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Holiday Cooking with Japanese Green Tea – 5 Simple Recipes to Try

Japanese green tea is not just for drinking — world-renowned chefs, boutique cafes, and home cooks around the world have been cooking and baking with it for years. The culinary uses are endless – you can add Japanese green tea to your holiday sweets and savory dishes, or add it to a sparkling beverage for a festive take on an everyday drink.

Let’s face it, the holidays can be a stressful time of year — especially this year. From picking the perfect gifts out for loved ones to figuring out how to make family gatherings COVID-safe for everyone, to trying to find fun and festive activities when most everything is still closed; this time of year can induce a lot of stress and anxiety.

But, pouring yourself that perfect cup of hot green tea to take a time-out is a great way to calm the mind and center yourself. Not only are you getting that much-needed cozy feeling to ease your stress and improve brain function, but you are also nourishing your body with a treat that helps boosts immunity and aid digestion. Also, cooking up some comfort food for your clan using Japanese green tea as your star ingredient is a great way to de-stress and practice mindfulness during this busy and stressful holiday season.

Simplify your mind and yourself with these easy-to-make holiday recipes using Japanese green tea…

Vanilla Banana Chia Matcha Breakfast Pudding

So much meal planning this month goes into the holiday dinners, cocktail parties, and festive events that the most important meal of the day – breakfast – gets lost in the holiday shuffle. As a modern Japanese twist on the classic “Christmas pudding,” matchaLOVE🄬, a popular Japanese green tea brand with locations nationwide, brings us Vanilla Banana Chia Matcha Breakfast Pudding to help start your day with mindfulness and get you on your holiday journey.

Ingredients:
— 1 ½ cups chilled vanilla almond milk
— 1 large, very ripe banana
— ¼ cup honey
— 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
— 6 tablespoons chia seeds
— 1 teaspoon culinary Matcha powder
— Yogurt, plain or flavored for layering
— Fresh fruit for layering, optional [Editor’s Note: A red berry, such as strawberries or raspberries, layered in with the green Matcha would give it a classic holiday feel!]

Instructions:
— Step 1: Put all the ingredients into the blender and whirl until smooth. Transfer to a bowl, cover, and refrigerate 2 hours or overnight.
— Step 2: Top with fresh berries, chopped toasted nuts, toasted coconut, granola, pumpkin seeds or whatever your heart desires.
— Step 3: You may also make this pudding into a layered parfait if you like. Spoon pudding into a serving glass, top with a layer of yogurt and fruit, top with more pudding, sprinkle with fruit and nuts and serve.

Matcha Affogato

Green, red, and gold are the colors of the season, which is why Matcha with its bright green glory is perfect for holiday recipes. Matcha Affogato is Japan’s twist on the classic coffee-based Italian dessert, which is traditionally made with espresso. This recipe comes to us from Setsugekka, a Japanese teahouse in the East Village section of New York.

Ingredients:
— 2 scoops of milk gelato (you can use vanilla ice cream, but milk gelato pairs best with Matcha)
— 3 grams of Japanese Matcha
— 20 grams of hot water at 183 ℉ (83℃)

Instructions:
— Step 1: Sieve the Matcha with a tea strainer to make a fine powder.
— Step 2: Put two scoops of milk gelato (or ice cream) into a glass bowl or any bowl you love.
— Step 3: Put 3 grams of Matcha into a katakuchi (tea bowl has a spout) bowl.
— Step 4: Pour 20 grams of hot water at 183 ℉ (83℃) into the katakuchi and blend tea and water with a Matcha tea whisk or a small regular whisk until the surface gets glittered and looks velvety.
— Step 5: Pour the thick Matcha over gelato using a small spatula, and hand it to your guest with smile.

Hot Spiced Holiday Green Tea

While nothing says the holidays like hot chocolate with marshmallows, hot cider, or mulled wine, there is another hot holiday beverage making its way to the menu this year — Hot Spiced Holiday Green Tea! It’s similar to your classic mulled wine, but with Japanese green tea instead of vino and it gives off the scents of the season too. It’s easy to make and you probably already have the ingredients in your pantry. Here’s how to make it…

Ingredients:
— 4 Japanese green tea bags (sencha is a good option)
— 4 cups boiling water
— 2 cinnamon sticks
— 2 tablespoons honey or agave syrup (to taste)
— ½ teaspoon fresh ginger root, minced
— ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
— ½ teaspoon lemon zest

Instructions:
— Step 1: Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
— Step 2: Add boiling water and let it steep for 5 minutes.
— Step 3: Strain the tea and remove the tea bags and cinnamon sticks.
— Step 4: Stir in the honey or agave.
— Step 5: Pour into a glass or mug and garnish with your choice of a cinnamon stick, wedge of lemon, and/or skewer some fresh cranberries for a pop of red. This recipe makes four 8-ounce servings.

Sparkling Japanese Green Tea

If you’re looking for something sparkling to help toast to your family and friends or to ring in the New Year this New Year’s Eve, you can swap out your typical champagne for a healthier alternative. ocha no tomizawa., an 85-year-old tea farm based in Kumamoto, Japan, offers up this sparkling green tea recipe that is refreshing, festive, and super simple to make. This recipe is courtesy of Green Tea Lab, their café which specializes in preparing green tea-infused drinks and treats!

Ingredients:
— 10 grams Japanese green tea
— 200ml carbonated water (that’s about 7/8 of a cup)

Instructions:
— Step 1: Add 10 grams of Japanese green tea into a tea pot with 5-10ml (that’s about 1-2 teaspoons of boiling water) and let it steep for 30 seconds.
— Step 2: Add about 200ml of carbonated water into the steeped teapot and drink it immediately. Use a wine glass or champagne flute to fancy it up and enjoy the flavor.

You can also enjoy the recipe with tea bags instead of the loose leaves. Please make sure to let it steep a little longer with the tea bag and follow the same instruction.

Matcha Cream Cheese Stuffed Garlic Bread

Holiday feasts are all about comfort foods, carbs, and gooey culinary delights, and nothing is more comforting than warm bread at your dinner table. This Matcha Cream Cheese Stuffed Garlic Bread recipe comes from Junbi, a boutique Matcha shop and cafe with three California locations in Westwood, Rowland Heights, and Downtown Los Angeles, which uses Japanese green tea from a 100+ year-old farm in Japan.

Ingredients for the Bread Rolls:
— 1 cup milk, warm
— 5 tablespoons sugar
— 1 packet (3 teaspoons) active dry yeast
— 3 ¾ cups bread flour
— 1 teaspoon salt
— 2 eggs
— 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
— Optional: Egg wash (1 egg + 1 tablespoon water)

Ingredients for the Sweetened Matcha Cream Cheese:
— 2 cups cream cheese, softened to room temperature
— 5 tablespoons sugar
— ¼ cup milk
— 6 cloves garlic, finely minced
— 2 teaspoons Matcha

Ingredients for the Sweet Garlic Butter:
— 1 cup unsalted butter, melted
— ½ cup parmesan cheese
— 2 bulbs (about 16-20 cloves) of garlic, minced
— 3 tablespoons condensed milk
— 1 egg
— 2 tablespoons honey
— 2 tablespoons parsley

For a full tutorial on how to prepare this recipe, check out the video above.

We hope you enjoy making these recipes for your family and friends at this most wonderful time of the year, and remember to slow down, be mindful, practice self-care, and enjoy the journey to a simpler you. Join us on our journey with Japanese Green Tea on social media: @justteayourself.

Happy Holidays!

For more information on the companies in this blog, please visit them at…

matcha LOVE®︎
— Website – https://matchalove.com/collections/matcha-powder/products/ml-culinary
— Instagram – @matchalove

Setsugekka:
— Website – https://www.setsugekkany.com/
— Instagram – @setsugekkany_matcha

ocha no tomizawa.:
— Website – https://www.ochanotomizawa.co.jp/green_tea_lab.html
— Instagram – @greentea.lab

Junbi:
— Website – https://junbishop.com/
— Instagram – @junbimatcha

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