This week, we're going green with a review of a tea-filled cookbook.
The cookbook: The Healthy Matcha Cookbook: Green Tea-Inspired Meals, Snacks, Drinks and Desserts
The author: Miryam Quinn-Doblas describes herself as a never-ending student. I love that. Shouldn't we all be lifelong learners? A few pages into her new cookbook, I feel a connection to Miryam, and you likely would, as well. Like me, she loves science, nutrition, green tea and good food. We could just stop right there and be BFFs for life. But wait, there's more! Miryam is a registered dietitian and food blogger over at EatGood4Life (check it out—you can even peek into her adorable kitchen). She's also a recipe developer, photographer, mother of two kids and she's studying to be a physician's assistant. Wait a minute. How does this woman do it all? [side eye]
Miryam also describes herself as a masterful multitasker. I'd say so. She was born and raised in Spain where she grew up eating a Mediterranean diet. She moved to New Jersey in 1997 and quickly became disenchanted with the plethora of processed foods in her new surroundings. Miryam aims to eat organic and works hard to reduce her carbon footprint by being mindful of food waste, buying local and making her own food instead of buying heavily processed products. OK, now that we've established a love for Miryam, let's move on to the green tea!
Initial impressions: My very first impression is that the recipes appear quite easy and approachable. Each recipe and its accompanying photograph fit on one small spread (the book is a petite 8-inches square). Not only has Miryam developed all the recipes, but she has taken the photographs, as well (and I'm guessing this gal does her own food styling, too). Impressed! In her blog, Miryam admits to working on this lovechild of a cookbook for the last year and a half. She's included recipes for energizing breakfasts, healthy snacks, lean meals and, certainly, the sweet desserts. You can tell Miryam brings a nutritionist's knowledge and a mother's love to these recipes—they're both practical and something I actually want to eat and serve. I might have to start with the Overnight Oats (featuring almond milk, maple syrup, chia and pumpkin seeds, shredded coconut and, of course, some matcha powder). Either that or the homemade Green Tea Frappuccino (and save myself a cool $5 by skipping my local coffee drive-thru).
What’s cool: Miryam provides a good case for the benefits of matcha—there are the calming effects, the ability to ward off chronic disease, the (actually true) existence of meaningful antioxidants and the metabolism-boosting benefits. And there's also this: A study of the communities with the highest concentrations of centenarians (people who lived to see 100 years) concluded that among good genes, strong communities ties and lots of opportunities for exercise, tea drinking played an essential role in these societies.
Miryam also spends a good chunk of the pre-recipe pages giving us a look inside her cupboards and sharing anecdotes about her favorite ingredients and why they're healthful. I mean, who doesn't want to see what a dietitian eats?
And then there are the recipes. As to be expected, every single recipe calls for matcha powder in ranges from a portion of a teaspoon up to a couple tablespoons. (Finally! I have a use for my leftover matcha powder after making homemade green tea ice cream a few years ago—a personal success, I might add.) Miryam has also taken note to clarify which recipes are gluten free, dairy-free, vegetarian, vegan, low-fat, heart-healthy and nut-free, which is helpful at a glance (and every single recipe meets at least one of these special diet requirements).
Perfect for: Tea lovers / Healthy eaters / Small families / Moms who need healthful snack ideas / Those who have a bag of leftover matcha powder in their cupboard (oh, that's me!)
When/Where to get it: Miryam's book was released on October 4, 2015 and is available now for $14.
Sneak-peek recipe: Take a bite of Miryam’s recipe for Dark Chocolate Pomegranate Seed Bites (pictured above, and reprinted with permission from the publisher).