What is matcha, and why should you cook with it?
This trendy powdered tea makes more than just a sippable hot drink. Here are some creative ways to cook with matcha.
Food trends are a funny thing. One day you look around and everyone's eating, sipping, drinking or talking about the same thing. The new everybody's-doing-it-so-why-aren't-you moment in food is ... matcha.
So what is it? It's a powdered tea that has Japanese origins, and it's actually been around for centuries, despite its relatively recent emergence into foodie culture. And it's become a darling of the wellness movement for good reason: it's loaded with antioxidants. One, in particular, is something called a catechin, which is thought to fight against a certain type of bacteria that causes tooth decay.
A warm mug of bright green matcha. (Photo: Kirinohana / Flickr)
So now that you're primed on the magic of matcha, here's a tip: You can use it for more than just a hot drink. There's all manner of matcha-driven recipes, from popsicles to cookies to brownies to ice cream. It's kind of everywhere. Here are our own suggestions:
Cacao nib brownies with matcha frosting
There’s something about that gorgeous bright green color of matcha that makes anything you use it in look like a work of modern art, complete with a splash of neon. But these brownies are not just about looks – as they say, it’s what’s inside that counts! They’re packed with flavors and textures that’ll excite your palate.
Green earth mint matcha cookies
It looks like green play-dough, but make no mistake: these are very mature treats. They're sure fun to make with little ones, who will undoubtedly be wowed by the vibrant color.
And elsewhere on the interwebs, here are some recipe gems we found that use matcha to its finest potential:
Also known as paletas, these fancy, fun grown-up popsicles have a fresh, vibrant flavor, with one big difference: they're made with all-natural ingredients. Add a liberal helping of matcha, and it's all the refreshment you need, any time of year.
A little twist on your morning hot cakes, you say? These matcha pancakes have, in the words of recipe author Diane Yoon, "a hint of floral bitterness that was the perfect foil for creamy butter and a big drizzle of syrup."
Matcha ice cream
Of course, if you can make matcha popsicles, you're halfway to making matcha ice cream. You don't even need an ice cream maker! You can just mix it up, store it in an air-tight container and freeze until solid.
Matcha smoothie bowl
Matcha and smoothie bowls in one? It's like a food trend playground! This one's great because you can eat it in the morning in place of your coffee, since matcha contains a little bit of caffeine. And it'll give you just the energy boost you need to get you through the day.
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