So I’ve been on this cleanse that doesn’t allow me to have sugar, dairy, or gluten (among other things.) You know I have a sweet tooth – hence the name minimalist BAKER? Well, to say the least, it’s been a STRUGGLE. A fruitful, eye opening struggle, but a struggle nonetheless.
So what’s a cleansing girl to do when she has a mean ice cream craving? Make a super healthy substitute that’s perfectly acceptable in moderation. Still trying to get the whole ‘moderation’ part down, but I’ll give you an update after my next ice cream recipe (next week!).
This recipe turned out far better than I expected, considering that it contains no dairy or refined sugar. Rich, full-fat coconut milk and unsweetened almond milk marry together to create a thick, creamy base. Honey and dates add a natural sweetness. And green tea (we used matcha powder) provides both vibrant color and flavor.
What is Matcha?
Matcha is a powdered green tea containing 137 times more antioxidants than brewed green tea (like, whoa). Both come from the tea plant (camellia sinensis), but with matcha, the entire leaf is consumed. It has traditionally been consumed as part of Japanese tea ceremonies for centuries, but has become more widely known and popular in recent years and is now enjoyed around the world in tea lattes, smoothies, desserts, snacks, and more! Learn more about the fascinating history of matcha here.
This recipe is customizable if you don’t have dates or prefer not to use honey, if you’re vegan. You can sub raw sugar, and you can omit the dates altogether and replace them with honey. You can also cut the sweeteners back for a less-sweet, more vibrant green tea flavor. The cool thing is the batter contains no eggs so you can dip your finger in and taste it as you go. Also, no heating required – just a blender or food processor. Simple simple simple. But you must – MUST – use high quality coconut milk, not the generic kind that’s $1 cheaper. It won’t be nearly as ice creamy. I went for an organic brand and you can tell it’s high quality when you open the can because a thick almost 3-inch layer of coconut cream has settled over the milk portion. That’s when you know it’s the good stuff.
I loved how present the green tea flavor was, almost earthy and grassy at moments. It reminded me of a recent trip to a sushi restaurant when they brought out fried green ice cream for dessert, only mine is healthier. Sorry, but it is.
Green Tea Coconut Ice Cream
- 1 14-ounce can quality full-fat coconut milk (splurge on the good stuff)
- 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
- 2-3 Tbsp matcha green tea powder
- 1/4 cup pitted medjool dates
- 1/4 cup honey (or maple syrup for vegan)
- 1/4 tsp xanthan gum
- Place coconut milk, almond milk, matcha, dates, and honey in a blender and blend until well combined. Add xanthan gum and mix again. Taste and adjust flavor as needed, adding more green tea powder, dates, or honey.
- Transfer to a mixing bowl and let chill for at least a few hours. Then pour into a pre-chilled ice cream maker and operate according to manufacturer’s instructions.
- Once finished churning you can either eat it as soft serve or transfer it to a freezer-safe container and let harden for 4-6 hours.
- Be sure to set out 20-30 minutes before serving to allow to soften.
- If you don’t have an ice cream maker, simply pour the “batter” into a freezer-safe container, cover, freeze, and stir/whisk every hour or so to aerate.
- Will keep in the freezer for a week or so. Best when consumed fresh. I’m sure it would be lovely with pomegranates, fruit compote, or cacao nibs.