By Angeliz Venter
Edited by Marcelle Jordaan
I recently did an Instagram poll to see which of my followers’ drink or use matcha and what percentage of followers do not even know what matcha is. And guess what? The majority had no idea what I was referring to!
I drank my first matcha latte in 2019, before a South African Fashion week show, with one of my best friends. To be honest, I was very apprehensive of this green milky concoction and did not actually want to drink it, BUT it turned out to be one of the best hot drinks I had ever had! In case you still do not know, matcha is a powder made from specific, specially grown green tea leaves. Matcha is traditionally consumed in East Asia. The green tea leaves are grown in the shade for 3 to 4 weeks and during the shaded growth, the plant produces more theanine and caffeine. The powder is then produced and consumed by being suspended into milk or water.
Some of the possible benefits of Matcha include:
• Lowering cholesterol
• Increased weight loss
• Killing free radicals
• relief for moderate allergies
• Oral deodorant and sterilizer
• Preventing dental cavities
• Improving memory and concentration
• Enhancing cognitive function
• Boosting immune function
• Reducing blemishes, wrinkles, and sun-damage
• Raising energy levels and alertness
• Helping to improve teeth and bone strength
If you are interested after reading through all the benefits, but you are still a bit worried about the taste- matcha tastes very similar to green tea, but much more intense. It gives you a grassy, bitter taste initially, followed by a very sweet aftertaste.
Even though the most common use for matcha is a classic matcha latte, it can be incorporated into a vast array of food, so I played around in the kitchen to bring some vegan friendly recipes to your kitchen!
First up, the classic Vegan Matcha Latte!
• Bring a cup of your favorite plant-based milk (I like oat milk) to the boil.
• Add a spoon of matcha to a bowl.
• Add a little bit of the boiling milk to the bowl and whisk it with your matcha whisk until it is light and frothy.
• Pour your boiling milk into a cup with the whisked matcha on top.
Vegan Matcha Flapjacks
• In a mixing bowl, combine 250ml cake wheat flour, 50ml sugar, a teaspoon of baking powder, a heaped teaspoon of Matcha and a pinch of salt.
• In a separate jug, melt 15ml of butter and add 250ml oat milk to the same jug.
• Create a hollow center in the dry ingredients and add the wet ingredients to it.
• Mix all the ingredients together.
• Spray your pan with Spray and Cook and allow pan to heat up.
• Add a tablespoon of batter in a small circle or oval and wait until a few bubbles shows on the top before you flip it to the other side.
*Sometimes I add vanilla if I want a sweeter taste, but it is perfect just like this!
Vegan Matcha Banana Bread
• In a mixing bowl, combine 250ml cake wheat flour, a teaspoon of baking powder, a heaped teaspoon of Matcha and a pinch of salt.
• Add 100ml sunflower oil to the bowl (yes, I know, it is a lot, but it helps keep the bread moist and replaces the use of an egg).
• Add 200ml of oat milk.
• Add two chopped ripe bananas to your mix.
• Mix all the ingredients together.
• Spray your bread pan with Spray and Cook.
• Add your batter to the pan and sprinkle some almond flakes on top.
In all these recipes, I have used Just Matcha’s matcha. In the flapjacks and banana bread I used their culinary grade matcha tea and for the matcha latte I used their superior matcha tea. I have used quite a few different brands and latte sachets over the years, but I can honestly say that Just Matcha’s products are the best quality I have tasted so far, and it is SO green! Just Matcha sources their matcha directly from a matcha plantation in Uji, Kyoto in Japan, which is the birthplace of Japanese tea culture. Each leaf is handpicked, which produces a smooth and mellow flavor and deep aroma.
I would keep using Just Matcha and it would take a lot for me to use another brand again! If you want to order some superior quality matcha from Just Matcha, use our discount code MATCHALOVESKICOCO at https://www.justmatcha.co.za for 15% off.