It’s no secret that green tea has risen to prominence in recent years, thanks in part to its antioxidants and the host of health benefits they promote. If you enjoy green tea and want to pack an even more powerful punch into your diet, matcha — the light green powder that results from stone-grinding green tea leaves into a fine, herbaceous dust — might be your next favorite discovery. Boasting lots of polyphenol compounds called “catechins,” matcha has become a culinary superstar of late.
Because you’re digesting the leaves themselves when you enjoy matcha, your intake of those magical catechins spikes to a much greater degree than it would with a plain cup of green tea. This helps to lower your cortisol and blood pressure, while boosting your overall well-being. From a simple morning drink to a decadent dessert, here are five ways to incorporate matcha into your on-the-go life.
Top of the Morning
The most traditional way to prepare matcha is to make a cup of it in place of your typical morning drink. Just add two or three teaspoons of matcha to a cup of water, and heat it in a small saucepan until it’s almost boiling; then, a quick whisk works the tea into a light froth, and you’ve got an antioxidant infusion at your fingertips.
Keep in mind that matcha has just as much caffeine as a regular cup of coffee. While it’s known to rival coffee in its quantity of caffeine, the quality of the buzz it gives you is far less pronounced than the usual java jolt. Since overzealous matcha intake has been associated with high levels of lead, it’s important to limit your consumption to just one serving per day.
Bountiful Breakfast Bowls
If you love to start your day with a bowl of Greek yogurt, it’s easy to add matcha to your daily routine. For a fun flavor combination, combine 3/4 cup of your favorite Greek yogurt with a teaspoon of matcha, plus a tablespoon of honey or maple syrup for sweetness. Then, top your bowl with your favorite fruit, seeds or grains, and you’ve got yourself a perfect, power-packed parfait.
If smoothies are more your speed, consider taking Bon Appetit‘s advice and revving up your post-workout glass with a bit of matcha, as well as other powerful green ingredients, like kale and cucumber. Don’t forget to add fiber and probiotics, such as chia seeds and Greek yogurt, as well as nut milk for an added protein punch.
When you think about green tea, you probably don’t immediately think of frozen treats, but matcha and avocado can combine for the perfect warm-weather snack using this recipe from Popsugar. Although these mean, green freezer pops may taste like an indulgence, they are pretty forgivable, since they are loaded with catechins, pantothenic acid and good fat.
There’s no end in sight to the wide array of desserts you can whip up with matcha either taking a starring role or quietly adding some antioxidants to your favorite sweets. The web is overflowing with recipes for matcha-infused cookies, brownies and even truffles made with medjool dates as a sugar substitute. Alternatively, have fun experimenting in the kitchen with your own tried-and-true recipes, adding a few teaspoons of the good stuff to yield a slight green hue and a little less guilt with each bite.