How To Get More Of The Green Stuff

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Matcha cupcakes with Matcha latte

By Isadora Baum

Just how hot is matcha? Gwyneth is a devotee, as are Hannah Bronfman, Leonardo DiCaprio and apparently many Victoria’s Secret models.

And it’s no wonder—matcha and green tea tout incredible benefits. Whether you’re sipping it hot, as a latte, or iced, it’s delicious and good for you, loaded with catechins, and antioxidants that battle cell damage and fight certain cancers. Green tea also can help lower blood pressure and boost heart health. And research suggests green tea may also help with weight loss and weight management.

Both green tea and matcha are beneficial, but matcha is supercharged. “One serving of matcha is the nutritional equivalent of 10 cups of regularly brewed green tea,” nutritionist Jennifer Insel, MS tells Clean Plates. She likes to add a shot of matcha to her coffee to bump up the antioxidants.

Whether you’re already sipping a cup as you read this or you’re just catching on to this healthy trend, we have creative and delicious ways for you to incorporate more of the green stuff into your day.

A CHEESY GREEN TEA DESSERT

Ditch traditional cheesecake for a healthier snack. “Choose a full-fat fresh ricotta with no added sugar. Take ¼ cup of the cheese and mix it with ½ teaspoon of matcha,” says Insel. This might be more a snack, as it’ll have a pure, bitter (but yummy) taste and you can add a bit of fruit to make it even more of a dessert. “In a matter of seconds you have a naturally sugar-free dessert with the added health benefits of matcha,” says Insel. 

GREEN TEA YOGURT PARFAIT

We love a yogurt parfait as much as anyone, but if your glass of yogurt with fruit and granola is leaving you uninspired lately, jazz it up with matcha. Insel recommends stirring 1/2 teaspoon of matcha into your yogurt, then layering with berries.

“Plain yogurt is tart, so adding matcha gives it a natural sweetness,” she says. “Blueberries provide additional antioxidants and polyphenols as well as fiber.”

GREEN TEA CHIA PUDDING

Talk about a healthy breakfast or dessert. Chia seeds provide omega-3 fatty acids to promote heart health and fight inflammation, says Jessica Young, chef and nutrition expert at Daily Harvest.

“A matcha dish that I have been making at home and in the test kitchen incorporates ginseng, which in traditional Chinese medicine is known as a ‘hot’ stimulant that is loaded with eleutherosides, which are thought to stimulate your immune system,” she says. “Perfect for an added immune and energy boost, ginseng combined with matcha and the omega-3 and protein of the chia seeds give you a more mellow, longer lasting energy.” Cover the pudding and let refrigerate for 2-8 hours (overnight if possible) to let the chia bloom into a pudding, she instructs.  

Green Tea Soy Milk Chia Seed Pudding with Berries

GREEN TEA SALAD DRESSINGS

&  DIPPING SAUCES 

Green tea makes a creative addition to vegetables, registered dietician Lauren Blake of Ohio State University tells Clean Plates. “Steep 2 to 3 green tea bags in hot water, then thicken the liquid with a teaspoon of honey and a pinch of salt and pepper. This creates a slightly sweet tea sauce that is perfect for a summer BBQ,” she says.  “Using a small saucepan over medium heat, bring the water to a boil and add the teabags. After that, reduce heat to a simmer for 10 minutes, and then stir in the honey and pinch of salt and pepper. Continue stirring until the mixture is thickened slightly. Remove from heat. Cool completely and refrigerate.”

Matcha also can amplify a dressing. “Make your own by whisking green tea powder with olive oil, apple cider vinegar, and a dash of salt and pepper,” Blake suggests. This goes great with a bed of romaine, zucchini noodles, or shredded Brussels sprouts for a salad.

Don’t feel left out of you’re a meat lover. Registered dietician Natalie Rizzo recommends combining green tea leaves with brown sugar, salt, and garlic and rubbing the mixture on meat before grilling. 

GREEN TEA POACHED FISH

Using green tea in broth and poaching liquid takes dishes to a new level, Rizzo says.

“To poach fish, combine 4 cups of water and 4 green tea bags with a minced garlic clove in a deep skillet,” she says. “Bring to a boil and then let the tea steep for 5 minutes. Discard the tea bags and submerge fish in the water. Don’t let the water temperature exceed about 160–180 °F. Let it cook for about 8 to 10 minutes or until the fish is opaque and firm,” to make sure it doesn’t overcook.  

GREEN TEA FROSTING

Bringing cupcakes to the office or a bridal shower? Make them memorable by adding matcha to the frosting for an Insta-worthy treat.

“To add some beautiful, eye-catching color, add 2 tablespoons of matcha green tea powder to your favorite light buttercream frosting,” Blake says. “The matcha not only creates a vivid color, but also adds a slightly sweet, flowery taste.”

 
BIO: Isadora Baum is a writer and content marketer, as well as a certified health coach. She’s written for Bustle, Men’s Health, Extra Crispy, Clean Plates, Shape, and Huffington Post.

Also published on Medium.