Fresh low calorie cilantro watermelon sorbet made without an ice cream maker and serves as a frosty vegan dessert with the sophisticated flavoring of cilantro.
Cilantro Watermelon Vegan Sorbet
Traditional ice cream or sorbet requires an ice cream churn, sometimes cream or milk, and always a granulated sugar to make the texture right.
Healthifying this recipe means making a vegan sorbet, thus throwing out the dairy and sugar, and depending on plant-based ingredients only.
The bulk of this watermelon sorbet comes from watermelon and raspberries, with the watermelon supplying the sweetness. Using lime further accentuates the natural sweetness that the watermelon supplies. And the cilantro adds a sophisticate green bite.
The resulting product is perfect as an excellent brunch opener, as a palate cleanser between flavors at dinner parties, or just a fresh delicious low calorie vegan dessert!
How Healthy is Cilantro?
Green leafy cilantro – found fresh along side parsley in the produce area – is one of the world’s oldest herbs. It’s a staple in Latin American cuisine. I like its extraordinary health benefits. I always toss handfuls into my smoothies.
Specifically cilantro has the ability to increase insulin production, lower bad cholesterol levels (LDL), and lowers blood sugar.
I also love that it is great for sleep support and mood swings caused by hormone fluctuations because it is rich in magnesium and iron.
Its cleansing ability is very unusual and useful. It has chemical compounds, apparently, that bind to toxic metals in body tissue. And it has anti-bacterial properties, and is able to basically sanitize your insides.
Convinced you should be eating cilantro? How about consider it in this recipe, with the lovely contrast green cilantro brings to a sweet watermelon base.
And speaking of watermelon. Isn’t just a sweet sugary melon with no nutritional value?
Um, no. Watermelon is one of the most nutritious fruits on the planet.
How Healthy is Watermelon?
It is true it is mostly water (92%). That makes it a wonderful hydration source.
But it is so much more.
It is so very high in anti-oxidants, those compounds that stop disease in its tracks. And it is unusually high in Lycopene, a phytonutrient that triggers healthy reactions in the human body. You can tell when a fruit has high levels of lycopene because they are red, as in tomatoes and red grapefruits. Read more about the nutrition of watermelon here.
So we’ve established that this sorbet is made of some pretty healthy ingredients.
But what about the process? Isn’t making no-churn ice cream a rather arduous technique?
You could just eat it all slushy out of the blender, but that’s not a sorbet. That’s slushy out of the blender.
So to no-churn it, you need to freeze and chop it, freeze and chop it, over several hours.
If that’s a deal-breaker, no problem. Buy an ice cream maker. To be honest, for a long time I was of a staunch “No Churner”.
Do I Need an Ice Cream Maker?
You can tell by the many no-churn recipes I have on this blog.
In fact, I have always been rather anti-equipment in general.
One of my most popular recipes is this Lemon Ginger Blender Shot which allows you to make a detox shot without a juicer. I created it one morning because I wanted an immune booster but refused to buy a juicer.
I didn’t want to spend the money on another appliance.
I didn’t want to deal with learning how to use it and how to clean it.
This recipe – how to make a detox shot without a juicer – is one of my most popular recipes.So I am deducing that a lot of people feel the same.
I feel similarly about a stand-mixer (I have a perfectly good hand-mixer). That’s okay though because I do as much “no-bake” as I do “no-churn.”. And a hand-mixer is fine for no-bake. That’s because you aren’t incorporating the air you need in oven-baked recipes..
BUT this year, I began to wonder if perhaps I was being stubborn about an ice cream maker. And I decided to research prices. To my surprise, I found several bare bones models that are not that expensive. This one for instance.
Of course, it’s not free though, so I respect you might want to spend the money elsewhere. I just thought I’d share my recent revelations, haha.
I bought it, and used it to make several of my no-churn recipes and I do have to say, the resulting ice cream was faster to make and oh so creamy.
I did not use it for this recipe yet though. If I were to, I’d add a creamy ingredient such as 1/2 cup of coconut milk or 1/2 cup of avocado. It would need the addition of some healthy fat or it wouldn’t cream up.
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Cilantro Watermelon Vegan Sorbet
- 3 cups frozen raspberries
- 2 cups frozen watermelon
- 3 tbsps baobab powder
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- 1/2 cup key lime juice
- Chop the cilantro into little pieces or use a mortar and pestal to make a paste. Juice the limes and muddle the cilantro in the lime juice. Refrigerate the mixture overnight.
- The next morning, strain off the cilantro bits unless you don't mind green flecks in your ice cream.
- Day of making ice cream, chill the blender jar in the freezer for 30 minutes.
- Line a 4-inch x 8-inch loaf pan with parchment paper.
Make the Ice Cream
- Add all ingredients into the chilled blender jar, and process until smooth.
- Pour into the loaf pan, and press a sheet of parchment on top of the mixture.
- Freeze for 1 hour.
- Remove the parchment, and chop up the mixture. It's probably slushy.
- Restore the parchment on the surface and freeze another hour.
- I repeated this process 2 times over 2 hours. If I were making a creamy ice cream, I would do it three times more. However, I wanted an icy texture here to mimic sorbet. And this recipe would never get very creamy because there is no fat base. TIP: To turn this recipe into a creamy texture, add 1/2 cup of full fat coconut milk, or 1/2 cup of avocados.
- After the last chop, I blended it again in a blender jar (not chilled this time), and poured it back in the loaf pan, and froze one more hour or more.
- Then we scooped it into dishes and served with fresh berries.
- You might have to let the loaf pan sit on the counter for 20 minutes or so to thaw before scooping.
- Sprinkle with frozen raspberries, and lime zest! Such a unique, sophisticated flavor.
Dee Dine is founder of Green Smoothie Gourmet, a plant based recipe blog, and author of the recent cookbook, Crazy Healthy with 4 Ingredients . On this blog you’ll find incredibly easy recipes with hidden veggies for anyone wanting to eat healthier, regardless of diet. Dee has graduate degrees in sciences and journalism. More about Dee Dine here.