Walk into any high-end bakery or coffee shop and you are likely to see a matcha option. So what exactly is matcha and why has it caught the fancy of the health and gourmet food circles?
Considered superior to green tea, matcha leaves are grown on green tea bushes kept under shade. The shade increases the amount of chlorophyll content in the leaves, which makes them bright green and full of nutrients. The leaves are handpicked and the stems and veins are removed.
Matcha: The Green Superfood
Matcha tea is packed with antioxidants including the powerful epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), which has potent anti-cancer properties. According to a study published in the Journal of Cancer Research and Clinical Oncology, the ECG in green tea combined with anticancer drugs can have an inhibitory effect on human cancer stem cells. With its catechins and L-theanine content, it’s also known to help enhance mental alertness and presence of mind, while promoting a calm, meditative state at the same time. Combined with a plant-based diet, it can also help with weight management and reduce the risk of chronic disease. 
According to the latest research report from market.biz, due to the rising demand for matcha tea across the globe, the global matcha tea industry segment would experience continuous and steady growth during the forecast period 2018-2023. Based on this report, the United States is the largest producer and consumption region of this market, while China is the fastest-growing region.
While matcha tea is healthy to drink, it can also be used to make healthy recipes including puddings, pancakes, macarons and ice creams.
Matcha Chia Pudding
A great recipe for breakfast or dessert, matcha chia pudding is quick, easy-to-make and delicious, with diverse health benefits. Though there is a little caffeine in matcha, it will be absorbed slowly with all the fiber in the chia seeds.
Chia seeds 1/2 cup
Almond milk 1 cup
Vanilla extract 2 drops
Honey 2 tablespoons
Matcha green tea 1 teaspoon
- Step 1: In a bowl or mason jar, mix matcha green tea, chia seeds, almond milk, and vanilla extract.
- Step 2: Stir all the ingredients well.
- Step 3: Pour the mixture into an airtight glass jar or container and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight in order for the chia seeds to gel.
This is the basic recipe for match chia pudding but you can customize it with optional toppings which make it even more delicious!
- Seasonal fruit
- Maple syrup
- Fresh strawberries
- Whipped cream
- Shredded coconut
Top with any optional ingredients or with chocolate shavings and a dusting of matcha powder!
Note: This breakfast packs a major antioxidant punch when mixed with a punch of berries. To make this pudding thinner, you can add in a little more nut milk and get the desired consistency.
Health Benefits Of Matcha Chia Pudding
The combination of matcha, chia seeds, and almond milk yields a nutrient-dense breakfast. Here’s why:
Matcha: The key ingredient in this recipe, matcha, is rich in vitamin C, and potassium. It is also packed with antioxidants and amino acids, including L-Theanine and metabolism-boosting catechins. Make your recipe great by ensuring that your matcha green tea powder comes from reputable sources. Some of the best green tea brands include Grace Matcha, Encha Matcha, and Pure Matcha. Though not all types of matcha are created equal, while choosing, consider factors such as origin, color, taste, and price.
Chia seeds: The tiny black seeds are a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, vitamins A, B, E and D, and minerals, including sulfur, iron, iodine, magnesium, manganese, niacin and thiamine and fiber. They can also be added as toppings to cereal, yogurt, and smoothies since they are nutty in flavor. Loaded with nutrients, this seed also benefits your body and brain. Many researchers point out that chia seeds aid weight loss too. Its protein helps to reduce appetite and food intake. It also improves certain blood markers that lower the risk of heart disease. 
Almond milk: Made by blending almonds with water, almond milk has a creamy texture similar to regular milk. It’s ideal for those who are allergic to dairy milk. Nutritious and low in calories, sugar-free almond milk is a low-carb beverage that contains only 0.6% carbs per cup.
Vanilla extract: It is made by dissolving vanilla beans in the alcohol and it contains numerous antioxidants such as vanillic acid and vanillin. These antioxidants protect your body from damage from harmful components, such as free radicals and toxins. It also has cholesterol-lowering benefits.
Honey: Being one of the oldest sweeteners on earth, honey is a delicious part of any dessert or pudding we make. Honey is traditionally known for its blood sugar regulation, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties as well as cancer and heart disease-fighting capabilities. 
Enjoy your matcha chia pudding for breakfast and stay energetic!