While I love the adventure of traveling, there’s no denying that airplanes and different time zones take a toll. It’s also more difficult eat healthy foods, and I often find myself choosing convenience over carefully balanced meals. One of my favorite indulgences in Japan is matcha lattes because they blend the best of everything: delicious, nutritious and easy to enjoy on the go. The earthy flavor of the ground green tea helps me feel grounded, and taking the time to enjoy it unburdens my mind. The little dose of caffeine doesn’t hurt, either!
Even when I return home, I like to take some time to readjust and reset my body. And whenever I want a little taste of my travels, I find myself turning to matcha, even incorporating it into cooler drinks in the warmer months. Matcha is made from tea plants, or Camellia Sinensis, cultivated in the shade. This is what gives it such a beautiful jade color. Milled into a fine powder, the tea is whisked with boiled water and best enjoyed fresh. A hot cup of matcha is not only refreshing for the mind, but for your body as well. Rich in Epigallocatechin Gallate (EGCG), one of the most potent antioxidants that eliminates the free radicals caused by UV-induced damage, matcha fortifies your body’s ability to defend itself.
To add a little bit of this powerful tea to my drink or any other cool beverages, I freeze brewed matcha into ice cubes to pop into a glass. They’re a lovely touch to any juice (including those made by my friends at Urban Remedy) or to dress up a simple glass of water. All you need is:
an ice cube tray
a teaspoon of matcha (available at most health food and Asian markets)
cucumber slices, quartered (optional)
First, fill an ice cube tray halfway with water, and let freeze. Meanwhile, boil enough water to fill a teapot. Scoop about a half-teaspoon of matcha into a small bowl and pour 5-6 tablespoons of hot water into the bowl. With a whisk, stir the matcha and the water together, until smoothly blended. Add more hot water to taste—the less water you use, the stronger the flavor. Let cool to room temperature. Once the ice cubes have set, pour the matcha tea over each cube, filling to the top. Return the tray to the freezer. In a few hours, the ice cubes should be set and ready to add to your glass.
Of course, when I don’t have time to make my own, I love the variety of ways I can incorporate matcha and other healthy ingredients into my day with Urban Remedy. To win a $200 gift card from Urban Remedy, which sells teas, Asian-inspired salads and other healthy options, and a $200 gift card from Tatcha, click here. (This competition is now closed)