Meal Replacement Matcha Smoothie

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MEAL REPLACEMENT MATCHA SMOOTHIE is loaded with superfoods, quality protein and a modest amount of fruit-and it's absolutely delicious. You need not be a matcha fan to love this  smoothie!

A deliciously filling meal replacement that’s loaded with superfoods and quality protein-plus it’s perfectly sweet but the sugars are kept in check. You don’t need to like matcha to love this smoothie! 💚

 

 

You may THINK you’re not a matcha fan, or perhaps you’ve never tried it. (But stay with me!) This vibrantly green smoothie has won over many friends, my kids and even a few of their friends.

I had a few primary goals when creating this smoothie. The first-and somewhat obvious-is that it had to taste great. Given the next goal I will mention, I wanted this to be utterly crave-able…a smoothie that I would truly look forward to making for myself regularly.

That other somewhat lofty goal? I wanted this smoothie to function as a satisfying meal replacement (sip-able or spoonable as per preference) that delivered an abundance of good-for-us superfoods and quality protein, all the while keeping sugars in check.

This would be the way to consume magical ingredients like anti-oxidant-loaded matcha (more on matcha further down) and heart-healthy almonds while inching closer to our recommended servings of leafy greens!

After mastering the basic recipe, this smoothie could also provide a way to experiment with optional powerhouse ingredients that you may have heard a buzz about, like collagen, spirulina or frozen cauliflower. (I’ve tried all of them and more…details follow!)

This would be the go-to smoothie that could be blended at a moment’s notice with easy-to-stock, wholesome ingredients that tasted great!

Truly, the only unusual ingredient you’ll likely have to buy is the matcha or one of the products that blend matcha with protein-rich collagen. If you try, I’m betting that you’ll love it for the taste and how good it makes you feel. Given the stellar ingredient list, this smoothie could also serve as a natural elixir as cold and flu season nears.

So what’s all the buzz about matcha?

If you’ve been to a cafe in the past few years, you’re likely familiar with this trendy green powder. In simple terms, matcha powder is a highly concentrated form of green tea. Significantly, the green tea we normally drink flavors the water and then the leaves are removed.

Matcha powder is actually the ground leaves, so when used, we consume all those healthy antioxidants for which it’s so highly regarded. Among other attributes, studies have show that matcha prevents tumor formation and lowers the risk for certain cancers, that it has strong anti-infective properties and may increase metabolism, reduce anxiety and boost brain function. (Source)

Some studies claim that dairy lessens some of the antioxidants’ positive effects, so pairing matcha with a plant-based milk like almond or coconut may be beneficial. Smoothies and hot and iced lattes are other great ways to enjoy matcha. For those who are sensitive, note that matcha does contain caffeine.

Matcha with collagen

Matcha: what to buy?

I often use Vital Proteins’ matcha powder with collagen (the collagen supplies 10 grams of protein with no perceptible taste), although I’ve used Collagen for Her’s matcha collagen, and they are both quality sources. Vital Proteins is easier to find in stores. Optionally, good quality matcha powder (that is to say only the ground tea, no collagen) may be used to. I purchase mine at Lancaster Central Market, although it’s widely available. For best flavor, look for a premium or ceremonial grade tea that is bright green.

MEAL REPLACEMENT MATCHA SMOOTHIE is loaded with superfoods, quality protein and a modest amount of fruit-and it's absolutely delicious. You need not be a matcha fan to love this  smoothie!

My sons, John ⇩⇩ and Christian, have become such fans of this smoothie that, when everyone is home, I triple the recipe-which verges on overburdening my blender! (The tamper, which allows me to stir while blending, helps. If your blender has one of these, it’s equally useful to keep things circulating when blending small batches.)

Neither Christian nor John actually liked matcha until this smoothie, by the way. I’ve also had several friends come over for a lunchtime smoothie. None of them had been particular fans of matcha to this point, but all returned for more!

Matcha smoothies!

Good to the last drop!

Making a healthier, meal-worthy smoothie:

As mentioned, I’ve been focusing on making smoothies with a stellar nutritional profile. I’ve always been a believer that healthy and delicious are not mutually exclusive terms when it comes to food. That said, smoothies can be a vehicle for lots of sugar and not much else. True, most of the sugars are from healthy foods like fruit, but balancing wholesome fruits with vegetables, healthy fats and protein is even better.

For those who appreciate nutritional stats, I have included them below the recipe. When developing this smoothie, I played around with various ingredients to see how they would impact the numbers. Interestingly enough, adding 1 cup of mango (which would likely taste wonderful in this smoothie) brought the total sugars up to nearly 50 grams for the single, large serving option. Using apple juice, for example, in place of the unsweetened milk I ultimately used, would raise the sugars another 15 grams. Milk, by the way, also adds creaminess, and depending on what variety used, calcium and protein.

With the low sugar goal in mind, I’ve been experimenting a lot lately. One attempt at a no-fruit smoothie was…well…fruitless. I’ll eat or drink almost anything, but this was verging on unpalatable. I ultimately tried to salvage it by adding-you guessed it-fruit!

In the end, I decided to take the best of what I learned and incorporate that into smoothies that are balanced and delicious. When trying to get more nutritious bang for your smoothie buck, I recommend starting with a tried-and-true smoothie recipe and, if desired, adding small amounts of worthy ingredients, like the ones detailed below.

 

SUPER FOOD SMOOTHIE OPTIONS YOU MAY WISH TO TRY:

Cauliflower: First off, for those who’ve heard the buzz about adding frozen cauliflower to a smoothie, it really does work. For those who wish to try, I find it best to limit it to ½ cup of frozen florets. If not frozen, the cruciferous quality of raw cauliflower will likely be too pervasive. (If you freeze yourself rather than purchasing it that way, you’ll have to blanch it first.)  While the frozen florets will add creaminess, keep in mind that they won’t provide sweetness; so using it in place of a banana, for example, will be noticeable more for what is lacking. When first trying frozen cauliflower in a smoothie, I suggest simply adding it without subtracting other ingredients. (To match the consistency, however, you may want to add a little more liquid or a little less ice.) This simple addition will supply a host of healthy nutrients with virtually no calories.

Zucchini: Some people add this summertime garden favorite with the same goals in mind: provide added nutrients and thickness with minimal taste. For best results, use fresh zucchini that has been chopped and frozen. As with frozen cauliflower, start with no more than ½ cup until you decide if it’s something you enjoy.

Beets: These root veggies supply a gorgeous pink hue to a smoothie and add natural sweetness, too. My son likes berry smoothies, so I sometimes keep a bag of frozen, sliced beets in the freezer and add a few slices to his smoothies. They balance tart fruits like raspberries and  beautifully intensify the color of any red or pink smoothie. Again, a little goes a long way, so just add a couple of slices to start.

Carrots: Similarly, cooked and frozen carrots enhance the color of smoothies with ingredients like mango and orange while supplying high levels of beta-carotene and other anti-oxidants.

Avocado: This light green addition supplies loads of creaminess and healthy fats and may be used fresh or frozen. For added convenience, bags of peeled and frozen avocado chunks can now be found in the freezer aisle of some grocery stores.

Baby spinach: A true smoothie star, this super healthy leafy green ramps up nutrition in a big way while supplying a pretty green hue-unless it’s added to a smoothie with red or pink undertones, in which case you’ll end up with a color akin to swamp water. Rest assured, your smoothie will still taste good, as the flavor of even a cup or more of baby spinach is hard to detect. Kale is a worthy alternative that, depending on the variety, may supply a slightly more obvious taste. I typically add these greens fresh, but frozen works well, too.

Spirulina:  In layman’s terms, this dark green, concentrated powder is blue-green algae, and it’s packed with with nutrients and antioxidants that are believed to be good for body and brain. Among other impressive qualities, spirulina is thought to reduce inflammation, lower “bad” cholesterol and blood pressure, protect against cancer, aid in blood sugar control and improve muscle strength and endurance. (Source and more information: healthline.com)

Dates: Though dates do have natural sugars, using them in place of liquid sweeteners provides added vitamins and minerals and a mild molasses-like flavor. I recommend Medjool dates-just make sure to remove the pits before blending!

Cacao, hemp seeds, chia seeds, flax meal and maca are other super smoothie additions that can be added sparingly. For more information about these ingredients (and for a few more ideas yet) you can read more here.

 

Best tip for perfect smoothies every single time:

Use a kitchen scale! (I use this one and love it.) Not only does a scale make quick work whipping up a smoothie, it allows you to dump ingredients straight into your blended with the benefit of precision. That is to say, when you find a smoothie you like, you can replicate it every single time thereafter. You’ll be surprised how easy it is to tailor your smoothie to your ideal thickness, creaminess, sweetness, etc. My son recently commented on how good the “quality control” is when using the scale.

 

MEAL REPLACEMENT MATCHA SMOOTHIE is loaded with superfoods, quality protein and a modest amount of fruit-and it's absolutely delicious. You need not be a matcha fan to love this  smoothie!

This might just be our favorite smoothie of all time!

Meal Replacement Matcha Smoothie
Yield: 1 large or 2 smaller servings (16+ ounces total)
A deliciously filling sip-able (or spoonable) meal that's loaded with superfoods and quality protein. You don't need to like matcha to love this smoothie!
Ingredients
  • ⅔ cup (160ml) unsweetened milk of choice (for sip-able instead of spoonable consistency, use ¾ cup/180ml)
  • 1 frozen banana (120g), cut into chunks
  • 1 tablespoon each almond butter (16g) and powdered peanut butter (6g) (or simply use 2 tablespoons of your preferred nut butter*)
  • 2 teaspoons matcha powder or 1 scoop (13g) matcha with collagen (like Vital Proteins Matcha with collagen or Collagen for Her matcha)
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large Medjool dates, pitted**
  • 1 cup (1 ounce) fresh baby spinach (I often up this to 1½ cups)
  • 1 cup (6 ounces) ice
  • Optional: ½ scoop (11g) protein powder (I often use Bob’s Red Mill’s vanilla)
Instructions

Place all of the ingredients except the ice in the blender in the order mentioned and blend until smooth. (Helpful hints: If you add the matcha powder and other dry ingredients after the milk they won’t get gunked up under the blade. Also, adding the spinach last prevents the powder from flying up and sticking to the lid.)

Add the ice, blend again until very smooth and creamy, scraping down the sides as needed. Pour into a glass (or two) and enjoy!

Notes

*You may use regular peanut butter in place of the powdered (like PB2) or use 2 tablespoons almond butter – or even cashew butter. The combination simply provides a hint of extra flavor and, for those who are tracking, the powdered peanut butter supplies protein while keeping the fat and calories in check.

**Dates provide a lovely flavor and natural sweetness, but you could substitute honey, agave or maple syrup to taste. Also, if your dates aren’t soft, simply soak them in hot water for 10-15 minutes and then drain before using. Lastly, if using a different variety of date, you may find you need 4 or so to match the size and resulting flavor of Medjool dates.

One more thing: Though it may sound counterintuitive, a pinch of salt is an optional way to enhance the sweetness in a smoothie.

The Fountain Avenue Kitchen https://fountainavenuekitchen.com/

matcha latte

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Comments

  1. Jen W

    I’m local and buy and LOVE my matcha from Kari’s Tea Bar at Central Market! Her matcha/matcha lattes are SO SO SO good that nothing I’ve had anywhere has compared 🙂 We’re lucky to have her as a local resource! Can’t wait to try this smoothie!

    Reply
    1. Ann Post author

      Thanks so much for mentioning, Jen! I will stop by her stand when I go to Market on Saturday – and hope you love this smoothie as much as we do!

      Reply
    1. Ann Post author

      Hi Nick, The combination of ingredients in this smoothie really supplies a substantial amount of protein. The matcha with collagen contributes about 9 grams. Hope you enjoy!

      Reply