Many people drink green tea for the health benefits or as a relaxing hot beverage, but did you know you can cook with it? Until recently, I didn’t either. I was planning a Chinese food cooking class and trying to decide what to serve for dessert. I really couldn’t think of any desserts, other than fortune cookies, that represent Asian cuisine. I started to search and found several recipes for sweet treats that had green tea powder as an ingredient. I was skeptical about the flavor but was feeling adventurous.
I learned that for culinary purposes you couldn’t buy green tea bags or loose green tea and just add it to the recipe. Instead, you use a finely milled green tea powder called matcha. That’s when I discovered Matcha LOVE® Culinary Matcha in the tea aisle at FRESH. While Matcha LOVE® makes many types of green tea drinks, tea bags and powders, it is the Culinary Matcha that is milled finely enough to use in recipes.
What is matcha and how does it differ from other green tea? It is a powdered version of the whole green tea leaf and is native to Japan. From its ancient origins in Japanese teahouses, matcha is thought to enhance mood, help promote cardiovascular health and bone strength, and have anti-aging properties.
As an ingredient in recipes, the Culinary Matcha can be used in many ways. If you’re not a hot tea drinker, using green tea in recipes is a great way to enjoy its health benefits without the brew. I used the matcha powder to make a green tea ice cream. It was delightful. The creamy texture of the ice cream combined with subtle sweetness and the earthy flavor of the green tea was something everyone in my cooking class really enjoyed.
On the Matcha LOVE® website, they had several other recipes and ideas for using the Culinary Matcha in recipes.
Here are just a few suggestions:
Smoothies, Parfaits and Granola
Combine 1/2 teaspoon of matcha with 1/4 cup almond butter and 1 tablespoon honey. Spread on 2 pieces of toast to enjoy for breakfast.
Add 1/2 teaspoon to salad dressing, and use on a salad or for dipping vegetables.
Add 1/2 teaspoon to 2 tablespoons of herb blend, and use as a rub on chicken breasts or pork chops.
Stir matcha into milk or yogurt for smoothies, parfaits or granola.
Green Tea Ice Cream
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar, divided
3 Tbs matcha green tea powder
6 egg yolks
1 1/2 cups milk
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
Begin by mixing 1/4 cup sugar with the matcha green tea powder in a bowl. In a separate bowl, mix the remainder of the granulated sugar with the egg yolks. Then, add the matcha powder/sugar mixture. Stir well to form a thick, green paste. Gently heat the milk and cream in a medium saucepan to a low simmer without letting it boil. Remove from heat. Mix a small amount of warm milk with the matcha mixture until it becomes a smooth paste.
Gradually, add the milk to the rest of the paste while keeping the mixture smooth, and then return it to the heat. Before the mixture boils, remove again from the heat. Strain the whole mixture through a fine sieve to remove any impurities. Leave the mixture to cool completely by insetting into a large bowl of ice. Cool to at least 55° F. Then, follow ice cream maker instructions to finish off with churning and then freezing for a few hours to solidify.
Makes 1 1/2 quarts
Go to matchalove.com for more ideas.