Simple Mango-Ginger Blender Sorbet

When it’s hot outside and all you want is a frozen treat, what can you make at home that doesn’t require the time, fat, and caloric investment of ice cream? Its dairy-free cousin, sorbet, is lighter, fresher and provides intense fruit flavor. The drawback is that it still requires a multi-step process of making a sweetened fruit purée, churning the mixture in an ice cream maker, and freezing it until firm. Or, at least the classic version does.

What if you could make a very lightly sweetened sorbet that required just a few minutes of whirring in a blender and a few hours of subsequent freezing?  

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Rather than puréeing fresh fruit with lots of sugar (most recipes call for a ratio of 4:1 fruit to sugar), the following shortcut recipe uses frozen fruit and just 1 tablespoon of honey. Blending the frozen fruit mixture approximates the typical step of churning a chilled liquid puree (which freezes and adding air to the mixture), cutting down on the preparation time substantially. Ever made a smoothie with too much fruit and not enough liquid, so that the final beverage resulted in more of a dessert that needed to be eaten with a spoon instead of slurped through a straw? That’s essentially the first half of this recipe.

Because mango is such a sweet and fiber-rich fruit, it provides a naturally thick, sweet, and creamy base that is enhanced here by just a few additional ingredients: lemon juice and ginger. In addition to being a good source of dietary fiber, the fragrant tropical fruit also offers a healthy dose of vitamins A and C, and beta carotene. 

Make it Your Own

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The recipe that follows lends itself well to the bagged frozen mango found in most supermarket freezer sections. However, if you find yourself with more ripe, fresh mangoes than you know what to do with, making your own individually quick frozen diced mango is easy. As with any individual pieces of food you want to freeze and keep from sticking together, place the mango pieces on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, plastic wrap, or a silicone baking liner, spacing the pieces out so they do not touch. Freeze until firm, then transfer the fruit to a zipper-lock plastic bag or storage container to be stored in the freezer until ready to use.

The technique utilized in this recipe works well with other frozen fruit as well. Because the sugar and water content of different fruit can vary considerably, these two variables may need to be adjusted slightly. Additional flavorings in the form of spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, or cardamom, for example), herbs (mint and basil work particularly well), and extracts (vanilla or almond) can make personalizing your small-batch sorbets fun.

Because this method only yields two servings, if you tinker around with a version that you don’t love, it’s not a big deal. But if you’ve hit upon a combination that you do, making it again—and more of it—is incredibly easy.

Mango-Ginger Sorbet

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The mango in this recipe can be swapped out for other frozen fruit. Keep in mind, however, that less water may be needed, and additional honey may be required depending on the tartness and juiciness of the fruit. If you freeze the sorbet longer than indicated, be sure to let it sit at room temperature for a while to allow it to soften slightly. If you simply can’t wait to freeze the sorbet before eating it, that’s okay, too: the texture will be softer and more reminiscent of a thick smoothie.


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 1 1/2 cups frozen diced mango

1 Tbs. honey

1 Tbs. lemon juice

1/4 cup water

1/2 tsp. grated fresh ginger


 1. Place the mango, honey, lemon juice, water and ginger in a blender. Blend on high until smooth and thick, about 1 minute, stopping as needed to scrape down the bottom and sides of the jar.

 2. Divide between 2 cups and freeze 2 1/2 to 3 hours before serving.

 Serves 2.