When I grew up I was deeply fascinated by books like Anne of the Green Gables and later by Jane Austen novels. At that time I dreamed of being like one of the characters from these books – ladies with refined manners, who wear long dresses, don’t let the sun touch their skins and have special afternoon tea gatherings. I imagined myself sitting in a nice parlor with my lady-friends, slowly sipping tea from delicate china cups and discussing important stuff like spices and embroidery.
Years later, I seldom wear long dresses (maybe sometimes in the summer), I definitely love the skin on my skin, but the afternoon tea gatherings with girl-friends still has that appeal from my romantic adolescent’s dreams.
And this weekend I gave my fantasy a wild run in organizing a small tea party at home for a small group of lady friends. Of course, my party had its healthy touch with a selection of raw treats but I am sure that any refined lady from the novels, would have felt great at our tea-table with the candles burning around us and the air filled with the sweet aroma of natural oils.
I chose matcha tea as a theme for our tea party. Matcha is essentially a very concentrated form of green tea. The way it’s grown and consumed means that it’s packed full of essential vitamins and minerals. Matcha tea bushes are grown under shade which dramatically increases the chlorophyll content of the leaf – this is the bright green stuff and particularly rich in antioxidants.
When you drink regular green tea, you throw away the leaves afterwards which is a bit like boiling broccoli, throwing away the broccoli and just drinking the water – you’ll get some of the nutrients, but you’re throwing away the best bit. Matcha is drunk as a fine powder diffused in liquid so you actually ingest the whole leaf, consuming every last bit of goodness.
It contains 137 times the antioxidants of regular green tea and two special amino acids called theophylline and L-theanine. Like all green tea, matcha naturally contains caffeine but, unlike coffee, it works together with the two important amino acids to give a sustained energy boost which can last 6 hours.
Green tea naturally contains polyphenols that can inhibit UV radiation-induced skin damage. It is well known that UV rays from the sun can damage and age skin and even cause skin cancer. Green tea polyphenols can be used as an effective agent for the prevention of sun induced skin disorders, helping to keep the skin looking young and beautiful.
Matcha tea is used not only for tea preparation but also in preparing sweets. On our tea party we had my raw chocolate cake with a touch of matcha tea for decoration, a raw coffee-fudge with matcha tea signs and a two-layer cashew cream with matcha tea. All this served with lots of tea and spiced up with a nice chat and a lovely afternoon mood.
Two-layered cashew cream with matcha tea
- 1 cup raw cashew, soaked for at least a couple of hours
- 1 tbs coconut oil
- 1 tbs honey
- juice of ½ lemon
- ½ cup coconut milk
- 1 tsp matcha tea
Rinse the cashew and place it in the blender. Pour in the milk and blend continuously until the mixture become smooth. Add the honey, coconut oil and lemon juice and blend to incorporate.
Divide the mixture into two bowls and add the matcha tea to one of the boils. Mix well until the tea dissolves. Pour in the green mixture into several small glasses (the number of glasses will depend on their size – I used 6 glasses of each 50 ml each). Pour above the white mixture, dust with a bit more matcha tea and keep in the fridge until serving.
- 240g or 1 small can red beans- rinsed and drained
- 1 medium mashed banana
- 3/4 cup oats husk
- ½ cup raw cocoa powder
- ½ cup cocoa butter, melted
- 1/3 cup dates
- 1 tbs honey
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- 1 tbs organic instant coffee
- 2 tbs chia seeds
- ½ cup dried fruits (e.g cherries, cranberries, etc.)
Combine all ingredients except the dried fruits and the cocoa butter in a food processor and blend until a smooth dough is formed. Pour in the cocoa butter and the dried fruit and mix to incorporate. Roll the dough into a log of approximately 5cm in diameter. Wrap in plastic and keep in the fridge for several hours to get firm. Using a sharp knife, cut the log into rounds and decorate with matcha tea.
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