Raw Matcha and Peppermint Chocolate Crunch July 24 2015 by Simone Denny
Ah, finally I am back in the kitchen creating again (very much my happy place). It feels like such a long time since I've posted a recipe but life just got really busy for a while. You may have seen over on Facebook that my youngest little love India (now nearly 22 months) started daycare 2 days a week very recently. For the first time since she was born I now have a window without a child being by my side 24/7. As much as I treasured this time, I now feel I can breathe again and finally start to climb my mountain of 'things to do' rather than just look at the mountain growing bigger every day.
So I have been making this Raw Matcha and Peppermint Chocolate Crunch and I have to admit I have eaten the lion's share of these (I just can't stop myself). Through creating this recipe I have two new loves that are now permanent fixtures in my kitchen. The first is Matcha powder, which I'm going to tell you more about shortly, and second is a top quality organic peppermint essential oil (how did I ever live without this?) - it is guaranteed to send your tastebuds to heaven and back!
What is Matcha Powder?
Matcha powder is simply 100% green tea leaves (grown in a specific way) that are stone ground into a beautiful bright green powder that just happens to be laden with a myriad of health benefits and is extremely high in antioxidants. Unlike traditional green tea, where the leaves are strained and discarded, Matcha powder is taken in it's whole form, therefore it is much more concentrated with greater nutritional value. According to our friends at Matcha Maiden, Matcha can have the nutritional value of up to 10 cups of regular green tea and up to 137 x the antioxidants of regular green tea.
Slow on the uptake
Like so many things in the health space, the East has lead the way for centuries (I have mentioned this in my blog on black rice). Matcha is no exception - the Japanese have used Matcha powder in their tea ceremonies (and as part of their zen mediation practice) for many centuries. The buddhist monks have also consumed Matcha tea throughout their history.
A better kind of caffeine
1 gram of Matcha has about a quarter the amount of caffeine as a gram of coffee, but due to the presence of l-theanine in Matcha drinking Matcha has been described as creating an 'alert calm', which causes relaxation without drowsiness (largely due to the stimulation of alpha brain waves). Instead of feeling jittery or anxious you can feel calm and focused. L-theanine is more readily available in Matcha powder due to the way Matcha is grown using shading on the tea laves (direct sunlight damages l-theanine).
Health Benefits of Matcha
The health benefits of green tea have long been known. Here are just a few:
- Very high antioxidant value (high ORAC rating - explained more in this blog) excellent for fighting free radicals.
- Increased state of alertness and energy
- Boosts metabolism
- Improves memory and concentration
- Immune booster
You can drink Matcha in a tea in the same way you drink green tea, however due to its concentration you only need 1/2 a teaspoon to 1 teaspoon of Matcha per serving. You can add Matcha Powder to smoothies or recipes such as this delicious Matcha Peppermint slice.
A note on Pure Essential Peppermint Oil
I use First Light 100% Pure Peppermint Essential Oil. My lovely friend Theme Raines sources the highest grade organic peppermint from around the world and one drop of is the equivalent to 25 cups of peppermint leaves! The TGA does not allow essential oil to be labelled 'food grade' however if you are choosing a food grade oil (such a this one) make sure it is 100% pure and organic. You can see our full selection of organic pure essential oils here. These oils are just beautiful, you won't find any nasty synthetic hormone disruptors in these.
If you haven't tried Matcha Tea we are offering readers a 15% discount on Matcha Maiden Powder for the next week. Note bags are 70g due to the small serving amount required.
Have a beautiful weekend!
PS - Don't forget to check out our big Vitamin Clearance 30 - 60% off - click here.