If you’ve ever seen the vibrant green powder called matcha powder, you might be wondering what it is and how to use it.
Matcha powder is made from ground up green tea leaves and has become increasingly popular in teas, smoothies and baked goods.
From drinks to desserts, matcha adds a unique flavor that can’t be replicated with any other ingredient.
But what if there’s not enough time to make a special trip to the store for matcha? There are several substitutes which can give dishes similar color and flavor as matcha.
Knowing how to cook with them and substitute them for matcha will ensure that you get the same desired outcome even without this special ingredient.
Let us look at some of the best substitutes for matcha powder.
What’s Matcha Powder?
Matcha powder is a special type of green tea powder that is often used to make traditional Japanese tea.
Matcha powder comes from whole green tea leaves that are ground into a fine powder.
This powder can then be whisked into hot water to make a foam tea with an intense umami flavor, rich in nutrients and antioxidants.
Additionally, Matcha has numerous other culinary uses such as baked goods, smoothies, lattes, ice cream and more.
It’s important to note that not all Matcha powders are the same.
Different grades of Matcha will vary in flavor, aroma, color and texture — each grade has its own unique properties depending on the particular growing area or region it comes from.
Some popular matcha grade types include ceremonial grade, premium grade and culinary grade Matcha.
Using the proper techniques when handling and preparing matcha will ensure that you get the most out of your beverage or dish once brewed or cooked with it.
To get the best results out of the high-quality matcha powder you purchased for your cooking or beverages follow these steps:
- Add water (around 75 degrees Celsius) to your cup.
- Add around one tablespoon of matcha power using a spoon.
- Using a Bamboo Whisker (Chasen), begin slowly whisking the mixture until it is fully blended.
The 5 BEST Substitutes for Matcha Powder
Despite its growing popularity, matcha powder can sometimes be difficult to find or too expensive for some budgets.
Fortunately, there are several substitutes which can provide similar flavors and health benefits to matcha powder at a fraction of the cost.
Here are five of the best substitutes for matcha powder:
1 – Green Tea
Green tea is the most obvious substitute for matcha powder.
While not as concentrated in flavor or complexity as matcha powder, green tea does contain the same antioxidants, polyphenols, and L-theanine (a unique amino acid not found in other plants).
It also contains the same amount of caffeine as matcha, so if you’re looking for a much subtler variant of green tea with a milder taste than matcha, green tea is a great option.
Green tea also has many health benefits associated with it and can be made into iced or hot black tea lattes.
2 – Yerba Mate
Yerba mate is made from the leaves of a species of holly called Ilex paraguariensis, native to South America.
The leaves are dried, roasted, and then steeped to create a beverage that has some similarities to tea.
Yerba mate is unique in its caffeine content, as it contains more caffeine than black tea but significantly less than coffee.
This makes it an ideal substitute for matcha powder in terms of providing an energy boost without the jittery feeling associated with high levels of caffeine.
Yerba mate can be consumed as an infusion with hot water or cold for a refreshing, iced drink.
Additionally, because the flavor profile is richer than green tea, some believe that adding yerba mate to recipes can give them a depth and complexity similar to what they would get with matcha powder.
3 – Spirulina Powder
Spirulina powder is one of the best substitutes for matcha powder due to its similar intense green color and health benefits.
Although it doesn’t have the same flavor as matcha, it can be used effectively in many recipes as a substitute.
Spirulina is an edible cyanobacterium, commonly known as blue-green algae.
It has been consumed by cultures around the world for centuries due to its high nutritional content, containing all essential amino acids, essential fatty acids, vitamins A, D and E and minerals like iron, zinc and magnesium.
Spirulina powder can help boost energy levels throughout the day with its high levels of protein and B-12 vitamins, has antioxidant properties that can help neutralize free radicals in our bodies, contains important carotenoids that are beneficial to our eyesight and skin health and helps support a healthy immune system with its natural antioxidants.
It’s also beneficial for those looking to boost their fiber intake or trying to lose weight since it helps curb cravings.
If you’re looking for a healthy alternative to matcha powder that offers all of these health benefits — spirulina is your answer.
4 – Barley Grass Powder
Barley grass powder is derived from young barley plants and has a mild flavor.
It’s slightly sweet and grassy, but can be blended with other strong-flavored ingredients to create delicious matcha substitutes.
Barley grass powder is packed with nutrition, including lots of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
Since it’s already in powder form, it makes a great alternative for recipes that require melted or dissolved matcha.
Barley grass also contains lots of chlorophyll; so you get a satisfying color boost when using this as a substitute for matcha.
Additionally, due to its high content of resistant starch, barley grass powder is digested slowly which makes it great for optimizing energy levels without the potential crash associated with higher-carbohydrate sources.
5 – Moringa Powder
Moringa powder is a great substitute for matcha powder and retains much of the same nutrition and flavor.
Moringa is made up of ground leaves from the Moringa Oleifera tree, which is native to India.
It has a slightly earthy, minty flavor with undertones of sweetness and a hint of bitterness.
Moringa contains all essential amino acids, antioxidants, iron, calcium, magnesium and many others.
It also has high levels of dietary fiber, which makes it especially beneficial for those working to keep their blood sugar levels in check.
In terms of its color, moringa powder ranges from bright green to yellowish-green depending on its level of ripeness when picked.
Moringa can be used in hot or cold beverages as well as stirred into yogurt or oatmeal.
Matcha powder is a incredibly versatile ingredient with many uses, both culinary and medicinal.
It has antiviral, antimicrobial, and antioxidant properties to improve skin health as well as numerous beneficial nutrients.
Whether you are a fan of matcha or just like the flavor profile, it can be difficult to find the best substitute for matcha powder.
There are many potential substitutes that could work in place of matcha but it’s important to understand the different nuances in flavor and safety.
With its high nutrition content and unique flavor profile, matcha powder is an excellent alternative for green tea lovers who want to explore other flavors or uses for their favorite beverage.
Ultimately it’s up to each individual consumer to decide which substitute works best for them given their own preferences and needs.