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I hated mangoes as a kid. They looked weird, tasted strange and felt akin to a punishment in my mouth. Mangoes were something adults ate, like brussel sprouts and blue cheese, and my child brain and tastebuds couldn’t understand the appeal of the heart-shaped oval that smelled faintly of melon (which I also hated.)
Fast forward decades and I can proudly say that I am now a mango lover. I use them in smoothies and atop Greek yogurt. I pour rum on long slices and serve them as dessert. I’ve even made body scrubs with them, mixing the puree with salt or sugar, reveling in the tropical aromas.
But who knew mangoes had a season? Well it’s here and as the temperatures continue to rise there is an easy and fun way to incorporate this antioxidant-rich fruit into your diet and all you need is a food-processor (no churning!) and a few ingredients you already have in your pantry to have mango ice cream in no time. If you are vegan you can use water instead of milk to make sorbet (sherbet). For frozen yogurt fans just use plain yogurt. Sugar can be replaced with honey or agave nectar and there are cool herbs and warm spices you can add to give the mangoes another dimension. The soft fibers in the mango break down easily so the texture of the puree is soft and creamy, almost cloud-like.
9 ounces frozen mango chunks (either from a bag you purchased from the market or that you cut yourself and put the freezer)
2/3 cup milk (non fat, low fat, or whole)
5-6 tablespoons sugar
1-2 fresh limes
pinch salt (fine sea salt is preferred )
Put the frozen mango chunks into a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Grate the zest of one lime directly into the bowl. Add the milk and 5 tablespoons of the sugar. Squeeze the lime(s) and add 1 1/2 tablespoons juice to the bowl with the salt.
Pulse and process until the ingredients are completely blended and resemble soft-serve ice cream. (If chunks are too frozen or large to process at first, let the contents of the bowl stand for a couple of minutes to soften very slightly before continuing). Taste and pulse in more sugar, lime juice, or salt as necessary. Transfer the mixture to a container(s) and freeze until firm enough to scoop, or until needed. If the sherbet becomes too hard to serve, let it soften for a few minutes in the fridge or on the counter, or soften carefully in the microwave on low (or defrost) a few seconds at a time until scoop-able.
And now the fun part…
You can swap out ingredients to suit your taste. Below are some suggestions:
Mango Frozen Yogurt: Swap the milk for plain yogurt.
Mango Basil Sherbet: Chop a handful of basil leaves and add them to the processor with the other ingredients.
Mango Jalapeno Sherbet: Make Mango Sherbet or Mango Basil Sherbet, adding 1/2-1 teaspoon minced jalapeno to the processor with the other ingredients.
Mango Ice Cream: Stir 3 tablespoons of sugar and 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract into 1/2 cup heavy cream. Let the cream stand for a few minutes to dissolve the sugar. Omit the lime zest (but not the juice) and use the sweetened vanilla cream in place of the milk and sugar.
Trade the lime juice for some fresh grated ginger or ginger juice. Infuse the milk with saffron. Sweeten with honey or agave instead of sugar. Consider adding some warm spices such as cinnamon or cardamom.