It’s Monday morning, and I’m currently lingering in bed with a charcoal face mask on, sipping my coffee alongside the glow of my Himalayan salt lamp. Does anyone else have one of these? I love it so much. I was thinking this past weekend that I want to start approaching Mondays a little bit differently. Rather than hitting the ground running with work and emails, I’m going to treat Mondays as more of a self care day, at least in the very beginning.
So this morning for instance, I woke up and washed my face – applied a face mask, lit a candle, crawled back into bed with my coffee and opened up my laptop to write. No emails, I have yet to check my phone.. and when I’m finished here, I’ll take myself to the gym for a morning workout.
Self Care Mondays. What do you think? Are you in?
Speaking of doing something nice for yourself — I wanted to bring up something I’ve been loving lately, which is Matcha Green Tea Lattes. There’s a coffee shop I frequent when I’m here in Traverse City that makes them and I order one every single time (with almond milk), and finally one day I asked if I could watch her make it. I had tried at home, and it just never tasted all that good. The powder wouldn’t evaporate, it tasted a little bitter (I tried so many different tea powders, too) — I just couldn’t get it right.
So she walked me through it step by step, and I basically ran home to try it for myself. Wouldn’t you know it? It tasted AMAZING. While I’ll still get one here and there at the coffee shop to show support, it’s really nice knowing that I’m pocketing almost $5 every other day now that I can make them at home. So I wanted to share with all of you how I make mine, the tool you’ve GOT to have in your kitchen, and some of the benefits of getting on the matcha wagon.
The Health Benefits of Matcha
What is Matcha?
Matcha is a variation of green tea which is generally grown and produced in Japan. While green tea uses only part of the leaf, matcha uses the entirety of it, which is what makes it more packed with nutrients than your average green tea. What I think is really cool is how farmers approach the growth of matcha. Just like green tea, matcha comes from a plant called Camellia Sinensis — but it’s grown differently. Farmers cover the plants up to 30 days before harvest begins to ensure they avoid too much direct sunlight, as this makes the chlorophyll levels high, which also makes it high in amino acids. This is also the reason for the gorgeous emerald green-like color. Who knew?
Studies have shown that by consuming matcha, performance rates, attention spans and reaction times far exceeded those who were given placebos. It’s also shown improvement in the elderly when it comes to their attention spans. This is due to the L-Theanine that’s found in green tea which is known to help stimulate alpha brain waves. Just think — a glass of matcha a day could help increase your productivity and keep your memory in tact.
High in Antioxidants
Matcha is known for being super rich in antioxidants which are called polyphenols. Polyphenols have been linked to prevention against heart disease and cancer, and has been known to regulate blood sugar levels, help with blood pressure, and prevent aging. There’s also something called EGCG in matcha green tea, which is another variation of polyphenol. This has been linked to help boost your metabolism, and even slow down or stop production of cancer cells all together.
Helps Aid Weight Loss
Because green tea helps boost your metabolism, and matcha comes from the same plant (but packs the nutrients form the entire leaf), some studies show that introducing matcha to your lifestyle and diet can help boost fat burning. (A tip that I got from one of my trainers a while ago was to add a green tea extract vitamin in addition to eating clean and my regular workouts. This is known to help aid in fat burning)
The Perfect Matcha Green Tea Recipe
What you’ll need:
1/2 C Almond Milk (unsweetened vanilla is my preference)
1/2 C Water
1 TBSP Matcha Green Tea Powder (Trader Joe’s Brand is my favorite, but this one is really good too. You can use less than 1 TBSP if you prefer – this is just my preference)
Portable Milk Frother (this thing is amazing! One of my favorite kitchen tools that I own)
Coffee Mug (speaking of which, how badly do I need this?!)
What you’ll do:
First, add your water and your almond milk to your kettle. You’ll want to keep a close eye on this as to not bring it to a full boil (you can easily burn the milk) While that’s warming up, scoop 2 TBSP of the matcha powder into your coffee mug. Once the almond milk is at a good simmer and it hasn’t yet reached a full boil, slowly pour the water/milk into the mug with the powder. At the same time, use your frother to mix the water/milk and the powder. Once you have your desired amount, continue using the frother to mix the powder completely and to give the latte some froth at the top.
That’s it! It’s so, so easy (and delicious) and I haven’t gone a day without one in weeks. Generally I’ll have my coffee, eat my breakfast. My green tea matcha will either be a late morning ritual or an afternoon pick me up. I love how the caffeine intake isn’t all that much, so you’re not getting a major jolt in the middle of the day. I hate over indulgence of caffeine, and while I had always craved coffee throughout the day, this has been the perfect fix for me.
So what do you think? Will you try it? I’m telling you, that milk frother is everything!