Green Tea Ice Cream (Dairy-free)

matcha insta ice cream makerMy friend came to visit last month. We had an amazing time traveling around Okinawa, Osaka and Kyoto. That probably goes without saying though. We found ourselves on an ice cream kick in Okinawa, before heading to Osaka and Kyoto. It all started with ube ice cream then we moved on to green tea ice cream. There was some Okinawan sugar cookie, pistachio, vanilla and beni imo ice cream mixed in there as well. I’m addicted to the ube ice cream which is a type of purple potato. It tastes like carnivals and magic. I know you want some now, but it’s not what this post is about! Gomennasai. Seriously, we probably ate 14 ice cream scoops each in the 2 weeks she was here. We may, or may not have had double ice cream on some days. What can I say? It was really hot!!

matcha insta tsujiri hontenOnce we got to Kyoto, we discovered their delicious green tea ice cream. When I say delicious, what I really mean is SUGOI TOTEMO OISHII!!! I don’t know how they do it, but it’s just better there. I never even liked green tea ice cream until I came to Japan! We went to the holy grail of green tea ice cream shops, located in the Gion area of Kyoto. If you’re ever nearby, check out Tsuriji Honten. Heck, just plan your trip around it! Totally worth it!

After all the eating of ice cream, I found myself wondering about how I could make green tea ice cream a tad healthier. My favorite non-dairy milk is coconut milk, so naturally I was drawn to that. I also thought it would be nice to lighten the heaviness of the coconut with some almond milk. Of course, white sugar was a no-go. I tried once with dates and once with maple syrup and decided that I liked the maple syrup better. A splash of homemade vanilla extract was necessary to balance it all out. Get the freshest matcha tea you can get for a more vibrant color. My first batch was with the end of a tin and had a dull green color, but the second batch was bright and happy.

matcha insta ingredients matcha insta blender matcha insta rose glass





The recipe:

½ cup coconut milk

1 cup almond milk (I used homemade almond milk without sweeteners)

1 ½ tsp matcha powder

1 tsp vanilla

4 tbsp maple syrup (or more if you like a sweeter matcha ice cream)

Combine ingredients in a blender, making sure there are no lumps of matcha powder. Pour into an ice cream machine and follow manufacturer’s instructions. Mine froze fairly solid straight from the machine.

matcha insta carnival glassI topped it with flaked coconut, which turned out to be a swell idea. I might even just mix flaked coconut into the ice cream next time. It had a pleasant soft crunch from the coconut oils being frozen. Make sure you let the ice cream melt in your mouth for better digestion.

While caffeine isn’t encouraged in ayurveda, specifically for vata types, I do think it’s a better choice than coffee. Green tea is ok for kapha types; it helps with cholesterol, metabolism and digestion. Green tea is bitter, astringent, light and dry.

Vata- swap the coconut and almond milk ratios and top with some nuts

Kapha- swap the maple syrup for honey and add more matcha if you’d like

14 comments on “Green Tea Ice Cream (Dairy-free)

  1. jojobuhnee says:

    Vegan ice cream!!! And here I was trying to think of a decadent dessert for a dinner party for my vegan friend. Thanks!

    • heykellyg says:

      Trust me. The pleasure was all mine! 😉 Glad you could find something here for your friend. =)
      Mmm… Forgive me for getting a lil crazy, but one of my favorite dairy-free ice creams is chocolate-coconut. My mind just flashed to a pretty dish of green tea and chocolate-coconut ice creams for flashy decadence. o.O

      • jojobuhnee says:

        Ooooh! Chocolate coconut does sound delicious!! I was wondering: does this version work well without an ice-cream maker?

      • heykellyg says:

        hmm. i think the recipe for this green tea ice cream would be a bit icy without the ice cream maker since it’s got more thin liquid (almond milk) than thick (coconut milk). i’m not very familiar with making ice creams without an ice cream maker though… i feel like the chocolate-coconut one would turn out with a smoother mouth feel than this recipe since it’s got all that yummy coconut fat. what if you made green tea shakes instead of ice cream? freeze it in ice cube trays then blend with a bit more almond milk. you could also make a vegan chocolate whipped cream with coconut cream to top the shake with. you know, if you wanted to get crazy.

      • jojobuhnee says:

        That’s a great idea!!! Thanks for the tips! Vegan cooking is completely new to me, this is so exciting! 🙂

      • heykellyg says:

        You’re most welcome! My cooking skills have definitely been expanded by previous food-related sensitivities.
        I just saw a tip for adding 1 ounce of alcohol to 1 quart of ice cream to prevent it from becoming super hard in the freezer. I thought of you immediately. Maybe it would work for you without having an ice cream maker for this recipe…? I make my own vanilla extract with bourbon, so I would just up the 1tsp of vanilla to 2 tbsp. not sure how much it would change the flavor though. =) let me know if you do any of this crazy stuff.

  2. Sharon Claitor says:

    😉 Double ice cream days are more acceptable with a partner in crime…I can’t wait to try this recipe fitted toward kapha, it looks super oishii indeed!

    • heykellyg says:

      true! it’s no tsujiri honten, but let me know how you like it. i may attempt a green tea ice cream float with it in the near future. so refreshing!

  3. Danielle says:

    I think I need an ice cream maker! This sounds amazing!!

  4. Have you tried the Okinawan Lime Ice Cream yet? I really want to! I just found some Okinawan Limes today.

    • naturallydiy says:

      Yes! I just got some shikuwasa today as well! I’ve been looking for them for a few weeks now, and was very excited to see them at the market.
      I’d like to try shikuwasa ice cream again, the one I had was sorta bland and didn’t live up to the delicious taste of the fruit.

  5. […] I did it again. Ice cream. Well, since my last ice cream post, l’ve discovered that people are much more excited to read about ice cream recipes than various […]

  6. Ken Young says:

    Do you know of any shops/cafes/restaurants that serve dairy-free matcha ice cream nearer to the centre of Kyoto or in the CBD itself?

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