Friday, January 19, 2018

Which Matcha Is Better? {Comparing Two Brands}

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How My Matcha Obsession Began

The first time I ever even heard of matcha was probably back in 2006 when I tried that deliciously beautiful green tea frappuccino at Starbucks. The one with the blackberry syrup swirled on top of a giant pile of whipped cream. Oh goodness, that was yummy.

And so began my love of matcha green tea. My daughter followed suit when she got a little older, but we only consumed matcha in frappuccino form. Not often. Because expensive and loaded with sugar and fat! But, oh so tasty. :)

Well, for the past year my 12-year-old daughter has entered the wonderful world of baking. We even collaborate on a baking/desserts board on Pinterest. Anyway, a few months ago she asked me if I'd get some matcha so she could make some of the matcha food she'd been pinning.

Woo, I wasn't prepared for the price when I looked for matcha in stores. So, I turned to Amazon and bought a 1 oz. bag of Organic Japanese Matcha by Jade Leaf Organics for $9.95. I figured it would be enough for the baking my daughter wanted to do.


Jade Leaf Matcha Green Tea Powder - USDA Organic, Authentic Japanese Origin - Classic Culinary Grade (Smoothies, Lattes, Baking, Recipes) - Antioxidants, Energy [30g Starter Size]

So, that's how my (and my daughter's) matcha obsession began, which led to my first matcha purchase. :)

What My Daughter Made with Jade Leaf Matcha

Homemade matcha donut = DELICIOUS!


Matcha Cookies = pretty good. I liked the donuts much better, though. (My daughter said she liked the cookies better.)

*My daughter found both recipes on Pinterest.

Trying Out Another Matcha Brand

Not long after I started posting my daughter's matcha creations on Instagram, I received an email from this company asking if I'd like to try their Classic & Premium Organic Matcha Green Tea Powder. Due to the amazing discount they offered me on the 4 oz. package, I couldn't refuse!

(Disclaimer: even though I was asked to share honest feedback about the product, I was not asked to write a blog post. I'm sharing here because I want to.)




Classic & Premium Organic Matcha Green Tea Powder 113g(4oz)|USDA Certified Organic Premium Culinary Grade|Great for Tea and Baked Goods|All Natural,Premium Quality,No Sugar Added.

What We Made with Classic & Premium Organic Matcha


Rey's Portion Bread (Matcha Green Tea Microwave Mug Cake) Yummy and fun! (My daughter followed this youtube recipe.)




Matcha Smoothie made with my NutriBullet Pro - 9 pc- I added frozen pineapple, frozen mango, frozen banana, nuts, almond butter, spinach, coconut chips, almond coconut milk, and water. Wasn't bad, but I prefer using cherries, blueberries, red or black grapes, and bananas as my go-to fruit.


Matcha Green Tea Latte - made mine with almond coconut milk, water, honey, and vanilla. Adding a dash of nutmeg is delicious, too. Very yummy - have made several times. :)


Matcha Green Tea Energy Bites - I don't have a food processor, so these didn't turn out as smooth. They were difficult to assemble, too. The taste was just ok.


Dark Chocolate Matcha Green Tea Truffles - My daughter and I didn't like these, but a friend of mine said they were okay.

Comparing the Two Brands

I will be comparing the two matcha powders that I've already mentioned above: Jade Leaf Matcha Green Tea Powder (originating from Japan) and Classic & Premium Matcha Green Tea Powder (originating from China). 

*Since I am not a matcha expert, there is no way that I can verify the actual quality of either brand. There are plenty of resources online to help you determine if your matcha may be a good quality or not.

I will be rating the matcha powders I used on these criteria: color, texture, smell, taste, and froth. 

Color



Classic & Premium Matcha Green Tea Powder is a bright, vibrant green whereas Jade Leaf Matcha Green Tea Powder is a little lighter and has a slight yellowish tinge. The color difference is easier to tell in person than in the picture. According to some online research, vibrant green is considered better.

Texture

Honestly, I didn't feel any difference in texture while the matcha green teas were in powder form or after mixing them in green tea lattes.

Smell

Classic & Premium Matcha Green Tea Powder smelled sweet and earthy. My husband said it smelled richer and more robust than the Jade Leaf. Jade Leaf Matcha Green Tea Powder smelled light and fresh and more like tea leaves. While both powders smelled pleasant, after sniffing multiple times I have to go with Classic & Premium as having the best smell.\

Taste



In order to compare in a taste test, I made identical green tea lattes, one with Jade Leaf Matcha and one with Classic & Premium Matcha. Each mug contained 1/2 cup water, 1/2 cup unsweetened almond/coconut milk, 1 TBSP raw honey, 1/2 tsp vanilla, and 1/2 tsp of green tea powder. 

Neither were terrible, but I definitely prefer Classic & Premium over Jade Leaf. The Jade Leaf green tea latte tasted like it was watered down more even though it wasn't. Classic & Premium tasted fuller and richer, which I liked better.

Froth


Classic & Premium Matcha Green Tea Powder definitely frothed better. I did my best to whisk both powders in the same amount of water for the same amount of time. I grabbed my camera and snapped a quick pic immediately after frothing each one. I do not own one of those bamboo whisks, so I used a regular wire one.

Overall, I like Classic & Premium Matcha Green Tea Powder the best! 

Note: While I do like Classic & Premium powder the best, I wanted to point out a couple of things. The percentages of nutrients for 1/2 tsp of matcha powder listed under Nutrition Facts seem high. I compared the percentages to my other matcha powder (Jade Leaf) and even looked up some information online. Example: the package says there's 44.1% dietary fiber in 1/2 tsp of matcha.  Most of my research says there's about 1 or less than 1 gram of fiber in 1/2 tsp of matcha. 1 gram of fiber wouldn't be 44.1% of your daily fiber intake. So, I'm confused about their overall nutrition facts.

Also, there is a word, Artifical, right under the serving size. I'm not sure what this means. You'd think it was Artificial misspelled, but the product claims to have all natural ingredients. So, again, not sure what's going on there.

Final Thoughts

My daughter and I have had lots of fun making new things with matcha powder. I love that matcha has tons of health benefits, and that I now have another superfood I can add to my morning smoothies. :)

I enjoy learning about health from Dr. Axe, so here's a video about what he thinks of matcha.



Do you like matcha? I'd love to know some of your favorite matcha recipes! Let me know in the comments.

*This post contains affiliate links

Thursday, January 04, 2018

Crockpot Rotel Chili

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This is a chili dish I've been perfecting for over 20 years. Shortly after I got married, I followed a recipe that came with my new crock pot. It was terrible. So unflavorful. Now I love the chili that I make. :)


Crockpot Rotel Chili

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs cooked ground beef
  • 3 cans beans (I like to use 1 can of pinto, 1 can of light red kidney, and 1 can of dark red kidney.)
  • 2 14 oz. cans of chili ready diced tomatoes 
  • 1 can Rotel of your choice (I believe I use original.)
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • Taco seasoning mix ( I use my homemade one.)
  • Extra chili powder and salt to taste (and any other spices you might want to add).
  • Optional: 1 can Hormel chili without beans ( I added this to my latest batch of chili and it was yummy.)
  • Shredded cheddar and Fritos for toppings

Directions:

Cook meat and then mix in taco seasoning. I don't double the taco seasoning mix but add in extra spices to chili to taste. Add in all ingredients to crockpot and stir. I cook mine on low for about 8-10 hours. 

We like to top off our chili with shredded cheddar and Fritos. Sometime we use Saltines instead of Fritos as pictured above. :)

How do you like your chili? I'd love to know your tips and tricks!


Monday, January 01, 2018

Birthstone Inspiration: January

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For as long as I can remember, I've loved having a stone assigned to my birth month. Mine is aquamarine, and I'm currently in a loving-all-things-turquoise-and-aqua phase. 

Garnet used to be my favorite color. In fact, I chose garnet for my wedding color theme over 20 years ago! Garnet is such a beautiful, rich color. I hope you enjoy these January gift ideas. It's so fun to give and receive gifts in a color theme!

*Although I haven't bought these specific items, which are affiliate links, I LOVE shopping at Etsy. :)


Happy Shopping!



























*This post contains affiliate links


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