When the weather warms from spring into summer, I abandon my warm pumpkin and chai-spiced custards in favor of cool and hydrating treats, vanilla mint ice cream and orange creamsicles. The combination of mango and cultured coconut milk make for one of my favorite frozen treats this time of year – slightly tart, faintly sweet, with a punch of mango in dotted bites, so when I was invited to participate in a yellow- and white-themed virtual baby shower for Pure Ella, I jumped at the opportunity to share this sweet, summertime treat – one I know you’ll love if you make it.
Culturing Coconut Milk
My recipe for these homemade popsicles begins first by culturing coconut milk and coconut water with kefir starter culture (I order it from Body Ecology), as it’s better than culturing coconut milk with kefir grains, which I reserve for making true milk kefir. While culturing dairy milks will thicken them, culturing coconut milk – which lacks the protein found in dairy milks – results only in the same thin-textured liquid made slightly tart. But it’s that lovely tartness that provides these popsicles with such pleasant flavor.
Nicely tart with a subtle sweetness, these Cultured Coconut Mango Popsicles are simple to make, and refreshing in summertime. I love the way the coconut water separates ever so slightly from the coconut milk, making those first few bites of the popsicle lovely and thirst-quenching, before that yields to smooth, creamy coconut milk dotted with bites of sweet mango.
- 1 1/2 cups full fat coconut milk (available here)
- 1 cup coconut water
- 1 packet Body Ecology Kefir Starter Culture (get it here)
- 2 tablespoons coconut nectar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 Ataulfo mangoes, chopped into 1/2-inch chunks
- Warm the coconut milk and coconut water in a large saucepan until it reaches about 90 F degrees. Remove the saucepan from the stove, and whisk in the starter culture. Pour the coconut milk into a jar, cover it tightly with a lid, and let it sit in a warm spot in your counter for 24 hours.
- After 24 hours, stir the coconut nectar and vanilla extract into the cultured coconut milk, and then fold in the chopped mango.
- Pour the coconut milk and mangoes into your popsicle molds, and freeze for at least 12 hours, or until hardened.
Notes: Ataulfo mangos are small, yellow mangoes with a vibrant, sweet flavor. They're often marketed as "champagne" mangoes.