The Hemp Connection + women's health

Cooking with matcha? You betcha!

For those of you who love green tea, you may wish to expand on your experiences with matcha. This version of tea is made by covering tea bushes before harvest, which causes them to turn a darker green. The biochemistry of this change gives matcha a sweeter flavor than traditional green tea.

This form of green tea is a super power house; gram for gram, it ranks higher in antioxidants than many of the foods consistently on health writers'"top ten supefoods" lists. In fact, researchers recently reported that the ECGC content of matcha can be up to 137 times higher than commercial green tea!

These leaves are then ground into a super-fine powder, which can be used in baking and cooking. If you've ever had green tea ice cream or a green tea smoothie, it is likely matcha that provided the flavor. I think it adds a beautiful color to whatever it is used in.

Most recipes on the Internet using matcha seem to be oriented toward sweets. However, if you look, there are some really interesting options in other categories. I've posted some of the most interesting below, along with links to the websites where I found theme so that you can be inspired in your own kitchen.

If you can't find match locally, consider visiting my friend Kerstin Wingert's online store. That is where I've found it and she is very popular in Phoenix because of her attention to quality in her products.

A storage note: Once opened, matcha does oxidize quickly so be sure to have a plan for using it, or share with friends and have fun tasting each others' creations!

One of the many smoothie recipes I found

Matcha Mango Smoothies

1 1/4 cups mango chunks
1/2 cup unsweetened soymilk or low-fat milk
1/2 cup low-fat plain yogurt
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon matcha tea powder
1/2 cup ice cubes
Honey or agave syrup (optional)

Add mango, soymilk, yogurt and matcha tea powder to blender container. Cover and blend until smooth. Add ice cubes; cover and blend until smooth. Taste for sweetness. Add honey or agave syrup if needed; cover and blend to combine. Pour into 2 glasses.

Makes 2 servings (1 1/4 cups each)

Tip: Adding too much matcha tea can result in a bitter flavor. Start with a small amount of matcha and adjust according to taste.

Here is the most interesting one I found. It is on my list to try!

Green Tea Fish Stew

5 Tbls. Olive oil
1 Clove garlic; peeled
4 medium Potatoes; peeled and diced
1 lb. Flounder, cod or red snapper fillets cut in chunks
2 bottles clam juice
2 cups water
16 ozs. diced or pureed tomatoes
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 Bay leaf
1 tsp. Salt
1/8 tsp. Crushed red pepper or to taste
3 Tbls. Chopped parsley
1 tsp. Matcha green tea powder

Heat oil in Dutch oven. Add garlic; sauté until well browned. Discard garlic. Add potatoes to Dutch oven, cook, stirring constantly, until lightly browned. Add fish, stock, tomatoes, wine, Matcha, bay leaf, salt, crushed red pepper, and pepper. Bring to a boil, then immediately reduce heat and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until fish and potatoes are tender. Remove bay leaf. Serve sprinkled with parsley. Serves 4

You could probably cut the sugar in this one. Be sure to use dark, high quality chocolate. A great holiday treat!

Matcha Almonds
1/3 cup plus 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
8 ounces unblanched almonds
2 teaspoons butter
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, broken into small pieces
1/2 teaspoon matcha (powdered green tea) or more to taste


1.Combine the sugar and 1/3 cup water in a saucepan and slowly heat to boiling, stirring until sugar dissolves. Cook sugar syrup until it reaches 240 degrees, or to soft-ball stage. Add almonds and stir to coat. Add the butter and remove from the heat. Stir until the almonds are glazed with syrup. Cook over medium-low heat until little liquid is left in the pan.

2.Add the chocolate and heat until it melts and almonds are completely coated. Set aside to cool.

3.When almonds are cool, dust from on high with the matcha to coat evenly.

YIELD About 3/4 pound

And just for a little fun, here is matcha martini recipe! Isn't this the most Christmasy looking beverage! The photo shows a strawberry garnish, the recipe suggests mint and cinnamon, but for this holiday in particular, garnished with a candy cane it would be so pretty!

Matcha Zentini

* 1 tsp ZenMatcha powder
* 1 ounce Godiva White Chocolate liquer
* 1 ounce vanilla vodka
* 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Shake well over ice and pour.

Garnish with a mint leaf and cinnamon (can substitute cream and clear white chocolate liquer for Godiva liqueur)

Weiss, David J; Anderton, Christopher R (2003-09-05). Determination of catchins in matcha green ttea by micellar electrokinetic chromatography. Journal of Chromatography 1011 (1-2): 173–180.

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Cooking with matcha? You betcha! + women's health