Matcha – Let’s talk about it!
Matcha, a recently popular new “super food” is made of finely ground green tea leaves. Historically a main component in traditional Japanese tea ceremonies you can now find it in most coffee shops around town; the most popular variety being green tea lattes. Matcha can be used in a large variety of ways, from hot and cold drinks, an added boost to smoothies, green tea flavored sweets, and even baked goods like cookies.
But wait, there is more to this amazing ingredient than delicious drinks and snacks!
Matcha has huge health benefits, more so than your basic cup of hot tea. This is due to the fact that when you consume matcha you are taking in the nutrients from the entire tea leaf (remember it’s been ground down to a powder!) which means more caffeine and antioxidants than a regular cup of green tea. But let’s break it down…
Matcha green tea benefits include:
- A high amount of catechins, which are plant compounds in tea that are natural antioxidants. Antioxidants help protect you from harmful free radicals, which can damage cells and cause chronic disease.
- Matcha green tea has been shown to improve attention, memory and reaction time. It also contains caffeine and L-theanine, which may improve several aspects of cognition.
- Green tea has been shown to reduce levels of cholesterol, and studies have also shown that drinking green tea is associated with a reduced risk of heart disease and stroke.
Interested in trying matcha and incorporating it into your daily lifestyle?
To make a drink simply whisk some green tea powder (1 teaspoon per 8 ox of water) into hot or cold water (milk is great as well) and enjoy!
Don’t like the taste of green tea? Add a teaspoon to your smoothie for added benefits, or take a sweeter approach and bake a delicious treat, like our Matcha Almond Cookies! (see below)
Matcha Almond Cookies
Experience Matcha Green Tea in a whole new way!
6 tablespoons powdered (confectioners) sugar
¾ cup flour (all-purpose flour recommended)
½ teaspoon kosher salt
6 tablespoons almond meal
3 teaspoons matcha green tea (unsweetned)
¼ cup slivered almonds
1 egg yolk
7 tablespoons unsalted butter (room temperature)
First you combine the butter and powdered sugar, mixing until fluffy and lightened in color. Now add your egg yolk (ideally room temperature) to the mixture, and beat it in until it is evenly mixed.
Next you want to sift together the flour, salt and matcha green tea (unsweetened) into a medium mixing bowl. Then whisk in the almond meal to the mixture.
Combine ingredients and mix until they are all evenly combined.
Scoop the dough onto a piece of plastic wrap using a spatula, and form the dough into a 2 inch diameter log. Wrap this tightly with plastic wrap, and freeze for 40 minutes. Be sure the plastic wrap is air tight, as you don’t want the dough to get dried out.
While that cools preheat your oven to 350° F and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
After 40 minutes unwrap the dough, and roll it in the slivered almonds, pressing down so the almonds stick to the log.
Cut the dough into 1/4-inch slices, and arrange them on the baking sheet and bake the cookies for about 9 minutes. Let the cookies sit to cool and then move to a cooling rack.
Once cool, serve up these cookies and wow your friends and family with your culinary genius.
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