Healthy Ingredient of the Week – Green Tea

I’ve been drinking a lot of green tea lately – and it’s not just because it’s getting colder outside.  Green tea is a nutritional powerhouse – a true superfood, if you will.  It contains extremely high levels of catechins, antioxidants that fight, and possibly even prevent, cell damage.  The catechins in green tea have also been shown to help stabilize blood sugar in diabetics and lower cholesterol and blood pressure.  Since green tea does contain caffeine (albeit in lower levels than coffee or soda), it’s best to limit your intake to less than five cups per day.   Green tea isn’t just for drinking, though – it’s also commonly found in powdered form (called matcha), which lends itself well to cooking and baking.

 Matcha- and Pistachio-Crusted Halibut

Ingredients
½ cup raw unsalted pistachios
1 ½ teaspoons matcha (green tea) powder
½ teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons dry breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted, plus more for parchment paper
½ teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
4 5-ounce skinless Pacific halibut fillets or other firm-fleshed white fish

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°.
  2. Place pistachios on a small rimmed baking sheet; toast until browned in spots, about 3 minutes. Let cool.
  3. Grind pistachios, matcha, and sugar in a food processor until nuts are coarsely chopped, about 15 seconds.
  4. Add breadcrumbs, melted butter, and lemon zest; process until combined (but not a paste), about 10 seconds. Season topping to taste with pepper.
  5. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; grease paper with butter.
  6. Season fish all over with pepper.  Pat ¼ of nut mixture evenly on top of each fillet. Place fillets on prepared sheet.   Bake until just opaque in center, 8–10 minutes.

Recipe from Bon Appetit

 

Green Tea Infused with Apples and Cinnamon

Ingredients
3 cups water
1 green tea bag
½ stalk (bottom portion) lemongrass
3 apples, peeled, cored, and chopped
1 cinnamon stick

Instructions

  1. Bring water to a gentle boil in a small saucepan.
  2. Turn off heat and add tea bag.
  3. Bruise lemongrass with the back of the blade of a chef’s knife and add it to the pan. Let steep for 30 minutes, and then pour tea through a fine-mesh sieve into a clean saucepan.
  4. Add apples and cinnamon and bring to a boil over high heat. Turn down heat and simmer until apples are fork tender, about 6 minutes.
  5. Using a slotted spoon, remove and discard cinnamon stick and apples. Pour tea into cups or mugs and serve right away.  Serves 3.

Recipe from Nature’s Market Basket magazine, November 2014, p. 19.

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