finding your perfect matcha.

check another mark for me in the “best coworker ever” column. i usually bake for my coworker friends’ birthdays and major holidays. but when i bake on a tuesday for no reason? i’m pretty great.

i recently got a pouch of kiss me organics matcha green tea powder. i love green tea lattes from starbucks but knew that i could recreate it at home for much less money and a lot less calories (no syrups, sugars, etc. here).

the bright green colour comes from using the entire tea leaf, and while the resealable pouch may look tiny, a little goes a long way. one teaspoon in your morning latte or smoothie will give you energy for hours, plus a strong flavour from the saturated powder.

we all know the benefits of green tea, and when they are amplified into an organic powder, i’ll say yes.

137x the antioxidants of brewed green tea

  • matcha green tea can only be used in a powdered form because, unlike brewed green tea, it contains the entire tea leaf which dramatically increases the nutritional content
  • antioxidants are essential as you age to boost your body’s natural defences against oxidation. researchers have found that a high level of dietary antioxidants can prevent many age-related diseases

all day energy with increased focus

  • matcha provides 4-6 hours of mild steady energy as it acts as both a stimulant and a relaxant

metabolism boost

  • consuming matcha green tea can increase thermogenesis (the body’s own rate of burning calories) from a normal 8-10% of daily energy expenditure, to between 35-43%

improved skin health

  • scientists have discovered that matcha green tea helps protect the skin from harmful uv rays, while improving blood flow and oxygen levels lifting the overall quality of the skin.

so, i’m not sure if all these benefits hold up when you mix it with sugar and flour and butter, but i’m going to believe they do, so you can, too.

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matcha white chocolate cookies

ingredients:

  • 1¾ cup all purpose flour
  • 2½ tbsp kiss me organics matcha powder
  • ⅔ cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup powder sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 egg yolks
  • ½ cup white chocolate chips

sift together flour and the matcha powder. (this matcha doesn’t clump, but my flour was a pain)
in a medium bowl, cream together the butter, powder sugar, and salt until soft and light.
add the egg yolks and beat well.
gradually add the flour and matcha powder.
fold in the white chocolate chips.
shape the dough into two round logs.
wrap the logs in plastic wrap. chill in refrigerator for several hours or overnight if you can.
preheat oven to 300 degrees. remove the dough from plastic wrap and cut into 1/4 inch thick cookies. place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
bake for 20-22 minutes, then cool on a rack.

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have you tried matcha powder? don’t you wish you were my coworker?

merry christmas bread.

merry christmas!

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for another year this magnificent piece of drift wood is our christmas tree. look familiar? it’s also the valentine’s tree.

DSC_1442i love how eclectic it becomes from the entire community decorating it. glad to see the island so properly represented with sand dollars, though. my favourite little keepsake.

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not being in Toronto for christmas has forced us to change the way we approach the holiday. our little condo has no decorations, and we’ve eliminated presents – just stockings. it’s actually pretty lovely; christmas becomes about family again. and i love this crazy little bunch.

one tradition we were able to take with us was breakfast. sister bakes the most delicious bread, and we all enjoy a hot beverage (coffee for mom and sis. tea for dad and me).

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orange-cranberry christmas bread
makes one loaf

2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
1 egg
2/3 cup milk
1/3 cup orange juice
1/3 cup melted butter/margarine
1 tablespoon orange zest
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup nuts

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preheat oven to 350 degrees.
in a medium bowl, mix flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, nuts, cranberries.
in large bowl, beat sugar and butter. add egg then milk, orange juice, and orange zest.
mix dry into wet.
pour batter into greased/greased and lined loaf pan.
bake 45-50 minutes

what are your christmas traditions?

snowstorm comfort food.

after the third major snow fall in calgary (yes, and it’s only Nov 18) happened this weekend, i boycotted my boots and down jacket and opted for movies and tea and afternoon naps.

movies of choice:

the september issue and the eye has to travel

oh yes, it was a fashion documentary marathon saturday while i wore my sweatpants and wrapped myself in an ikea blanket. i’m a crime.

all i wanted to do was order pizza, but some stupid smart little part of me decided homemade and healthy comfort food was a much better choice.

my cold saturday warmed right up with the help of sweet potato stew. it’s primarily sweet with the flavours of peanut butter and sweet potato, but this stew packs a little cayenne heat.

hearty enough to convince any carnivore they aren’t eating a vegan stew, you can cook it now and freeze it so you’re prepared for your next snowstorm.

i’m so cold – someone move me to south.

sweet potato stew

sweet potato stew
serves six

5 cups sweet potato, peeled and chopped in 1 inch pieces
2 cups white mushroom, halved
1 1/2 cups pineapple, chopped
3/4 cup dried green lentils
2 tsp coconut oil
1 1/2 cup onion, chopped
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 tsp curry powder
1 tsp ginger, grated
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
3 cups vegetable broth
1 cup fresh spinach leaves, tightly packed
1/4 cup natural peanut butter
1 tbsp lime juice

DSC_1086originally a slow cooker recipe, i altered it a bit for the stove top.

  • place sweet potato, mushrooms, pineapple and lentils in greased slow cooker/pot.
  • heat coconut oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. add onion and cook for five minutes stirring often until softened. add tomato paste, curry powder, ginger, cayenne and garlic. stir until fragrant, about one minute.
  • add one cup of broth and stir until boiling. carefully transfer to slow cooker/pot. add remaining two cups of broth.
  • in slow cooker – cook, covered, on low for 6 to 7 hours or high for 3 to 3.5 hours.
  • in pot – cook, covered, over medium heat for 1.5-2 hours. stirring occasionally.
  • when the sweet potato softens and mixture reaches a stew-like consistency, it is done. stir in peanut butter and fresh spinach, allowing the heat of the stew to wilt the spinach.

serve hot on it’s own, over brown rice, or a bed of fresh spinach for extra greens. left overs can be stored in the freezer for up to three months.


have you had your first snowfall yet? what are your favourite cold weather comfort foods?