Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Orange Banana Matcha Smoothie

Yum
Orange Banana Matcha Smoothie - refreshing and bright

Zen ~ "A state of focus that incorporates a toghetherness of body and mind.  Zen is a way of being.  It's also a state of mind.  Zen involves dropping illusion and seeing things without distortion created by your own thoughts."
~ Urban Dictionary

Oh how I could use a bit of zen in my daily life.  With multiple schedules vying for my attention, a dog wanting a walk, errands and household chores to be done, meals to be made and a husband asking if I want to go to lunch, my mind often finds itself overwhelmed and in desperate need of focus.  

And that's how I expect Rebekah, of Making Miracles, must feel sometimes as well.  Making Miracles with her own family as well as spreading love to others, Rebekah also finds time to keep her blog filled with recipes.  And it was those recipes I perused to fulfill this month's Blogger C.L.U.E. Assignment of "Healthy".  Piquing my interest??  Rebekkah's refreshing Orange Matcha Smoothie.

Health Benefits of Matcha
A new find for me in 2016, matcha simply exudes health.  Definitely not a new product as green tea dates back some 5,000 years and is described as "so precious it could only be of royal origins promoting health in mind and body." ~ The Way of Matcha, but new to my kitchen and I'm ever so happy.

Thankfully matcha now finds itself available to us common folk as well as those royals, and a quick click of the mouse will have Amazon sending you an organic Japanese version in under 48 hours.

But what makes matcha healthy?  First off -  antioxidants.  Lots of them, and some special ones at that.  Apparently in the antioxidant world, catechins make up some of the most powerful antioxidants, and one in particular - the epigallocatechin gallate (EGCg) - makes up some 60% of matcha's catechins.  Known for its cancer fighting properties, EGCg definitely fills that healthy bill.

In addition, matcha brings health to the mind with its calming yet focusing effects. Long used by Chinese Daoists and Zen Buddhists, matcha green tea allows one to relax while still remaining alert.  Known to enhance mood, improve memory and increase concentration, matcha shows a picture of health.

Covered during the last few weeks of growth the tea leaves are deprived of light, thereby causing a tremendous increase in chlorophyll production in the new growth and thereby bringing matcha is brilliant green hues.  With those high amounts of chlorophyll matcha adds detox abilities to its already amazing resume.  Removing heavy metals and chemical toxins from the body, matcha is more than just "zen".

Orange Banana Matcha Smoothie - refreshing and bright
Have I convinced you on matcha yet?  My husband actually convinced me weeks ago when he sent articles on matcha and proceeded to order an organic culinary (made for adding to foods, not for making tea) grade all on his own - not something he normally does.  But what to do with it?

Thanks to Rebekkah and my dad's orange crop (he dropped a Trader Joe's sized bag of the fruit on my doorstep a few days ago!) we now have a new regular smoothie in our repertoire.  Refreshing with bright orange and green tea flavors, the smoothie finds its creaminess from frozen banana.

Sighing as I slowly sipped, I closed my eyes wroking on the schedule for the busy day in front of me.  Feeling amazingly calm the schedule somehow seemed manageable.  

Perhaps it was the additional focus and concentrating power of the tea, or maybe it was just the fact I was home alone with a puppy on my lap and a fabulous smoothie in front of me... whichever, it was that Matcha Smoothie that put me into a zen state of mind.  You'll find me sipping another tomorrow.

Now join me as we focus on the rest of our Blogger C.L.U.E. Group to explore even more healthy offerings from around the world!
  
   
  • Apricot Muffins by Azmina from Lawyer Loves Lunch
  •    
  • Broccoli Stalk Feta Salad by Stacy from Food Lust People Love
  •    
  • Citrus Shrimp by Lauren from Sew You Think You Can Cook
  •    
  • Couscous with Chicken and Vegetables by Sue from A Palatable Pastime
  •    
  • Ginger-Citrus Grilled Salmon by Kathy from A Spoonful of Thyme
  •    
  • Irish Seafood Cocktail by Kate from Kate's Kitchen
  •    
  • Massaged Kale Salad by Anna from annaDishes
  •    
  • Mediterranean Chopped Salad by Christy from Confessions of a Culinary Diva
  •    
  • Middle Eastern Vegetable Salad by Christiane from Taking on Magazines
  •    
  • Orange Banana Matcha Smoothie by Kim from Liv Life
  •    
  • Red Lion Inn Swordfish by Lea Ann from Cooking on the Ranch
  •    
  • Roasted Carrots and Cauliflower (with a kick) by Debra from Eliot's Eats
  •    
  • Sophie's Chopped Salad by Rebekah from Making Miracles
  •    
  • Thai Salad with Peanut Dressing by Liz from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
  •    
  • White Bean Chili by Lisa from Authentic Suburban Gourmet
  •    
  • Winter Salad of Roasted Beets, Avocado and Grapefruit by Wendy from A Day in the Life on the Farm



  • Orange Banana Matcha Smoothie Bowl
    Don't want your smoothie in a cup?  Turn it into a Smoothie Bowl topped with extra goodies like sliced banana, frozen blueberries, granola, seeds and nuts.

    Orange Banana Matcha Smoothie
    Bringing a bit of zen into your morning, this refreshing, emerald hued smoothie finds creaminess from frozen banana and a brightness from a fresh orange.  Want more than a smoothie?  Turn the base into a brilliant smoothie bowl topped with your favorite goodies!

    1 whole orange, peeled and seeded, and cut in half or quarters
    1 frozen banana, cut into small chunks
    1/4 cup organic coconut water (add more if smoothie is too thick)
    1/2 tsp organic matcha powder (we used Jade Leaf - Organic Japanese Matcha Green Tea Powder, Classic Culinary Grade from Amazon)
    1/4-1/2 cup ice cubes

    Place all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.  Depending on the juiciness of your ornage you may need to add more coconut water to thin.

    Pour into a tall glass and enjoy!  Makes one smoothie.  Double, triple, etc as needed.

    Liv Life Note:  Matcha Powder comes in either culinary or ceremonial grades.  Ceremonial grade is meant for whisking and drinking as a tea, where culinary grade is meant for blending in to baked goods and drinks such as smoothies and lattes.  The Jade Leaf brand my husband found is organic from Japan and grown on the Nagata Chaen farm near the city of Uji with matcha history dating back to the 13th century.  Note, we have not been paid or given samples of this matcha - we purchased it ourselves and very much like it!

     
      

    29 comments:

    1. Now that is healthy! I haven't heard of Matcha. Thank you for the info!

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      1. Kate... I'm totally addicted! Loving matcha!

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    2. Very informative post, thank yous! I could definitely use some Matcha in my life.

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      1. I know, right? You're welcome Lauren!

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    3. I need to get onboard with macha, too! your smoothie sounds perfect for when I need a mid-day pick me up!!!

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    4. So glad you tried this one - I love using matcha in an energizing and refreshing smoothie. I haven't had one in too long. I could definitely use that zen moment lately. :)

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    5. Glorious! Yeah, I could use a few of those zen moments in my life. I'm not a tea fan, but if it's used this way, I think I'd really enjoy a matcha smoothie (or three). :)

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      1. Glorious indeed! Bring on the zen :)

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    6. I think we all need some zen moments in our lives and I thank you for giving us the secret formula

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      1. I know I do Wendy.. .it's too good not to share!

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    7. Great info and great smoothie!!!!! Happy healthy eating in 2016!

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      1. Thanks Debra. Happy healthy eating to you too!

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    8. I haven't tried matcha in a smoothie yet, but now I think I must. I love the flavors in this recipe! Can't wait to try it!

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      1. Give it a go and let me know what you think!

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    9. I love a great smoothie! So healthy and tasty. I have not worked with matcha yet and now you have me intrigued. Great choice!

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      1. I'm smoothie obsessed right about now!

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    10. The first thing I thought of when I read this post was, maybe the babies would be willing to drink smoothies for breakfast? And then I thought, meh, if they don't drink them, I will because these look super good :)

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    11. Love the color in addition to all the healthy benefits!

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    12. I have Matcha and I have bananas, and now a new breakfast smoothie to try! Happy New Year!

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    13. I love matcha and use the same brand! This smoothie looks refreshing!

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      1. Refreshing indeed!! We were so happy with this matcha.

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    14. I'm so glad you've shared a yummy way to use matcha. I had it awhile back as tea and must confess I shuddered. This, however, sounds much, much better. :-)

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      1. I've heard taking it as a straight tea takes a bit of getting used to, especially if you are not a green tea drinker. I haven't tried it that way yet... working my way there!

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    15. Hi Kim, you've not just convinced me on drinking more Matcha due to its healthy benefits (I've had a mental note to drink more green tea this year) but I like the look and sound of this smoothie! You're family are so lucky to have you whizzing up all sorts of healthy variations for breakfast alone. Love and hugs to you all from a sunny Paris!

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