Sunday, July 17, 2016

Matcha Doin': 3 Simple Ways to Incorporate Matcha in Your Life

If you personally knew me over a year ago, then you would have seen how obsessed I was with drinking brewed tea and making my own matcha latte at home. For a good while, I would wake up early before getting ready for work to heat up some milk in a pan and whisk it together with matcha powder using a traditional bowl and bamboo whisk. And then, I eventually got lazy. I recently stumbled upon my large bag of matcha powder and thought, "why let it go to waste?" Thus, here I am talking to you all about 3 really simple ways to incorporate matcha in your life with common ingredients that are probably already in your kitchen.

First off, what is matcha green tea?
Literally meaning "powdered tea", matcha green tea is a more potent source of nutrients than steeped green tea. Green tea leaves are shaded from the sun during their last few weeks of their growth, which helps increase the chlorophyll content. The leaves are then harvested and carefully ground with a stone grinding wheel to create the fine green powder. 

Health Benefits:
  • packed with antioxidants, especially EGCg (recognized for it cancer fighting properties)
  • effectively and naturally detoxifies your body
  • helps boost metabolism and burns calories
  • prevents disease
  • lowers cholesterol and blood sugar
  • enhances relaxation, especially when coupled with meditation
  • gives energy
  • overall fortifies the immune system
And that's just barely scratching the surface. How you pass up including matcha into your every day diet?
*Note that my matcha powder isn't a vibrant green, just in case you all are wondering.
Banana Matcha Smoothie (Serves 1)
1 cups unsweetened almond milk
2 tsp   grade matcha powder 
1        frozen banana

1 serving choice of protein powder
2 tsp   honey*
*I chose to skip the honey, since I'm using a slightly sweetened vanilla protein powder. 

Blend everything. Done. Drink & enjoy.
Matcha Chia Pudding (Serves 2)
2 cups   unsweetened almond milk
1/2 tsp  grade matcha powder 
1/2 cup chia seeds
1-2 tbsp raw organic honey

*Add berries, bananas, granola, or nuts to make it extra yummy

Whisk all the ingredients together in a bowl (except the fruit, granola, or nuts) and cover it. Leave it in the fridge overnight, or at least for 3 hours. After 30 minutes, check and stir to make sure the chia seeds don't go to the bottom.
Matcha Face Mask
Since matcha green tea includes vitamin antioxidants such as Vitamin C & E, applying it on your skin will help with rosacea, wrinkles, skin firmness, anti-aging, and acne. Most importantly for me, it has the ability to decrease sebum production. Since it's known to be an energy booster, it can help stimulate and rejuvenate skin cells. 

Oily Skin:

1 tsp   grade matcha powder 
1/2 tsp organic raw honey
1/2 tsp water (you can add more if it's too thick)

Dry Skin:
1 tsp   grade matcha powder 
1/2 tsp organic coconut oil
1/2 tsp water OR 1/2 tsp of aloe vera (you can add more if it's too thick)

Optional: Add 2 drops of your favorite essential oil, i.e. tea tree oil, peppermint, eucalyptus. I added peppermint and eucalyptus to the mask I wore in the picture and it was very cooling. It felt great. If you have bentonite clay or activated carbon laying around, check out my old mask DIY here for oily skin.
Of course, all of these are the simplest guidelines. You can add or remove ingredients depending on your specific preferences. 

*Also, please note to carefully chose your matcha powder. I wouldn't recommend getting the cheapest, as some manufactures will cut corners and not get their product inspected against the rules and regulations. The powdered matcha green tea I use is USDA Certified Organic and tastes great. There are plenty of really great ones out there, so it's really up to your preference. 
**Be careful not to go past the recommended serving. Matcha overdose is a real thing, and I learned that the hard way.
Let me know if you all drink matcha, or if you've used it in the past!

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