Mint chip ice cream has been a personal favorite since childhood. Trips to the Thrifty ice cream shop for a double scoop of minty green goodness are happily ingrained in my memory. However, since I began making a homemade version of this favorite a few years ago, I have struggled with the lack of that gorgeous, pale green hue that so vividly marks "mint" in my mind. That is until I discovered matcha. Not only a natural food coloring, but a nutrient powerhouse, matcha in this recipe takes "minty fresh" to a whole new level.
Having used a combination of different nut milks in homemade ice creams over the years, I have yet to settle on an overall favorite. However, I found that cans of coconut milk contain enough fat to add a rich creaminess to the ice cream -- but not so creamy that it overpowers the freshness of the mint and matcha. I sweeten the coconut milk with pure maple syrup, then simply blend and chill it (no boiling!). The nutrients of the matcha remain intact, and you are left with a vegan, sugar-free treat that will not disappoint! Scoop it on top of your favorite sugar cone and do a little happy dance -- you're having an ice cream cone at home! It sure brightened our Tuesday night. I hope it brightens yours, too. —Jessie May Snyder
Blend the the coconut milk, matcha, mint extract, and maple syrup and pour into a medium mixing bowl. (You can also use an immersion blender to blend directly in the bowl.)
Cover the mixing bowl with plastic wrap and chill the ice cream base in the refrigerator for about 2 hours. Chop your dark chocolate, and place in a separate bowl in the freezer as well.
Add the chilled batter to your ice cream maker and follow the manufacturer's instructions. When the ice cream is about three quarters of the way done, add the chopped dark chocolate and allow it to finish processing.
Eat right away as soft serve, or transfer to an airtight container and place in the freezer to set (about 2 hours). Let thaw at room temperature for 15 minutes before serving.