Green Tea Coconut "Ice Cream"
I love that matcha and coconut taste decadent without being too sweet. OK, so full disclosure - this might not be a fave for the real ice cream lovers or those with a big sweet tooth. Matcha is naturally quite bitter, so if you're a real sweet lover it might be best to move on or add a little sweetener and extra coconut milk. For those of you who are a little more adventurous and the like the idea of a healthified dessert, this one's for you! This ice cream is mostly fruit with no added sugar, so it's a sweet treat you can feel good about eating! It's also dairy-free, gluten-free and lower in fat than traditional ice cream. Matcha is a traditional powdered Japanese tea that is packed with antioxidants, but can be quite bitter so it's often served with a lot of added sugars. The bananas in this recipe provide the sugar naturally, so you can get away without adding any (or a small amount if you like things on the sweeter side).
What's the difference between 'natural' and added sugars, you ask? This is something that comes up a lot in counselling sessions with clients. When I refer to 'natural' sugars I mean sugars that are found in whole foods like fruit, milk, and some vegetables. These sugars come as a package deal with fiber (in fruits and veggies), protein (in milk), and lots of vitamins and minerals! In other words, these sugars are less concentrated and part of a bigger picture that provides your body with lots of healthy nutrients.
On the other hand, Added sugars or Concentrated sugars include various sugars, as well as things like honey, maple syrup and agave. In these sources the sugar comes in a very concentrated form and doesn't provide you with much nutritionally, other than sugar. These sugars affect your blood sugar levels more or less in the same way. People are often led to believe that honey or maple syrup are somehow different than white sugar, and it is true that they are more natural and less refined, but they are still concentrated sugars that act in similar ways to white sugar. The amount of nutrients provided by these sweeteners are negligible, and they are a dense source of calories, so use them all in moderation.
Now, on with the recipe!
- 3 medium-large frozen bananas (very ripe)
- 2 Tbsp coconut milk (full fat)
- 2 tsp matcha green tea powder (you can find this at most tea places)
- Sweetener (optional, to taste)
- You'll need to have your bananas pre-frozen for this recipe. They should be very ripe prior to freezing. You can pop whole bananas in the freezer as they get ripe, or you can peel the bananas, break them in half, and freeze them in a freezer bag. I like option 2 - I find it much more convenient when I actually want to use my bananas
- Remove the frozen bananas from the freezer and allow them to soften for about 10 minutes
- Place all ingredients into a Vitamix or similar blender and blend until smooth. Don't over-blend or you'll make your ice cream really soft
- Taste and add sweetener if desired, blend for additional 10 seconds
- Scoop into bowls using an ice cream scoop and serve
Optional: Garnish with shredded coconut for a little extra coconut flavour
- Higher in fiber, vitamins (like Vitamin C and potassium) and lower in sodium and saturated fat than traditional ice cream
- All of the sugar in this recipe is naturally from the bananas, as discussed above :)
Stay tuned for more sweet treats!