Featured Ingredient: Matcha
Green tea meat your matcha. Steeped in tradition, precious matcha is the star of the centuries-old Japanese tea ceremony Sadō and is traditionally gleaned from high altitude, shade-grown Gyokuro tea leaves. Plucked in the spring, the leaves are lightly steamed, air-dried and then stone-ground into a very fine verdant powder. Hence its epithet from the Chinese words mo cha, meaning to grind tea.
Matcha has been billed as a wonder tea because when you drink it, you’re consuming the entire leaf instead of just steeping the leaves and then removing them. So your body benefits from a lofty dose of wonder-working antioxidants. A
of Colorado Colorado
Springs study found that matcha contains up to 137
times more antioxidant firepower than traditional green tea.
A few months ago, I wrote an article about matcha for Vegetarian Times magazine and the recipe developer came up with this wonderful recipe to accompany the piece. These icy matcha slushies are a great addition to any summer beverage menu. The printed recipe suggests using ice cube trays, but I found mini muffin cups work well too. The recipe makes enough for 8 slushies.
Matcha comes in a few different grades. A great place to get yours is matchasource.com. For this recipe, I’d suggest going with the café grade matcha.
Adapted from Vegetarian Times
2 tablespoons matcha tea powder
2 cups soymilk, hemp milk or almond milk, plus ¼ cup more for each slushie
1/3 cup honey or agave nectar
Place matcha in medium bowl, and whisk in 2 cups water brought to just under a boil. Let cool for several minutes.
Whisk milk and sweetener into cooled matcha tea. Pour into 32 mini muffin cups and freeze until solid, about 2 1/2 hours. I did this in batches as I have only one silicon mini muffin tray.
To make a matcha slushie: Place 4 frozen cups in a blender with 1/4 cup milk. Blend into a slushie consistency.