Every time I visit my friend Kathy’s blog, I’m inspired in one way or another. Kathy’s recipes are sumptuous yet simple, and they’re always so creative. Kathy also introduces me to lots of new ingredients and flavors. Most recently, I have her to thank for the matcha, finely milled green tea powder that has put a spring in my step (and colored a number of my mugs bright green). I’ve tasted matcha in beverages before, but I hadn’t worked with it myself until I started reading about Kathy’s beloved matcha smoothies (original here, version 2.0 here). I emailed Kathy asking if she thought it was worth trying matcha out for myself, and she responded with a forceful “yes.” And so my adventures with matcha began.
I’ve now made both of Kathy’s smoothies, as well as countless cups of matcha tea. Funny: I’m not a huge green tea lover (I usually have to sweeten it quite a bit to enjoy it), but matcha green tea? Game changer.
I love the taste, which seems to shift from grassy to sweet. Because you mix whole ground matcha into hot water, rather than steeping tea, matcha is said to be significantly higher in antioxidants and chlorophyll than other forms of green tea. It packs a powerful, yet mellow caffeine punch, too (a teaspoon of matcha is comparable to a cup of coffee in terms of caffeine, though for me a serving size is half a teaspoon mixed with a generous cup of hot water). And it also contains Vitamin C, potassium, and amino acids, including L-Theanine, which is said to promote relaxation and calm. (I always feel more invigorated than tranquil after I drink matcha, but I don’t feel jittery, either.)
Matcha is a bit of an investment; you can certainly find a reasonable price for it on Amazon, though higher quality matcha tends to come with a higher price tag. An ounce of organic matcha can be had at about $18.00, 2.8 ounces at about $38.00. The good news is that you only need about a half teaspoon to make one cup of strong tea, so a 2.8 oz container yields over 53 servings. I’ve been working on my container for a while now, and I still have tons of the tea left!
Delightful though freshly brewed matcha is, I was recently inspired to try it in a chia pudding; my standard rotation of chocolate and vanilla chia is getting a little old. I loved it, and I’m happy to share it with you today.
- 2 cups hemp or almond milk
- 2 tbsp agave nectar or maple syrup (optional)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp matcha powder
- 6 tbsp chia seeds
- 1 cup blueberries
- 1 cup raspberries
- Blend the milk, sweetener, vanilla, and matcha together in a blender till smooth.
- Pour the liquid over the chia seeds. Stir thoroughly. Stir again every few minutes for the next fifteen minutes. Then allow the mixture to sit for at least an hour (or overnight, in the fridge).
- Stir the mixture once more, and serve with fresh berries. Makes 2 servings.
Mixed with a cup of berries, this breakfast packs a major antioxidant punch–not to mention calcium, protein, and healthy fat from the chia seeds. What an energizing way to start your day! I hope you enjoy it–and that you get to know matcha a little better along the way.