Spring break has been fantastic so far! The last three days Dane and I spent time at our cabin on the Olympic Peninsula with wonderful friends. We hiked, we biked, we cooked, and we relaxed around the campfire. It was the perfect start to a rejuvenative week off. My body is pleasantly sore and my mind is calm. So much happiness was to be had.
Now back home in Seattle, its time to get organized for the last two and a half months as a Bastyr Dietetic Intern. Time has flown by and I can’t believe that my long journey is almost over. Quite frankly I am more than excited to get out there and make a difference! Cook, teach, and counsel, whatever it may be it’s so close on the horizon. It seems like only yesterday when I first stepped foot onto the Bastyr University campus. It also feels like just yesterday that I started this blog. It sure has changed over the years, grown, and developed just like I have. With that said, it's a good time to celebrate. Cheers to three years of blogging and two and a half months left as an intern!
Instead of celebrating in the middle of the day with a glass of champagne, which does sound lovely, I am going to celebrate by making a Matcha Maca Latte to keep my energy and concentration up for the rest of the day.
Matcha is a Japanese green tea. However, it is very different than other green teas available. The leaves are shade grown, picked, steamed, and then dried. And finally ground into a fine, fine powder, so fine, you can drink the entire leaf. It has been prized as a nutritional powerhouse because it contains more antioxidants, more EGCG (a well-researched phytonutrient), and more of the amino acid L-theanine than other green teas. It also is rich in caffeine. However, because of its high L-theanine content matcha promotes a feeling of relaxed alertness instead giving you the coffee jitters. After 30-40 minutes the L-theanine stimulates the alpha waves within the brain, which promote relaxation. The combination of both caffeine and L-theanine, induce feelings of heightened concentration and creativity.
Maca on the other hand is a root vegetable, related to the radish, and is found in the high altitudes of the Andes Mountains. Peruvian farmers have touted it as a superfood for thousands of years. According to Peruvian herbal medicine maca root has been used for everything from hormonal imbalance to mental clarity and endurance. Its unique ability to act as an adaptogen allows maca to offer a wide range of benefits depending on the needs of the individual. Today you can find it in health food stores promoted as an adaptogen that may enhance energy and endurance, increase fertility, and heighten mood. Furthermore, maca root is also rich in vitamins and minerals, including vitamins C and E, B vitamins, and plenty of calcium, zinc, iron, and magnesium.
Since both matcha and maca have an earthy, sweet flavor I thought that the two would harmonize perfectly; offering well-being in their rich earthy notes. And indeed the clarity and energy I feel after drinking this superfood latte enhances my spirits as well as my creativity. It is pure harmony in a cup! Perhaps you are a coffee lover, or a tea aficionado, or perhaps you are a lover of both. Either way, this superfood latte may just be the new perfect addition to your morning routine.
Let’s unwind, relax, and celebrate together with a Matcha Maca Latte!
Matcha Maca Latte
Makes 1 cup
1 teaspoon matcha powder
½ teaspoon maca powder
¼ cup hot water
1-1 ½ teaspoon honey
¼ tsp vanilla extract
Pinch of sea salt
1 cup unsweetened soymilk (any milk is fine)
Put the matcha and maca into a tea strainer or fine mesh strainer, and sift into a cup. Add hot water. Mix with a traditional matcha bamboo whisk or with a small metal whisk until combined. Add the honey, vanilla, and sea salt and continue to whisk until the honey is fully dissolved.
Meanwhile heat 1 cup of soymilk or any other milk in the microwave or on the stove stop until hot but not boiling. Using an electric frother, froth the milk until a thick foam is formed.
Using a spoon hold back the foam as you pour the hot milk into your cup. Stir and then top with the foam. Enjoy!
Note: You must add the sea salt...it brightens the earthy flavors of the matcha and maca. Trust me :)
Mason R. L-Theanine Boosts Alpha Waves, Promotes Alert Relaxation. Alternative & Complementary Therapies. 2001;91-95.