Yield: 1 “venti” frappuccino
In the past, I had tried (unsuccessfully) to recreate my beloved Starbucks Green Tea Soy Frappuccino, since this beautiful and luscious green indulgence costs a lot of green. It is the perfect start to my day–it gets me all the way through first block!–and with school starting tomorrow, it is imperative that I get it right!
I order the frapp unsweetened, as there is PLENTY of sugar in Starbucks’ soymilk as well as in their frappuccino syrup which prevents the beverage from being icy. Why it never occured to me previously to simply ask what was in the latter, I haven’t a clue. But recentlyI did, and was told it is a simple syrup (equal amounts of water and sugar simmered together until sugar is dissolved) with xanthan gum.
Last year, I gave a package of xanthan gum to a gluten-free baker friend, as I don’t care for it in baked goods–and hadn’t used it in years since I tried and tossed a recipe–but I bought some more with which to experiment, albeit a little dubiously. As it turns out, I needn’t have been concerned!
Since I didn’t know how much xanthan gum to use, but found a Starbucks coffee frapp look-alike recipe online that said to add a “pinch” to approximately 2 cups of liquid (coffee and milk) and 2 cups of ice, I did just that, but it wasn’t nearly enough and it was too much ice. So, I decided to start with alot of xanthan–2 teaspooons per two cups of soymilk–and backed down from there. I also experimented with the amount of ice and reduced it from 2 to 1 cup and the amount of matcha from 1 tablespoon (my guess) to 1 teaspooon and then 1 1/2 teaspoons, ultimately deciding on 2 teaspoons. Ratios are critical as the only ingredients in these bad boys are ice, soymilk, green tea matcha powder, and simple syrup.
All that remained was striking the right balance with the xanthan gum: 2 and even 1 teaspoon was too much unless you crave a “smoothie” texture, i.e. ultra creamy and very thic– almost spoonable–which is not the consistency of the Starbucks frapp. However, 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon is just right; I really thought either one was virtually a dead ringer for my green tea Holy Grail from Starbucks.
I prefer not to consume a lot of sugar on a regular basis, so it’s Stevia for me. I ended up adding 5 individual packets which sounds like a lot, but with unsweetened soymilk and that earthy matcha, it takes that much to achieve the Starbucks flavor. I plan to purchase some in bulk and experiment with a stevia-sweetened simple syrup that I can keep in the fridge. (Note: and I have subsquently done so with great results. Find my recipe for Sugar-free Smoothie Gel HERE!)
But, for now, here is the magic formula:
1 cup ice
2 cups unsweetened soymilk (feel free to substitute plain or vanilla)
2 teaspoons unsweeteend green tea matcha powder (I use Kiss Me Organics purchased on Amazon)
*5 individual packets Stevia or to taste
*1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum (I purchase on the organic aisle of Kroger)
Place all ingredients in the container of a blender or Nutri-Bullet (I use the latter), and blend until completely combined and no ice chunks remain. Enjoy sipped through a straw!
*Or substitute 2 tablespoons of my Secret Sugar-free Smoothie Gel for sweetener and xanthan gum