Green Goddess: Sweetly virtuous Green Tea Macaroons
It's game, set and matcha for Susan Jane White, who has found the perfect brew for the green-tea averse
I found one. Finally. It's called matcha latte, and it's more than tolerable.
I was never a fan of green tea, despite its heroic health benefits. Black tea, its older cousin, often seduced me. White tea? Hell, yeah. But never green. It whiffs of wet grass - not an attraction if one's DNA is Irish.
Matcha green tea is different. This strange green powder is home to a series of polyphenols. You've probably noticed that scientists get frightfully excited about this buzzword. Polyphenols are like powerful antioxidants in the body. Catechins, a specific subset of this hallowed polyphenol family, are believed to be responsible for the anti-cancer effects of green tea.
Then there's L-theanine, shown to high jump the blood-brain barrier and hotwire our mood. L-theanine also tickles a neurotransmitter called GABA, which can calm mental and physical stress.
That's quite a potion for 20 cents a cup. What determines whether a tea is green, black, white or oolong depends on the degree of processing that the leaves of the camellia sinensis undergo after harvesting.
For matcha, the entire tea leaf is dried and ground into a powder, as opposed to diluted in a teabag. This helps explain why matcha has a greater amount of antioxidants than the classic green tea.
Wall & Keogh, tea specialists in Portobello, like to serve it iced, along with reggae and volumes of Calvin and Hobbes. You'll find me there most mornings, chilling alongside my new BF.
Green Tea Macaroons
These macaroons are idiot-proof, and require no baking. If you want to make them vegan, just swap the honey for light agave syrup, or brown rice syrup.
You will need:
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Up to 1 tablespoon matcha green tea
125g (5oz) desiccated coconut
2 tablespoons coconut flour
Pinch of sea salt flakes
3 tablespoons coconut oil
4 tablespoons honey
Pinch of dried turmeric
Quick squeeze of lemon juice
Psyche yourself up in the kitchen before starting. Look for Rodrigo y Gabriela online, and crank up the volume. Their rhythm will transfer to your fingertips.
Then line a breadboard with some parchment paper. Using a food processor, add the vanilla extract, the matcha green tea, the desiccated coconut, the coconut flour, a pinch of sea salt flakes, the coconut oil, the honey, the dried turmeric and a splash of lemon juice to the processor's bowl. Blitz for 30 seconds, or until all the ingredients start to clump together in a ball.
Scoop out a small piece of dough and form it into a mini macaroon. Place on the parchment paper, and repeat the process until all the dough is gone.
I use my special metric tablespoon, which is curved, like a mini falafel scoop. The dough slides out beautifully, and results in uncharacteristically professional-looking confectionery.
Expect to get about 16 mini macaroons from the batch. Freeze them until they are solid, and then transfer them to your refrigerator.