It seems like every month a new ‘Super’ food hits the scene promising ideas of fascinating healing powers, extended life expectancy, and the fountain of youth. But are these just fads? No secret that most of these foods aren’t approved by the FDA, but what does that really mean? To some it’s a huge deal. But for folks like me, it just means the government hasn’t figured out a way to place control or a higher dollar amount on an item that has benefited the health of many, but I digress.
An awesome not-so-new Super Food I adore is amazing matcha! I was already a fan of green tea when I discovered this powerfully beneficial beverage. I first became aware of matcha several years ago from Dr. Oz and became obsessed with finding out more!
Simply put, matcha is finely ground green tea leaves- the best of the best tea leaves that is. Matcha has been a beneficial zen hot beverage of choice in Japanese culture for thousands of years and is a ceremonial tea tradition. Similar to the already cancer fighting, immune boosting properties, and weight loss aid of the traditional green tea leaves that are steeped for tea, matcha is that much more potent. Matcha also breaks down fat in the body from entering into cells which makes it an amazing defense against cardiovascular disease and obesity. Be mindful that matcha’s fine green powder contains about 30 grams of caffeine. However, this caffeinated ‘boost’ is more of a calm alertness as opposed to the jolt-then-crash that coffee often times causes.
It is suggested that you have a small bamboo whisk in order to blend the fine grounded powder completely into the boiling water. The actual process of whisking the tea is itself a traditional Japanese zen ritual, and it is highly recommended to prepare this tea properly. However, I never picked up a whisk, but I did rediscover an alternate way of dissolving and getting the most out of my sipping. Actually my Aunt Colette taught me this process years ago with her coffee:
This beautiful antioxidant green powder can be found in health food stores, some mainstream groceries, specialty food stores, vitamin shops, and as well as online. Unlike regular, yet beneficial green tea, matcha costs a pretty penny. However, a very small amount is needed when preparing this tea. Beware of the premixed matcha ‘drinks’ that are heavy ladened with sugar and milk cultures that can defeat the entire purpose of sipping this green medicinal gem. So make sure you check the contents and seek a 100% matcha powder. This way you have control with your add-ins of sweetners, non-dairy creamers (latte), etc.
An interesting find in my research is that of the lead content in matcha. Most of the superb quality green tea leaves are grown and harvested in Japan where the natural elements of preserving the tea leaves increase the levels of this element. Approximately 90% of the lead remains in the leaf after being steeped for traditional green tea. However, since matcha is the actual green tea leaves themselves grounded, all is consumed. For this reason, I would suggest one cup in a day. And remember when steeping regular bag tea not to leave the tea bag in your cup. Steep to your level of taste strength, which should be anywhere between 2-4 minutes, then toss.
Not much of a tea fan? No problem! Matcha powder can be added to pancakes and waffles, smoothies, salads, cocktails, ice cream, many pastry items such as cookies and brownies, and so much more! Just a teaspoon of matcha goes a long way and adds endless possibilities to your culinary creations. There's something for everyone to enjoy to benefits of this ancient healing powder!
For even more info about this power packed super powder, check out this awesome report from CBS This Morning!
Matcha madness: Rising popularity of green tea jolt in U.S.
comment below and let me know how you enjoy your matcha!
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