Affectionately named “Mango Beach Blast” by Abigail, this recipe is a healthy dessert anytime and can also be substituted for yogurt and layered with granola as a delicious breakfast for vegans, those with dairy allergies, neutropenic cancer care, or anyone looking for low sugar goodness. It is super quick and easy, unlike some homemade ice cream. Both soy and dairy-free, it still has a creamy feel. Sweetened with dried figs, yet no one will guess there is no refined sugar.
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk*
4 pitted dates (neutropenic note: Make sure MD approves of dried fruit or boil first.)
1/2 frozen banana, broken into 2 to 3 pieces
1 heaping cup of frozen mango chunks (I buy a giant bag of organic at Costco)
1 pineapple ring (canned) or 4 nice chunks of fresh cut (neutropenic note: Use canned only.)
1 tsp vanilla bean paste** or 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Add all ingredients to a Vitamix (other high-powered blender or food processor) in order. I like the dates to soak in the milk a bit while I am measuring out the other ingredients. Start mixing on low and increase the speed to high, working pretty quickly. You’ll need to use the tamper to press down the ingredients and keep things “ice cream cool”. If you are using a blender that doesn’t have that, I recommend adding the mango chunks in stages to keep things moving. Blend until just mixed and creamy. Scoop out with a spatula and enjoy.
Makes 2-3 servings.
Notes and Tips:
* I use both boxed dairy alternative, drinkable coconut milk and canned cooking coconut milk. My preference is the boxed drink. Canned will give it an even creamier texture, but it is a lot heavier and more fat. Whichever you choose, make sure it is unsweetened.
** Vanilla bean paste is a significantly cheaper alternative to vanilla bean pods. It adds a richer flavor than extract and thickens the mixture nicely. It will add a trivial amount of sugar.
If you want it more like a smoothie, add 1/4 – 1/2 cup more milk.
To freeze bananas yourself, peel and roll tightly in plastic wrap. Then, place several in a sealed freezer bag or bin with the date. Must be frozen for at least 12 hours before using for this recipe. Take special care in dropping the banana onto the plastic wrap to keep from any contamination with the skin, if neutropenic. Use within 3 months.
HIGHLIGHTED BENEFITS FOR CANCER PATIENTS AND OTHERS:
- VEGAN – Some studies, like the China Experiment, show that limiting meat products helps to stifle tumor growth.
- NO REFINED SUGAR – See note above.
- MAGNESIUM – Coconut milk is a great source of magnesium, which helps with constipation due to pain medications, chemotherapy, or other treatments. This mineral has many other health benefits, including aiding with calcium absorption and bone health.
- CALCIUM, VITAMIN D, B12, and IRON – Boxed drinking coconut milk provides all of these, canned is high in iron and offers some calcium.
- FIBER and VITAMIN C – Mango provides each of these boosting both your immune and digestive systems. It is also high in vitamin A.
- YOGURT ALTERNATIVE – Neutropenic individuals have to be careful about all bacteria consumption and exposure, so live active cultures in yogurt which are a good thing for healthy individuals can cause harm to someone with low blood counts and must be avoided. This is a great way to get a “yogurt” fix when you can’t have the real thing. It’s so good that you may never go back to the real deal!