Every time I go to a Japanese restaurant with a good friend, she raves about green tea ice cream. But it’s the one thing on the menu that is always rich in dairy. So I finally decided to whip up a dairy-free green tea ice cream recipe made with just 5 everyday ingredients.
Dairy-Free Green Tea Ice Cream that’s Deliciously Cheap to Make!
Many online recipes for dairy-free green tea ice cream are actually made with matcha, which is a finely ground powder made from a specially grown and processed variety of green tea. Bloggers like to use it because it has a vibrant green hue, but it can also cost well over $100 per pound. I use green tea for ease and affordability. But I have included ingredient options in the FAQs below.
Can I Use Matcha Instead of Green Tea?
Yes, I’ve included an option for dairy-free matcha ice cream, but the main recipe is for simple, affordable, deliciously dairy-free green tea ice cream.
Is Green Tea as Healthy as Matcha?
Matcha powder does contain higher levels of antioxidants, but good old green tea should not be underestimated. It’s still high in EGCG, the polyphenol revered in several studies for fighting numerous health issues, from high cholesterol to Alzheimer’s Disease.
Which Milk Beverage Do You Recommend?
This very easy recipe pairs green tea (or matcha) with plant-based cashew milk beverage and coconut milk for a wonderfully creamy experience. I love the flavor of cashew and coconut together when making creamy dishes, but you can use any milk beverage, including nut-free, if preferred.
What Can I Substitute for the Coconut Milk?
I haven’t yet tested a coconut-free option, but have some suggestions if you want to experiment. You could substitute a mix of avocado and more milk beverage for the coconut milk. This is also a great way to naturally enhance the hue. Simply blend some avocado to get about 1/2 cup avocado puree. Then increase the milk beverage to about 1 3/4 cup, or consider using an unsweetened creamer if you want a richer finish. See my guide on How to Substitute Coconut for more options.
Special Diet Notes: Dairy-Free Green Tea Ice Cream
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, gluten-free, grain-free, optionally nut-free, peanut-free, soy-free, vegan, plant-based, and vegetarian.
- 1 cup unsweetened dairy-free milk beverage
- 6 green tea bags
- ½ cup sugar
- 1¼ cups full-fat canned coconut milk
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- Natural green food coloring (optional)
- Heat the milk beverage in a small saucepan over medium heat until hot and steaming (just before it begins to boil).
- Remove the pan from the heat and steep the tea bags in the hot milk for 5 minutes. Squeeze each tea bag to extract as much of the milky green tea as possible.
- Whisk in the sugar until dissolved.
- Whisk in the coconut milk until smooth.
- The natural color of this ice cream is very pale. For a green hue, you can whisk in your favorite natural green food coloring.
- Pour the mixture into a 3-cup or larger glass measuring cup and let cool to room temperature. Then cover and refrigerate for 2 hours or more.
- Churn the mixture in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's directions. (or see How to Make Vegan Ice Cream without an Ice Cream Maker)
- Enjoy as soft serve or pack into an airtight container and freeze for 3 hours or more for hard-packed, dairy-free, green tea ice cream!