A few of you have been asking about the green drink I often post on Instagram and such. If you haven’t tried it yet, it’s matcha and it’s amazing!
Matcha is basically an amped up version of green tea. Both matcha and green tea… and even black tea for that matter, are made from a variety of the Camellia sinensis plant, but there are some big differences in how the leaves are prepared, however. For instance, both black and green tea are made by steeping and then removing the leaves, but black tea leaves are oxidized and green tea leaves are non-oxidized so they’re still green – hence the greenish color of the tea. Matcha, on the other hand, is made from leaves that are not only non-oxidized, they’re shaded for the last three months leading up to their harvest, which increases the chlorophyll level – a powerful detoxifier. The leaves are also ground into a fine powder, so the entire leaf is consumed.
Since you actually drink or eat the whole leaf, the benefits of matcha are much more potent than that of green tea.
Check out some of these amazing health benefits:
• Increases energy level and endurance without the “jitters” of coffee
• Improves alertness, memory, and concentration
• Reduces stress and increases calm feeling
• Packed with anti-aging antioxidants – as much as 10 cups of green tea
• Boosts metabolism and burns calories
• High in cancer-fighting catechin, EGCg
• Fortifies the immune system and detoxifies the body
Besides drinking matcha, it can also be used in food, like my favorite energy balls, Matcha Pistachio Energy Balls, which I’ve shared on Instagram as well. Energy balls are amazing, too, because they’re so versatile and customizable as a satisfying snack, pre- or post-workout quick bite, an on-the-go breakfast or even a yummy portion-controlled dessert. And did I mention that they’re gluten-free and added sugar-free, too! Score!
If you’ve never made energy balls, this recipe is a tasty way to try both matcha and energy balls at the same time. Give them a try and let me know what you think!
Matcha Pistachio Energy Balls
Total time to make: 35 mins
Makes about 14 balls
¾ cup raw cashews
¼ cup raw pistachios, shelled + ¼ cup pistachios, chopped (for rolling)
¼ cup shredded coconut, unsweetened + ¼ cup shredded coconut, unsweetened (for rolling)
12 Medjool dates, pitted
2 tsp matcha powder
1 tbsp coconut oil
- Place all the ingredients (except the last 1/4 cup pistachios) into a food processor. Process for one minute or so until finely chopped and well blended.
- Using a cookie scoop (or your hands if you don’t have one) scoop out balls of the mixture. Roll between your hands to create evenly sized balls.
- When all balls have been rolled, roll them again through the chopped pistachios and coconut (I just mix them together), then firmly press them into the balls. For ease, place the energy balls into your storage container as you go so you don’t have to move them again before they’ve had a chance to firm up in the refrigerator.
- Refrigerate for 15 minutes.
(recipe via downshiftology.com)