
If you try the Lebovitz approach, let us know how it works!
How many cups does this make??
When I make this, we keep eating it before I remember to measure it. I estimate about a quart, based on volume measurements and that we had enough to serve two families of four.
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