With St Patrick’s Day around the corner, I thought an appropriate theme for this month’s In My Kitchen post was GREEN. That connection might be a bit of a stretch, as the green in my food comes from green tea, and I’m not sure how popular green tea is in Ireland.* However, green tea is very popular here, especially in our house!
For cooking, use a culinary grade matcha powder. You can find it at some Asian grocery shops, and in health food shops these days as green tea gains in popularity as a health food/drink.
Matcha shortbread biscuits have the traditional texture of shortbread, a gentle matcha flavour, and a nice sweet crunch from the large sugar granules around the edges. See the recipe at the Chocolate and Zucchini blog here.
2. Matcha granola bars / muesli bars
I have made the matcha granola bars from Sarah Britton’s My New Roots blog a few times. I changed the method a little, mixing all the ingredients raw then cooking everything together in a slice tin for 10-15 minutes rather than toasting the oats first. Also, I did replace the rice syrup with honey, contrary to the warning in the recipe. See the recipe at the My New Roots blog here.
3. Green tea tempura salt
What a nice idea! Sencha is another form of green tea. See it for yourself served with spring vegetable tempura at Susan’s Sumptuous Suppers blog here.
4. Green tea and red bean cake
We did enjoy our green tea and red bean cream cake for a special occasion baked treat, and what better flavour partner for matcha than sweet red bean paste?
5. Green tea and white chocolate energy balls
A tasty high energy treat featuring white chocolate and green tea – how could you go wrong? Find my recipe here.
6. Matcha latte
A matcha latte is essentially matcha dissolved in a little water, with a sweetener, plus some frothy milk. It took us a bit of trial and error to get right, but we are happy with these matcha lattes now. Trust me, you really do need to sweeten this drink to balance out the bitterness of the matcha flavour. You could use honey or another sweetener if you prefer, and substitute the cow’s milk for a non-dairy milk.
We have a coffee machine to help with the milk frothing (actually I also had the benefit of my highly-skilled-at-coffee-making husband frothing the milk for me after my poor attempts). You can also get a frothy effect just by warming the milk and whisking it quickly with a small whisk or even a fork.
Makes one serve
- 1 teaspoon matcha powder (plus a little extra for sprinkling)
- 2 teaspoons fine sugar
- 2-3 tablespoons water – boiled then allowed to cool a little
- approx 250ml milk
Mix the matcha and sugar together in a small, heatproof jug. Use a fork to combine them and to remove any clumps.
Add the water and continue mixing with the fork until the matcha powder has dissolved, any lumps are removed and you are left with a dark green thin paste.
Warm and froth the milk. Add the milk to the jug and stir gently. Carefully pour the mixture into a serving cup. Sprinkle with a little sifted matcha powder, if you like.
Of course, the best way to enjoy the flavour of green tea is to have it in its original format and drink the tea. I like green tea with roasted rice, or a sencha and matcha blend. Any way you have it, going green this month is a lovely excuse to take a moment, catch your breath and enjoy a nice cup of tea.
For more In My Kitchen posts from food bloggers in Australia and around the world, see Maureen’s links at the Orgasmic Chef blog.
* some sources suggest green tea is growing in popularity in Ireland, such as this 2014 article here.