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Latin American
Coconut Sorbet Recipe-3976

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Helado De Coco

This recipe is so easy that my nine-year-old daughter Angela makes it by herself from start to finish.

Yield: Makes about 5 cups, 4 large servings


  • 4 cups water
  • 2 cups sugar
  • One 7-ounce block of creamed coconut (see Notes)


1. Heat the water and sugar in a saucepan, stirring until all the sugar is dissolved. If you are using solid cream of coconut, break it into smaller pieces and add to the syrup, stirring until dissolved. (If you are using liquid cream of coconut, remember to stir the contents of the can before measuring because it usually separates while sitting on the shelf.) Cool to room temperature and then refrigerate until chilled.

2. Freeze in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s directions. The mixture will be slushy.

3. Pour into a container with a tight-fitting lid and freeze at least 3 hours or until firm. Remove from the freezer 15 minutes before serving.



Creamed coconut is a sweetened, condensed coconut paste that is usually sold in 7-ounce packages in Latin markets. It looks, truthfully, like a bar of soap but, thankfully, tastes a lot better. An equal measure of canned sweetened cream of coconut (such as Coco Lopez) can be substituted.

Coconut water, the liquid inside coconuts, is used in cooking and for drinks. Around the Caribbean, Spanish-speaking people buy a coco frio from vendors to beat the heat on hot days. Dotted along the highway are stands with coolers full of immature coconuts still in their husks. Vendors reach in, lop the top off one with a machete, and hand it over. Stick a straw in the coconut and sip the chilled coconut water. Heaven in summer.

One level up on the flavor scale is coconut milk, made by grating fresh coconut meat into the coconut water, simmering it, and then straining the liquid. I used to make coconut milk that way, but I don’t anymore. Canned coconut milk is now widely available in the Latin and Asian sections of many supermarkets. Do not confuse canned coconut milk with sweetened cream of coconut, which is very sweet and is used to make drinks such as pifia colada.

© 2005 Daisy Martinez

Nutritional Information

Nutrients per serving (% daily value)

562kcal (28%)
3mg (0%)
0mg (0%)
0mcg RAE (0%)
0mg (0%)
19mg (1%)
8g (38%)
8g (12%)
0mg (1%)

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