Mango & Passionfruit Ice Cream
I know what you’re thinking
And I know that the moment I declare this my first – and probably the healthiest – ice cream I’ve made (!!!), you would think that’s all the explanation you would ever need.
Done chuckling? Good.
Now let me defend my honour.
This was made without heavy cream, eggs yolks or sugar, but with avocado. And that’s why it’s green, not because of any other unfortunate kitchen mishap (I’ll pardon you for your suspicion since, with me, nary a thing stays intact the moment I lay hands on it – like a toilet bowl in primary school…).
It’s an idea I’ve been toying with for a while now ever since I desperately chucked an over-ripe avocado into the freezer in an attempt to stop it ripening further as I searched for a reason to use it up. Typically, I grabbed it for a quick salad, letting it thaw for only 15 minutes and then slicing it in half. When I scooped the luscious flesh out and chopped it up, I realised that the hunks from the core of the fruit had remained dense and frozen, and acting on my curiosity, I popped one in my mouth.
Think the texture of chilled chocolate praline, velvety and creamy as it melts on your tongue – except that it tastes nothing like chocolate. Which isn’t to say it sucked because I’m hard-pressed to name anything that tastes better than chocolate. Comparing an avocado to such an immaculate gift to us mere mortals would be a stretch for the poor fruit.
It is oh so humble in its own right if you stop to think about it. And very versatile too.
Which was precisely the reason why I halted mid-step while walking through the fruit aisles in NTUC Finest two weeks ago and gaped at the modest ‘Mexico Avocados: $2.99 for 4′, one I would’ve waltzed by cluelessly if I hadn’t happened to turn my head to the right. Those were a steal I tell you. I still have four of them nestled snugly in my fridge’s fruit box.
Before I expound on the wonders of avocados and proudly advocate this the healthiest ice cream ever – and with an easy vegetarian alternative – I want to make this point clear.
Healthy =/= Will-make-the-kilos-magically-melt-off-you-as-you-pig-out-on-avocado-ice-cream-patting-yourself-on-the-back-for-replacing-the-tub-of-Ben N Jerry’s Turtle Soup-at-the-grocery-store.
Hate to break this to you but that won’t happen unless you’re stuffing your face with pure konnyaku or grass jelly (both of which are zero calorie foods) and end up with severe nutrient deficiencies and probable death.
I say this in jest now, of course, though it truly saddens me that plastering bold, obnoxious words of ‘Good for health!’, ‘Low-Fat!’, ‘Low-Sugar!’ is the norm for marketing ploys today. Contrary to popular belief, one can swell up like the Hindenburg (ie. Get Fat) on healthy foods, so think twice before gleefully chowing on that foot-long Subway sandwich. As long as your intake is more than output, you’re highly unlikely to look like Jessica Alba anytime soon.
Avocados, being the wonderfood that they are, are 75% monounsaturated fat, have 60% more potassium than bananas and contains vitamins E, B and K (Source: Wikipedia). Optimum nutrition in that tiny thing lowers risks of heart disease, encourages weight loss and increase nutrient absorption.
It has a lovely subtle flavour and silky smooth flesh which immediately makes it the perfect candidate for the base of ice creams as opposed to those made from heavy cream which are high in saturated fats.
And have I mentioned what wonderful things monounsaturated fats do for skin and hair? Think red-carpet actresses. In fact, actress Olivia Wilde has this to say: “I also love avocados. I feel like I always have avocados at my house. For me, they’re nature’s gift.”
Right, so now that that’s out of the way, go on and have fun with experimenting with different flavours. Dark chocolate, banana, rum and raisin, salted caramel…
Do remind yourself to exercise a little restraint because this recipe can easily explode into a caloric nightmare upon, say, the idea of Butter and Pecan Ice Cream.
And one more thing before you head off to clear the avocado boxes in your nearest grocery store: Chances are, your ice cream isn’t going to come out in any other shades than those of green or murky natures.
Mango & Passionfruit Ice Cream
- 4 ripe medium avocados (the skin yields a little when pressed)
- 1 cup low-fat fresh milk (for a vegetarian version, swap with soy milk)
- 2 ripe mangoes
- pulp of 6 passionfruit* (they are ripe when their skins are deeply wrinkled. Place in the sun near a window to ripen.)
- honey or maple syrup (optional)
1. Slice avocados in half, remove the pits and scoop out the flesh with a spoon. Chop the avocados into rough chunks.
2. Remove the skin and seed from the mangoes and chop into chunks as well.
3. Cut the passionfruit in half and scoop out the flesh, seeds and all.
4. Put all the ingredients in a blender and whiz them all up till the mixture is a smooth paste. Add honey or maple syrup according to taste.
5. Pour mixture into a shallow tray or container and place in the freezer for 2 hours. After 2 hours, take out the container or tray and give the semi-frozen mixture a good mixing with a whisk or a hand-held electric mixer. Return the container to the freezer and repeat process 2-3 times. All this mixing is not necessary, but it gives the ice cream a lighter texture, otherwise it’ll be quite dense.
6. To serve, take the ice cream out of the freezer for 15 minutes or so before scooping.
*I only had passionfruit puree instead of the fruits themselves, which I suspect added a fair bit of water content to the ice cream so it was rock hard when I took it out of the freezer. I had to let it thaw a bit before the richness of the avocados could be fully appreciated.