Ice cream and I parted ways almost 9 months ago when I leveled up my healthy eating habits to see me through my pregnancy as fit as possible. (And to honor the almost impossible goal of eating less than 25g of sugar a day.) While my body and sense of well being thanked me, my heart longed for my forbidden, frozen friend: especially my most cherished, matcha green tea ice cream.
Miracle of miracles, (and I truly believe this to be nothing less,) today in an act of inspiration I broke out the blender and put together a few simple ingredients I’d been planning while lying awake at night (the true face of pregnancy,) for the past few days. The result: wonderful, welcome, creamy, jade-green success in the form of extra low sugar, low calorie, low fat, vegan friendly, matcha “nice cream.” It even packs a healthy dose of fiber, calcium and potassium, making this recipe the new hero of my third trimester in the heat of summer.
Most “nice-creams” aim for simplicity, compromising fabulous texture for an easy, healthy treat that’s more icy than creamy. As an ice-cream fanatic, I won’t settle for anything less than the slightly sticky, almost doughy structure of that perfect frozen desert, stretching just a tad with each spoonful before bouncing back. The extra steps involving chia seeds take this recipe from satisfying to indulgent, from icy to lusciousness!
Matcha Nice Cream
Unlike other ‘nice cream” inventions you may come across, this recipe opts for less banana to cut down on sugar and uses avocado & chia seeds to emulate the rich, creamy-gooey personality of dairy ice cream.
- 50g frozen banana (about half 1 medium-large banana)
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp chia seeds
- 1 tbsp avocado
- 1 tbsp pure, maple syrup (or 1 pitted medjool date for an extra 50 calories and 6g of sugar)
- 2 tsp matcha powder
Several hours before you’re assaulted with an ice cream craving, pour 1/2 cup of the almond milk into an ice cube tray, making about 4 cubes, and place in the freezer along with your banana if not already frozen ahead of time.
In a small bowl or jar, combine the remaining 1/2 cup of almond milk with the 1 tablespoon of chia seeds. Stir until completely combined and place in the refrigerator, allowing the mixture to gel into a pudding like texture, about 2 hours.
When your preparatory ingredients are ready, combine the frozen banana, almond milk ice cubes, chia seed mixture, avocado, maple syrup or date, vanilla extract and matcha powder in a food processor or high powered blender until smooth and creamy. Spoon into a bowl and top with cacao nibs, shredded coconut, or slivered almonds for a guilt-free, pleasure drive through heaven.
Nutrition Info: Calories: 211; total fat: 8.9g; sodium; 224.3; total carbohydrates: 30.1; dietary fiber: 8g; sugar: 12.5g; protein: 4.1g, calcium: 135% (if using fortified almond milk,) iron: 5.6%; potassium: 472.4 mg; vitamin A: 11.9%; vitamin C: 6.8%