There are green teas – and then there is matcha
Herbal teas are having a much-deserved revival as we start to comprehend that what we put in our bodies drives our health and wellbeing. Whether we want improved skin, shinier hair, improved liver function, better sleep or help with weight loss, there’s tea that claims to do the job.
Matcha is a herbal tea that purports to be an ‘energy boosting super food’, which ‘creates a feeling of relaxed awareness’ and even claims to speed up your metabolism to assist in weight loss. I added matcha to my diet for five days to see if it ticked those boxes.
Because it’s made by grinding the leaves of green tea into a fine powder, you’re consuming the entire leaf, not discarding it (as with usual tea drinking), thus reaping ALL the benefits. The brighter the green, the more chlorophyll it has in it, which is one of its many powerful antioxidants.
Green tea is about as polarising as Vegemite – you either love or loathe it. Given that matcha is stronger in intensity than your average green tea, blending it in food and drinks is a good way to get all the nutritional benefits without the taste being overpowering. I halved the recommended quantity to get the right amount so that the matcha flavour didn’t dominate.
Just one serving of matcha is said to have the nutritional equivalent of 10 servings of ordinary green tea! You can drink it as tea, or add it to smoothies, pancakes, muffins, ice-cream, mocktails – you can even poach salmon in it! I decided to try a smoothie, the mocktail and the tea-poached salmon.
Blend a handful of silver beet leaves, baby spinach, cos lettuce, banana, watermelon, blueberries, lemon juice, ½ teaspoon of matcha and a cup of water. And voila, a green dream for breakfast. Quicker than toast!
Add ice cubes, five mint leaves, juice of a lime and ½ teaspoon of matcha into the blender. Pulse it, pour it and add soda water/tonic. Serve over ice in a pretty glass – loved it.
Make up tea with boiling water, add garlic, ginger, tamari and sesame oil and let it steep. Sear the salmon steak for two minutes to lightly brown it, add the tea mixture to the skillet and poached for seven minutes. It tasted pretty great – and imagine what a nutrition-packed meal that makes, especially when served with wilted spinach.
I felt good, I had good clarity, and my body felt light – but was that thanks to the green smoothies or the added punch from matcha? You’ll never know unless you give it a go.
In addition to Matcha, Tea With Me sells 22 herbal teas providing a range of health benefits: teawithme.com.au.