Tell me – are you a mad passionate ice cream addict like me? I’m not sure what it is – the creaminess, the ice cold chill, or maybe it’s the summery beach vibe we associate them with. Either way, there’s something about ice cream that makes me want it ALL YEAR ROUND. Yep, come mid-winter you’ll find me in my ugg boots, rugged up on the couch, watching an episode of Vikings, with a bowl of ice cream, fruit, and random pantry-found sprinkles in hand.
So why not make the most of the last of this summer fruit, and make some fancy pants ice cream BARS while we’re at it! Although, not that fancy. At 4 ingredients (one of which is optional), I’m not even sure we can call this a recipe. But they still taste super good, so I’m thinking… shall we go there anyway?
I was waltzing around the Waiheke island supermarket the other day with Mila in tow (the free fruit basket for kids + self-checkout combo, where she can legitimately press computer buttons to her heart’s content, is just too much for one 3 year old to bear). When, lo and behold – mangoes, for $1 each! And not just a few shrivelly old small ones either – we’re talking big fat juicy mangoes, perfectly ripe, so their flesh bends gently when you squeeze them. Yes please, I thought, so off we trotted home with a bag of juicy globes in hand.
Watch How to Make Tropicana Bars
Which is where these bars come in. Yes, these ridiculously easy Tropicana Bars are…
- Made with just 4 ingredients;
- Whipped up in 2 easy 2-minutes steps (blend and pour, blend and pour);
- Doable in any blender, fancy or otherwise;
- 100% dairy free, because who said you needed dairy for delicious ice cream?; and
- Exactly the thing you need to transport your taste buds to Hawaii and back, just before this summer comes to an end!
If you can’t get fresh mangoes where you are, don’t fret my friend – frozen mango will do just fine. In fact, you could even go the canned stuff here (just make sure it’s in juice rather than syrup). These tropical delights are too easy and tasty not to try!
Digging the Dirt on Dairy
I wrote the first part of an in-depth series on dairy the other week, discussing first and foremost the health downsides of dairy consumption for humans. If you haven’t read that yet, be sure to flick back (preferably whilst eating one of these ice cream bars) and have a good study up here. I’m certain there’ll be some health-related factors you haven’t yet considered in your personal plant-based journey.
If you’ve already reduced your dairy significantly (e.g. are opting for soy milk in your latte, and coconut yoghurt on your muesli), but still can’t give up the camembert or feta, this post is fully for you too. Increasing your knowledge of the issues is the absolute first step in broadening your awareness, and will enable you to make more fully informed, proactive decisions about your daily dietary habits. Habits which no doubt for you, like me, have been ingrained societal norms for your entire life up until now.
In an upcoming blog post (featuring a delicious dairy-free pasta recipe), I’ll continue this discussion, focussing on the ethical and environmental downsides of dairy. But for now, make sure you’ve read part one here. My own personal experience and journey to a plant-based diet was also initially one that was health focussed (and self-focussed). Over time though, I learned about the ethical and environmental implications of dairy (and meat and egg and seafood) consumption, and now find these factors to be even more powerful in keeping me on the straight and narrow.
For now though, let’s keep it simple and get straight to the food. Mangoes (fresh, frozen, or canned), coconut cream, a dash of sweetener, and something to thicken if you please, and voila – these beautiful bars shall be yours. Make them and let me know what you think! Tag me on Instagram with @begoodorganics and #begoodorganics, or post your pics on my FB page here. Whether they’re for your flatties, kiddies, or better half, everyone in your life is going to love these simple yet sensational bars!
Happy plant-cooking, til next week as always, stay happy and well.
- 400 mL coconut cream
- 2 tbsp liquid sweetener e.g brown rice malt syrup/coconut nectar
- 1 tsp guar gum optional
- 3 c frozen mango
- 2 tbsp liquid sweetener
- 1/2 tsp guar gum optional
- Blend cream ingredients on high until super smooth, set aside 1/4 c of the mix, then pour remainder into a lined square tin and place in the freezer for 20 minutes
- Blend mango ingredients with the remaining 1/4 c cream, then pour onto the cream layer (once it’s set sufficiently).
- Freeze overnight, slice into bars and serve.
- Guar gum is optional, you can make without and they’ll still taste delicious, but the guar gum helps to give a traditional creamy ice cream texture, rather than them turning icy. Almost all regular ice creams use a thickener like guar gum to achieve this same creamy texture (it helps to bind the water particles to the fat particles, making “ice cream”).
- These also work well with other creamy style fruits such as papaya. You could also try a 75:25 mix of mango and pineapple (1/2 cup of pineapple).
- The mango layer is also delicious with a couple of tablespoons of passionfruit pulp stirred through before layering.