Coconut, Mango, and Açaí Vegan Soft Serve
Healthy Soft Serve Made with Coconut Milk, Mango, and Açaí
Who says soft serve has to be unhealthy? This vegan frozen treat is packed with nutrients and extremely low on the sugar scale—and whatever sugars are present are from 100% naturally-occurring in the raw honey and fruit varieties.
Açaí has been gaining a lot of popularity in recent years, and for good reason. It’s a nutrient-dense little drupe from the amazon that is loaded with fiber and antioxidants and contains very little sugar. They also contain high concentrations of those “healthy fats” need for energy, brain function, and optimal cell growth (you know, the same stuff found in avocado and salmon). Some people even refer to it as the “beauty berry” because of what are believed to be “anti-aging” properties, but the believed health benefits of Açaí berries go far beyond that.
There’s another good reason to include Açaí in your food—it adds lovely color and flavor! You think people are just eating those Açaí bowls for health despite flavor. Wrong! The taste is a huge driver of the popularity in Açaí-focused food carts. The flavor is much different than most berries you have tasted. In fact, Açaí, though similar in appearance to huckleberries and blueberries, really isn’t really a berry at all—it’s a drupe (related to stone fruits like peaches). What it lacks in sweetness, it makes up for in depth of flavor, which is somewhat tart with an earthiness reminiscent of cacao.
Unfortunately, finding fresh Açaí berries outside of the Amazon is nearly impossible. Once picked, the fruit quickly begins to decline in quality. It takes just 48 hours for them to begin fermenting! For this reason, the berries are often frozen, juiced, or dried to preserve the flavor, color, and nutritional properties. I use the freeze-dried powder in this recipe. The juice would make my soft-serve too runny and whole berries would create a less-than-desirable consistency with seeds and skins.
Using the powdered form along with the other ingredients produces a creamy, smooth, and absolutely delicious frozen treat that you can feel good about devouring on the regular!
Antioxidant-Rich Tropical Vegan Soft-Serve
- 16 ounces frozen mango
- 1 heaping tablespoon dehydrated, ground Açaí
- 12 ounces full fat coconut milk
- 2 tablespoons raw creamed honey
- 1 teaspoon vanilla paste or extract
- Pinch of sea salt
- Use a food processor to mix together the coconut milk, vanilla paste, and creamed honey.
- Add the frozen mango, a little at a time so you don’t jam it up, and blend it to smooth.
Add the sea salt and ground Açaí and blend until well-mixed.
I like to pack this frozen treat into a pastry bag (you can use a plastic bag and cut the corner off if you don’t have one) and swirl it into a cup or cone. Eat it as is or sprinkle some Ceylon cinnamon overtop to enhance the natural sugars.
Slofoodgroup carries some of the ingredients used in this recipe, including freeze-dried powdered Açaí berries, flake sea salt, and the optional topping, Ceylon cinnamon.