Today’s recipe hails from my experiments in the health(ier) desserts realm. Matcha is the fine ground powder of a specially grown green tea. Grown in the shade away from direct sunlight, the tender leaves of the green tea are grown for a mere three weeks before harvesting. The delicate tea that results from this process is a gorgeous dark shade and has increased amounts of chlorophyll due to the absence of the sun. The leaves are hand picked and then dried. They are then ground slowly between grinding stones. This process can take up to an hour to grind a measly 30 grams of matcha so as to not heat up the stones and affect the delicate nature of the tea. While I’ve been obsessed with the flavor of matcha for years, this is a newer purchase for me because it’s a bit of an investment. However, the small amount you need to imbue this dessert/breakfast with flavor makes keeping it around worth it for use in other dishes (hello green tea ice cream). The flavor of matcha is unique. It shifts from grassy to sweet in the most subtle way. It is significantly higher in antioxidants and chlorophyll than other forms of green tea and packs a powerful, yet mellow caffeine punch, too (a teaspoon of matcha is comparable to a cup of coffee in terms of caffeine. It also contains Vitamin C, potassium, and amino acids, including L-Theanine, which is said to promote relaxation and calm.
Chia seeds add the heft to this bowl as well as a heart-healthy dose of Omega-3s. With only 1-2 tablespoons of maple syrup and a hint of unsweetened coconut flakes to sweeten the deal, I think we’ve found a winner. I still can’t decide if this is breakfast or dessert, and we all know the two are pretty interchangeable.
If you’ve been following me on Instagram you may have seen that we are on a road trip down the eastern US. I’m writing to you now from a very old colonial home in Charleston, South Carolina. It’s possibly the most beautiful home I’ve been in. We hit up the Shenandoah Valley, staying in a secluded cabin along the Blue Ridge Mountains. Most of the weekend and the beginning of the week rain tapped and dripped along the roof casting watery shadows that streamed down the wall. To make up for nature’s fickle moods, we sought out history, tours of towns and houses that made it clear how connected our modern world is to the past. But today the sun was shining and we went from a Northeast winter to a Southern summer. A welcome change.
MATCHA GREEN TEA COCONUT CHIA PUDDING
- 6 tablespoons chia seeds
- 1 cup coconut water
- 1 cup almond milk
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1½ teaspoons matcha powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
- 1/3 cup toasted coconut flakes and shredded coconut, to serve
- coconut cream, to serve
- handful of raspberries, to serve
- blackberries and raspberries, to serve
Place chia seeds, coconut water, almond milk, maple syrup, matcha powder, vanilla and salt in a wide shallow bowl. Mix well with a whisk until smooth and even.
Allow to develop in a cool corner of your kitchen or in the fridge (covered with a clingwrap) for 3-4 hours.
To serve, top with coconut cream, toasted coconut flakes, raspberries, blueberries, almonds, pistachios or apple.