Looking for a different way to enjoy green tea? Try eating it. "In China, green tea has been used in cooking almost as long as they have been drinking it," writes Ying Chang Compestine in Cooking With Green Tea (Avery, 2000). Compestine grew up in China, where she drank and cooked with several kinds of tea. Today, she regularly uses green tea in her recipes. "I always have green tea with my seasonings," Compestine says. "It's a healthy way to cook."

Tea can be simmered, steamed, smoked and stir-fried. The leaves can be added to recipes as a spice. Cooking With Green Tea contains 70 tea-inspired recipes, plus a wealth of information and anecdotes about green tea and useful cooking tips. Here's a recipe you can prepare for a refreshing snack on a warm afternoon:

Green Tea Ice Cream

Makes 4-6 servings

1 cup plain or vanilla soy milk
4 bags fruit-flavored green tea
1 12-ounce package low-fat, firm, silken tofu
1/2 cup creamed hazelnut honey or regular honey
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 kiwi fruit, peeled and diced
1 cup nondairy whipped topping
2-3 drops green food coloring, optional

1. In medium saucepan, bring soy milk and teabags to boil; reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir frequently to prevent scorching. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Use two spoons to gently squeeze absorbed milk out of tea bags and discard bags.

2. In blender, combine soy milk mixture, tofu, honey, vanilla and kiwi fruit. Blend 2-3 minutes or until mixture is smooth.

3. Pour blended mixture into bowl suitable for freezing. Gently fold whipped topping into blended mixture. Cover and freeze 5-6 hours or until firm.