Try ba­nana-matcha green tea ice cream as a sum­mer dessert

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - FOOD / COMMUNITY - BY MELISSA D’ARA­BIAN

Like many Amer­i­cans, I was first ex­posed to the taste of matcha green tea with­out re­ally any thought on my part: green tea ice cream was the only dessert of­fered at our lo­cal Ja­panese restau­rant, and since it was in­cluded in the price of the meal (even the early bird spe­cial, which is when we would go), I ate it. And I grew to love matcha’s mildly grassy, slightly bit­ter tea flavour.

I had no idea what “matcha” was, so if you don’t ei­ther, you are not alone. Matcha is the pow­der made from dried green tea leaves, and it is an in­te­gral part of Ja­panese health and culi­nary cul­ture.

All the amaz­ing health ben­e­fits of green tea — the an­tiox­i­dants are just the start — are mul­ti­plied with matcha, be­cause rather than sim­ply steep­ing the leaves in wa­ter, then dis­card­ing them, you ac­tu­ally are eating the leaves them­selves in pow­dered form.

If you’ve never bought matcha be­fore, I’ll warn you: it’s not cheap! And qual­ity varies widely. Matcha afi­ciona­dos will of­ten buy high-end matchas (some­times call “cer­e­mo­nial grade”) for mix­ing into hot wa­ter and drink­ing straight. How­ever, if you are us­ing matcha for recipes such as this, then the more af­ford­able “culi­nary” grade is a fine op­tion. And since the pow­der is in­tense, a lit­tle bit lasts a long time.

My pri­or­ity is sourc­ing from a sup­plier I trust. I find that buy­ing a lower qual­ity tea grade from a highly re­spected sup­plier gives me the best value for my dol­lar.

You can use matcha in lat­tes, smooth­ies, baked goods such as muffins or pan­cakes, desserts, chia break­fast pud­dings, and of course, ice cream. My ver­sion of matcha green tea “ice cream” is an easy healthy-enough-for-break­fast take on the Ja­panese restau­rant clas­sic. It re­quires just four in­gre­di­ents and zero spe­cial equip­ment. And yet it is dreamy, creamy and just the right amount of sweet.

BA­NANA MATCHA GREEN TEA “ICE CREAM”

Start to Fin­ish: 10 min­utes, plus freez­ing Serv­ings: 4 3 large ripe ba­nanas 2 tbsp co­conut milk 2 tsp matcha green tea pow­der 2 tsp vanilla ex­tract Peel, slice and freeze the ba­nanas in an air­tight con­tainer or bag for at least 4 hours or overnight. Once the ba­nanas are frozen, place them in a food pro­ces­sor. Process un­til the ba­nanas have the tex­ture of lumpy oat­meal (about 1 minute). Add the co­conut milk, green tea pow­der and vanilla, then process un­til very smooth and creamy, about another 2 min­utes, scrap­ing down the sides of the pro­ces­sor as needed. Once the ice cream is com­pletely smooth, scrape into an air­tight con­tainer, cover and freeze for 1 to 2 hours for a soft-serve con­sis­tency. For a firmer, more scoop-friendly ice cream, freeze for over 4 hours and al­low to tem­per at room tem­per­a­ture for 10 min­utes be­fore scoop­ing.

Nu­tri­tion in­for­ma­tion per serv­ing: 100 calo­ries; 15 calo­ries from fat (15 per cent of to­tal calo­ries); 2 g fat (1.5 g sat­u­rated; 0 g trans fats); 0 mg choles­terol; 0 mg sodium; 21 g car­bo­hy­drate; 2 g fi­bre; 11 g sugar; 1 g pro­tein.

AP PHOTO

The recipe ba­nana matcha green tea ice cream re­quires just four in­gre­di­ents and no spe­cial equip­ment.

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