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Coconut milk plus avocado (Recipe: avocado coconut milk ice cream) {gluten-free}


Guest post by Peter in Brazil

Ripe avocados are dropping from the trees here in São Gonçalo do Rio das Pedras.

Not only is it dangerous, but they are going to waste.

Everyone, except us, has an avocado tree of some variety -- manteiga (butter), coité (named after a round green fruit from which the locals crafts bowls), preto (black-skinned), vermelho (reddish-skinned) -- in their quintal. The annual crop far surpasses the local demand. Even the pigs and chickens turn up their noses after their first few gorgings each year.

We actually do have an avocado tree the size and shape of a young red oak in the orchard, but no one can tell me whether it has not yet produced due to its tender age, or to a lack of TLC and manure.

Anyway, should our tree ever bear fruit, I'm not sure what I'd do.

One can only eat so many perfect, green, creamy avocados sprinkled with sugar for a mid-morning snack, or drink so many vitaminas de abacate (avocado milkshakes). No self-respecting São Gonçalense would even think of preparing avocado as a savory dish -- no guacamole here, no avocados vinaigrette, no avocados heaped with tuna or shrimp or crab mayonnaise -- but I am working on it.

Madalena or Francisco occasionally show up at the kitchen door with a sack full of perfectly ripe fruits -- the big, smooth, green variety. When I think of the price that people pay for this luxury in New England, I begin to fantasize about exportation schemes. But then I sigh, drizzle another one with extra virgin olive oil, lime juice, salt and pepper, and dig in. Marlene and Cida just look at me, giggle, glance at my midriff, comment on the avocado’s huge fat content -- and refuse to partake of my crazy American salad.

I head for my pantry. How can I turn this bounty into something sweet that will appeal to our Brazilian guests? The leite de coco (coconut milk), a staple in my pantry, jumps off the shelf at me.

Could I swap the avocados for bananas and the coconut milk for sour milk in Aunt Connie’s banana bread? Or whip up an avocado mousse with a coconut créme anglaise?

No contest. Ice cream wins, hands down. 

Avocado coconut milk ice cream

Smooth and creamy, and easy to make with a blender and an ice cream machine. Makes approximately two quarts.


3 cups milk
2 cups unsweetened coconut milk
1-1/2 cups sugar
1 lb ripe avocado pulp (about 1-2 Hass avocados)
1-1/2 tsp lime juice, or to taste


Purée all ingredients in a blender until smooth and creamy. Taste to see if the mixture needs more lime; it should give a lift but not taste too acidic. Chill mixture completely, then freeze in an ice cream machine according to manufacturer's instructions.

[Printer-friendly recipe.]

More recipes in The Perfect Pantry:

Egg curry
Hominy and cactus soup
Green chicken curry with eggplant


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Filipinos have a similar dessert as well using fresh milk instead of coconut cream, and yes, it really does make great ice cream. Some people find it hard to have avocados in a dessert instead of in guacamole. Their loss.

Oh wow, that sounds decadent, thanks for the recipe Peter!
I use avocados to make a dairy free chocolate pudding. It truly is delicious, and makes me mischievously giggle under my breath as my 2 kids (6 and almost 4), eat it up!!!

If anyone is interested in the recipe, please shoot me an email.

Wonderful! But you didn't tell us how your guests liked the ice cream! :-)

yum yum, nothing beats home made ice cream to beat the heat. The combo of coconut and avocado sounds great!

This is exactly the recipe I have been looking for! My husband is a Mineiro and can't eat avocados in savory dishes either. When I buy them at the store (wish we could have a tree!) he eats them for breakfast with lemon and sugar. I think he'll love this ice cream. Thanks!!!

Peter - I am fascinated by ice cream made with "non-traditional" fruits - I grew up on Vanilla, Chocolate and Strawberry! I am such a fan of avocado, that I can't wait to try this!

I love avocados but would definitely be hard-pressed to keep coming up with new things to do with them if I had that many. I've wanted to try an ice cream like this for a long time but haven't gotten around to it yet. It sounds delicious!

I am so excited about this amazing ice cream! I have all the ingredients ready, I will try it!
In Viet cuisine, we eat avocado with sugar and milk for dessert. So this ice cream version is going to be a hit at work for my Viet staff! Thanks!

Thanks Lydia for the fix!!

Jude - I confess it took me a while to convert to sweet, but the good thing is that avocados are delicious no matter how you prepare them!

Sharon - thanks for the pudding recipe. I'll let you know how it goes over in Brazil.

Ann - they loved it, but it's kind of weird because it has been freezing (by Brazilian standards and I confess I did put on long pants) at night and so ice cream really isn't the most appropriate dessert - but in a coupe with yellow plum and jabuticaba sherbets it was irresistable.

Wiffy - thanks. Try it, you'll like it.

Lindsey - glad I could help. You know those Mineiros! When are you bringing him home to visit? Swing by.

TW, Mike - my friends are telling me it's mighty hot back there in the USA - this ice cream is really ice milk and very refreshing. Hope you try it. And if you have any ideas about what I can do with with my surplus, please don't hold back.

White on Rice Couple - let me know how they like it - funny we've got Brazilians, Filipinos, Viets all eating ice cream together. Great stuff!

Hey Peter, I loved the idea of combining leite de coco com abacate... maybe it's time for me to buy an ice-cream maker ;-)
Then my problem will be to find a fleshy avocado here!
Cheers from Rotterdam

I'm such a stranger to avocado. The only avocado-made food I've had is guacamole! Are you shocked?!

I've been dreaming of making up an avocado ice cream! . . .

Ah, lovely recipe. Almost cooled me down just to read it! Welcome Peter!

Oi Luciana - I imagine avocados must be quite rare and expensive in Holland. So wait til you come home to experiment, or better yet I'll make some when you visit.

tigerfish - I am shocked! I love good a guacamole, but think it is time for you to expand your avocado horizons.

MyKitchenInHalfCups - Time to realize those dreams...

Aimee - Thanks. Something about that pale avocado color doubles the cooling action.

Peter, what a delightful combo of flavors. I love avocados and would like to try this ice cream soon!

Just came back from Argentina, went to Iguazu and was SO close to Brazil. I wish I could have gone and seen the abundance of avocadoes but I don't have a visa and wasn't going to be there for very long. I did however see papayas in the jungle across the way! :)

You are so lucky to have an abundance of avocados! They are so expensive here, so buying one to eat is a rare treat!

Never tried it with sugar on it, I usually eat mine with salt!

avocados and coconut sounds like a really good flavor combination. i'll have to try it sometime!

Patricia, Becky - the flavors are subtle and balance each other nicely. I hope you are please with your results.

Hillary - wasn't Iguazu the best? Sorry you didn't have a chance to make it to Brazil. Next time. I love papayas too - maybe I'll work on a papaya ice cream.

Dana - I know. There are so many things here that were luxuries at home and visa versa. It opens up all kinds of new opportunities. When you buy your next avocado, experience the sweet side...

This looks fabulous! Being a lover of coconut and avocados, am definitely going to give it a go.

BTW, did you see this recipe referenced in David Lebovitz's blog on 7/23?

This sounds great! I wish they sold coconut milk in screwtop bottles here.

Great!! I love your blog really helful for a kitchen newbie.

Just made this for a dinner party last night. I adapted the recipe to make it dairy-free and agave nectar sweetened. I also added a little bit of lime zest. It turned out AMAZING. Everyone of my guests thought it was unbelievable. The flavor was just fantastic: rich, unique and refreshing. Thanks so much for sharing you recipe.

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