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  • Writer's pictureDanielle Taylor

MATCHA MOUSSE - Spicing up life, one spoonful at a time.


 

As avocados are at their peak (read why we love us some avocados here), and the last of the warmth of the year lingers, I wanted to sneak in this recipe while the timing is just right! Matcha Mousse captures this enchanting season, the twilight of summertime as it slowly surrenders into fall. It’s literally September in each and every bite.


This chai-inspired treat is brimming with a delightful array of spices giving me an opportunity to share with you that hiding within your kitchen cabinet is a whole arsenal of health-enhancing palate pleasers.


Herbs and spices contribute intense flavors that can enhance and transform an entire dish. Little did you know that when you have been adding seasonings like cinnamon, ginger, or even black pepper to your food, you’re actually sprinkling in a little of earth’s magical fairy dust, every little spec bursting with health and wellbeing!


That’s one of the reasons why I love this recipe, the spices will deliver nourishment, not just fanciful flavors. And even though humans have likely been eating health-promoting herbs and spices for as long as they have been foraging this planet, we now have science also uncovering just how potent these wee little plant parts can be.


Let's zero-in on polyphenols and phenolic acids for just a moment, since these phytonutrients are the main characters when it comes to a lot of the goodness in these goodies. Polyphenols and phenolic acids are found in plants (including the plants we eat as food) and are particularly high-functioning antioxidants and anti-inflammatories. Herbs and spices are being shown to have high concentrations of polyphenols and phenolic acids. Amazingly, scientists have discovered that these compounds are sometimes found in higher amounts when dried, and in many cases, it appears levels don’t diminish much during cooking and digestion.


A slew of studies have been performed on various spices and herbs, that point to relationships between many of these powerful plant parts and chronic disease. An article published in the Medical Journal of Australia compiled a great summary of several typical cooking spices and herbs along with gobs of research around some of their potential health benefits. To name just a few, some of the positive effects of the tested herbs and spices have been seen in: cardiovascular disease, blood cholesterol levels, cancer, and possibly diabetes, as well as measurable improvements in circulation, inflammation, colon and gut health, and display antibacterial and antifungal properties... I’ll go ahead and stop there for now.


Herbs and spices are not typically overly-processed (especially if using fresh herbs or spices that you prepare yourself), and are mostly just dried and cut or ground down. This is likely why matcha is now understood to be so much more abundant in antioxidants than antioxidant-rich green tea (like what you find in tea bags). Not only are the tea plants moved to mature in the shade before harvest to concentrate the phytonutrient powers within the leaves, but also, the tea leaves are very minimally processed. Matcha, like many spices, comes in powder form, which means you’re consuming little tiny pieces of the plant itself, carrying all of their superpowers along with them, instead of simply drinking the water that the leaves have been steeped in.


Recent research gives insight to the substantial amounts of the cancer-fighting, and immune-system-enhancing, polyphenols that are hiding out in this unassuming green powder (or maybe I should I say, green fairy dust??). One cool finding was that the polyphenols in matcha aren’t just highly effective against free radicals, they also remove volatile carcinogens and other compounds preventing them from mutating or damaging our DNA.


As with all things wonderful, moderation is always the best practice, and matcha is no exception, as it’s caffeinated and an 8oz cup will have about 70+mg of caffeine (coffee has usually 80-120mg). Fortunately, when it comes to seasoning our dishes, moderation comes too easily since we naturally eat reasonable amounts of these strong-tasting ingredients.


So next time you are making a meal I hope you’ll now be excited to sprinkle in some of that delicious fairy dust you have stashed in your kitchen cabinets!



 

MATCHA MOUSSE


Makes about 1 cup mousse, or 1-2 servings

Gluten Free, Plant-Based, Salt Free

Prep Time: 7-10 mins (once bananas are frozen)


Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup non-dairy milk (my go to is currently vanilla Ripple)

  • 2 tsp agave syrup (or date, maple, or other sweetener, amounts may vary) *optional

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • 1 tsp matcha powder (you can usually find reasonably priced culinary quality online)

  • ½ tsp pumpkin pie spice

  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon

  • ¼ tsp ground cardamom

  • ⅛ tsp ground ginger

  • 1 frozen banana, chopped

  • ½ avocado


Get Ready:

  1. Freeze sliced banana individually in containers or bags, overnight (or at least 5-8 hours).


Get Set:

  1. Add ¼ cup non-dairy milk, 1 tsp vanilla, and 2 tsp agave (optional) to food processor first.

  2. Then add matcha and remaining spices, distributing the spices around the liquid in the bowl.

  3. Chop avocado and frozen banana into chunks for better blending. Attempt to cover liquid with a layer of the fruit (the order of these 3 steps help to prevent the spices from clouding in the processor when you turn it on).

Go!:

  1. Blend until completely smooth, typically for 30-45+ seconds, scraping sides of the bowl at least once and ensuring there are absolutely no fruit chunks left.


Serving Suggestions:

  • As a dessert, ½ cup serving size, consider topping with cacao nibs, shredded coconut, toasted chopped cashews or hazelnuts.

  • As a smoothie bowl, topping with granola, fresh strawberries, blueberries, coconut flakes, or get creative!

  • Best served cold and freshly made. Can store in the fridge for up to a few hours (do not freeze).







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