Matcha Mint Chip Smoothie
I’ve been a coffee girl for as long as I can remember. Ever since I first smelled the glorious coffee roasted perfumes of Gloria Jean’s Coffee Shop in the mall, I’ve been head over heels with coffee. Of course, back in those days I got started off on Frappuccino’s (oy vey), but I eventually worked my way up to the good stuff.
Living in Italy and traveling all throughout Europe solidified my love of the coffee bean. Rich, pungent espressos in Italy, strong Irish coffee in Dublin, and perfectly creamy lattes in Paris are cultural interactions that I couldn’t find myself passing up. I’ve most certainly had coffee everywhere I’ve traveled to in the world, which is such a little anthropological food study in itself. I’ll spare you my anthro nerd-ism, and instead introduce you to how I first fell in love with matcha tea.
While living in Thailand, I was hard pressed to find good coffee that wasn’t overly sugared and sweetened with condensed milk in the small town I taught English in. Without my coffee fix, I turned to tea instead to get some necessary caffeine when I needed a bit of perking up while lesson planning or spending time relaxing in my favorite little traveler’s cafe. Ordering tea, however, was never as simple as I hoped, and I often ended up getting some sort of tea substance that was halfway delicious and halfway bizarre. After many trial and errors, and the extreme patience of the coffee shop’s Thai speaking workers, I finally found the right tea for me. A green tea, matcha, that hadn’t been tainted with condensed milk or sweetened up the wazoo with sugar. Simple, pure, earthy, delectably green matcha tea.
When I went to Chiang Mai with my friends for New Year’s, I remember drinking a matcha tea that was mind-blowingly good. It was more shake-like than tea, and studded with fresh mint leaves. Of course, it wasn’t the healthiest way to drink matcha tea – but it was still a perfectly acceptable Thai treat. This smoothie is my little play off the Chiang Mai matcha shake. It’s still green and bursting with matcha’s amazing superfood abilities – like its high antioxidant content and chlorophyll detoxifying powers, but its sweetened instead with ripe banana and made creamy and delicious with avocado and almond milk. Fresh mint leaves give this smoothie the brightest, freshest taste while raw cacao nibs are a bit of a play off mint chocolate chip ice cream. Everything blended up together creates the thickest, most decadent smoothie that will energize you for hours.
Even though I’m still a coffee girl at heart, matcha has forever changed my outlook on tea, and this smoothie is one of my all time favorite ways to enjoy it. I hope you love this one!
Matcha Mint Chip Smoothie
1 ripe banana, frozen
1 tablespoon matcha
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1-2 sprigs of fresh mint
A big handful of spinach
1 cup vanilla almond milk, unsweetened
1 heaping tablespoon cacao nibs
Combine all the ingredients, except for the cacao nibs, in a blender and blend until smooth and creamy. Add in the cacao nibs and blend for one second more. Pour into a glass and enjoy!