Mango-coconut sherbet

All of you who are experiencing this Midwestern backslide back into winter alongside me — this one’s for you. It may be cold with a chance of snow outside, but this mango-coconut sherbet is tropical sunshine in a bowl. Cheers!

Coconut has held its place in the spotlight for the past couple of years. Touted to be a miracle cure for a variety of ailments, coconut oil has been flying off the shelves like crazy. The truth is, however, that there has not yet been enough research to support these claims.

The fat found in coconuts is mostly saturated fat, and we’ve heard for years that saturated fat can raise LDL or “bad” cholesterol levels, increasing risk of heart disease and other vascular problems. The type of saturated fatty acid most prevalent in coconut is lauric acid, a medium-chain triglyceride thought to raise both our “bad” LDL cholesterol and our “good” HDL cholesterol. Newer research suggests that because of this, coconut may have a neutral effect on heart health. In fact, some new research is showing that the link between heart disease and saturated fats in general may not be as black-and-white as we thought. There’s a lot of research to be done still, but I look forward to seeing what new conclusions – if any – are reached in the future. For now, keep in mind, that many reputable organizations like American Heart Association and Harvard School of Public Health still stand firm on the recommendation to limit saturated fats.

The bottom line? Enjoy coconut products in moderation because you like the taste, not because everyone thinks they’re miracle cure-all. 

Just crank up the heat, slap on some sunglasses, and pretend you’re laying under a palm tree while you nibble on this treat. It’s almost the same thing.

Mango-coconut sherbet
Makes 1 generous quart (eight 1/2 cup servings)

3 cups diced fresh mango (about 3 mangos)
2 tablespoons sugar
1 (14 ounce) can full-fat coconut milk
3 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon arrowroot powder (a neutral-flavored thickener)
Toasted coconut flakes, for garnish

  1. Place the mango pieces in the bowl of a food processor. Sprinkle with sugar and let the fruit macerate for 10 minutes. Puree the mango smooth. Note: If your mangos are super ripe, adding sugar might not be necessary. Just taste after pureeing – if the puree tastes quite sweet, you’ll probably be fine without additional sugar. Do keep in mind, however, that the mixture will taste less sweet after it’s frozen. 
  2. Add the coconut milk, lime juice, and arrowroot powder to the mango puree and blitz several times to thoroughly combine.
  3. Pour into an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer to lidded container and place in the freezer for 2-3 hours to firm it up. Remove from the freezer 10 minutes before serving. Serve topped with toasted coconut flakes.