What is that strange green-ish looking beverage that you've been seeing at Starbucks lately? It's matcha! A fine green tea powder, which has been around since the 12th century in Japan, but has only become popular in North America in the past few years. Matcha is a green powder that is the product of steamed, dried and ground green tea leaves. We know that green tea leaves have antioxidants, but when they are ground up, their antioxidant content increases significantly! In fact, it takes about ten cups of green tea to match the potency of a cup of matcha green tea. All the more reason to incorporate more of this stuff! Use it in hot drinks or blend into smoothies.
Besides having a more potent antioxidant content, matcha also has about three times more caffeine than steeped green tea leaves. 1 tsp of matcha powder contains about 70 mg of caffeine, 1 cup of steeped green tea has about 30 mg of caffeine, and 1 cup of brewed coffee contains 100 mg of caffeine. But, matcha has a slow caffeine release effect compared with coffee, so you are less likely to experience the jittery feeling that many get from coffee.
Nutrition Benefits & Tips:
- Matcha is a potent source of antioxidants called catechins. Studies have shown that matcha contains three times more of the catechins than other kinds of standard green tea.
- Antioxidants may decrease the risk of cancer, by preventing and repairing damage to body cells, and may boost immunity
- This smoothie can be consumed as a meal or snack. The greek yogurt provides an excellent, natural source of protein (12 g per 1/2 cup), which will keep you satiated until your next meal or snack.
- This smoothie contains 500 mg of calcium, which is ~50% of most people's daily calcium needs
- Ground flaxseeds are high in fibre and heart-healthy omega-3 fats
- Spinach is full of fibre, antioxidants, and is abundant in many vitamins and minerals like vitamin K
Matcha Green Smoothie
1 cup 1% milk (or milk of your choice)
1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
1 tsp matcha green tea powder
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground flaxseeds
1 handful spinach leaves
1 frozen banana (ripe, peeled, chopped and frozen)
Place all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.