You may have heard that it’s beneficial to drink green tea. Maybe you’ve even heard that green tea is an elixir of health. After all, green tea is widely studied for its antioxidant characteristics and its role in detoxification and reducing inflammation. Matcha green tea, specifically, is a finely powdered green tea product that is sometimes thought of as superior to other green teas. It’s pretty widely available these days, so check your favorite grocery or tea shop, or order online. In this recipe, we combine matcha green tea with another health-promoting superstar, the chia seed.
Chia seeds quickly became popular in the United States after the 2011 publication of a book that highlighted their traditional role as a true “superfood”. And super, they are, particularly for the digestive system. One tablespoon of chia seeds has 60 calories and
boasts five grams of dietary fiber. For reference, men are recommended to eat 38 grams of fiber daily, and 25 grams is the recommendation for women.
Dietary fiber has many roles in the body and participates in both stimulating bowel movements and bulking stools. For more information on fiber, see the post, Fiber: Why It’s Important and How to Make Sure You’re Eating Enough. In addition to fiber, chia seeds are also a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, protein, calcium, and magnesium.
If you’ve never eaten chia seeds, this recipe is a good way to try them out, especially if you like the flavor of green tea. And if you already know you like both chia seeds and green tea, make this recipe immediately. This green tea chia pudding is refreshing and satisfying, with a hint of sweetness. It’s perfect as a dessert, snack, or breakfast. Top it with fruit, granola, or other nuts and seeds to make it even more filling and satisfying.
Green Tea Chia Pudding
Time: 10 minutes to prepare; 30+ minutes to chill
Yield: 2 ½ cups; 2-4 servings
1/2 cup chia seeds
2 teaspoons matcha (green tea powder)
2 cups milk of choice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-2 tablespoons real maple syrup (or another sweetener of choice)
In a small jar (or another container) with a tight-fitting lid, combine chia seeds and green tea powder. Shake for a few seconds to combine. This will help keep clumps from forming in the pudding. Transfer matcha chia mixture to a medium bowl.
Add milk, vanilla, and maple syrup to the bowl. Combine all ingredients by stirring with a
whisk. Stir vigorously so that clumps don’t form, and make sure to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl well so that all ingredients are combined.
Chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes prior to serving. This will allow chia seeds to absorb liquid and form a gel. The longer the mixture is chilled, the more pudding-like it will become. After 30 minutes it will still be a little runny, and it should be fully set after several hours. Leftovers will keep in the refrigerator for up to a week.
The best opportunity for varying this recipe comes with the toppings. Fruits that pair well
with matcha are blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, pomegranate, peaches, and papaya, but the options are really endless. Chopped, fresh mint can be sprinkled on top too, or a drop or two of the mint extract can be added to the pudding mixture.
This recipe contains protein, fat, and carbohydrate, so it promotes fullness and won’t cause any blood sugar spikes. Chia seeds offer vitamins and minerals, as does milk used to make the pudding. Green tea is gently stimulating (one cup contains about half the caffeine of a cup of coffee) and additionally contains L-Theanine, an amino acid that’s been shown to promote calmness and reduce stress.