Green tea ice cream is a popular dessert that originated in Japan. The Japanese refer to this treat as matcha, which reflects the type of green tea used to make this dish. Green tea ice cream has a distinctive bright green color, and a flavor similar to a glass of sweetened green tea. It's very common in Asia, and has also become popular with people in other regions, including the United States (US). Fans of green tea ice cream believe that it combines the nutritional benefits of green tea with the delicious taste and texture of ice cream.
In Asia, consumers can find green tea ice cream in most restaurants, and ice cream shops. The majority of frozen food manufacturers in Japan also produce versions of green tea ice cream for sale in grocery stores and convenience shops. In the US and other non-Asian countries, people can find this dessert at many Japanese restaurants. A few specialty shops may also carry lines of this product, though many are forced to make their own version at home if they wish to enjoy this treat.
Making green tea ice cream requires very little effort for those who just want a basic version. Health and specialty grocery stores sell matcha or green tea powder. By softening a container of regular vanilla ice cream and adding this powder, buyers can recreate the flavor of green tea ice cream at home. Some add chocolate sauce or chips for a bit of extra sweetness and variety. For a more authentic recipe, mix sugar, eggs, milk, cream, and vanilla with matcha powder in an ice cream machine at home.
Eating green tea ice cream may provide diners with some of the health benefits traditionally associated with drinking green tea. This tea, both in its liquid and powdered form, is known for its powerful antioxidant properties, which may help reduce the risk of certain types of cancer. It also offers antinflammatory properties, and may reduce blood pressure and cholesterol. Others link green tea to weight loss and fat burning, as well as reduced stress and increased brain function.
Green tea ice cream is part of a growing trend towards green tea flavored products, both in Asia and in the US and elsewhere. Major US coffee companies serve green tea flavored beverages, while manufacturers use this flavor for candy, gum, and other products. Vendors in Hawaii and other areas sell green tea flavored snow cones or shaved ice, and buyers can even find green tea cookies and yogurt in some regions. Even cosmetics and body products have jumped on the green tea trend, adding green tea to lotions and makeup to take advantage of its potential health benefits.