Matcha is everywhere right now! You can’t flick through a food magazine or peruse your Instagram feed, without seeing matcha in one of its many guises – in a luscious green latte, in a gorgeous green cake or in a creamy dreamy ice-cream. So what is matcha and what is all the hype really about?
Matcha Green Tea is green tea which has been processed in a certain way. About three weeks before harvest the tea bushes are covered to prevent direct sunlight. This process slows down the tea plants growth, stimulates an increase in chlorophyll levels, turns the leaves a darker shade of green, and initiates higher production of the amino acid L. theanine. The leaves are then laid out to dry and then de-veined, de-stemmed and stone ground to a fine, green powder. Voila – this is matcha!
As for the hype – normal green tea is pretty good for you but imagine if you were getting all of the goodness from the whole leaf, rather than just the water from decoction? Well that’s matcha. As you ingest the whole leaf, you get all of green teas numerous nutrients. The standout nutrients in matcha are the antioxidants. Matcha contains a very special group of antioxidants named catechins, they help to support a healthy aging process, cardiovascular and cerebral health and are also thought to have benefits for the immune system. Matcha also has high levels of chlorophyll which support daily detoxification.
Matcha is also rich in L-theanine, an amino acid which helps to support a state of relaxed alertness. It may also support a healthy memory, concentration and clarity of mind without the jitters of coffee. Perfect as a morning or afternoon pick me up. If that isn’t enough, matcha is also thought to have benefits for healthy weight management and energy levels. This is thought to be due to the interplay between the small amount of caffeine in matcha and the antioxidants.
So how do you use matcha green tea powder? Well, you can use it in lots of different ways- added to smoothies, into cake or brownie batter, into ice-cream, into bliss ball mixture or you can stir a teaspoon into about 180ml of hot water or milk and whisk. Then drink. Instant pick me up!
And if you want to try a recipe – try this lovely easy peasy, vegan matcha ice cream. You will become a matcha convert!
Matcha Nice Cream!
This yummy dairy free ice-cream is easy, creamy, dreamy and green! It also has a great big antioxidant kick thanks to the addition of Matcha Green Tea and it tastes great!
Makes 2 bowls.
4-5 very ripe bananas, peeled and frozen overnight
½-1 cup of almond or coconut milk
2 teaspoons of matcha green tea
Place the bananas in a food processor or high speed blender and process until broken up. Add the almond milk and process until it resembles soft serve. Add the matcha and process until combined. Serve immediately!
By Rachel Dawson Dip Nutrition Dip Herb Med (Hons)
Senior Naturopathic Consultant Health & Herbs International Ltd
Radiance Matcha Green Tea contains 149% more antioxidants than regular green tea and is super versatile, it can be used as a tea, in lattes, in baking, smoothies- you name it! Buy it now from our secure online shop.
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