If you’re a lover of green tea and all of its benefits, you are going to be ecstatic about matcha. Matcha green tea is a finely ground powder of green tea leaves. It is produced in a special way and this makes it very concentrated. If you love green tea flavor, another perk of it being in a concentrated powder form is the ability to incorporate it into different recipes!
The benefits of matcha green tea
- Since matcha is ground up green tea leaves, you are ingesting more nutrients than regular green tea (though it is a small amount)
- Matcha is rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants are linked to protection against cancer and heart disease. Antioxidants can also help with anti-aging.
- Matcha has a specific kind of antioxidant called catechin, which out of all antioxidants is the most beneficial.
- Since you’re getting more whole leaves in matcha than in regular green tea, you get three times the caffeine! It is about as much as a regular cup of coffee. Some say that the caffeine “buzz” you get from matcha is different than coffee.
- Matcha is used by Daoists and Buddhist Monks in meditation. The L-Theanine (an amino acid) in matcha induces relaxation without the drowsiness. (Though I’m sure the caffeine helps with that, too.)
- The amino acid L-Theanine also increases production of serotonin and dopamine. These are the happiness chemicals in your brain. They put you in a good mood, helps you concentrate, and improve your memory.
- Drinking matcha is said to speed up your metabolism without any negative side effects.
- Matcha naturally detoxifies your body because of the chlorophyll found in the green tea leaves.
Where to buy matcha green tea
Real matcha green tea can be hard to come by. Most of the time, it is sold sweetened or in a premade latte mix. Don’t buy these! Starbucks carries a matcha green tea powder but it is very sweetened. To get all of the best health benefits, it’s important to get good quality, organic matcha. If you’re lucky enough, you may be able to find some that were imported at an Asian grocery store. I know that Whole Foods also carries some, but I have not looked into or tried them. The most sure-fire way to find some are on Amazon, and, still, the qualities (which means the prices also) vary. This Zen Spirit Premium Culinary Grade matcha powder is great quality, however since it is culinary grade, it is used more for cooking and baking and is more bitter. For a great, genuine, plain matcha tea, you need a ceremonial kind like this one from Midori Spring. If you are going to sweeten it or use it in baking or cooking recipes anyway, I don’t see a problem in using the culinary grade.
Matcha green tea recipes
Personally, one of my favorite recipes is the matcha green tea latte! It works iced or hot. Making it from scratch is not as bad as buying a premade latte mix or getting a green tea latte from starbucks. You can control how much and what kind of milk and sweetener you want to use.
Simple Hot or Cold Matcha Green Tea Latte Recipe
- 1 teaspoon of matcha green tea powder
- 1 cup cold or 1 1/4 cup hot milk of choice (whole, skim, almond, soy, coconut…)
- 1-2 teaspoons sweetener of choice (raw honey, agave, sugar, maple syrup…)
- In a jar, shaker bottle, or mixer, mix the teaspoon of matcha green tea with a tiny bit of water to form a paste (this is so it will dissolve easily into the milk).
- Add your hot or cold milk and sweetener and mix or shake until incorporated. If you’re making it cold, pour over ice.
(Optional) Supplement your matcha latte: Add 1 teaspoon of organic, extra-virgin coconut oil before mixing all ingredients together.
Soft Matcha Sugar Cookies Recipe
Ready to make something healthy into something totally unhealthy (but still very delicious)?
- 3/4 cup of butter (softened)
- 3/4 cup of sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla
- 2 teaspoons of baking powder
- 2 tablespoons of matcha powder
- 2 3/4 cups of flour
- white chocolate wafers for icing
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Beat butter and sugar in a bowl until fluffy. Then beat in eggs and vanilla. Add baking powder and matcha powder and mix until incorporated.
- Add the flour, a little at a time, and mix until dough forms.
- On a floured surface, roll out the dough slightly thick (about 1/2″). Cut out with desired cookie cutters.
- Bake at 400 degrees for about 5 minutes or until slightly golden brown around the edges.
- Let cookies cool.
- Melt the white chocolate wafers in a microwave with some oil about 15 seconds at a time (stirring each time) until completely melted.
- Ice cookies thick with the melted white chocolate or dip sides of cookies into the chocolate.
- Let chill in the fridge until icing is hard.
Basically, you can add a couple tablespoons of matcha powder to almost any baked goods recipe. Green tea is one of my favorite flavors and I hope you grow to love it as well!