Category Archives: Superfood

High Protein Matcha Latte

macha-with-brushSome time at the end of last year, I started drinking more tea in place of coffee. Don’t get me wrong – I LOVE coffee. But unfortunately, coffee doesn’t always love me. As I grow older I find that my body isn’t metabolizing it as efficiently as it used to. This led me to the auspicious discovery of matcha – green tea leaf powder. Many years ago, I had ceremonial matcha in Japan at a couple of tea ceremonies, and I remember it being very bitter and strong. We sipped it while nibbling on sweet yokan (a Japanese sweet bean based dessert).

Last fall, during my coffee abstinence period, I wanted a caffeine boost via tea, and I tried a Green Tea Latte at Starbucks. I became addicted. Since then, I’ve been experimenting with matcha and trying to make my own lattes at home. It is too much of a luxury to pay over $4.00 for a daily drink, and I learned that the Starbucks’ version has 25 grams of sugar in a tall size!!

Matcha is considered to be a super food for its exceptionally high content of antioxidants. It is widely known for as a unique aid in staying alert and focused without the jitteriness that sometimes accompanies drinking strong coffee (or for me, coffee in general). This is because though it contains caffeine, matcha also contains amino acids including, L-Theanin, which slows the release of the caffeine.

I still love the flavor of coffee, and I will sometimes “indulge” in a decaf, but for my daily morning fix, I have been drinking my High Protein Matcha Latte. I bought a cute little milk frother on amazon, and that has changed my life for the better as well!


First I mix unsweetened coconut milk with vanilla protein powder. I use Optimum Nutrition Vanilla Creme whey protein. You could just skip this part if you don’t like powders and sweeten your drink with something else. I heat the mixture briefly and froth it up with my frother. Look how wonderfully it does its job!

Then I make my matcha in a medium sized bowl (chawan). I have been using Jade Leaf Organic Matcha. If anyone has another recommendation they love, I would love to try it as well! Please let me know in the comments below. I’m only using the culinary grade for now, because the ceremonial grades are so expensive in general.

I use 1/2 teaspoon matcha which I sift through a mini strainer. Then I add 1/2 cup hot water (don’t use boiling because the tea leaf is delicate) and whisk it until dissolved. I bought a Japanese whisk, but any whisk will do. Then I add the frothed milk to the tea.


I sprinkled some more matcha powder on for garnish for this photo 🙂

High Protein Matcha Latte

3/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk, soy milk, cow milk, or almond milk

1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder

1/2 teaspoon matcha powder

1/2 cup very hot water

  1. Mix coconut milk and protein powder together. Heat for 30 seconds in microwave. Stir. Heat for another 30 seconds. You don’t want to heat too long or the protein will curdle, which is really unpleasant! Froth milk using a whisk or mini frother.
  2. Sift matcha powder into a small bowl or coffee mug. Add hot water while whisking.
  3. Add milk to tea. Enjoy!


Mmmmm….A nice cup of goodness!


Happy New Year, folks!



Filed under Beverages, Breakfast, Superfood

Spirulina Popcorn and the Bahamas


This month we went to the Bahamas on a cruise with my mom to celebrate her 85th birthday.


85 years old! 🙂

It was a quieter event than the last time when we celebrated her 80th with our extended family five years ago.  I did a post on it here.

Jamie was so little then!

Somewhere in the Atlantic

Somewhere in the Atlantic

Here he is in the cabin as we left the New York port this time.

Jamie in the cabin as we left New York.

Cool dude.

The ship we were on was the Carnival Splendor.  It made stops at Grand Turks, Half Moon Cay, and the Bahamas.   We would have liked to have spent more time in Nassau where the ship docked for an afternoon.  It is a beautiful city, and we enjoyed a couple of hours at Ardastra Gardens and Zoo.

The highlight of the gardens are the delicate flamingos that are trained to do marching drills.

The highlight of the gardens are the delicate Carribbean Flamingos that are trained to do marching drills.

The gardens is also home to a collection of animals, including this guy, a capybara who wouldn’t stop eating.


Did you know that the capybara is the largest rodent?  Somehow he is cute, but can you imagine him with a giant rat’s tail!?

After the gardens we visited Fort Fincastle and the Queen’s Staircase.

At the bottom of the stairs.

At the bottom of the stairs.

Then, we went quickly to an internet cafe to check our emails and then it was already back on the ship for us.

They say that it is not uncommon to gain a pound a day on a cruise ship, and I can believe it! There is an excess of food and alcohol and so many opportunities to consume. We definitely ate our share of soft serve ice cream and *popcorn* every night!  But luckily, Denis and I only gained a pound each. 🙂

While on the cruise ship, ironically, my mom and I listened to a long talk given by a nutritionist on detoxing the body.  He spoke at length about the benefits of algae and seaweed, and I was intrigued.  After the week on the cruise we all fell back into our normal daily habits, but I felt compelled to do more.  I researched more on the benefits of algae and seaweed.  I’ve always loved seaweed, and we all eat it regularly.  (I quit buying the seasoned roasted seaweed at Trader Joe’s because Jamie would inhale it and there is a lot of sodium in it.)  Now, we just eat plain roasted nori seaweed that is used to make sushi. It has no extra ingredients.   I cut it up myself with kitchen shears. 🙂

Roasted seaweed found in Asian markets.

Roasted seaweed found in Asian markets.

On the other hand, I had never had spirulina – a blue green algae, before, and decided to try it.

Spirulina is a microalgae that has been consumed for hundreds of years by Aztecs and other Mesoamericans.  It is a complete protein and has all essential amino acids as well as other nutrients and antioxidents, and is one of the best plant proteins on the planet.  It has been promoted as a treatment for many ailments, including diabetes and high cholesterol. Studies have also shown its antioxidant effects in reducing cancerous lesions.  See this 1985 abstract published in the Nutrition and Cancer journal for more info on the study.  It has also been found to help athletes recover from muscle fatigue faster, due to its antioxidant properties.  This is discussed in a 2010 study published in Medicine & Science in Sports and Exercise.

That said, I wasn’t interested in taking spirulina supplements, I just wanted to eat it. 🙂  I have to say, the flavor is stronger than seaweed.  So it might take some time getting used to for people who aren’t even used to eating seaweed every day like us!  You could easily put it into a green smoothie though, and it would probably go well with the rest of the green flavors.  I haven’t tried this yet, because I’m still timid when it comes to green smoothies.

I like to eat my greens, so instead I sprinkled it all over my popcorn.

spiralina popcorn 2

I hinted before that I am somewhat of a popcorn addict.  I have an air popper and toss the popped corn with olive or sesame oil.  You could also use a mister to spray the oil if you have one.  I often cut up dried seaweed to toss in and sprinkle with sesame seeds and sea salt.  We have been enjoying popcorn this way ever since we had Hurricane Popcorn in Hawaii.   This is a much healthier version though!  I always found the thick buttery goo a bit much and prefer something lighter.

Spirulina Popcorn turned out to be quite tasty.  It turned our popcorn bowl into a green, healthy snack from the sea. 🙂

For more information on spirulina – its benefits and ways to use it, check it out

Spirulina Popcorn

1/4 cup popcorn kernels

olive oil or sesame oil

sea salt to taste

1 tablespoon roasted sesame seeds

1 sheet of dried roasted seaweed, cut into small pieces with kitchen shears

1 teaspoon dried spirulina

1.  Pop corn in an air popper or on the stove.  If you pop it on the stove, place popcorn kernels and a tablespoon of oil in a large pot with a lid and heat on stove.

2.  Toss popped corn with oil and season with salt, sesame seeds, and dried spirulina

spiralina popcorn 1


Filed under Snack, Superfood