Matcha green tea has a host of health benefits and uses…
What’s so good about it?
» Green tea is an everyday drink in Japan and matcha is the stone-ground, more concentrated version used in traditional tea ceremonies as it’s prized for its physical and mental health benefits. The leaves are powdered, which means they are drunk rather than discarded.
» It contains more antioxidants than any other tea, including epigallocatechin gallate, which is one of the most renowned cancer preventing antioxidants.
» Matcha gets its bright green colour from the high chlorophyll levels, which are a wonderful detoxifier.
» Though it does have caffeine, which makes you feel alert, it also has amino acid L-theanine which promotes relaxation, happiness, energy levels and memory at the same time. It’s also rich in potassium, iron for healthy blood, vitamins A and C for glowing skin and a healthy immune system, and calcium for bones.
How to use it
» The best way to have matcha is on its own, freshly brewed, but adding it to recipes will give you some of the goodness and is a great way to introduce its flavour. The highestquality matcha is the pricey ceremonial grade. For drinking, go for a high grade like Lalani & Co Organic Matcha Gold, £29 for 30g. For cooking, try Vital Life Matcha Cooking Grade, £11.99 for 100g.
» For a matcha smoothie bowl, blitz ½ avocado, 2tbsp natural yogurt, a handful of baby spinach, 1 chopped pear, a 4cm piece of cucumber, juice from 1 lime, ½tsp matcha powder and 100ml water until smooth. Top with berries and seeds.
» To give your salad a matcha boost, make a dressing with the juice of 1 lime, 1tsp olive oil, ½tsp matcha powder, ½tsp white miso paste and 1tsp honey.
» For a super-charged chocolate mousse (for 4), melt 100g chopped dark chocolate with 1tbsp water in a bowl over a pan of simmering water. Take off the heat and cool. Mix 2tsp matcha powder with 2 egg yolks and add to the chocolate. In a separate bowl whisk 2 egg whites until stiff, then add 2tbsp caster sugar, one at a time. Fold ⅓ of the egg into the chocolate, then the rest.
Try bloomtea.co.uk, wearetea.com and teapigs.co.uk for green tea and matcha
Thai green tea chicken curry
300 cals 17g fat (14g sat) 10g carbs
Prep time 15 mins
Cooking time 25 mins
You Will Need
» 2tsp sunflower oil
» 540g boneless chicken
» 200g baby aubergines, quartered
» 250g mixed veg (eg, baby corn, pak choi, asparagus)
» 2tsp matcha powder
» 400ml can coconut milk
» 1-2tsp fish sauce
» Juice 1-2 limes
For the curry paste
» 1 onion, roughly chopped
» 5cm piece fresh ginger
» 3 garlic cloves
» 2 lemongrass sticks, roughly chopped
» 1 red and 1 green chilli, roughly chopped
» 1tsp ground coriander
» 2tsp fish sauce
» 2tsp honey
» Large handful fresh coriander, including stalks
» 2tbsp toasted coconut, 1 red chilli, sliced, coriander leaves
What To Do
1 Put 1tsp sunflower oil in a food processor with the curry paste ingredients. Whizz to a paste.
2 Heat the remaining oil in a wok or large frying pan and cook paste until fragrant. Fry chicken in batches. Add aubergine and coat well. Cook for 3-4 mins until starting to soften. Add the remaining vegetables and continue cooking for 2-3 mins.
3 Mix the matcha powder with a little coconut milk, set aside. Add rest of coconut milk to pan and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 5-6 mins, until the vegetables are tender. Add the matcha mixture, fish sauce and fresh lime juice to taste. Serve with sticky rice and topped with the toasted coconut, red chilli and coriander leaves.
Matcha green tea cake with summer berries
392 calories 20g fat (13g sat) 45g carbs
Prep time 20 mins
Cooking time 30 mins
You Will Need
» 165g unsalted butter, at room temperature
» 200g icing sugar
» 1tsp vanilla extract
» 3 large free-range egg whites, lightly beaten
» 275g plain flour
» ¾tsp baking powder
» 4tsp matcha powder
» 100ml whole milk
For the topping
» 125ml whipping cream
» 125g fat-free fromage frais
» 250g raspberries
» 30g white chocolate, melted
» 22cm tin, with base and sides greased and lined with baking parchment
What To Do
1 Heat the oven to 170°C, Gas 3. Beat the butter and icing sugar until creamy and pale, and mix in the vanilla. Beat in
the egg whites, a little at a time, mixing well after each.
2 In a separate bowl mix the flour, baking powder and matcha powder until well combined, then sift. Add to the butter mixture in three batches, adding some milk each time. Put in tin, smooth the top and bake for 20-30 mins. Allow to cool in the tin, then turn onto a wire rack.
3 Whip the cream until it’s starting to thicken, add fromage frais and mix until it holds its shape. Spread over the cooled cake and top with the raspberries. Drizzle over the chocolate.