Thursday, May 09, 2013

Avocado-coconut ice cream

avocado-coconut ice cream

If your mom is anything like my mom, then she probably loves avocadoes. While everyone in my family enjoys this tropical fruit, I most identify it with my mom, as when I was growing up it seemed that she ate an avocado every single day.

Her favorite lunch was a batch of nachos, and with these nachos she’d mash an avocado with hot sauce and lemon juice for a quick and easy guacamole. When she wasn’t making nachos, she’d also dice avocadoes and then toss them into salads, or slice them into thin slivers and then serve them with fish or tacos.

Of course, my recollections may be hazy and perhaps she didn’t eat them every day, but it sure does seem like there was always a bowl of ripe avocados sitting out on the counter, waiting to be peeled, pitted, sliced, and served.

Now here’s the sad thing. I didn’t like avocadoes when I was a kid. I’m not sure if it was the soft texture or if it was because they were green, but it wasn’t until I fell in love with Ninfa’s green sauce that I became a fan.

avocado-coconut ice cream mise en place

Apparently, I’m not alone. When I was reading Gabi Dalkin’s new book Absolutely Avocadoes, she also admits she thought she wasn’t a fan of avocadoes, at least until she, too, had a transformative moment with avocadoes at a Mexican restaurant in Arizona.

She’s since made up for any lost time, and is now very passionate about the fruit. As she says in her intro, writing this book was a dream assignment since she loves avocadoes so much, and you can feel that love as she shares all that she knows.(It's also a beautiful book as fellow Texan Matt Armendariz took the photos.)

Most people associate avocadoes with savory dishes—I know that I do. But lately, I’ve been hearing more people talk about using avocadoes in sweet dishes, too. A friend showed me a picture of an avocado chocolate cake she’d made, and while if you squinted, you could maybe see a slight green tint, she said otherwise it didn’t taste like avocadoes—their addition just made the cake more tender.

Then a friend mentioned that avocado ice cream was his new favorite thing. He’d had it at Amy’s Ice Cream in Austin and said it was surprisingly good. “Does it taste like avocadoes?” I asked. He said that the avocadoes were present, but it wasn’t strange and the ice cream was very pleasing.

At the time, I was intrigued. But as we don’t have Amy’s in New York, I didn’t pursue it until I was flipping through Gabi’s book. And there it was, a recipe for Avocado Coconut Ice Cream. I knew what I was going to make first.

The ice cream is simple to make, as it’s avocadoes, coconut milk, sugar, and cream all whirled in a blender and then churned in an ice cream machine. Gabi’s recipe calls for lemon extract, but not having that on hand I used lime juice and lime zest instead. After a spell in the freezer, you serve it with toasted coconut, for added flavor and crunch.

avocado-coconut ice cream

I will admit that it’s a little unusual, but that’s what makes it so appealing. It’s also creamy and smooth without being heavy, another plus. And though you feel slightly virtuous as you eat it, it still tastes like a treat. But most importantly, it’s cool and refreshing, which is just what you want during these longer days.

Avocado-coconut ice cream

2 Haas avocadoes
1 (14-ounce) can coconut milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 teaspoon lime zest
1/2 cup coconut chips

Cut each avocado in half lengthwise, remove the pit, and scoop out the flesh into a blender or food processor. Add the coconut milk, heavy cream, and sugar. Blend on low until completely smooth, about 2 minutes. Stir in the lime juice and zest.

Transfer the mixture to an ice cream machine, and churn according to the manufacturer’s directions. Cover and freeze for at least 2 hours before serving, so the ice cream can become more firm.

Meanwhile, add the coconut flakes to a dry skillet heated to medium. Cook the coconut while frequently stirring until the edges begin to turn brown, about 2 minutes. (Keep a close eye on the coconut, as you don’t want it to burn.) Remove immediately from the heat. Allow it to cool and then sprinkle over the ice cream for serving.

Note: Gabi’s original recipe called for 1/2 cup sugar, but I like things extra sweet. Her recipe also calls for 1 teaspoon lemon extract instead of the lime juice and zest, but I didn’t have that on hand so I made the lime substitution.

4-6 servings



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Meagan @ Scarletta Bakes said...

I love this recipe so much! Avocado Ice Cream sounds like such a win for avocado fans such as myself, and since avocados taste sweet to me, I love combining them with sweet coconut like you've done here. And I wasn't familiar with Ninfa's Green Sauce - happy to learn about it!

Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar said...

This ice cream looks sooo good!! Love this idea!

Stephanie said...

oh man,I love avocados!! Cannot wait to try this recipe. I always order avocado milkshakes when we get Vietnamese food

sakura said...

We used to eat avocados mashed with milk and sugar as dessert - I think it's a south asian thing. It's delicious so I can imagine how this ice cream must taste. My first savoury dish was avocado vinaigrette which I had as an adult which I liked and now I often add it into my salads.

Lisa (Homesick Texan) said...

Meagan--It is indeed a win! And if you love avocados, then you'll love Ninfa's green sauce.

Katrina-Gaby is full of good ideas when it comes to avocadoes.

Stephanie--I've never had a Vietnamese avocado milkshake. Now this is something I need to try!

Sakura--From what I hear, it's very popular in South Asia. And that vinaigrette must be very refreshing.

Sarah said...

WOW - I am so skeptical of avocado in sweet things, but now I'm intrigued. I'd love to try this.

Jennifer Jo said...

Does it taste at all grassy?

Texan in Deutschland said...

Cannot wait to try this! I have made an avocado dessert that my husband loved, so hopefully he will like this as well.

Quilt Junkie said...

OMG - This sounds positively heavenly! Thanks so much for posting this. AND for the link to Ninfa's Green Sauce. Just seeing "Ninfa's" made this homesick Texan tear up a bit. Let's hear it for Texas "Ex-Pats"! ;-)

Celeste said...

Interesting! A local asparagus festival cooks it and makes ice cream of it; avocado is technically a fruit so it seems more fitted to ice cream.

Avocados are everywhere right now. A place I go for breakfast puts them in omelets, Gwyneth Paltrow says to spread them on toast instead of butter, and I've been hearing smoothie fans like to toss in avocados. This is their time!!!!


I am also a homesick Texan who misses the coffee and refried beans breakfasts at Mama's Cafe in Houston. I created Landry's Seafood as Atchafalaya Cafe and many well known restaurants of Texas, spreading them across the country as Conceptualizer, Architect to the tune of 889 restaurants and hotels from missing Texas. I'm building more of my own in Seattle to keep me happy. Thanks for your site

Elizabeth Emery said...

You mentioned cream in the article but I don't see it in the ingredient list. Is that a mistake?

Lisa (Homesick Texan) said...

Jennifer--No, it's not grassy.

Texan in Deutschland--What's the avocado dessert you made for your husband?

Quilt Junkie--I love Ninfas, too!

Lisa (Homesick Texan) said...

Celeste--It is indeed their time! And they are terrific on toast, I agree.

Patricia--You're welcome!

Lisa (Homesick Texan) said...

Elizabeth--It's listed right after the coconut milk. You need 1/2 cup.

Anonymous said...

I followed you link for the Ninfa's Green Sauce and I have that same exact Houston Chronicle clipping although I would rather eat theirs and there is a Ninfa's right up the road in Waco. Ruth

Kim Van Antwerp said...

Living on Kauai for two years was a real embarrassment of riches for this avo lover. My friend Kathy makes a cream pie with avocadoes, coco nibs, and mint, poured into a nut crust. So good!

...the coconut part of this reminded me of coconut-basil gelato from Fresh (by Brookshire's) in Tyler. Such a clean fresh flavor!

Stacey said...

Gaby's book is so hot right now! :) I've seen it all over the place, blog-wise. For the record, I've made the Ninfa's green sauce from your book about 15 times in the last month. No exaggeration! It's so very good.

Occasionally my family will make homemade ice cream while we're at the lake or camping, and I always want to make it on my own, but buying a half gallon of Blue Bell Banana Pudding always wins out. I think my first ventures into homemade ice cream should be your version of banana pudding and this avocado ice cream!

Anonymous said...

I lived in Santa Barbara in the mid 70's, taking a little time off from college, working at KTYD radio. There was a great restaurant on State Street that served Avocado Key Lime Pie (with Graham Cracker Crust.) My culinary tastes were evolving in those days as just reading it on the menu made me a little queasy. Smooth, tart and delicious. I bet it would be equally good with a flaky crust (find myself overusing the word “great”, otherwise I’d drool 'great'.)

Joan said...

My son and I tried this recipe today while his expectant wife took a nap on the couch. We didn't have any limes so used lemon juice and zest instead. It came out delish...He says it's his new favorite ice cream and didn't want to wake up his wife to

Shelley said...

It's sad how weak-minded I am: how often I read this column and go right out to the grocery store later that day to buy the ingredients!

I'm headed for your mother's meal....

Stacy said...

Ninfa's green sauce, we love this place!!! Every time we go to Galveston, we stop at Pappa's Seafood going and Ninfa's on our way home!

Lisa (Homesick Texan) said...

Kim--That pie sounds amazing!

Stacey--I'm glad you've enjoyed the salsa! And I have to admit that if they sold half gallons of Blue Bell Banana Pudding in NYC, I'd be buying it, too.

Smitty--That does sound great!

Joan--Terrific! I'm so pleased it was a hit!

Shelley--Tell yourself this is healthy!

Stacy--I like the way you travel!

Junsui said...

This sounds really great; I love the sound of coconut milk in this. In my part of the world, I've been seeing a lot of desserts with avocado. I recently tried Avocado Gelato at a small place in Berkeley and it was fantastic; I also made a Chocolate Avocado Tart from River Cottage Veg's Raw Foods Chapter and you would never have known that it was both a vegan and gluten-free dessert. I like this trend of using avocado in new ways, especially since it really is like butter....

Thanks for sharing the recipe!

Greta said...

I love this post as avocados are dear to my heart.
I grew up in the small, southern California town of Fallbrook.
It's called the Avocado Capital of the World.
I grew up playing in avocado groves, climbing avocado trees, and in all my tree houses we only had to reach out the window to grab an avocado.
Every year Fallbrook has the Avocado Festival.
Avocado ice cream is always present, but I've yet to try it.
This recipe is calling my name.
Thank you for sharing it.
PS. My friend, also from Fallbrook, now lives in the Phillipines.
She says savory avocado recipes are rare there.
In fact, a favorite breakfast is diced avocados, sprinkled with sugar, and with milk poured over it all like cereal.
Everyone thought her guacamole was weird.

Betsey said...

Thank you for sharing. This ice cream tastes heavenly, and is quite simple to put together. (I think your changes make the recipe.)

Anonymous said...

Must be good , because an avocado and banana smoothie is just the best.

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