Last Updated on June 3, 2023
Being Japanese, I enjoy desserts that are not overly sweet. This vegan & gluten free Vanilla Gelato with Sweet Adzuki Beans & Matcha is definitely my kind of dessert. My homemade sweet adzuki beans (Anko) is a perfect match for bitter matcha powder. The creaminess of the vanilla gelato binds everything together to create a delicious harmony.
What is Anko?
Anko is a type of Japanese dish that’s commonly used in making desserts. It’s cooked adzuki beans sweetened with sugar. You can leave beans as a whole or make a smooth paste depending on the types of dessert you’re making. Adzuki beans are dark red color and relatively small. Just like any other beans, you can buy them dry and cook on your own. Unlike other beans like pinto beans, black beans, etc., tannin is present in the skin which requires precooking to get rid of the potential unwanted taste. But other than that, it’s quite simple and easy to make at home. You can check out my full blog post with the recipe here.
The Vegan Vanilla Gelato
I have created other easy-to-made desserts using the same vanilla gelato from Revolution Gelato. Their products are all 100% vegan, organic, and gluten free! In case you have missed them, here is the product that I used which is “Full Throttle Vanilla.” Of course, I love eating it by itself but also enjoy adding my own twists to make it a little more fancy. This is how!
It’s only three components to make this delicious dessert!
- Vanilla Gelato (or Ice Cream) of Your Choice
- Anko (Japanese Sweet Adzuki Beans)
- Matcha Powder
Although anko is homemade, everything else requires zero prep work and cooking! I hear you saying “no time to cook the adzuki beans from scratch.” Check out the tips below that may help you!
Anko (Japanese Sweet Adzuki Beans)
I made my anko from scratch. It’s a slow-cooking food which takes about 2 hours to make but it’s worth it! No time to spare? You can actually buy canned anko. Just search online using either;
Yude Adzuki (Azuki)
Something should come up. With the canned option, you can simply open it and serve it. How easy is that?
You may also find unsweetened/unseasoned canned adzuki beans and cook on your own by heating up and add sugar. I’ve never done that before but it should work. Just make sure to check the label to see that the beans are not cooked with salt and/or other savory ingredients!
Also, canned sweet adzuki beans may contain some liquids just like any other beans. My mom used to stock up those but it was so long ago that I can not even remember what the consistency was. If it is too watery, make sure to drain them before use.
In case you are wondering, this is the matcha powder that I use. It is from Mountain Rose Herbs that I shop teas, spices, and essential oils. It is organic and sourced in Japan. What I also like is that it comes in a glass jar and a metal cap which is a huge plus for me.
Gelato or Ice Cream?
Honestly, I believe the choice between gelato or ice cream will not change the result. Just make sure that it’s vegan and vanilla flavor! Otherwise, the choice is up to you!
Vanilla Gelato with Sweet Adzuki Beans & Matcha
- 1/2 pint good quality vegan vanilla gelato or ice cream
- 1/3-1/2 cup anko (Japanese sweet adzuki beans) (or use store bought canned option)
- 1/4-1/2 tsp matcha powder (adjust to taste)
- In a bowl or plate, simply serve all the ingredients above.