Have you tried matcha yet? Health enthusiasts everywhere are extolling the virtues of this fine powder tea, adding it to smoothies, making desserts and ice cream from it, and it even makes an appearance in Green Tea lattes at your favourite coffee joint.You can brew it thick or thin, and drink it hot or cold, mixed with milk and sugar, or add it to tempura batter. Matcha, it seems, as a drink or dessert or supplement is here to stay.Matcha is made from shade-grown green tea leaves; about 3 weeks before harvesting the buds, the plant is protected from the sun to stimulate the production of chlorophyll and amino acids. The dark green buds are laid out in the shade to dry, and the veins of the leaves and stems are removed. When totally dried, the buds are stone-ground into a bright, fine green powder.
To make matcha tea, you add a teaspoon of powder to a third of a cup of water that has been heated to just under boiling, and whisk until frothy. Traditionally, a bamboo whisk known as a chasen is used for this.
The tea that is brewed from macha is not strained, but rather the entirety of the tea is consumed, so you ingest the entirety of the leaf, it is not just an infusion. As a result, 1 teacup of matcha tea has the nutritional benefits of 10 cups of traditionally brewed green tea, and over 130 times the antioxidants! It also contains about 3 times the amount of caffeine as regular green tea, or about the same as a cup of coffee. Matcha has a strong, grassy umami flavor, so it works well in savoury dishes like stir fries or vegetable soups and it adds balance to confections as well, like muffins or green tea ice cream.
Matcha powder is also prized by the health and fitness community as it boosts one’s metabolism and subsequently burns calories. And because you are actually ingesting the plant, you get the benefit of fibre, chlorophyll, vitamins and minerals like selenium, chromium, zinc and magnesium. It is these properties that make it highly desirable for those looking for foods to assist in healthy weight loss, and it is a big hit with bodybuilders.
“If you’re not drinking matcha green tea yet, you’re behind the times! Get with the program and try this metabolism-enhancing, stress-reducing, immune-boosting, cholesterol-lowering, teenage-mutant-ninja cancer fighter!”- bodybuilding.com
Alrighty then, who’s gonna argue with that guy? Here’s a recipe for a morning smoothie that incorporates matcha with bananas, yogurt and blueberries. We have taken to making our smoothies with ice-cold water instead of juice or nut milks. You want the goodness of almonds, eat half a dozen while drinking a glass of this.
Blueberry-Matcha Smoothie1 cup water
2 teaspoons coconut oil
1 banana (preferably frozen)
1/3 cup frozen blueberries
1 teaspoon matcha powder
1/3 cup yogurt
Place all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth.