It’s January and I’ve been searching for a little post-holiday boost to support my New Year’s healthy habits, help bolster my immunity, and jumpstart my mornings with wholesome, herbal energy. My quick and easy recipe for Lemongrass-Mint Matcha Chai Latte is a warm mug full of green goodness that makes winter so much more bearable. I’m such a hot beverage addict that my husband jokingly likes to say I’m “cold-blooded,” but I beg to differ – I’m as wholesomely sweet as this nutrient-packed drink!
I love the aromatic flavor and “bite” of the Indian spices, like cardamom, pepper, cinnamon, and cloves used in a classic Masala Chai. This beverage is traditionally made with black tea, but I like to swap in traditional green tea or my new favorite tea, matcha. Matcha is a ceremonial Japanese green tea made by mixing powdered green tea leaves into water or milk rather than steeping whole leaves. Matcha is considered a SUPER superfood, packed with an incredible abundance of antioxidants to help protect and optimize overall wellness. Matcha also provides a gentle surge of energy, but with much less caffeine (and subsequent crash) that comes with black tea or brewed coffee. I’d rather not tout the health claims and research myself, instead Google “matcha” and, after reading a bit, you’ll surely want to give this green drink a try.
Lemongrass and mint are not only wonderful flavors alone, but a very pleasant pairing in this matcha tea recipe. Both are also considered “detoxing” herbs and, among other beneficial perks, can aid in digestion, perk up your mood and clear away congestion cause by common colds or allergies. Again, Google. Since fresh lemongrass and mint can sometimes be hard to find, especially in the winter season, Instantly Fresh Herbs from Litehouse Foods are a lifesaver! These freeze-dried herbs can stay in my pantry until I’m ready for use and I don’t have to worry about keeping an indoor garden alive or spoilage in my produce bin.
The powers of matcha are best extracted when not overheated, so remember to gently bring milk to a warm but not boiling temperature before stirring in matcha powder, and chai spices. The next step is to add and Instantly Fresh Mint and dried (or even better – fresh!) lemongrass to a tea infuser and drop in the warm mixture to steep for 2 to 3 minutes. If you don’t have a tea diffuser, simply bundle up the dehydrated herbs in a cone coffee filter or little piece of reusable cheesecloth.
Finally, sweeten to your satisfaction. Chai teas are typically served moderately sweet and coconut (palm) sugar and honey are great choices if you are active and need the extra calories to burn through the day. However, when I’m being mindful of my carbohydrate intake, I use a natural, low-cal sweetener like stevia or monk sugar. Enjoy!