MATCHA, MATCHA, MATCHA!
This vibrant green tea is renowned for it's endurance enhancing effects. Made from shade-grown tea leaves and processed into a sweet earthy powder, it is readily consumed as a beverage or whipped into your favorite recipes. (Hint: it pairs especially well with blueberries or dark chocolate!)
Matcha has a few sneaky benefits that have given it a coveted place in the health and wellness industry. Just like all teas, its antioxidants fight off stress-inducing toxins and slow the aging process, however it has over 100 times more antioxidants than a cup of standard green tea. Matcha also has an added boost - the amino acid L-theanine, used for its calm relaxing effects. L-theanine works synergistically with the lightly caffeinated tea to promote zen-like cognition and focused attention. Historically, matcha has been used in Japan and China for meditative tea rituals.
It can enhance fitness activities like body building, weight training, and extensive yoga practice. Studies have shown that high levels of ECGC, a powerful antioxidant found in green tea, suppresses appetite and helps utilize carbohydrates as energy rather than getting stored as fat. Matcha offers an extended slow release of caffeine over a period of six hours, allowing for improved stamina during workouts. L-theanine moderates the caffeine crash typically associated with coffee, eliminating the aftermath of irritability and fatigue.
Matcha is often simply made as a hot tea or latte. It blends well with lemonade or chai tea spices, and is commonly paired with yogurt, ice cream, acai bowls or smoothies. Its versatility makes it a star attraction in indulgent dishes when prepared as butter and aioli. Accompanying dessert, it can be favorably whipped into icing, popsicles, truffles, tiramisu, puddings, cookies, cupcakes, date or granola bars and macaroons. See below for a supercharged matcha-chia mash up that will help satisfy your sweet tooth and give you an energy boost to vigorously take on the day.
Overnight Matcha-Chia Madness
1 cup non-dairy yogurt or non-dairy milk (almond, coconut, hemp, flax or oat mylk)
1/2 tablespoon matcha powder
2 tablespoons chia seeds
1/4 teaspoon vanilla bean powder or paste
1-2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon agave or local honey
handful of blueberries or raspberries
dash of lemon zest
optional: 1/8 teaspoon ginseng powder for a little adaptogenic kick!
Mix all ingredients together in a bowl or jar, cover and refrigerate overnight.
Voila! Breakfast is served.