Matcha seems to be the new kale these days- so what is all the fuss about?
Well to start off, matcha is a green tea. It comes from the high quality green tea leaves that grow in the shade which increases the chlorophyl content. The leaves are dried and then ground into a fine powder and stored in the absence of light and oxygen to keep the bright vibrant green color and antioxidants.
So as you can see, the beauty of consuming matcha means that you are eating the whole leaf! Where as with most other teas (and even green teas) they are steeped in hot water to extract flavor but the actual leaf is left behind.
Now, the benefits of eating whole foods are many. An easy way to think about it is that when you eat a whole food, the plant is being eaten as nature intended. It includes the digestible fibers to help absorb the nutrients as well as rid your body of toxic wastes. So eating whole foods means you are doing double duty and replenishing your body with new nutrients while at the same time detoxing your body of old waste.
Probably one of the biggest reasons matcha has gotten so much attention is due to the catechin- an antioxidant, which makes ups more than half of matcha’s composition. This catechin is referred to as EGCG. EGCG is a very powerful antioxoidant and it has been found to repair cancer cell damage! It also has many anti-inflammatory properties so it is great to sip on after meals and before bed.
Another cool fact about matcha and other green teas is that they are known to absorb and rid the body of heavy metals. This makes a lot of sense when you look at the way traditional cultures pair food with green tea. In Japanese cuisine it is sipped on alongside sushi which usually includes big fish like tuna, swordfish, mackerel, etc which can contain large amounts of mercury. The same is also true with seaweed. Seaweed too absorbs heavy metals and other toxins, yay!
Below is the recipe for these refreshing Matcha Mint Chip Ice Cream Bars. In this recipe I use coconut milk rather than cow’s milk to reduce inflammation and provide you with the amino acids and healthy fats that coconut possess- and yes it also makes them vegan!!! For the chocolate chips, I use cacao nibs which are pieces of whole cacao beans. The cacao also increases and diversifies the antioxidant content in this bar and contains high levels of magnesium. Magnesium is best absorbed with calcium which is found in the whole leaf of matcha! So there you go, a ridiculously healthy ice cream bar for a hot summer day and perfect for any ailment you may have!
Matcha Mint Chip Ice Cream Bars
Antioxidant rich ice cream bar perfect for any ailment you may have!
- 1 can organic coconut milk
- 3 tbsp matcha powder
- 2 tbsp mint leaves, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp cacao nibs
- In a small pot, pour in the coconut milk. Watching carefully over a gentle flame, heat the coconut milk until it is scalding, just before it starts to simmer and bubble. (Coconut milk can easily burn the bottom of your pan so watch it and stir occasionally. Should take 3-5mins).
- In a small bowl add matcha powder. To the matcha powder, spoon in some coconut milk and mix into a paste. Keep mixing and adding coconut milk one spoon at a time until you are able to pour the matcha into the pot of coconut milk. *This ensures the matcha is fully incorporated. Otherwise you will have powdery clumps floating in the coconut milk. 3. Pour the pot of matcha and coconut through a strainer and into a new large bowl. This will remove any clumps of matcha.
- Add chopped mint to bowl and stir.
- In a popsicle mold, pour in matcha mixture. Then carefully pour in the desired about of cacao nibs in each popsicle.
- Place in the freezer and enjoy once frozen!
Enjoy all of these antioxidant benefits!!!
If you enjoyed this recipe I would love to hear from you! Please leave a comment below and be sure to share with family and friends.