Updated: Dec 30, 2020
By now everyone has heard of Matcha, a form of green tea named by the Japanese literally meaning, “powdered tea”. It consists of the leaves of green tea plants that are shaded for three weeks prior to harvest. Once harvested, they are devined, stemmed, and steamed before being ground into a fine powder.
The other day I visited a friend who owns an herbal/wellness shop in Philadelphia to see if she could give me more details about Matcha, which she did while making us both bowls of the drink. As she prepared our tea, she explained how green tea arrived in Japan. In approximately 1191 A.D. a Zen monk named Eisai was said to be the first person to bring green tea seeds to Japan from China which he planted on the temple grounds in Kyoto.
Holding my bowl of matcha, I breathed in the scent and it instantly reminded me of the smell of spirulina or chlorella (two of my fave single-celled algae). My friend explained that the “green” smell made sense because of the increased chlorophyll content in Matcha due to it being shade-grown. My ears perked up at this because chlorophyll is so good for your skin!
10 benefits of Chlorophyll and Matcha are:
Studies show that chlorophyll has antioxidant properties which help reduce the damage caused by oxidation. Mainly, it can help you look younger
When you apply chlorophyll to your skin it can act as a sunscreen and protect your skin from UV rays. Always remember UVA rays are the Aging rays and UVB rays are the Burning rays. A for Aging, B for Burning is an easy way to remember it!
Chlorophyll can destroy bacteria on your skin as well as prevent new bacteria from growing
Chlorophyll has antibacterial properties so it may help in the prevention of acne and eliminate infections
Matcha helps to increase metabolism
Match aids in the lowering of LDL “Bad” Cholesterol
Matcha contains caffeine but does not cause jitters (one of my favorite reasons for subbing matcha for coffee)
Matcha contains high amounts of EGCG which have been contributed to the prevention of cancer
Matcha is a natural phenol and type of antioxidant which helps with inflammation and rosacea (I add matcha into my charcoal face masks 😉)
And it tastes delicious!
Now that Matcha has become such a staple in everyone's pantry there are a bunch of recipes using Matcha to make everything from cookies, cakes, and even ice cream.
Check out one of my favorite Matcha recipes below and if you have a recipe you are going to make, or have already tried, share your results in the comments!
Chocolate Matcha Buttercups (keepinitkind)
recipe & image from Keepinitkind.com
1/2 cup coconut butter, softened but not melted
5 tablespoons almond flour
3 tablespoons powdered xylitol
1 teaspoon matcha powder
1 cup chopped dark chocolate
1 teaspoon coconut oil
for the topping
1/8 teaspoon matcha powder
1/16 teaspoon sea salt
In a small bowl, mix together the coconut butter, almond flour, powdered xylitol (or powdered sugar), and matcha powder. Place in the refrigerator for 10 minutes.
While the matcha mixture is chilling, melt the chocolate. Place the chocolate in a glass bowl and place over a small pot of boiling water. Add the coconut oil and stir until melted and smooth. Remove from the heat.
Line a muffin tin with 8 muffin liners. Spoon 2 teaspoons of melted chocolate into a liner and use the back of the spoon to push the chocolate about 1/4 of the way up the side of the liner. Repeat with the rest of the liners.
Scoop 1 tablespoon of the matcha mixture into your hands and roll it into a ball. Place the ball into one of the liners and use your fingers to gently flatten it. Repeat until all cups have been filled. Top each cup with 1 tablespoon of melted chocolate and use your spoon to spread evenly over the matcha mixture, making sure that the chocolate meets the edge. If there is extra chocolate, divide it amongst the cups and smooth out.
In a small bowl, mix together the matcha powder and sea salt for the topping. Sprinkle the matcha salt mixture over the tops of the cups. Add a few cacao nibs to each, if desired. Place the muffin tin in the refrigerator and chill the cups until they are solid. Keep chilled until ready to serve. For a softer, chewier, piece, let it sit at room temperature for about 5 minutes before eating. Enjoy!