You've probably spotted Hulk-hued sweets all over social media and at your local cafe. Given the numerous benefits green tea boasts, it's no surprise: Mixing in or sprinkling some green tea powder onto your favorite desserts is a great way to give treats a nutritious-yet-delicious twist.
Green tea is most well-known for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties: It contains catechins and epicatechins, which are compounds found in flavonoids, a group of plant chemicals that are linked to fighting inflammation and helping combat arterial plaque buildup, according to Harvard Health Publishing.
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What's more, green tea may also help improve your cholesterol levels, according to a June 2018 study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association. Researchers observed that tea helped slow the age-related decrease in HDL (good) cholesterol levels, especially in people aged 60 or older. And get this: A meta-analysis of over 100,000 people found that green tea is tied to enjoying more heart disease-free years, per January 2020 research in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology.
Besides brewing a cup, try whipping up some matcha dessert recipes to get the benefits.
1. Matchaccino Yogurt Shake
A tasty green tea twist on your favorite espresso drink, this sip totals 136 calories and makes for a great post-workout beverage with about 25 grams of protein and 10 grams of carbohydrates.
The Matchaccino — a matcha and cappuccino hybrid — gets its thick creaminess from the Greek yogurt base, which may also give your gut health a boost. When eaten regularly, yogurt can help improve the diversity of your friendly gut bacteria, which helps bolster your gut microbiome, according to a March 2017 study published in Microorganisms.
Get the Matchaccino Yogurt Shake recipe and nutrition info here.
2. Brownie Bites With Matcha Dust
Pairing chocolate and matcha tea gives these brownies a unique flavor. This dessert takes about an hour to prepare and is only about 153 calories per two-brownie serving. If you decide to cut these into hearts — as the recipe recommends — they also make for the perfect homemade gift!
With a dusting of matcha, these brownies are the perfect comfort food, literally: Matcha may have some stress-reducing abilities, according to an October 2018 study published in Nutrients. Researchers found that matcha is linked to lowered anxiety, depending on how much caffeine is present in the tea.
Get the Brownie Bites With Matcha Dust recipe and nutrition info here.
3. Matcha Latte With Almond Milk and Honey
If you like coffee for dessert, this matcha latte is right up your alley. The warm beverage clocks in at only 99 calories per serving and takes only about three minutes to prepare.
You may think of coffee as being the number one beverage for caffeine but green tea, especially matcha, will also give you an energy boost. The caffeine in green tea can help nix fatigue, making you feel more alert and focused, according to the Mayo Clinic. However, you'll want to watch your matcha intake if you're generally caffeine-sensitive.
Get the Matcha Latte With Almond Milk and Honey recipe and nutrition info here.
If you're a fan of the iconic Oreo, this recipe is a great green-tea-flavored alternative. These low-fat cookies require about 45 minutes to prepare and call for quite a few ingredients, so be sure to check for everything on the list before you begin baking.
These cookies are 100-percent whole grain, making them quite a bit healthier than many of the refined-grain options on the market. Whole grains are high in nutrients like fiber, iron and magnesium, according to the Whole Grains Council, and they even contain some antioxidants that veggies don't!
Get the Mint-Matcha 'Oreo' Cookies recipe and nutrition info here.
5. Matcha-Ginger Avo-Truffles
Made with avocado, matcha and ginger, these truffles are the ultimate healthy dessert. Unlike most chocolate truffles, these are low in sugar and high in healthy fats, totaling about 244 calories per two-truffle serving.
Thanks to the avocado in this recipe, this dessert is high in unsaturated, heart-healthy fat. Monounsaturated fat is tied to regulating and maintaining your cholesterol levels and helping to lower your risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke.
Get the Matcha-Ginger Avo-Truffles recipe and nutrition info here.
Read more: Health Benefits of Green Tea With Lemon
- Harvard Health Publishing: "Flavonoids: The Secret to Health Benefits of Drinking Black and Green Tea?"
- Journal of the American Heart Association: "Tea Consumption and Longitudinal Change in High‐Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol Concentration in Chinese Adults"
- Microorganisms: "Effects of Dietary Yogurt on the Healthy Human Gastrointestinal (GI) Microbiome"
- Nutrients: "Stress-Reducing Function of Matcha Green Tea in Animal Experiments and Clinical Trials"
- Mayo Clinic: "Caffeine: How Much is Too Much?"
- Whole Grains Council: "Whole Grains 101"
- European Journal of Preventive Cardiology: "Tea consumption and the risk of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease and all-cause mortality: The China-PAR project"