I'm so excited to have teamed up with my favorite matcha brand PANATĒA to bring you guys a series of original and solful matcha recipes! First up, my absolute favorite sleepy morning go-to - the matcha latte. I want to shatter the belief that you have to go to a trendy coffee shop and spend half your life savings to get yourself a good matcha latte, because it's totally easy to make at home.
WHAT IS MATCHA?
Matcha is a variety of green tea leaves that have been ground into a fine powder. Unlike drinking traditional green tea (which entails only steeping the tea leaves in water), the whole tea leaf is consumed when drinking matcha. This increases our antioxidant and micronutrient intake like WHOA. Nutritionally, one cup of matcha is equivalent to about 10 cups of traditional green tea. It's bright green color is due to a rich content of chlorophyll, nature's best detoxifier. Chlorophyll helps increase the blood's ability to deliver oxygen and nutrients to our cells, cleansing and energizing us from a molecular and cellular level.
Matcha is also seriously rich in a variety of antioxidants, all of which help to protect our bodies from damaging free radicals, the molecules responsible for aging and many inflammatory diseases. Gram for gram, matcha has more antioxidant power than pomegranates, acai, wild blueberries, dark chocolate, goji berries, and walnuts - combined. One of the most potent antioxidants, catechins, are found in abundance in matcha green tea. Matcha is particularly rich in a subtype of catechins called EGCG, which is known to fight bacteria and infections, boost the immune system, increase the metabolism, and promote weight-loss. In fact, matcha contains over 137 times the amount of this powerful health-boosting antioxidant than traditional green tea.
SIP UP, ZEN OUT
My absolute favorite side-effect of drinking matcha is how truly calm, cool, and collected I feel afterwards. No lie, this stuff is magical! Among a number of different amino acids (the building blocks of protein), matcha contains L-theanine, which works to stimulate alpha wave activity in the brain, resulting in a feeling of relaxed clarity. You're left feeling calm yet alert with a heightened sense of concentration. L-theanine has even been found to reduce anxiety and boost mood (yes, please).
Historically, caffeine and I don't get along well. I've had coffee only a handful of times, and am always left feeling jittery, anxious, and sick to my stomach. But then I found matcha. While it does contain caffeine, the calming L-theanine balances it out really well. And as the matcha is digested, the caffeine binds to larger, more stable antioxidant molecules, which slows the breakdown of caffeine in the bloodstream. This means no jitters, no crash, and no skyrocketing cortisol levels. I'm slightly (read: majorly) obsessed.
HOW TO INCORPORATE MATCHA INTO YOUR DIET
Now that we've established that matcha is the sh*t, how should you go about incorporating it into your diet? While I don't recommend becoming reliant on caffeine to get you through your mornings (and let's be real, afternoons and nights...) every day, it's super helpful to have something to turn to when you're feeling particularly low energy. Matcha almond milk lattes are my go-to for those super sleepy mornings. You can also cook with matcha powder to create energizing and antioxidant-rich treats, but more on that to come!
Using PANATĒA's Ceremonial Grade Matcha Powder and a few of their tools of the trade (I love their starter kit), I've created a step-by-step guide for making the dreamiest matcha latte in your very own kitchen!