Matcha Green Tea Cream Pots with Toasted Walnut Crumbs

This delicious dessert is the perfect healthy follow-up to any meal. It is an amazing combination of health boosting ingredients, such as the green matcha powder and the walnuts. Green matcha powder is rammed full of antioxidants and is cancer fighting whilst also being great for burning fat and boosting the metabolism. When you choose to eat raw, organic nuts, you really can’t go wrong in terms of doing good things for your overall health. Having said that, walnuts are one of the best choices you can make for all the amazing health properties they have. It is worth bearing in mind that the majority of the antioxidants in walnuts are found just under the waxy skin, so be sure not to remove it when you use them in the recipe. It does have a slightly bitter flavour but it’s not unpleasant and is well worth including in your dish.

To make three of these pots, find the following ingredients:

2 tsp. green matcha powder
250ml green tea
6 tbsp. maple syrup, honey or coconut nectar
100g toasted chopped walnut pieces
2 x 400ml tins of coconut milk, refrigerated overnight
1 tbsp. honey, maple syrup or coconut nectar
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
2 bananas, peeled and sliced into 2cm rounds

To make the matcha sauce, put the green tea, 3 tbsp of coconut nectar and 1 tsp. of matcha in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer for 5-10 minutes until sauce is thickened a bit.

Then you can toast the chopped walnuts in a dry frying pan over medium heat for 2-3 minutes. After these few minutes, you can remove them from heat and place in a bowl to cool.

To make the coconut cream, remove the tins from the fridge but be careful not to shake them. Open the tins and carefully scoop out the thickened cream off the top and place into a mixing bowl. Add the 1 tbsp. of coconut nectar and vanilla to the mixing bowl and beat well for 5 minutes until the cream is thick and fluffy.

In glass tumblers, layer the 2 tbsp. of the walnuts then drizzle with the matcha syrup, then top with a layer of coconut cream and enough bananas to cover the cream. You can then repeat the layers. Sprinkle the very top with more walnut crumbs and a drizzle of the matcha syrup. You can then enjoy immediately!

Goji Berry, Coconut and Matcha Cupcakes

I’m always trying to find creative snacks to create for my 4 hungry kids when they come home from school.  I know that they’re not about to make themselves a matcha latte or grab a handful of goji berries and eat them one by one.  But I do know, having been a parent now for 16 years, that they way to get your kids to eat the ‘good for you’ stuff – is to sneak it into something that they like and like the look of….aka cupcakes!

IMG_2389Matcha is well, just incredible.  In my recipe I used White Matcha (apparently the newest thing to hit the market) but of course, green matcha is fine too!  Matcha is definitely a superhero when it comes to teas.  The amazing thing about matcha is that energises you but at the same time calms the central nervous system.  Matcha has 137 times the antioxidants of regular green tea, 70 times the antioxidants of orange juice and 9 times the beta carotene of spinach!  So, if you’re kids definitely don’t like spinach then this is a clever way to get that beta carotene in!

IMG_2391For your cupcakes you will need this:

Makes 16 – 20 cupcakes

4 cups of oat flour (or rolled oats ground to a flour)

1/2 cup ground flaxseeds

2 Tbsp. of matcha

1 1/2 cups of soaked goji berries

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1/2 cup desiccated coconut

1 cup coconut palm sugar

1 3/4 cup plant-based milk ( I used coconut )

2 tsp. baking powder

1 1/2 tsp. baking soda

Preheat your oven to 350 F or 180 C.  And in a large bowl, simply combine the above ingredients one by one, stirring well until you get a nice, thick batter.  Line your cupcake tray with paper cases and fill to the rim with your delicious batter!  Bake for 20 minutes, remove from oven and allow to cool.  Even more delicious when you spread a bit of coconut oil on the insides!  YUM!

IMG_2397For more information on nutrition, head to www.theflexifoodie.com to sign up for the first of it’s kind online nutrition course:  Nutrition for Optimal Health.

 

Green Tea

Tea is unarguably one of the most popular hot beverages enjoyed around the world. If you’re making the choice to drink green tea for the health benefits, then, with so many varieties, flavours and ways of making it, it’s often difficult to know what the best options are. All green tea is derived from a plant and is a fantastic source of antioxidants, not to mention many other nutritious properties.

green-tea-grassrootsandgrains8There is such a massive selection of green tea brands to choose from and different companies often place emphasis on various health benefits. The most popular beliefs of drinking this kind of tea are firstly, that the high levels of antioxidants will help protect the body against many different forms of cancer. In addition to this, it is also suggested that green tea can reduce the risk of suffering a heart attack and improve cardiovascular health in general. Also, research has suggested that regularly drinking green tea will help keep many degenerative diseases at bay.

green-tea-grassrootsandgrains10It has also been suggested that green tea can improve your body’s capabilities of burning fat for fuel during exercise which inevitably leads to increased endurance. To some extent, it is also possible that green tea can also help protect against ultraviolet rays by aiding your body’s natural protection.

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Different versions of the drink obviously vary in nutritional value depending on the ingredients they contain. Here are a few of the best to look out for!

Lotus Root

Lotus root is traditionally used more in tea in Eastern countries and in fact is also used in many meals as well. It is an herbaceous, perennial plant that grows in special ponds and is rich in multiple minerals, vitamins and phyto-nutrients. It is also a great source of fibre which, as you may already know, can help reduce cholesterol and blood sugar levels as well as relieving constipation. Drinking green tea with lotus in it is an excellent idea if you’re looking for a simple way to boost your vitamin C levels. Just 100g of lotus root contains over 70% of your recommended daily allowance of this vitamin! Iron, magnesium, zinc, copper and manganese can also be found in lotus and including this type of green tea in your daily diet will be of great benefit to your body.

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Sencha

Sencha is the favourite hot beverage of green tea drinkers in Japan. Sencha tea is made with young leaves from the Camellia Sinesis plant, those of which are steamed prior to use to reduce the bitter flavour and retain the green colour. Sencha tea has a sweet aroma and can often have a grassy or seaweed-like taste. As with other types of green tea, sencha has high antioxidant properties and is generally thought to lower bad cholesterol levels whilst aiding the production of good cholesterol.

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Matcha

The health benefits of matcha are thought to be comparatively much greater than many other green teas. It is revered by many as a fat-burning, cancer combatant that is jam packed full of essential minerals and antioxidants. To feel the full fantastic effects of matcha, you can also eat the entire leaf! When you make a cup of any kind of green tea, only a fraction of the nutrition is infused into the water; with so much goodness in a cup already, imagine the benefits of consuming the whole thing! Studies suggest that drinking one cup of matcha tea is approximately ten times better nutritionally than drinking any other type of green tea so, for a real health kick, this is the hot drink for you! With such an impressive amount of naturally occurring health boosters, your immune system, brain function and overall general health could soon start to experience the positive effects.

As well as these amazing specialised types of tea, there are also the more commercially available types that are flavoured with things like nettle, lemongrass and violet. These kinds of hot beverages are still great for your body and the effects of consuming the added flavourings will still be apparent. For example, nettle tea has diuretic and anti-inflammatory properties as well as being a brilliant source of calcium, phosphates and several vitamins. Sufferers of arthritis may find relief in drinking nettle tea and it can also be useful in treating allergies.

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Similarly, lemongrass has mild sedative effects when used in tea and can therefore be very relaxing. There has been extensive testing into the cancer fighting properties of lemongrass and it is proposed that the component within it that creates the aroma actually kills cancerous cells. Lemongrass green tea is frequently used as a remedy for digestion problems and to relieve the symptoms of a cold.

Hopefully by now you can see why green tea should be regularly guzzled! Experiment with different flavours and brands to find your favourites and try not to limit yourself to just one or two! Remember though, drinking hot beverages can occasionally encourage the occurrence of esophageal cancer, so give your tea a few minutes to cool down before you enjoy both the taste and health benefits.

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