While I used to consume coffee religiously, I stopped recently because of the caffeine overload to my system. Typical symptoms included: jitters and trembles, an overactive mind, and a mid-afternoon crash. Don’t get me wrong, I still love the drink—especially with coconut oil, cinnamon, and vanilla—but I’m sticking to my decision. So, although nothing beats the taste and comfort of that morning pick-me-up, I opt for other warm beverages to get me through the day. A matcha powder latte is one of them.
First, what is matcha powder?
Matcha is essentially green tea, but is grown differently, is stone-ground, and then produced as a fine powder. The main difference is mainly in the way farmers grow the leaves. With matcha, the tea leaves are carefully shaded from the sun, which boosts the chlorophyll content in the leaves, and makes them extra-green and rich in antioxidants. This process also increases the caffeine content (in comparison to regular green tea). Lastly, the leaves are laid flat to dry and then slowly stone-ground. This results in a smooth, more caffeinated green tea powder. Low and behold, you have matcha.
As a Superfood: The Health Benefits
Matcha offers numerous health benefits, too. As mentioned before, matcha is chock-full of antioxidants (similar to green tea), but that’s not all. It also increases metabolism, naturally detoxifies the body, enhances the immune system, and boosts energy. It contains a healthy 70mg of caffeine—in comparison to coffee’s 163mg—and enhances concentration while also calming the mind. The matcha caffeine high is also more gradual than coffee’s, and thankfully, eliminates any mid-afternoon crashes.
SPUD’S FAVOURITE USES FOR MATCHA POWDER
1. Faux-Bulletproof Matcha Latte
While there are also tons of uses for matcha powder, my favourite is the Faux-Bulletproof Matcha Latte (this was adapted from Lee From America’s “Bulletproof Matcha Latte,” but has been SPUD-ified for our purposes). This blended bevy replaces my morning coffee and is also a great way to sneak in my favourite health foods (such as collagen or any adaptogens). To make the Faux-Bulletproof Matcha Latte, you’ll need:
- 1 tbsp matcha powder
- 1 scoop collagen powder
- 1 tbsp coconut butter
- 1 tsp coconut oil
- 1 cup almost boiling water
- ½ cup nut milk
- Measure out the matcha powder, sift it through a strainer straight into your blender/Nutribullet/Magic Bullet
- Add the hot water
- Add collagen, coconut butter, coconut oil, and nut milk
- Blend for at least 1 minute
- Pour into a mug and enjoy!
2. As a face mask.
Matcha is great for a face mask because it evens out skin tone and may reduce acne. This is a great DIY craft too because it requires so little ingredients! To make this face mask you’ll need:
- 1 tsp matcha powder
- ½ – 1 tsp honey
Mix together to make a paste. Spread the paste over your face and neck, leave on for 10-15 minutes, and remove with a warm cloth. Voila!
3. In a smoothie!
Another favourite food trend these days is adding matcha powder to a smoothie. It gives it a fresher taste, and sneakily adds some nutrients. To make a matcha smoothie you’ll need:
- A healthy handful of frozen greens (my personal favourite is spinach because of its neutral taste, but feel free to add kale if you’ve got some on hand)
- 1 tbsp matcha powder
- 2 tbsp yogurt (coconut/non-dairy yogurt works too!)
- 1 ½ cup non-dairy milk
- ½ – 1 frozen banana
- A date or 2 if you’d like to up the sweetness
Blend ingredients together until smooth, then serve immediately and enjoy!
These recipes are just a few examples of matcha’s versatility, but we can’t forget the traditional method: sifted and whisked into hot water (typically done with a bamboo whisk). This is a nice alternative to green tea, especially for a richer flavour. Either way though, no matter how you use it, matcha is a multi-purpose, nutrient-rich powerhouse, and gives me my caffeine fix without the crash. All-in-all, it’s a winner in my books!