Are matcha lattes your cup of tea? Those frothy, vibrant-green beverages have been popular for years, and they’re how a lot of us have been introduced to this type of green tea. Yet, matcha — which is ground, shade-grown Japanese green tea — can be enjoyed in so many other ways. That’s a good thing, since it’s rich in nutrients, including antioxidants. Matcha’s caffeine content is tempered by L-theanine, which provides calm and focused alertness.
With a green grass-vegetal-floral flavor backed by a hint of bitterness, matcha lends a velvety mouthfeel to any liquid. When cooking with this superfood, keep in mind that matcha can clump, so you might want to whisk it with a small amount of hot liquid before combining with other ingredients. Here are 10 delicious, quick and nutritious ways to see green, all portioned for one.
1. MATCHA YOGURT WITH RASPBERRIES AND PUMPKIN SEEDS
In a small bowl, whisk 1 teaspoon matcha with 2 tablespoons hot water until smooth. Stir in 1/2 cup unsweetened plain yogurt, 1 teaspoon agave nectar or honey, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract and a pinch of salt. Once smooth, sprinkle with 1/2 cup fresh raspberries and 2 tablespoons toasted pumpkin seeds, as desired, and serve.
2. FRESH PINEAPPLE WITH MATCHA SALT
Place 1/2 cup diced fresh pineapple (or other fruit) in a bowl. Place a small strainer over another small bowl. Pour 1/2 teaspoon matcha into the strainer, and use the back of a spoon to scrape it through the strainer, so the tea falls into the bowl below without clumping. Stir 1/8 teaspoon salt into the matcha. Sprinkle the matcha salt over the pineapple, and serve.
3. MATCHA-MANGO OATMEAL
Bring 1 cup water and a pinch of salt to a boil in a small heavy saucepan. Once boiling, stir in 1/2 cup quick oats and 1/3 cup fresh or frozen diced ripe mango. Cook, stirring, until the oats thicken and the mango is heated through, about 5 minutes. Turn off the heat. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon each matcha and vanilla extract, and pour the oatmeal into a bowl. If desired, garnish with diced fresh mango.
4. COCONUT-MATCHA CHIA PUDDING WITH PINEAPPLE
In a small container, stir together 3 tablespoons chia seeds, 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk, 1 tablespoon unsweetened shredded coconut flakes, 1 teaspoon matcha, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla or coconut extract and a pinch of salt. Shake well to mix, and let sit for about 20 minutes or preferably a couple of hours. Pour into a bowl, and top with 1/2 cup diced fresh ripe pineapple.
5. MATCHA MILK
This is like the chocolate milk of your childhood, only better! I adapted this recipe from one in my book, “The New Milks: 100-Plus Dairy-Free Recipes for Making and Cooking with Soy, Nut, Seed, Grain, and Coconut Milks.” In a small bowl, whisk together 1 teaspoon matcha with 2 tablespoons of hot water until smooth. Pour into a glass. Stir in 1 cup plain unsweetened milk (I love coconut or almond), 1 teaspoon agave nectar (or more to taste) and 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract. Drink as is, or cover and chill first.
6. MATCHA BANANA BREAD
In a small bowl, whisk together 1 teaspoon matcha with 2 tablespoons of hot water until smooth. Stir into the liquid mixture of your favorite banana bread batter before baking. If desired, once the bread has baked and cooled, sprinkle with additional matcha powder.
7. MATCHA CHOCOLATE OR TRUFFLES
Matcha is a delightful match with dark chocolate. Sprinkle it onto this dark chocolate almond bark, or roll your favorite truffle filling into matcha powder (plain or sweetened with a small amount of coconut sugar).
8. SUPER-GREEN SMOOTHIE
Blend 1 cup plain unsweetened milk (such as almond), 1 cup fresh spinach leaves, 1 frozen banana (cut into chunks), 1/2 ripe avocado, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1 teaspoon matcha powder and a pinch salt. Blend until smooth.
9. MATCHA SEASONING
In a small bowl, stir together 2 tablespoons toasted white sesame seeds with 2 teaspoons each matcha powder, red pepper flakes, sea salt and dried orange peel. Sprinkle over popcorn, eggs or cooked protein.
10. CHICKEN NOODLE SOUP WITH MATCHA
In a small saucepan, heat 1 serving chicken soup (homemade or store-bought). In a small bowl, whisk together 1 teaspoon matcha with 2 tablespoons of the hot soup until smooth. Whisk matcha mixture into the remaining soup, and serve.