I’m starting a new series called ‘Ingredient Spotlight’. I will be featuring a variety of ingredients (produce, herbs, spices, etc.) that have healing/beneficial superpowers and sharing a few ways that you can incorporate them into your everyday life. Many of these will be things you can use both internally and externally. First up: the gorgeous and powerful matcha green tea.
Matcha is a traditional part of Japanese culture. It is made by delicately grinding the whole green tea leaf into a fine and silky powder. This maintains the highest level of nutrients. It is known for it’s incredible health-promoting properties, it’s ability to boost metabolism, and it’s unique quality to keep one alert while calming the mind and cleansing the body. The vibrant green colour comes from it’s rich source of chlorophyll (a powerful detoxifier that eliminates chemicals from the body). Matcha is also one of the highest sources of antioxidants and said to help with memory retention and a positive mood. That was the first thing I noticed when I tried matcha, an uplifted mood and positive feelings for the rest of the afternoon. Of course this superfood also fights against cancer, helps with headaches, and boosts energy. There isn’t much it can’t do.
Although matcha contains caffeine, it releases the caffeine over a longer period of time, allowing you to feel energized for more of the day. It also comes without the addictive properties of coffee so you won’t find yourself relying on this to get you out of bed. I went to JagaSilk in Victoria to taste a few different matcha blends and learn more about this Japanese tradition (how beautiful is my latte!?). If you’re in town, you have to stop by their tea bar. It’s the best of the best. You select your matcha from a menu as you would a fine wine. They even offer classes on how to properly steep, serve, and store your matcha tea. I’d love to take a class with them, they are extremely knowledgable.
Matcha can be enjoyed in more ways than just a tea. You can add it to baking, throw it in your green smoothies, use it to infuse ice creams or desserts, mix it in a stir-fry, sprinkle it in your bath water, or even make a skin-clearing face mask (matcha and honey, 1:1 ratio) out of it. I think a matcha latte is the perfect alternative to your afternoon craving or your beverage of choice at the local coffee shop. I’ve often struggled with what to order at coffee shops because most of the drinks that are served have so much sugar and no beneficial properties. Of course there is always regular tea, but sometimes I just want more of a special treat. Matcha is just that. I hope you try this beautiful tea and truly enjoy all it’s healing powers.
Have you tried matcha before? What’s your favourite way to have it?