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Matcha as food supplement in cooking/baking

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I'm intrigued by the idea of adding judicious amounts of matcha during food prep in order to boost immune system functions. Can anyone point me in the direction of some information on this?

I know that matcha is showing up in mainstream America now in flavored baking mixes and treats, and that its the rage in Japan. (I saw some matcha flavored Kit Kats today!) Beyond the flavor contribution, I wonder if there is any health benefit to adding this to our diet? It seems that it would be easy to add especially to veggie-rich stir-frys but also in smoothies, etc.

Do the Japanese use matcha as a food, or only as a beverage/flavoring agent?

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  1. I'm skeptical about this. Is there any research on how well the "active ingredients" of green tea will be absorbed in combination with food, or whether they might be destroyed during cooking?

    By the way, this is a fascinating article on boosting intake of green tea catechins through caramels made with "pharmaceutical grade" EGCG: http://www.clltopics.org/Phyto/harvey...

    1. I think the japnese uses matcha because they like the flavour, not for the health benefits. I'm assuming that by the time Matcha has been processed to a point where it's a powder for it to be a food additive any nutiritional value would have long since gone. I think it's also the reason why you're not supposed to brew green tes with boiling water, but rather tea that's been taken off the boil for about 20 seconds.

      However, if you're looking for a great recipie, may I recommend this bundt :-D It's got that almost smoky flavor og the tea with the sharp ginger and sweet citrus.... Yummy :)

      http://www.foodtv.ca/recipes/recipede...

      1. i'm sure japanese people drink it, but they use it with food as well...not sure if they cook it themselves. There are tons of japanese products out there that incorporate matcha into them like mainly candy and sweets. I am sure it is cheaper to eat it then to drink it, because pure matcha powder is not cheap. I bought 6 tea bags of it the other day for $6!!!

        I wonder if they drink it all the time though, because it is used during tea ceremonies. I love the whisking/spinning action and the beautiful color it produces

        1. I just picked up a Greet Tea/matcha baking mix from Trader Joe's...but I haven't baked it yet....

          1 Reply
          1. re: ChowFun_derek

            I used it to make some muffins a few months ago -- It's -- okay -- does not hold a candle to Tj's truffle brownie mix. But that's a whole different story all together.

          2. I think if you're looking for health benefits, it might be better to brew up a big pitcher of green tea, add some lemon juice or any other flavoring you might like, and sip it throughout the day or have it as a beverage with meals.
            I love the flavor of matcha in sweets, but I find that the flavor carries much better in creamy or liquidy things like ice cream, boba drinks, mousse and panna cotta than in doughy things like cake and cookies. I'm curious about the baking mix but I kind of doubt I would like it as much as green tea ice cream.

            1. Actually, Matcha isn't processed--it's just ground up green tea leaves. So the benefits of drinking Matcha are greater than from drinking brewed tea--with Matcha you consumer the *whole* leaf, not just water that steeped green tea leaves. That said, I think when it's baked it undergoes the same decrease in nutrients that all foods do when cooked. Bake with Matcha because it tastes fantastic, then, and drink it for health perks!