Go Beyond a Cuppa with These 5 Green Tea and Matcha Recipes
By Molly Knudsen, MS, RDN
Not everyone’s a tea drinker. And that’s okay. While there are benefits to drinking tea, it’s possible to be a little more creative when it comes to reaping the benefits of this beverage, especially with green tea.
Green tea is available to purchase in three varieties: leaves (typically dried), tea bags, or powder. Green tea powder is known as matcha. Matcha, especially in the form of matcha lattes, has exploded in popularity the last decade, and it’s now easier than ever to find it at supermarkets rather than specialty stores.
Like green tea, matcha is also derived from the Camellia sinensis plant, but it’s processed differently than green tea.1 To make matcha, the tea leaves are shaded, traditionally by a bamboo fabric, for most of the plant’s cultivation. This process increases the plant’s chlorophyll production. After harvesting, the stems and veins are removed from the leaf, and it is ground into a fine a powder. So when you are consuming matcha, you are actually ingesting the whole tea leaf, whereas when you drink green tea, you steep the leaf in hot water, which transfers some of the nutrients to the water, and then the leaves are discarded.
While there are some differences in the nutrient profile of green tea and matcha, they share many more similarities. Both are great sources of antioxidants and contain a class of polyphenols called catechins.1,2 Catechins not only play a role in protecting the body against harmful free radicals but may also protect against potentially harmful compounds formed as a result of the natural detoxification processes in the body.2
Consuming green tea or matcha powder is a great way to add some of those beneficial catechins to your diet.1,2 Here are five recipes that use matcha powder or steeped green tea to boost the flavor of some meals and snacks:
Matcha Tea Salad Dressing
Yields ½ cup dressing
- 1 tsp. matcha powder*
- 2 Tbsp. rice vinegar
- 1 lemon juiced or 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
- ½ Tbsp. agave nectar
- 3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
Directions: Whisk matcha green tea powder with the rice vinegar in a bowl until thoroughly combined. Gradually whisk in the lemon juice, agave, and olive oil. Shake well before serving. Keep in the refrigerator for up to three days.
Nutrition information for ½ cup: 406 calories, 42 g fat, 6 g saturated fat, insignificant amount of sodium, 11 g total carbohydrate, < 1 g dietary fiber, < 1 g protein, 0 mcg vitamin D, 21 mg calcium, 0 mg iron, 102 g potassium
Matcha Tea Nice Cream
Serving size: 2/3 cup
- 3 bananas
- 2 Tbsp. unsweetened almond milk (or any milk of your choice)
- 1 Tbsp. matcha powder *
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- Sliced strawberries
- Chopped walnuts
- Slivered almonds
Directions: Start with slightly overripe bananas (some brown spots are good for this recipe). Peel and slice the bananas and freeze for several hours or overnight. Lay the slices flat in a freezer-safe bag on a tray.
Once the bananas are frozen, place them in a food processor along with the milk, matcha powder, and vanilla extract. Pulse until you reach a creamy texture.
After this step, you can enjoy as is (this will have more of a thick smoothie texture) or transfer to a loaf pan and freeze for an additional 2 plus hours (this will have more of a solid “ice cream” consistency.
Add your choice of toppings and enjoy!
Nutrition information for 1 serving: 132 calories, 0.5 g fat, 9 mg sodium, 31 g carbohydrate, 4 g dietary fiber 17 g sugar, 0 g added sugar, insignificant amounts of vitamin D and iron, 44 mg calcium, 550 mg potassium
Berry Good Green Tea Smoothie
- 1 green tea bag
- ½ cup boiling water
- 1 ½ cups spinach leaves
- 1 cup frozen berries of your choice
- ½ ripe banana (fresh or frozen)
- 1 tsp. chia seeds
Directions: Steep the green tea bag in the boiling water for around 5 minutes. Remove the tea bag and allow the tea to cool to room temperature.
Combine tea, spinach, berries, banana, and chia seeds in blender with 5 to 10 ice cubes (ice cubes may not be needed if using frozen produce). Blend until smooth and serve immediately.
Note: Green tea can be used to replace water in any smoothie recipe. Try this swap in your favorite smoothie recipe and see how it tastes. It’s a great way to get a caffeine kick if sipping on a cup of tea or coffee in the morning isn’t your thing.
Nutrition information: 152 calories, 1.6 g total fat, 0.17 g saturated fat, 30 mg sodium, 33 g carbohydrate, 9 g dietary fiber, 16 g sugar, 0 g added sugars, 4 g protein, 94 mg calcium, 702 mg potassium
Matcha Overnight Oats
- ½ cup old-fashioned oats
- ½ cup unsweetened kefir
- ½ cup milk of choice
- 1 Tbsp. chia seeds
- 1 Tbsp. hemp seeds
- 1 tsp. matcha powder*
- Unsweetened coconut flakes
- Chopped nuts
Directions: Mix all ingredients thoroughly. Chill for 6 hours or overnight in an airtight container and mix before serving. Oats will last up to three days in the refrigerator.
Note: Prefer regular oatmeal? Use steeped green tea instead of water for a hot option.
Nutrition information: 345 calories, 14 g total fat, 2 g saturated fat, 151 mg sodium, 40 g carbohydrate, 9 g dietary fiber, 7 g total sugar, 0 g added sugar, 14 g protein, 12.72 mcg vitamin D, 524 mg calcium, 4 mg iron, 695 mg potassium
Matcha Pancakes with Blueberries
- 1 large egg
- ¾ cup milk of choice
- ½ Tbsp. white vinegar
- ½ tsp. vanilla extract
- ½ cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1 ½ cup whole-grain flour (or use a mixture of whole-grain and all-purpose flour)
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- ½ tsp. baking soda
- 2 Tbsp. matcha powder
- ¼ tsp. salt
- Butter or oil for pan
- Maple syrup
- Chopped nuts
Directions: In a large bowl, whisk egg, milk, and vinegar. Add yogurt and vanilla extract and whisk until combined. In another bowl, add all dry ingredients and mix together with a fork. Slowly add the dry mixture to the wet, whisking as you go until there are no more lumps. Heat a large skillet on the stovetop over medium heat. Coat the pan with cooking spray, butter, ghee, or coconut oil. Use a ¼ cup measuring cup to scoop the batter onto the hot skillet. Cook on one side until bubbles start to form on the edges (about 2 to 3 minutes) and then flip. Cook for another 2 to 3 minutes, or until both sides are slightly browned. Continue until all the batter is used and enjoy hot. Top with maple syrup, strawberries, blueberries, or walnuts.
Nutrition information per serving: 291 calories, 5 g total fat, 1 g saturated fat, 655 mg sodium, 49 g carbohydrate, 4 g total sugar, 0 g added sugar, 15 g protein, 179 mg calcium, 3 mg iron, 496 g potassium
*When you shop for a matcha powder, you may notice there are different grades. Using culinary-grade matcha is recommended for these recipes. Ceremonial grade matcha is the highest quality type of matcha and is meant to be consumed on its own.
- Jakubczyk K et al. Antioxidant properties and nutritional composition of matcha green tea. Foods. 2020;9(4):483.
- Forester SC et al. Mol Nutr Food Res. 2011;55(6):844-854.