Health Foods 101: Matcha
Everything you need to know about this powerful tea from Japan.
Everyone wants to eat healthy, but not everyone knows where to start. Whether you're trying to lose a few pounds or looking for an extra energy boost, food is the foundation for positive results. To help you navigate the grocery aisles, we're bringing you Health Foods 101 to break down popular ingredients, why they're good for you and how to eat them with the help of experts.
Up this week: matcha, according to Panatea founders David Mandelbaum and Jessica Lloyd, who have traveled all over Japan to find premium matcha and work with a tea master.
What it is:
Matcha is a green tea powder from Japan. "We refer to it as the 'espresso of green tea' because you consume the tea in a concentrated form," say Mandelbaum and Lloyd. It is traditionally prepared using only three ounces of hot—not boiling—water per one gram of matcha and mixed with a bamboo whisk. According to the pair, what makes matcha different from tea is that it's made from shade-grown tea leaves and ground into powder form so you are actually consuming the full tea leaf's benefits, not just what is left over from steeping tea.
Its nutritional value:
Mandelbaum and Lloyd explain that matcha offers 34 milligrams of caffeine—about half an espresso shot and a third of a cup of coffee. "As compared to coffee, consuming matcha results in no jitters and no crash," they add. "When matcha is digested, the caffeine molecules bind to more stable larger molecules, like catechins. This binding slows the breakdown of caffeine in the bloodstream and therefore counteracts the usual negative side effects of caffeine."
Health benefits it yields:
Matcha has more than 14 times the antioxidant activity of wild blueberries per gram. That along with amino acids in the tea supports metabolism and weight loss; promotes energy and alertness; and fights free radicals responsible for aging, tissue damage and inflammatory disease. Matcha is also a natural detoxifier that regenerates and cleanses the body thanks to chlorophyll, which promotes oxygen flow in the blood, and fiber, which helps digestion and controls appetite.
How you consume it:
Aside from drinking matcha, you can get really creative. Mix it into lattes, smoothies, baked goods, oatmeal, yogurt and even salad dressings.
How much you should have:
Mandelbaum and Lloyd suggest drinking matcha twice a day (one scoop per serving equals 1/2 a teaspoon).
Recipe to try: Matcha Mochi Waffles
Now that you understand the tea's benefits, get creative with this tasty remix of a breakfast treat.
1 tablespoon of Panatea's ceremonial grade matcha
3/4 cup of flour
1/2 cup of mochiko
2 tablespoon of sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract
3 tablespoons of melted butter
3/4–1 cup of buttermilk
1. Mix dry ingredients (matcha, flour, mochiko, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt) in a large bowl.
2. Mix wet ingredients (egg, vanilla extract, butter, buttermilk) in another bowl.
3. Combine dry and wet ingredients.
4. Mix until no lumps remain.
5. Preheat waffle iron.
6. Pour in waffle batter and let sit until waffles form.
7. For maple grapefruit syrup: Peal and segment grapefruits. Preheat oven to high-broil setting. Lay segmented grapefruit on a lined baking tray.
8. Sprinkle generously with brown sugar and a little maple syrup. Broil until caramelized.
9. Serve hot waffles with grapefruit and maple syrup to taste.