#MatchaMay with teapigs : let's get juicy *

Hiiiiii my fellow matcha fans! :)

It's week two with teapigs matcha! How are we all doing? I'm still SO impressed with matcha. This week I have noticed a sharp decrease in my cravings; my skin and hair are also really starting to improve. Weight? Hm. We'll get to that at the end of the month I think. 

ThatRedheadSaid : #MatchaMay 

For this update I have conjured up two new methods for you to get your daily matcha fix. I am absolutely obsessed with my juicer - and fruit in general - so I couldn't resist this one. 

Piña Colada Matcha Juice

For this you'll need: 
- 1 pineapple
- Coconut Water (I used Vita Coco)
- teapigs matcha
- crushed ice
- Aerolatte whisk

First off, prepare your pineapple for juicing by carefully removing the rind. I cut off the top and bottom, then slice down through with my biggest and sharpest knife. After the first cut you'll be able to see much better where you need to be aiming for, but don't stress too much over it. 

Slice your pineapple into reasonable pieces, so you have control over it in the juicer. If it's too small, it'll just go rogue and fly into the rind collector! We are going to use the rind so don't throw it away!!! Place half a glass of crushed ice into your juicing jug, so the second that juice is extracted it'll stay super fresh. Plus, let's face it, ice-cold juice is one of the best things ever....

ThatRedheadSaid : sliced pineappleThatRedheadSaid : pineapple rind

From one small pineapple I got roughly 500ml of juice, which is pretty amazing! Give it a good stir with the ice to mix in the foamy top and give it a taste. Heavenly, right? It's about to become legendary! ;)


ThatRedheadSaid : fresh pineapple juiceThatRedheadSaid : fresh pineapple juice on ice

Top up your juice with coconut water. The health benefits of coconut water are off the charts, so overall, this juice is probably one of the best things to have with your breakfast. Overall, I made a litre! YUM.

ThatRedheadSaid : fresh pineapple juice with VitaCoco coconut water

Now it's time to add our matcha into this. I really think portioning out the matcha per glass is the best way to go, rather than dumping a few servings into the total amount. Why? It won't mix properly. Put your matcha serving into your glass and add a small amount of juice. Take your Aerolatte whisk and mix until the matcha has dissolved. You can add a little more juice as you go along if you're finding lumps. By the time you get to a full glass, you will have a pure Piña Colada Matcha Juice!


ThatRedheadSaid : pina colada matcha juice

Now! What to do with the rind of the pineapple? 

Matcha Muesli!

I'll be the first to admit, this isn't the best looking recipe, but it tastes absolutely out of this world, so just have faith in me, ok? ;)

Take your pineapple rind from your juicer and add a serving of matcha. Mix it in really well.

Add a few tablespoons to a quarter cup of porridge oats. 

ThatRedheadSaid : fresh pineapple rind with matchaThatRedheadSaid : fresh pineapple rind mixed with matcha on muesli

To ease up the consistency, add a quarter cup of sweetened soya milk and mix well.

ThatRedheadSaid : quarter cup of soya milk

Ta da! If you like, you can top with some extra matcha pineapple mix. I did consider adding other fruits but the flavour from the fresh pineapple rind is so insane, you really don't need it.

ThatRedheadSaid : matcha muesli


I hope you enjoy these recipes! :)

What have you been making with your matcha this week? Let me know!

2

Therapy Tuesday : Mental Health Awareness Week (C-PTSD)

I hate the word anxiety. To me, that implies being anxious about an exam or something. Let me tell you a story. 
*trigger warning*

A long time ago, longer now than it seems, a little girl was born into a family that would shape her view of the world for the rest of her life. This isn't unusual, indeed, it is the norm. What separates this little girl from the lucky ones, is that this family was not somewhere she should have been. 

She spent her life hiding in her 6ft by 8ft bedroom. Sometimes openly, sat on her bed reading a book to escape, but sometimes hiding underneath the divan bed or buried in your tiny wardrobe. Why? There was noise, and noise meant something absolutely terrible was about to happen. She didn't know what or why, but it was sudden, unpredictable and without explanation and she was always bracing herself for it. 

School was her safe haven. She began seeking out the love she wasn't getting at home from a select handful of teachers. It's a wonder they didn't read into this, but in the early 90s this wasn't the 'normal' protocol. 

She lived with her mother, father and younger twin brothers until the age of 12, when her parents separated. This turned her world upside down and inside out. While her father was the main source of terror, she had been brainwashed for many years by him. She was told that she was not wanted or loved by her mother, that she was more concerned with her brothers and he was the only one that would be there to love and protect her. As long as she didn't put a toe out of line.
No talking. No asking questions. No crying. Nothing. Silent, complete and blind obedience. The kitchen door was locked. No leaving the bedroom from 7pm. He would sit on the stairs, and wait. She learned the sound the steps made, and which floorboards creaked, so she could use the bathroom in safety.

Her father ruled with an iron fist and terrorised the children to keep them 'in control'. This little girl's brothers were autistic, but this wasn't recognised at the time. The little girl was essentially a dummy used to demonstrate punishments, because she had already learned how to disconnect and not feel any pain, unless he said so. However, what happened then was she would blindly shout and cry just to get it over with. 

When she reached 8 years old she began to notice arguments between her parents. They were aggressive and she had an innate urge to still protect her mother and seek out her love, knowing full well what would come later from her father. She didn't care. She still wanted her mother, despite the face she was never there for her.

During one night-time argument on the landing of the upstairs of the house, she came out from her bedroom and stood between her parents, screaming at them to stop. Her father picked her up and threw her 10/12 feet into her bedroom, hitting the wall and landing on her bed. Her mother did nothing. She automatically went limp, but remained conscious. A year earlier her brothers had pushed her down the stairs, which led to a hospital admission due to concussion. Her mother wasn't there then.
She had given up trying to get her mothers love. She had earned the nickname "leechy Louise" for the times she would seek out a cuddle and was always pushed away. Her brothers were more important. She was being physically attacked by them regularly by now and was of course being over-powered. If she was unwell, she was always told to "die quietly".
When August 1997 rolled around, shortly before her 10th birthday, and something incredible happened. A little West Highland White Terrier came into her life. This little puppy was her absolute everything. She felt love for the first time in her life, gave twice that and more back, fiercely protected her and ensured she was happy. Her bond with animals was born. 

Her teenage years were no better. Alone in a house with her mother and two brothers. But she had her Westie and that meant she was ok. High school was a living hell. She was bullied and constantly betrayed by so-called friends, and began to drink and abuse drugs to escape. She also began exhibiting signs of dissociation and was not eating. In 2001, she also began having incredibly painful migraine attacks. There was a massive campaign about parents who didn't send their children to school being prosecuted or even jailed, so she was forced to go to school more often than not.
At the age of 14 she was sexually assaulted.
She left school in 2003. She also left her mothers house to live with her father. She started working the day after her 16th birthday. She went to visit her grandparents that new year and was involved in a car crash with her grandmother. The car was hit from behind and sent flying across both sides of the dual-carriageway. They weren't seriously hurt. Her grandmother was miraculously unharmed but she acquired a nasty whiplash injury to her neck and back.
The car was a write-off. Seeing the damage, being surrounded by blue lights and the feeling of imminent death led to a very basic response. She wanted her mother. She called and called to no answer. Eventually she got a reply, to which she explained what had happened, only to be told to stop being so over-dramatic. 

She left her fathers flat a couple of months later, for her own safety. 

Back at her mothers house she was subjected to a campaign of emotional abuse which didn't stop until she was forced out of the house following a complete mental breakdown and suicide attempt in 2006. She was stuck in a bedroom smaller than her childhood room, with her abusive boyfriend. She had two options. Live on the streets or live with him. She did however, find the strength to finally stand up to her father. She had nothing left to lose. They never spoke again.

For the next 3 and a half years, she was emotionally, physically and sexually abused. She developed a serious eating disorder and alcohol dependency began to manifest itself. 

Following her escape, she was left with the aftermath. For the first time in her life she was on her own, and therefore safe. The worst was over for a while. Her Westie passed away in 2010. She still hasn't recovered from the trauma. 

The end. 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

I have a condition called generalised anxiety disorder. This means I 'worry' about anything and everything on a constant loop. It never stops. I'm perpetually scared. I plan for the worst. I'm a perfectionist. On the back of this, I have been diagnosed with PTSD. My psychiatrist described it as Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder due to my specific cluster of symptoms, but also explained that the latest DSM revision did not accept this as a unique condition, much to his - and many other doctors and patients - frustration!

What is anxiety? 

Anxiety is a biophysical response to fear provoking stimuli, courtesy of our friend we love to hate, adrenaline. Adrenaline primes the body for the 'fight-or-flight' response which lives right at the back of our brains and isn't something we can get rid of. It's there for a good reason. The trouble is, rationality doesn't factor in to this region of the brain. It's basic survival. Cavemen didn't have time to question whether or not there really was a lion outside his door.
I'm currently working on a much more in-depth anxiety post with material from the day hospital so this is a very basic run-down. 

So people with anxiety disorders, at it's worst, feels like you're living with a lion that's been starved and is foaming at the mouth while stalking you. 

The fight-or-flight response is physical and unbelievably scary if you experience it out of context. 

- Your heart rate increases and you may feel like it's about to burst out of your chest.
- You feel hot as all the blood rushes to the large muscles, preparing you to either kick the shit out of something or run the hell away.
- You may start breathing faster to accommodate your elevated pulse rate, possibly making you hyperventilate. This is where most people tip over into full-on panic attack.
- You might feel dizzy, sick or have an upset stomach. This is the body's way of basically clearing out ready for the danger. It doesn't have time for digestion so it just get's rid of it. Nice, eh?
- Your vision might go blurry. 
- You will be incredibly alert and aware of your environment. This is called hyper-vigilance and it's a nightmare to live with.
- Everyone will get the "ohmygodsomethingreallyshitisabouttohappen" feeling and feel compelled to either look for the danger or escape at light speed.

This isn't a complete list by any stretch but are the most common symptoms. I also shake uncontrollably and occasionally experience pseudo-hallucinations. Insomnia also factors in hugely in my anxiety; it's due to being in a hyper-vigilant state - looking for the lion outside my door. The reality is I am compelled to continually check my house for danger and make sure everything is locked and shut. If I don't do these checks I feel like I will explode and usually end up in full-on panic.

Being in an anxious state changes your thought patterns and behaviours drastically. You believe your automatic thoughts and take them as 'intuition'. No-one likes being 'anxious' so it's absolutely normal to stay well clear of the situation or environment that provokes this. I have only been able to function these past two years due to 'safety behaviours' that limit and control these anxiety symptoms. They're a psychological bandage, which I'm slowly letting go of.

The Vicious Cycle of Anxiety: getselfhelp.co.uk
By it's very nature, being in an anxious state is paralyzing. In the context of PTSD, this is exacerbated.

The Vicious Cycle in PTSD
The Vicious Cycle of  PTSD
What really grinds my gears is when people tell me to 'calm down' or 'stop being so ridiculous'. Please understand, those with anxiety are trying to control the uncontrollable. It takes years of practice to even get to grips with the basics. I'm just as frustrated as you by being in this position, believe me. But if I start stressing out about that too, we'll never get anywhere and I'll just end up avoiding you too.

Think back to the last time you were worried or scared about something. Now imagine that on a constant basis that only ever escalates. This isn't just for a day. Imagine feeling like that for weeks, months or even years at a time.

That story I told you at the beginning? That's the root of my 'anxiety'. I've spent all but the past 5 years of my life living in psychological war-zones. Is it any wonder I see danger wherever I go? Is it any wonder I'm always bracing myself for the next attack from someone? My brain is stuck in survival mode. On an intellectual level I know I am in no danger, but the automatic thoughts tell me otherwise.

My brain developed a release valve for when the level of fear/anxiety is too much. Dissociation is an off-switch from conscious awareness. This protects it from further damage, essentially. Again, I will be talking about this is much greater depth in further blogs. 

So. If you have a friend or family member with anxiety, please just be kind to them. Don't force them into things they can't handle. Help them with their breathing exercises, listen to their fears and do not tell them they're ridiculous or stupid. Ask them what would make them feel better. If they want to be left alone, that's ok. Just check on them in a few minutes and stay within ear-shot. 

Finally, these are my five golden rules for getting through an anxiety or panic attack:

Golden Rule 1: Do not fight it. Accept that this is a surge of adrenaline going through your system, and within 20 minutes it will be over. No-one has ever died from a panic attack. This is a very primal response and our bodies are built to deal with it.... much like child-birth!
Golden Rule 2: Be kind to yourself. Be aware of your thoughts but don't argue with them. That will just prolong the whole thing or trap you in a cycle of panic attacks. 
Golden Rule 3: Become an absolute master of breathing exercises. My personal favourite is: breathe in for a count of 4, visualising blue, then breathe out for a count of 4, visualising red. I like to think of myself as setting fire to my anxiety attack and breathing it out like a dragon... ;)
Golden Rule 4: Write down what triggered your attack, what you felt and what thoughts you had. This is invaluable in working to get shot of the attacks for good. 
Golden Rule 5: STOPP! Stop and step back. Take a breath (or 20). Observe. Pull back for perspective. Practice what works (no, not drinking or getting high...)


Thank you so much for reading. If you have any questions, please fire away and I will do my absolute best to help! Also, feel free to share your experiences of anxiety and what helps you.
0

Foodie Friday : Jack Daniel's BBQ Sauces with a BONUS RECIPE! *

Happy Friday!! 

www.jackdanielsbbqsauces.com

Today I am going to tell you all about this revelation in flavour, courtesy of Mr. Jack Daniels. Now, before you write this off because you're not a whiskey fan, I really urge you to just give it a try. You really will be surprised. Jack Daniel's Barbeque Sauces can be used in recipes, as well as a dipping sauce. You know these sauces are good because you need to be a proper grown-up to even get into the website... ;) haha!!

A word about alcohol content: all of the Jack Daniel's barbeque sauces contain 1% Jack Daniel's whiskey. I asked for clarification on exactly what this 1% meant, as I am very aware that some of my readership found me through my discussions about alcoholism, addiction and recovery. I'm not about to abandon you or put you at risk by throwing caution to the wind, even over 1%!!

There is 1% Jack Daniel's whiskey per total volume of sauce. This means that a 260g bottle of sauce will have 2.6g Jack Daniel's whiskey (40% vol, 80 proof). There is 0.10 units in the entire bottle.

If you are taking disulfiram aka Antabuse, you've probably already been told this a million times but I'll reiterate it now, do not use this sauce. I'm not kidding. The disulfiram reaction IS REAL and it is absolutely terrifying. If you're currently prescribed acamprosate aka Campral, you're safe to use this sauce but I would watch out for the psychological effects of consuming something with alcohol in it. If you're medication-free but a recovering from alcoholism and living in abstinence - like me ;) - then the only advice I could give is only start to dip your toe into these waters when you feel safe enough. While you might not have the disulfiram level of reaction to alcohol, our brains are hard-wired to seek out that alcohol compound. Just be careful, and don't believe the lies your brain will tell you.

Protective mothering over with. Let's talk BBQ SAUCE!

Jack Daniel's® Smooth Original Barbeque Sauce

"Our Smooth Original Barbecue Sauce has a rich caramel flavour making it ideal to add a luxury twist to a bacon or sausage butty and a rich addition to gravy."

What more can I say?! This sauce is spectacularly thick and super sticky. Dangerous words to put together on the internet, but I can't think of another way to describe it! The sauce needs a lot of encouragement to get it off your knife or spoon. I can definitely pick up on the caramel vibe, but it's absolutely not overwhelming. However, the overall flavour is incredibly strong so you don't need much at all.

My personal recommendation: try this on some grilled vegetables like corn on the cob!!

Ingredients: Water, Dextrose, Concentrated Tomato Puree,Concentrated Raisin Juice, White Wine Vinegar,Concentrated Orange Juice, Salt, Concentrated Lemon Juice,Onion Purée, Jack Daniels Whiskey ® (1%), Modified Cornflour, Colour: Ammonia Caramel, Dried Garlic, Dates,Concentrated Tamarind Extract, Whiskey Flavour, Stabiliser:Xanthan Gum, Smoke Flavour, Chilli Powder.

Suitable for Vegetarians and Vegans. Suitable for Coeliacs

Jack Daniel's® Hot Pepper Steak Sauce - Limited Edition!

Vegetarians look away! I'ma talk red meat for a moment.

"Made with real Jack Daniel’s® Whiskey, this unique recipe has been specially blended with jalapeno chillies to create a sweet flavour with a punch of heat. Perfect with grilled or BBQ red meats, burgers and sausages and a great way to spice up everyday favourite foods."

Ohhhhhh my gosh. I just got Chuck Norrised in the mouth. WOW. This is a hot sauce. I absolutely love spicy foods, and this has got my cookery brain spinning with ideas. The initial experience with this sauce is one of sheer heat, but it soon calms down into a gentle sort-of simmer on your palette with a sweet honey/molasses after-taste. You can absolutely pick out the fresh jalapeno taste - and smell!! - as well as the unmistakable and unnerving background of Tabasco. Wow. I would be less inclined to use this as a 'table sauce' or dipping accompaniment, purely because it's just too raw. However, as a drizzle over your red meats - both pre and post cooking - absolutely.

My personal recommendation: use this as a marinade for your next steak!

Ingredients: Water, Brown Sugar, White Wine Vinegar, Concentrated Tomato Purée,Dextrose, Concentrated Orange Juice, Salt, Molasses, Dates, Mango Purée, Modified Cornflour, Chilli Powder, Colour: Ammonia Caramel, Tabasco Sauce (Distilled Vinegar, Jalapeño Pepper, Water, Salt, Cornstarch, Stabiliser: Xanthan Gum, Acidity Regulator: Ascorbic Acid) Jack Daniels Whisky ® (1%), Onion Purée, Garlic Purée, Stabiliser: Xanthan Gum, Concentrated Tamarind Extract, Red Chillies, Dried Ginger, Preservative: Potassium Sorbate, Spirit Vinegar.

Suitable for Vegetarians and Vegans. Suitable for Coeliacs

Jack Daniel's® Extra Hot Habanero Sauce - Limited Edition!

"Made with real Jack Daniel’s® Tennessee Whiskey, this unique recipe has been specially blended with habanero chillies to create a smokey flavour with a fiery hot kick. Perfect for turning up the heat on everyday foods or adding to stir fried chicken for a Tennessee twist on fajitas."

Ok. So I take back what I said about the steak sauce. THIS is where Chuck Norris is hiding. Oh my word. You can absolutely taste the habanero and it's so fresh - read: raw chilli heat. The burn hits you like a train and doesn't really go away, but it does dull down. So with this sauce, the more you have,  the more heat you're gonna endure. I tried a little fingertips worth and that blew my head off so really be careful with this one. Less is more! 

I would be more tempted to use this as an addition to things like chilli than as a marinade. Like it's comrades, this is a very thick sauce and you need to give it a good shake before you try to encourage some out. What I love about this sauce is how calm and smokey is smells compared to the steak sauce, it really lulls you into a false sense of security! 

My personal recommendation: turn your next enchilada night into something out of this world with this sauce!

Ingredients: Water, Dextrose, Concentrated Tomato Puree, White Wine Vinegar, Concentrated Raisin Juice, Concentrated Orange Juice, Salt, Concentrated Lemon Juice, Onion Purée, Habanero Chilli Powder, Jack Daniel’s® Whisky (1%), Modified Cornflour, Colour: Ammonia Caramel, Smoke Flavour, Dried Garlic, Dates,Whiskey Flavour, Concentrated Tamarind Extract, Stabiliser:Xanthan Gum, Chilli Powder.

Suitable for Vegetarians and Vegans. Suitable for Coeliacs

chuck-norris-approves

BONUS RECIPE TIME!

Here's a super-simple recipe for a steak dinner you can knock out in under 20 minutes, using our Jack Daniel's Steak Sauce

What you'll need:
  • steak! I'm using sirloin and rump in this recipe. 
  • gnocchi
  • spinach, tomatoes and mushrooms
  • coarse salt
  • ground black pepper
  • dried mixed herbs
  • 2/3 garlic cloves
  • sunflower oil
  • olive oil
  • Jack Daniel's Steak Sauce
The first job is to get your steak up to room temperature. To save on washing up I just leave them in their plastic trays on the counter.  While they're warming up, rub a little olive oil into the steaks on both sides. Never, ever, ever put oil into a pan when cooking steak!!! Now take your Jack Daniel's Steak Sauce and rub about a tablespoon into one side of the steak. I used a teaspoon, but you can get in there with your hands if you want...



The next job is to cook our gnocchi! Take a saute pan and add enough sunflower oil to just about shallow fry. I use sunflower oil due to it's high smoke point and I just prefer the flavour compared to olive oil! You're not going to actually taste oil, don't worry, it's a very subtle change in flavour I've noticed after a few years playing with this method. Once the oil is about up to temperature, crush in your garlic and immediately follow with the gnocchi. I use vacuum packed rather than fresh to avoid moisture drama - I don't like being spat on by hot oil!

Give the gnocchi a good mix in the garlic oil and add coarse salt and pepper. Continue to turn every few minutes until they have a lovely golden colour and resemble mini roast potatoes!


While you have time, prepare your tomatoes, mushrooms and spinach. I used beef tomatoes and cut them into 4 decent slices and coated them in salt and dried mixed herbs. Salt loves tomatoes so don't be shy! The mushrooms just needed the first layer peeled back and a little wash to make sure there was no grit. The spinach was just washed and served raw - it's the only way I can get the boyfriend to eat it!


By now the gnocchi should be cooked so get them out of the pan and into a dish where they can be out the way for a moment! You can't use the saute pan for the steak, sorry folks! Grab yourself a regular thin frying pan and crack on the heat to maximum. You want this pan almost smoking hot before we start cooking. Open the windows and get the extractor on. It's about to get hot. 

Before you start cooking, get your plates out for the steak and have them easily accessible. Cook one steak at a time. Despite having two different cuts of meat, I use the same 4 minute method. If you've got super skinny steaks then maybe just go for a minute a side, but everyone has their preference... 

Ok. Ready?

Put your steak into the pan with the sauced side up. Set a timer for 2 minutes and leave it. Then turn the steak and set the timer for another 2 minutes. Leave it. Times up. On the plate. BAM. 

It's noisy and get's hot, but don't be scared that you're losing control. You're not. Have faith! :)

Before you cook your next steak you'll need to wipe the pan with some kitchen roll to get rid of the sauce from the previous steak. It'll just burn and taste awful!

Let the steak rest for a good 5 minutes. Add another tablespoon of Jack Daniel's Steak Sauce and rub it in. Once the 5 minutes is up you'll have a crazy amount of juice on your plate. This is exactly what we need. Use that juice to turn your steak in a few times until it's completely coated in that incredible flavour and looks all glazed and amazing. If you want more sauce, go for it. 


Now we can quickly cook our mushrooms and tomatoes. Use the same pan as the steak, add a little fry-light to get things started with a little extra salt and pepper. Place a lid on top and leave for a few minutes. The pan will already be hot so this won't take long at all. 

We're done! 




The boyfriend was very, very happy and absolutely loved the flavour of the Jack Daniel's Steak Sauce. It adds such depth and flavour! The jalapeno spice was incredibly mild and worked perfectly. I will say I was thankful that the Tabasco seemed to vanish! 

Let me know what you think of this recipe and share your link if you've blogged about it! If you have any questions please leave a comment and I'll try and help as best I can. Have you used Jack Daniel's BBQ Sauces before? Do you have any secret cooking with BBQ sauce techniques you'd like to share? 

There will be more Jack Daniel's BBQ Sauce recipes coming, so stay tuned and hit that follow button! 

2

#MatchaMay with teapigs : How do you matcha? *

Hiyaaaaa! :)

Mr. Nisho

It's day 7 of #MatchaMay and I am absolutely in love with teapigs matcha!!! I honestly did not expect it to work as efficiently, and effectively, as it really claims to! My biggest concern was feeling 'wired' or agitated but this has never made itself even remotely known. I'm still working on the geeking behind matcha but it's a slow process - especially with life and health craziness right now. 

I take my matcha when I wake up, on an empty stomach with my usual 'first drink' of the day: hot water with a good amount of fresh lemon juice. This keeps me going all day. I don't miss my coffee boost one bit! During hardcore revision time, I can totally seeing myself adding another bonus shot into my afternoon to propel me through the torture! 

This week I have been getting to know matcha and ways to prepare it. With products like this, I think it is important to be as simple and clean as possible. However, matcha is very versatile! I still can't get to grips with an accurate description of the flavour matcha has and it's really starting to frustrate me... Anyway! 

Super-power matcha shot!

This is my absolute favourite preparation of matcha for week one! All you need is a 65ml shot of Yakult Light and the incredible aerolatte gadget! Think of it like a teeny tiny green latte to kick off your day.

30g teapigs matcha pack and aerolatte whiskThatRedheadSaid : teapigs matcha with yakult light

Take a scoop of your beautiful matcha with the cute 2ml spoon - FYI, a teaspoon measures at about 5ml - and add it to a tumbler-ish size glass. You need something with enough volume to handle the Yakult plus some spinning action from the aerolatte and subsequent foamy goodness!

teapigs matchateapigs shot glass and aerolatte whisk

I find it's a little easier to add the matcha to the glass first and then pour the Yakult over. One thing I would suggest is that you give the Yakult a serious shake to release any bits that are stuck to the bottom of the container. Grab your aerolatte and whizz away for no more than 15/20 seconds or you'll have more foam than anything drinkable!

ThatRedheadSaid : teapigs matcha with yakult lightThatRedheadSaid : teapigs matcha with yakult light

Voila! :)

ThatRedheadSaid : super-power matcha shot in teapigs shot glass

I chose Yakult for a few reasons. First, I had a hunch that matcha would work very well with soya milk and Yakult isn't too far away in terms of flavour and texture. Secondly, the sweetness really helps the matcha go down if you're really not feeling the au natural matcha! Thirdly, my thought process centered around the concept that if the bacteria in Yakult can reach the gut alive, then perhaps being in a 'solution' of safety will protect the amino acids within matcha and allow it to be more efficient within the digestive tract. I could be totally off-base when it comes to the actual chemistry of this, but on the face of it, the logic makes some shade of sense.... Science grads, feel free to correct me! 

How are you finding #MatchaMay so far? Are you loving or loathing it? Any changes to your diet or sleep patterns since starting matcha? I don't think I've lost any weight - and I'm too scared to look! - but I am not craving sugar as much, and sleeping a lot better once I actually get to sleep.

0

#MatchaMay with teapigs : my first impressions *

Hi friends!

teapigs logo

It's #MatchaMay and I am absolutely delighted to tell you that for this entire month I will be sharing my experiences and recipes! 

As you may have noticed, I very recently ran a giveaway with teapigs to win a matcha kit - CONGRATULATIONS CLAIRE! - so be sure to keep an eye on her updates on Twitter !

Just incase you didn't catch the giveaway, here's a brief run-down of matcha:

"teapigs genuine organic matcha comes from the renowned Nishio region in Japan, where some of the country’s highest quality tea leaves are grown. You may be concerned about the sourcing of our matcha since the tragic earthquake disaster in March 2011. The Nishio region is over 600km South of Fukashima and, as well as undergoing strict testing by the Japanese Authorities before it leaves the country, our matcha is tested twice more before it reaches our shelves."  teapigs.co.uk

Matcha is 100% organic green tea leaves, which have been finely ground into the super concentrated powder you see above. It has been consumed in Japanese culture for over 900 years! Apparently it's very popular with students who are preparing for their exams, so I will report back in due course whether or not it's helped me get away from the more concentrated forms of liquid study-aids! Matcha is rich in chlorophyll, which we all know is what gives plants their ability to function - photosynthesis, remember? ;) 

It looks a lot like wheatgrass, which has a reputation for being... pretty rank tasting, let's be honest here. teapigs matcha only contains the leaf; the stem and veins are 'rigorously' removed to avoid any bitter taste. Matcha is drunk as a fine powder diffused in liquid so you actually ingest the whole leaf, consuming every last bit of goodness. Not only is matcha amazing for overall health and concentration/focus, it also promotes healthy skin and aids weight loss. 

Matcha: My first impressions!

So with this in mind; the question we all want to know the answer to is whether matcha is as nasty as wheatgrass?! In a word, no. I was VERY surprised by the taste and texture. It does have an echo of wheatgrass about it, I won't deny that, but matcha is a lot milder in terms of flavour and doesn't have that really awkward chalky texture on the after-taste. Trying to accurately describe matcha is quite tough as it is very unique.... It's an acquired taste, I'll give it that much.When I find an adjective for how matcha tastes, I'll let you know!

At least I didn't feel a compulsion to run to the sink like I did with my first wheatgrass experience!!

I prepared the matcha "as is" with a shot glass of water and whizzed with my aerolatte electric whisk to mix it up and remove any little clumps. I also drank this on an empty stomach, however I am not sure how much matcha will appreciate that level of pH so I'll do my geeking and report back.

Pro Tip: It's important to know the 'real' flavour of matcha before you start playing with it.

I'm also aware that now it's been about an hour since I had my matcha shot, I'm feeling more focused and 'alert'. Placebo effect? I wasn't consciously looking for this to happen soooo.... interesting!

I'm really looking forward to this month! :)

Are you doing #MatchaMay? Have you tried matcha? Can you describe it's flavour?!
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Samantha Nicholls. Powered by Blogger.

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