Featured Ingredient: Matcha
Matcha is produced when steamed young Japanese green tea leaves are ground into a fine powder. Because the whole leaf is consumed rather than an infusion brewed from the leaves, it provides a huge dose of the antioxidants in tea that are becoming increasingly well known for their ability to help fend off a number of diseases such as diabetes, cancer and heart disease.
I love this stuff. A warm mug of complex tasting matcha tea has a way of making you feel incredibly alive and invigorated. It’s fairly expensive, so it’s something to be thoroughly enjoyed without any distractions.
To make matcha, place a teaspoon in a small bowl or mug and pour a small amount of simmering water over top, then whisk briskly – preferably with a bamboo whisk to keep things old-school. Top with additional hot water. Because it is a powder, matcha can also be used in cookies, pound cakes and muffins such as these. The matcha muffins below are courtesy of my partner Tabi and are by far one of my favorites. They have such a delicate, gorgeous flavor. Besides, how can a green muffin not put a smile on your face?
You can find matcha at tea shops or online at http://www.matchasource.com/
2.5 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 tablespoons matcha tea powder
1/2 tsp cardamom
1 tsp ground ginger
¾ cup sugar
1 cup neutral tasting vegetable oil
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 cup plain yogurt
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
Preheat oven to 350F. Sift together flour, baking soda, salt, matcha, ginger, and cardamom. In a large bowl, mix together eggs, sugar and oil. Add flour mixture and yogurt to wet mixture 1/2 at a time and mix well. Add chopped walnuts.
Spoon in to greased or paper lined muffin cups. Bake 18 10 20 min, or until a tester comes out clean. Watch closely and remove the muffins from the oven before they brown.