...I want to be a matcha fan! Matcha matcha fan, I want to be a matcha fan! Never heard of matcha? That's okay! Hopefully we've enticed you with this catchy tune to learn more about this alternative form of green tea. To get you started with matcha we are keeping this recipe simple by using it in one of our favorite forms, a latte! Don't let the bright green color scare you, it doesn't taste like a green vegetable and we swear it's delicious.
So what the heck is matcha? Matcha is a powder made from the buds and leaves of young green tea plants. A few weeks prior to it's harvest, farmers shade the tea plants to allow an increase in chlorophyll to form. The tea is then harvested, steamed, air dried, and finely milled into the final powdered product with it's gorgeous green hue. Matcha tastes similar to typical green tea but with an earthy, delicately sweet flavor and velvety, creamy texture. Matcha has added benefits over steeped green tea because with matcha you are ingesting the whole leaf as opposed to steeping the leaves in water and then discarding. Matcha is a good source of antioxidants in the form of catechins polyphenols (antioxidant benefits were discussed further in a previous post, but you saw that right?) and contains up to 10 times the amount of antioxidants than regular green tea. So let's get down to it- will this kick start my day? We think yes! One teaspoon of matcha contains ~70 mg of caffeine (compared to one shot of espresso providing ~65 mg) and may provide a more steady level of energy/alertness versus the quick boost and then crash from coffee drinks. Matcha may be found at specialty grocers including a variety at Whole Foods Market. It can also be easily purchased online: we like the taste, price and convenience of this brand, but you may find another you love. Matcha can be used to add color and an earthy flavor to many dishes. But our favorite way to let matcha shine on center stage is with a simple matcha tea latte. Ready to give matcha a try?
Matcha Tea Latte
PREP TIME: 10 mins
TOTAL TIME: 20 mins (plus overnight almond soak)
Servings: one 8 ounce latte
1 cup raw almonds
3 cups water
1 vanilla bean
2 tsp matcha powder (sweetened or unsweetened)
maple syrup or honey to taste if using unsweetened matcha or as desired
First to prepare homemade almond milk cover raw almonds with water and allow to soak overnight (at least 8 hours). Drain almonds and add to a blender with 3 cups water and paste from inside the vanilla bean (cut open pods with a small knife and scrape out insides). Blend on high for 2-3 minutes. Milk can be strained through a nut milk bag or using a french press as we did. Pour mixture into the french press and press all the way down separating the almond pulp from the nut milk. The unused milk can be stored in an air-tight container in the fridge for 5-7 days. Also save the almond pulp for use in future recipes as almond flour. Can be frozen as is and used at a later time or spread onto a baking sheet (pictured) and dehydrated in a 200 degree oven for 30 minutes, stirring once.
Heat 8 ounces of almond milk in a small sauce pan over medium-high heat. Once simmering, remove from heat and whisk in 2 tsp of matcha powder and sweetener if desired. Pour into your most beautiful tea cup and enjoy by the window feeling the spring breeze!
We know this recipe has now turned you into a matcha, matcha fan and you have the sustained energy boost you need to keep you going. Feel free to use alternate nut milk variations and/or try iced and be sure to let us know what you liked best!
Love you a latte,
Jess and Cecelia
Jess and Cecelia welcome you to our kitchen. We are fun-loving and passionate foodies working to make the world a healthier, happier place one plant based recipe at a time.