Green tea has been popular for years for its health benefits, but gaining in popularity is matcha, or green tea powder. It comes from the same plant, but is grown a bit differently. During the last 20-30 days of growing, farmers cover the plants to avoid direct sunlight. This increases their chlorophyll production, amino acid content and gives it that dark green color. The entire leaf is ground into a fine powder resulting in more caffeine and antioxidants than green tea.
The antioxidants are called catechins and these help stabilize harmful free radicals, which can damage cells. The catechin content can be up to 137 times greater than regular green tea.
Another promising benefit is support to the liver. In one study with 80 people with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, they were given 500 mg of green tea extract for 90 days. After 12 weeks, their liver enzymes were significantly reduced.
Matcha also contains a compound called L-theanine, which alters the effects of caffeine and helps one to avoid the crash in energy levels that can follow caffeine consumption. L-theanine is responsible for creating a calm in the body.
Matcha is also high in epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), a type of catechin that has been shown to have powderful anti-cancer properties against prostate, skin, lung and liver cancer in test tube studies. Further research is warranted to see if this translates to humans. More is not better – remember it does contain caffeine.
Enjoy this delicious latte instead of your usual coffee and see if you feel a difference in your energy. Don’t forget to join me Sept. 11 for another in-person cooking class. This month is Super Side Dishes!
Iced Matcha Latte
3 cups organic coconut milk
½ cup of ice (put ½ a cup in each glass)
2 tsp of premium ceremonial matcha
¼ cup warm water to mix the matcha
A few drops of liquid monk fruit (optional)
Mix matcha with warm water using a bamboo whisk.
Add ice, milk, monk fruit to 2 glass cups.
Add matcha mix and mix.
You can double or triple the recipe and store the
remaining matcha in mason jars in the fridge for the
rest of the week. Serves 2.