Have you heard of matcha? I've been getting asked a lot about matcha lately. It's one of those superfood ingredients that went from "matcha what"? to "how do I use it and why is it healthy"?
What makes matcha tea so special?
Matcha tea is a high-quality green tea that is covered before picking to accentuate the color, then stone-ground after being picked and before being sealed into small tins. It's very versatile, can be enjoyed in many ways, and because of the incredible reported health benefits, people are starting to include it in smoothies, lattes, oats and more. While typical green tea bags still deliver fabulous antioxidants, consider matcha a superfood due to its extremely high antioxidant levels (nearly 10 times stronger than green tea) called polyphenols, which have been tied to protection against heart disease and cancer, as well as better blood sugar regulation, blood pressure reduction, and anti-aging. Another polyphenol in matcha, called EGCG has been shown in research to boost metabolism and slow the growth of cancer cells.
Matcha is also high in amino acids, specifically containing high amounts of L-Theanine, which is a unique set of amino acids found exclusively in green teas, and known to help the body to relax, be more calm, and reduce stress levels.
What does matcha tea taste like?
Matcha is very concentrated giving it an earthy flavor. The taste is strong and vegetal - some people would say spinachy, others would say grassy and with an umami character. TIP: It's best to buy an unsweetened, pure matcha and sweeten it on your own with maple syrup or organic stevia leaf.
Matcha could be the token to a rockstar workout
If you normally drink a cup of coffee as part of your pre-run kick, try replacing it with matcha. I enjoy blending 1 teaspoon of matcha powder into 1 cup of warmed almond or coconut milk, sweetened with organic stevia. You can also incorporate matcha into your pre-run meal. I love oatmeal and smoothies before a long run - both digest with ease and complement matcha well.
Simple smoothie: 1 scoop plant protein powder (hemp, brown rice or pea protein), banana, matcha powder, unsweetened plant-based milk and organic stevia leaf. It's delicious!
Super Oatmeal: As your oats are cooking, stir in 1-2 teaspoons of matcha - remove from stove and add in 2 tablespoons of flaxseed or hemp seeds, 1 tsp coconut oil, and sweeten with organic stevia leaf (or maple syrup).
Other fun things to try matcha in are soups, puddings, and even guacamole.
Does Matcha contain caffeine?
With Matcha, you are consuming whole leaves, therefore you are getting around three times as much caffeine than a cup of steeped tea. However, compared to the caffeine buzz from coffee, matcha creates an “alert calm” due to a natural substance it contains called l-theanine, which induces relaxation without drowsiness.
Are you ready to get your matcha on?
Owner of BEVEGAN® Grassroots Health. Board Certified Holistic Health Coach. AKA Miss Bellevue Vegan. Plant-Based Health Consultant. Vegan Athlete. Outdoor Enthusiast. Outdoor Gear Reviewer. Author. Cotopaxi Local Ambassador. Animal Lover. Dreamer. Believer.
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