Tea. Green tea, that is.
I’m a big fan of tea and am always on the hunt for healthful new foods to experiment with and make. I even own one of the most beautiful custom-made tea boxes ever. I’m contemplating putting my ashes in it when I die, it’s that pretty.
I found a recipe in Bon Appetit within the last few issues for a Matcha Latte. I looove lattes and I love cappuccinos (husband’s Christmas Nespresso machine is quickly fueling a new habit) but I also know that coffee is acidic and from what I’ve been reading, bodies don’t like tons of acid. Certain bad cells (like Voldemort, we shall not name them) may actually mutate more readily in these environments. While not proven, it is a theory out there. Neutralizing one’s body and keeping it’s balance is key. Again in life, we roll around to moderation (that and shunning many aspects of the Western diet). What a concept.
To deviate from my morning coffee routine, I thought I’d try this new matcha latte. I headed over to a local tea shop (have I mentioned that I love tea canisters? I totally want to get my hands on some antique ones and have them lined up all over my kitchen) where I discovered that they sell matcha, which is the Maserati of green teas. It comes in powder form and is the most vibrant green you’ve ever seen a tea be. As a lover of color, I found it stunning. What a geek, I know.
Out came the coconut milk (again, experimenting….let it be noted that coconut milk in pancakes instead of milk is absolutely delish! try it), the boiling water and my adorable and beautifully crafted matcha whisk. Certainly not a process for when you are flying out the door, but I had some time yesterday morning, so I experimented. I whisked, I foamed, I admired (it was the prettiest latte I’d ever seen….a pale, pale, grassy green with foam on top), then I sipped.
And my lips curled in disgust. The matcha latte, in my humble opinion, was an epic fail. AND I WANTED TO LOVE IT SO! Imagine this…take edamame, puree it, mix it with milk, foam the heck out of it…that’s what it tasted like. Waaaay too savory and grassy a taste for me first thing in the morning. Take that back….anytime. So much for matcha. Blech. I’ll have to find my hefty antioxidants somewhere else.
That said, I did also buy two other green teas at this tea shop that I adore. That’s the thing with green teas-there are so many out there, you have to taste-test a variety to see which you like. AND, make sure they are good quality (read: probably not supermarket brands) or you will most likely end up with a beverage that tastes something along the lines of hay, with your palate begging for an exorcism.
My faves are Genmaicha and Genmai Hojicha. One is toasted, the other roasted and yes, there is a difference. The unusual thing about these teas is that they contain toasted rice, which gives them a fabulously nutty flavor. Who would’ve thunk?
So, get thineself to a tea shop or go online (David’s Teas, Adagio Teas, Arogya Teas for example) and find yourself some of the green. March is almost upon us so you can wear green, inside and out. Check out some of these reasons why green tea is so darned good for you:
-It’s mighty antioxidants, catechins, work magic at damaging free radicals which can, well, damage you. Those free radicals can cause cancer and blood clots and a variety other things that none of us want to get.
-It has one-third the caffeine of coffee, which gives a gentle, natural energy boost. No big ups and down with this drink. It also quickens your metabolism, though, which is a good thing to speed up.
-It’s less processed than black tea (that’s why it’s still green. It’s just withered and steamed and has not oxidized), and the less processed the better. These catechins are king. Black and oolong tea is still great for you, too, though.
-Reduced risk for heart disease. The antioxidants in green, black, and oolong teas can help block the oxidation of LDL (bad) cholesterol, increase HDL (good) cholesterol and improve artery function. Nice!