No Churn Avocado Lime Ice Cream will satisfy your sweet cravings on hot summer days. It’s vegan, gluten-free, no added-oil and low in sugar. It’s paleo too, when made with all coconut sugar. But I am sharing this recipe because it is fast and easy.
Sure, the day after the rainy and cool Memorial Day weekend in Philly was bright and sunny and the temperature hit close to 90°F. Having passed on the vegan ice cream at Penns Landing, from Franklin Fountain over the holiday weekend, I had ice cream on my mind. I had a blog post to write. I wanted a fast no-ice-cream-maker needed ice cream since my fabulous just-plug-it-in-and-go ice cream maker was still in a box in the closet from my move last year to Philly.
Avocado Lime Ice Cream
The single avocado in my refrigerator, the one that I hoped would be perfectly ripe, but not-too-ripe (for what I thought would go into the raw kale avocado salad for my dinner) said, “Use me.” When I spied 2 little limes and a 5.4 ounce can of coconut cream in the refrigerator too, it became clear that I’d try my hand at a vegan Avocado Lime Ice Cream. In Mexico, particularly in Oaxaca, this frozen treat is a staple refresher. I’ve seen many recipes for Avocado Lime Ice Cream, many using sweetened condensed milk, sugar syrups, eggs, and heavy quantities of maple and agave syrups. I thought differently. I did pour out a small amount of coconut nectars but after tasting them, I decided against adding the rather definite flavor of these sweeteners. Instead, I opted to use 2 tablespoons each of coconut sugar and organic cane sugar.
I did write down the ingredients I had in mind and the quantities. Not a very detailed recipe at that, but a start and quite easy. (I’ve learned my lesson about “I’ll remember, no need to get pen and paper.”) I needed only a cutting board, zester, can opener, and blender, and five ingredients: avocado, lime zest and juice, coconut cream, water, and granulated sweetener.
Rejoice I did, as I bet many of you do as well when the cut avocado is perfect! I learned years ago that using a too-ripe avocado in desserts yields a too vegetal flavor.
The lime zest was fine and fluffy, thanks to my new microplane zester. These last a long time, but not forever. Grate only the outer green part, leave behind the bitter pith, and always zest the limes before you juice them.
Squeezing the limes in my lemon yellow juicer yielded 3 tablespoons of juice. I stirred the zest into the juice to allow it to soften while I opened the can of coconut cream. Why coconut cream you might be asking? Simple. I didn’t want to open a full can of cold coconut milk since I thought the amount of cream that would have—or actually should have risen to the top—might be too much for what I was making. This was either a half recipe test or a full small household recipe, to be seen.
The five ingredients went into the blender and the taste was delicious. Not too sweet, with lots of bright citrusy lime. I did not use the blender’s tamper, instead, I stopped the blender a few times and moved the mixture around with a spatula.
Freezing the Ice Cream
As is my habit, and should be yours, I did a test before commiting the base to the freezer. Here I spooned a scant tablespoon of the ice cream base into a small freezer-proof dish, put it into the freezer and set the timer for 10 minutes. I used the time to wash the cutting board, and knife but not the blender in case I needed to adjust the recipe.
- At 10 minutes: almost frozen, still creamy
- At 15 minutes, frozen, still creamy
- At 20 minutes, still frozen and still creamy
I spooned the 1 1/3 cup yield of ice cream base into a flat container, wondering still if it would be scoop-able when solidly frozen for hours or overnight. Usually, I babysit what I am testing, but I had to leave the apartment. I wrote the time, 3:36pm, in my notebook.
When I returned at 6:30pm, I took the container and the second little test from the freezer to the counter. Frozen but not rock hard, still. Five minutes at room temperature was all it took for me to enjoy a citrus-fresh tasting creamy ice cream appetizer, the sample, while my dinner warmed.
This morning, after an overnight in the freezer, the ice cream needed closer to 12 minutes at room temperature to be scooped. Watch yours, it might need less time.
Serve Avocado Lime Ice Cream with toasted coconut shreds or flakes, cacao nibs, chopped macadamia or pistachios, sliced banana, fruit, or anything you’d like, but load up the ice cream with the fruit! I’d try some chopped cilantro as a garnish too. Here I have topped the 3 small scoops with cake crumbs, toasted coconut flakes, chopped pistachios, and a drizzle of the ganache I always have in the freezer. I added blueberries but forgot the photo.
No Churn Avocado Lime Ice Cream
Makes 1 1/3 cups (double for 2 2/3 cups)
- 1/2 an average size avocado, ripe, but not too ripe
- finely minced zest and juice of the two small limes (about 1 tablespoon zest and 3 tablespoons lime juice)
- 5.4 ounce can coconut cream (this is 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp, or 150 milliliters)
- 2 tablespoons water
- 2 tablespoons coconut sugar
- 2 tablespoons cane sugar
- Put all of the ingredients into a blender container. I used my Vitamix high-speed blender.
- Start blending on low speed and quickly increase the speed to high. You will need to stop the blender a few times to scrape the sides and get the mixture moving.
- Taste and add more sweetener or lime, but to me this was just right.
- Spoon the puree into a shallow container. Cover and freeze for 3 hours or until solid. Every freezer is different.
- Ten to fifteen minutes before serving, remove the ice cream from the freezer and allow to soften until you are able to scoop portions into serving dishes.
Serve with toasted coconut shreds or flakes, cacao nibs, chopped macadamia or pistachios, sliced banana, fruit, or even chopped cilantro.
The color of this No Churn Avocado Lime Ice Cream is not bright green, and that’s just fine.
No Churn Avocado Lime Ice Cream is:
- No fat added
- Low sugar
- No salt
- Paleo, if made with all coconut sugar