I like Japanese food. I like the flavours and a lot of the ingredients used in Japanese cooking are very nutritious, such as seaweed. When the boyfriend and I go out for Japanese food we typically finish the meal with some green tea ice cream. Of course I wanted to make a healthier version that I could enjoy at home any night of the week. To make green tea ice cream you require Matcha green tea powder, which I found at one of the Asian supermarkets that I frequent. This Matcha green tea ‘ice cream’ made with coconut milk was refreshing and light and tasted almost cleansing.
What is Matcha green tea?
Matcha is a powdered green tea produced by grinding the tea leaves using a stone mill after removing the veins, stems and impurities from the tea leaves. Unlike other green teas, Matcha is grown 90% in the shade (1). Green tea is rich in polyphenols, known as catechins. The major catechin in green tea is epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG). EGCG is a known antioxidant (2). Matcha green tea was found to contain 137 times the EGCG compared to a commercial brand of green tea and at least three times the amount compared to the largest value for other green teas cited in the literature (3).
There is a large body of evidence in the scientific literature supporting the cancer-preventative, or chemopreventative effects of EGCG using epidemiological data, cell culture, animal and clinical studies (4-9). Chemoprevention can be defined as slowing the process of carcinogenesis, and certainly does not mean treatment or cure.
The exact molecular mechanisms by which ECGC exerts its chemopreventative effects are unclear, however, it appears that EGCG has multiple mechanisms of action. These mechanisms of action include antioxidant activities, cell cycle arrest, induction of apoptosis (programmed cell death) and modulation of cell signalling (10).
So do something good for your health and prepare this Match green tea ice cream.
Matcha green tea ice cream
300ml coconut milk
½ cup low fat Greek yoghurt
1 ½ tablespoons Matcha green tea powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons stevia
- Freeze the coconut milk and Greek yoghurt in ice cube trays or small containers.
- Chop the frozen coconut milk and Greek yoghurt into small chunks and gradually add the chunks to a food processor or high-speed blender until the consistency is smooth and even.
- Add the Matcha green tea powder, vanilla extract and stevia and continue processing until combined.
- Divide the ‘ice cream’ between two bowls and freeze for an additional 30 minutes for a firmer texture.
- Pettigrew J (1997) The Tea Companion (Quintet Publishing, New York).
- Khan N, Afaq F, Saleem M, Ahmad N, & Mukhtar H (2006) Targeting multiple signaling pathways by green tea polyphenol (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate. Cancer research 66(5):2500-2505.
- Weiss DJ & Anderton CR (2003) Determination of catechins in matcha green tea by micellar electrokinetic chromatography. Journal of chromatography. A 1011(1-2):173-180.
- Thawonsuwan J, Kiron V, Satoh S, Panigrahi A, & Verlhac V (2010) Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) affects the antioxidant and immune defense of the rainbow trout, Oncorhynchus mykiss. Fish physiology and biochemistry 36(3):687-697.
- Higdon JV & Frei B (2003) Tea catechins and polyphenols: health effects, metabolism, and antioxidant functions. Critical reviews in food science and nutrition 43(1):89-143.
- Mukhtar H & Ahmad N (2000) Tea polyphenols: prevention of cancer and optimizing health. The American journal of clinical nutrition 71(6 Suppl):1698S-1702S; discussion 1703S-1694S.
- Gupta S, Hastak K, Afaq F, Ahmad N, & Mukhtar H (2004) Essential role of caspases in epigallocatechin-3-gallate-mediated inhibition of nuclear factor kappa B and induction of apoptosis. Oncogene 23(14):2507-2522.
- Ahmed S, Wang N, Lalonde M, Goldberg VM, & Haqqi TM (2004) Green tea polyphenol epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) differentially inhibits interleukin-1 beta-induced expression of matrix metalloproteinase-1 and -13 in human chondrocytes. The Journal of pharmacology and experimental therapeutics 308(2):767-773.
- Yang CS, Lambert JD, Ju J, Lu G, & Sang S (2007) Tea and cancer prevention: molecular mechanisms and human relevance. Toxicology and applied pharmacology 224(3):265-273.
- Singh BN, Shankar S, & Srivastava RK (2011) Green tea catechin, epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG): mechanisms, perspectives and clinical applications. Biochemical pharmacology 82(12):1807-1821.