Add a pop of color, a shot of antioxidants, and a depth of flavor to your plate with this green tea powder
Think Outside the Cup
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Lately everyone's mad for matcha, a powder made from green tea that's even more powerful than the regular brew. “You get more antioxidants with matcha because you consume the ground-up leaves,” explains Lyssie Lakatos R.D., coauthor of The Veggie Cure. That means you consume more of the catechins that have been associated with everything from reducing cancer and blood pressure to protecting your brain against aging.
Brewing a cup isn't the only way to enjoy this bold, slightly grassy tasting ingredient. Add about 1/4 teaspoon to savory and sweet foods for an easy nutrition boost, or try these ideas.
Amp Up an Arnold Palmer
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Give the classic tea-and-lemonade drink a healthy boost and fun hue. Fill a pitcher with 3/4 cup water, juice of 1 lemon, 3 teaspoons agave, 4 mint leaves, ice, and 1 teaspoon matcha, and stir well.
Skip the Syrup
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Forgo traditional flapjack toppers like maple syrup and butter for berries and a dusting of matcha, Lakatos suggests. Add powdered sugar if you desire.
Make Scrambles Sizzle
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Add depth to a tofu scramble by stirring in matcha when you add other spices (try curry powder, paprika, Thai seasoning, and cumin). If you don't like soy, this works great with eggs too, so play around with adding matcha to omelets, quiche, and more.
Photo: Getty Images
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If you find store-bought granola to be too sweet, sprinkling matcha on top will balance things out, says Tammy Lakatos Shames, R.D., coauthor of The Veggie Cure. For those who prefer to DIY, add the powder to the other dry ingredients in any recipe.
Season Side Dishes
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Use matcha instead of salt, pepper, or other spices to season vegetables with an herbaceous hint, Lakatos says. Or stir it into vegetable or chicken stock (use about 1/4 teaspoon matcha for every cup water or broth) and freeze in an ice cube tray so you can toss a cube into whatever you’re cooking.
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Instead of sugar, use high-quality matcha (it should be vibrant or electric green) to add a sweet aftertaste and antioxidants to your java.
Add Life to Boring Lentils
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These fiber-packed legumes are a superfood in their own right, but a little bit of matcha livens them up with bright, umami-inflected notes.
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Green tea helps you unwind, and by mixing it with low-fat plain yogurt and freezing the combination, you have a popsicle that literally chills you out too,says Keri Gans, R.D., author of The Small Change Diet.
Toss It in Tabbouleh
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Tabbouleh's ingredients—bulgur, tomatoes, parsley, olive oil—are naturally sweet. Matcha counterbalances those notes to make the flavors pop in this Middle Eastern dish. Add it to your recipe with the tomatoes and parsley.
Mix into Miso
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Get creative with your Japanese takeout. A dash of matcha can make this soothing soup even more satisfying and cut back on the miso's saltiness.
Blend a Sweet Treat
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For a creamy, no-bake dessert, blend matcha with low-fat ricotta cheese, Gans suggests. You can't brew a cup of tea that quickly.
Get Creative with Curry
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For a hearty dish, sauté chickpeas and matcha with garlic, cumin, onion, curry powder, olives, olive brine, and chipotle powder.
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Blend matcha with cream cheese for your bagel, or simply sprinkle it on top for an invigorating morning meal.
Add to Eggplant
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Matcha, garlic, and two to three drops of liquid smoke imparts a savory flavor to baba ghanoush, Sabbaugh says. Dust the eggplant with a smidge, then follow your recipe as usual.
Spread on Sandwiches
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For a creamy, vegetal spread to use on sandwiches, wraps, and burgers, chop and steam 1 bunch kale, then blend with blend 1/2 teaspoon matcha and 1/2 cup walnuts in a food processor.
Supercharge Chia Seeds
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Whether you make it chocolatey, full of spices, or topped with fruit, chia seed pudding is always amazing—and mixing in matcha adds another dimension to all the flavors while making it even healther too.
Make Rockin' Guac
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Stir matcha into your go-to guacamole recipe early on, before you begin mashing the ingredients together.
Turn It into Dessert
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For lucious low-calorie ice cream, blend frozen bananas in a food processor with some matcha. Or try it in this mint chocolate chip banana ice cream with a secret ingredient. The tea naturally dyes your dessert while toning down the sweetness of the banana.
Upgrade Movie Snacks
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Combine one part matcha with two parts fine sea salt to make popcorn seasoning that's way healthier than butter and imparts a pleasant herbal flavoring
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Minty mojitos are even more refreshing with a pinch of matcha. Add it to the shaker and muddle with the mint and limes, or mix the powder with water first.