Mornings at our house almost always start with a fresh juice or a big smoothie. Today however, I taught my Wednesday morning Sunrise Flow yoga/pilates class at 6am so I headed out the door with a big mug of hot mint and match tea. I was turned on to Matcha a few years ago when I was looking for an alternative to chai lattes when I was craving a warm winter treat. The barista suggested a matcha latte instead and I was hooked ever since! Now you know what I love today? Mix my this favorite tea of mine into smoothies!! The best of both worlds blended together into one big cup of yumminess!
What is matcha you may be asking...Matcha is a kind of powdered green tea that is considered to be "a miracle elixir". In the Far East, it has been consumed for thousands of years and is heralded as a powerful healing tea. It comes from the very young leaves of the Camellia sinensis plants. The plants grow in the shade and are harvested when still young making them extremely nutrient rich. Unlike typical green tea where the leaves are steamed to brew your tea, you are literally drinking the leaves with a matcha green tea, taking in all the powerful healing qualities of this bright green plant. Once picked, the matcha leaves go through a process that grounds them into a fine powder that you then combine with hot water to dissolve. By actually drinking the leaves, you are taking in the maximum healing benefits of the leaves.
So what are all these amazing perks of drinking matcha green tea? The biggest benefit comes from the antioxidants it contains. Antioxidants are proven to help prevent and fight heart disease, as well as many different kinds of cancers. Matcha is reported to have as much as 5 times the antioxidants as any other fruits and veggies. This tasty tea is also a deep detoxifer. We know all fresh green foods help to cleanse the major organs of the body but maybe none as well as matcha green tea does. The chlorophyll (the stuff that makes green things green) is fantastic at removing chemicals and heavy metals from our body. Matcha has long been part of Buddhist meditation practices. The act of brewing and sipping anytime relaxes us but there is real science behind the calming nature of matcha green tea. It contains L-theanine, an amino acid that works with our body to produce a state of calm and relaxation without feeling tired. This calmer state enhances concentration, memory and focus. While inducing a calm state of mind, matcha also increases energy and endurance. There is a small amount of caffeine in this lovely green tea but the boost to energy comes from the unique nutrient properties. Unlike your typical caffeinated beverages, matcha green tea does not give you the "jittery" side affects.
Craving a cup of matcha green tea right now? I love brewing it with some herbal mint tea but even better, I have started to blend it into my smoothies!! Sounds a little weird probably, but it tastes so good!!! Try my Match Morning Smoothie below!
4 cups spinach
1 ripe banana
1 cup pineapple
1 cup mango
a handful of fresh mint leaves
1 inch piece of fresh ginger
2 teaspoons matcha powder
1 cup coconut or nut milk
Add all ingredients to your blender, (add ice if using fresh fruit) and blend until smooth.
I love the fresh, summery flavor of this smoothie but even better is how amazing it is for your mind and body! I hope you enjoy it!
In Health & Wellness...Live Radiantly!