As a full-time superfood chef, it's safe to say I have a lot of fascinating ingredients that pass through my kitchen. Nevertheless, I'll be totally frank with you: I was over-the-moon thrilled when Navitas Organics announced the release of their organic Matcha Powder. Why? Because, not only is this green superfood very good for you, but it's also profoundly versatile!
What is Matcha?
Matcha is a high-grade Japanese green tea powder made from finely ground dried tea leaves. Matcha's origins are ceremonial, as the act of preparing, presenting and sipping matcha is the basis of the Japanese tea ceremony.
In terms of caffeine levels, matcha tea is higher in caffeine than regular green tea but contains less caffeine than brewed coffee. With the lower caffeine concentration, matcha green tea is perfect for those who think their regular cup of coffee is too energizing.
Types of Matcha Powder
There are two main grades of matcha powder: ceremonial grade matcha and culinary grade matcha.
Ceremonial grade matcha is the highest quality matcha and is known for its fresh, delicate and smooth flavor. It is intended to be enjoyed on its own, without any sugar, sweeteners, or other additives.
Culinary grade matcha has a more robust flavor that can be paired with other ingredients. Culinary grade matcha is intended to be incorporated into all types of recipes, including matcha lattes, baked goods, smoothies, and ice cream.
Here are six top ways to use this incredible ingredient in everyday recipes:
1. Make matcha tea and smoothies
The most obvious use for matcha is in beverages. As a long-standing tradition in Japanese culture (as in thousands of years), matcha is combined with warm water in a shallow bowl and whisked together into a concentrated tea. If you're not feeling particularly purist, more indulgent variations can be created, too, such as creamy matcha lattes (hot or cold), made particularly delicious using almond milk or coconut milk and a touch of vanilla extract to balance. Make sure to heat your milk in a milk frother or saucepan so you can enjoy the full experience of a classic iced matcha latte with a warm, fluffy layer of milk froth. Check out our favorite matcha latte recipe to learn how to make this barista-style drink from the comfort of home.
Lastly, matcha can be added to smoothies, too! The mild green tea flavor is very compatible with fruits and vegetables.
2. Mix it into sauces
Matcha powder can make sauces extra special. Whisk it into vinaigrettes, cook it into sweet sauces, mix it into frosting, or fold it into party dips (hint: matcha guacamole is surprisingly good!). Matcha will impart a very light green tea flavor and a green color.
One creative and easy matcha recipe is matcha syrup! Simply mix together hot water, sugar and matcha powder to make a ready-to-use syrup that you can easily incorporate into festive cocktails or everyday mocktails.
3. Put it in baked goods
One of the wonderful things about matcha is that its health benefits are not dependent upon it being consumed in a raw state...which means, look out baked treats! You only need a little bit of matcha per recipe, making it exceptionally easy to add into cookies, cakes, muffins, waffles, bread, and baked goods of truly all varieties. Just remove an equal portion of flour to the amount of matcha you're adding (usually about a teaspoon to a tablespoon), and the sky's the limit in terms of creativity.
4. Place it in the freezer
Aside from a traditional tea, probably the second-best thing matcha is known for is as an addictive green tea ice cream found at Japanese restaurants. Just like we talked about with lattes, that green tea + cream + vanilla + sweet combo is a fool-proof winner, and ice cream is a prime example of this in action! But other frozen desserts also do well with matcha upgrades too, like popsicles, granitas, ice cream sandwiches, and even whipped cream, so don't stop short at the ice cream scoop.
5. Use it as garnish
Face it: matcha powder is PRETTY. Its chartreuse color is both vibrant and rare, and adds intrigue to your plating when used as a “dust” – which is just a fancy way of saying a very light sprinkle. From a slice of chocolate cake to a platter of roasted vegetables, matcha makes a beautiful finishing touch.
6. Use it on everything!
Just add it. It's so easy to use this superfood powder in your favorite recipes, the only question you may be left with is how you ever got along without it. For more inspiration, explore all of our delicious matcha powder recipes!