Matcha – or green tea powder – is packed with antioxidants and provides a calm alertness, which makes it a great alternative to coffee. But the sugar in most matcha lattes served in coffee shops and sold in grocery stores cancels out the superfood’s nutritional benefits.
In fact, a matcha green tea latte served up at your local Starbucks can pack in more sugar than a Snickers bar! Ouch!
If you’re addicted to this tasty treat, why not try making your own at home? Read on to learn the health benefits of matcha, as well as tips on how to make an equally delicious but tremendously more nutritious matcha latte in your own kitchen.
Matcha tea health benefits
Matcha is made from green tea leaves that are ground into a fine powder. This whole-leaf powder is mixed and suspended in water versus the traditional steeping method of infusing water with tea leaves. In other words, when you drink matcha, you are essentially drinking the entire tea leaf, and thus enjoying even more of the health benefits of green tea.
In addition to being packed with antioxidants, matcha:
- Provides a calm alertness, compared to coffee’s jittery or nervous energy, thanks to L-theanine, an amino acid that reduces anxiety and increases attention.
- Supports heart health by lowering bad cholesterol and reducing blood clotting, as well as improving blood pressure, triglycerides and cholesterol.
- Is linked to a reduction in risk for certain types of cancer and type 2 diabetes.
- Helps combat inflammation and supports a healthy immune system.
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DIY Healthy Matcha Latte recipe
Sure, it’s delicious, but a 16-ounce Grande Matcha Green Tea Latte from Starbucks packs in 240 calories and a whopping 32 grams of added sugar. Avoid the sugar rush with this DIY Matcha Latte, which has only 35 calories and less than 1 gram of sugar.
- ½ teaspoon matcha
- 1 teaspoon Swerve Sweetener (optional)
- 1 tablespoon hot water
- 6 ounces unsweetened vanilla coconut milk
- Add matcha and optional Swerve to cup or mug. Add hot water and whisk with a bamboo or metal whisk, or blend with a small immersion blender, until dissolved.
- Once the matcha is completely dissolved, heat the coconut milk (preferably in a frother) and pour over matcha.
- Serve or sip immediately.
Editor’s note: Registered dietitian Molly Kimball offers brand-name products as a consumer guide; she does not solicit product samples nor is she paid to recommend items. This originally appeared on WGNO’s “Get the Skinny” segment.