What can you make with matcha?
This summer my family got interested in making different recipes with matcha before we discovered the matcha banana smoothie.
Matcha, a high quality green tea powder, can be made into a hot tea with water or milk or can be used as a special flavoring for a variety of sweet (ice cream, lattes, mochi), and savory (soba noodles) foods. There are different grades of matcha varying in quality; culinary-grade is less expensive and is used for making foods and sweet drinks, and ceremonial-grade is considered very special and is used for tea ceremonies.
First, my daughter made a couple of different versions of matcha latte. One time she put too much matcha powder in (it was very strong tasting and very green!), so we ended up making an amazing green tea ice cream with it.
My husband Nelson also did a video of a traditional Japanese green tea ceremony for our Cooking Together Supper Club using a traditional matcha bowl and whisk. Nelson lived in Japan for 3 years in his early 20s and has fond memories of drinking matcha there. Making matcha in the traidional way does make you feel very Japanese!
Matcha banana smoothie ingredients
Then in the midst of our matcha fest, a friend of ours sent a photo of a matcha banana smoothie they made. It looked so delicious! I started testing out some recipes to replicate it and came up with a really simple recipes. What you’ll need to make the smoothie is:
- unsweetened almond milk (oat milk also works well)
- coconut cream (from the top of the can)
- bananas (fresh or frozen)
- matcha powder (try Barista Matcha from Rishi Botanicals)
- vanilla extract
- maple syrup
- dash of Himalayan salt
- crushed ice (optional; or just use frozen bananas)
I think that the combination of banana and matcha is perfect because the banana balances out the bitterness of the green tea without having to add refined sugar. My recipe calls for a dash of maple syrup, but depending on how sweet your bananas are, you may not need to add any.
I like to add frozen banana instead of ice to my smoothies. Just freeze peeled bananas whole (when at their peak ripeness), then slice them on a cutting board before putting into the smoothie. If they are too hard to slice, just wait a minute or two and they should soften up enough to slice.Print
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
2 tablespoons coconut cream (from the top of the can)
2 bananas (frozen, then sliced or fresh), or more for thicker smoothie
2–3 teaspoons matcha green tea powder (I use Rishi Barista Matcha)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
dash Himalayan salt
1–2 teaspoons maple syrup
1 cup crushed ice (optional; if using fresh bananas rather than frozen)
Place ingredients into high speed blender. If using frozen bananas, you will probably not need any additional ice. After blending, you can taste a spoonful and make adjustments according to taste. Add more matcha if you’d like a stronger green tea flavor, more maple syrup if you like it sweeter, more coconut cream to make it creamier, and more banana if you want it to be thicker.
Matcha powder can be very expensive as it is labor intensive to grow and process. I recommend getting an organic variety that is culinary-grade rather than the most expensive ceremonial-grade varieties. I recommend a good all-purpose, organic Japanese matcha powder that does not contain sugar like Barista Matcha from Rishi Tea.
Making adjustments to your smoothie
When making the smoothie, you can make it thicker by adding more banana, sweeter by adding some maple syrup, more creamy by adding more coconut cream, and more green tea flavored by adding a bit more matcha.
More about matcha
In case you’re interested, here’s a little more information about matcha I got from the Rishi Botanicals web site. This is specifically about the variety of tea in their Barista Matcha.
The traditional cultivation of tencha (a variety used for matcha powder) requires shading the tea garden for 3-4 weeks prior to harvest. This elevates chlorophyll and enhances L-theanine and other stimulating amino acids responsible for matcha’s unique bounty of energy.Rishi Botanicals – https://www.rishi-tea.com/
Tencha is made from tea strains specifically cultivated to be:
-low in tannin
-high in caffeine
-rich in flavor and umami.