Before I was hooked onto matcha, I had been hearing this term thrown around a lot but never realized it was a type of green tea. Being a crazy tea fanatic, I had already tried various types of green tea blends but had not paid much attention to the matcha hype. That changed this year when I did a quick Booster Juice run and decided to try one of their matcha smoothies. Naturally, I was instantly enthused and began thinking of all the possibilities of using matcha. Besides tasting so darn delicious, I started wondering what the health benefits were and decided to do some research.
Firstly, the direct translation of matcha is ‘powdered tea’ which is exactly what it is. We all drink green tea because of the health benefits, but you don’t quite absorb the full nutrients since you discard the leaves after brewing the tea. Matcha utilizes the full power of the leaves by converting them into a fine powder and ingesting it.
Below is a short summary of the antioxidant benefits of matcha:
- Aids in the protection against heart disease and cancer
- Boosts metabolism and assists in burning calories
- Calms the mind and relaxes the body – assists in meditation and reducing cortisol (stress hormone)
- Is rich in fiber, chlorophyll and vitamins
- Enhances mood and aids in concentration
- Provides vitamin C, selenium, chromium, zinc and magnesium
- Lowers cholesterol, regulates blood sugar, and reduces blood pressure
- Anti-aging by lowering inflammation
While I’m still working out various delicious ways to use matcha in our daily diet, below is my favourite matcha green tea smoothie recipe to date. I have tried many combinations of smoothies containing matcha, but you can’t go wrong with mango and vanilla yogurt, am I right? I bought my first batch of matcha green tea from David’s Tea as that is my trusty go to tea place. I don’t recommend buying cheap quality matcha as the way the tea is extracted and developed could result in lead contamination if managed poorly. Although it could be pricier to go with a higher quality product, it definitely lasts a decent amount of time since you only use about a teaspoon each time.
Try out this matcha green tea smoothie recipe and tell me what you think! What are some other great combinations? Share your favourites in the comments below.
Everyone loves a good ol’ lasagna – I mean, how can you go wrong? Although I grew up eating the ground meat lasagna, I still prefer the vegetarian spinach ricotta lasagna any day. My husband is a huge fan of this dish, but I feel it sometimes gets too heavy for me which can result in heart burn. I found that substituting the regular lasagna strips for gluten-free strips has not only tasted better – in my opinion- but it feels much easier on the stomach. For this recipe, we don’t use any flour or create any traditional white sauce layer. You will find that this recipe is a lot easier to make and doesn’t require much care. You can whip this up really quickly if you have the ingredients on hand – especially if using a delicious pre-made pasta sauce. I personally recommend the Classico florentine spinach and cheese sauce you can find at most grocery stores. I prefer this one over others, as it already comes with a generous amount of spinach and cheese blend. Try out this recipe and let me know what you think in the comments. What are some of your favourite sauces?
If you are from Canada, you must have been to a Booster Juice at least once. Sometimes when I am on the go and need a quick filler and boost, I love grabbing a smoothie from Booster Juice. I know, some might argue it isn’t actually all that healthy considering the sugar level, but it definitely beats anything at a Tim’s or McD’s. In order to make it healthier, I decided to make this at home with ingredients I’m comfortable with. Better to know exactly what goes into your drink, am I right? Anyways, I hope this recipe tickles your taste buds like it does mine. I did make some tweaks to the recipe like omitting ice – as it is currently winter in Canada and I’m not about that life right now. Enjoy!
Most of my childhood was spent eating rice dishes consisting of aromatic Indian spices – particularly biryani. If there is one thing I can’t live without, it’s chicken biryani. If you have ever had it, you know what I mean by full of flavour and spice – like a ka-pow to your taste buds. When I moved to Toronto, my family and friends encouraged me to try the famous Bamiyan Kabob restaurant, which focused on Afghani foods. This was my first time trying Afghan food, but I became instantly hooked. Although the rice is flavourful, it does not contain the same spice level as the biryani I am used to. My favourite combination is their chapli kabobs with the rice and salata (salad) they serve on the side. Perhaps what I loved most about the Afghani chapli was it’s similarity in taste to the Pakistani chapli kabobs I grew up eating. After eating at this restaurant for a number of years, I decided to give this recipe a try at home. The resulting recipe is something I developed as a quick fix to fulfill that Bamiyan craving. Try it out and let me know what you think!
Traditionally, the way my mother cooks chana masala is different from the Indian style dish. People often have different variations of this dish, including a curry or creamy version. Although I quite enjoy the dish with more gravy in it, my father being from India influenced my style of cooking to the more ‘authentic’ way. In India, a large majority of the people are vegetarians, which is why you will find many recipes involving chana (chickpeas), lentils, and other legumes. Personally, I am not a vegetarian but chana and rajma (beans) are on my top favourites when it comes to Indian/Pakistani cuisine. I hope you enjoy this simple and aromatic recipe!
Chana masala can be served with plain basmati rice or naan bread. Yogurt, and chopped chillies and coriander are added on the side or as garnish. In the photos you will find me serving this with my home-ground gluten-free oat flour roti. I will be adding a separate recipe on how to make these healthy and delicious rotis – stay tuned.