Photograph: Clare Winfield. Food styling: Rebecca Woods
Maca and matcha are two ingredients that have become common in shop-bought smoothies owing to the nutritional benefits they bring, but if you stick to home-made smoothies you might not yet have dabbled with them.
If that’s simply because you don’t have a good recipe to uses them, then we’ve got good news: this healthy smoothie recipe from cookbook The Cycling Chef by Alan Murchison includes both maca and matcha powder.
In case you’re unfamiliar with the ingredients, matcha is a powder made from green tea leaves – so it’s rich in antioxidants – and can be found in supermarkets these days. Murchison says it boosts metabolism, mood and your ability to concentrate. Maca powder is a little harder to find on the high street, though you can get it on Amazon easily. Maca is a Peruvian vegetable, the root of which is ground up to create the powder, which is a great vegan-friendly source of iron and is also high in several other vitamins and minerals including calcium, potassium and B3 (niacin).
Matcha tea is an acquired taste and a bit of a faff to make, so throwing it in a smoothie is a simpler way to try it – plus you get the added bonus of its strong colour turning your smoothie a delightful shade of green. That’s enhanced further by the spinach in this recipe, which also contains dates, a banana and flaxseeds to throw even more vitamins and minerals into the mix.
Ingredients (serves one)
- 250ml almond milk
- 2tsp maca powder
- 1tsp matcha powder
- 1tsp flaxseeds
- Pinch of cinnamon
- 2 Medjool dates
- 1 ripe banana, peeled
- Handful of spinach
- 1tbsp almond butter
- Handful of ice
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Simply place all the ingredients apart from the ice in a smoothie machine or blender and blitz until smooth. Serve with ice and enjoy ASAP.
Nutrition per serving
-of which sugars 59g
Nick Harris-Fry is a journalist who has been covering health and fitness since 2015. Nick is an avid runner, covering 70-110km a week, which gives him ample opportunity to test a wide range of running shoes and running gear. He is also the chief tester for fitness trackers and running watches, treadmills and exercise bikes, and workout headphones.
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