But if spinach can break through those barriers, popping up in weight loss smoothies and even brownie recipes, so can matcha. Loaded with all-around amazing antioxidants and belly fat-busting compounds called catechins, this green tea powder packs a big punch of good-for-you nutrients. And when you combine health-boosting green tea with regular exercise and the proper foods, you’re guaranteed to see even faster, better results.
But you’ll need to think outside the cup to work this powerful drink into your daily diet. Try any one of these six super-smart ways to incorporate green tea into your routine on the regular — and we promise, just like with spinach, you’ll be happy you did.
Bake with it
Matcha powder is an insanely easy way to add the goodness of this powerful weight loss tea to your favorite baked goods. Try adding a tablespoon or two to your favorite cookie, cake and muffin recipes—it doesn’t magically diminish the effects of the sugar and other unhealthy ingredients baked goods usually contain, but at least you’ll be getting a side of anti-aging antioxidants and powerful metabolism-boosting compounds along with your sweet fix. Give green tea a whirl in your go-to shortbread or sugar cookie recipe, or try mixing it into berry-filled muffins or super-moist banana bread.
Create Some Kitchen Magic
Sub green tea for other liquids often called for in gourmet recipes, like wine or stock. It will give incredibly deep, rich flavor to your favorite dishes, plus you won’t have to worry about the impact of added alcohol or animal fats on your waistline. Try using it to poach fish or chicken, or as a base for sauces or a super-healthy vegetable soup. You can do the same for light desserts, like poached pears.
Blend it into a Smoothie
Gina Consalvo, MA, RD, LDN, CDE, NCC, recommends adding some green tea to your go-to morning smoothie for extra nutrition and health benefits. For an incredible start to your morning or a satisfying mid-afternoon snack, try her signature smoothie concoction: blend ⅓ cup green tea (1 teabag brewed in ⅓ cup water) with 1 cup of blueberries, 6 ounces fat-free vanilla yogurt, 1-2 tablespoons whole flax seeds and a couple of ice cubes. The yogurt adds smooth, warm vanilla flavor, creaminess, calcium and protein, while the flax seeds add a healthy dose of omega-3s. (Or try out our refreshing green tea smoothie recipes.) To get the most bang for your nutritional buck, sip one of these smoothie before a workout—green tea contains compounds called catechins that can help trigger the release of fat from your body’s cells and speed up the liver’s ability to turn all that stored fat into energy.
Shake Up a Cocktail
While there’s really nothing nutritionally sound about boozing, you can make sure that your cocktails at least boast some fat-blasting catechins by spiking it with green tea — also a noted calorie burner. No matter what your standard sip, it should be easy to incorporate into the recipe; the brew tastes divine with any number of other sweet or savory ingredients—herbs like mint or rosemary, citrus fruits like lemon, refreshing veggies like cucumber, or sweet add-ins like fresh berries or honey. In addition to belly fat-banishing compounds, you’ll be adding age-defying antioxidants to your alcoholic infusion.
Give No-bake Treats a Healthy Boost
If you’re not into turning on the oven in order to sate your sugary cravings, you can still make a little sweet treat that won’t wreck your weight loss goals. "If you crave sweets and just can't give them up altogether, you can give your desserts some added nutrition. Use green tea powder to flavor better-for-you sweets like a chia-based pudding or homemade, all-natural popsicles," says Katie Cavuto, MS, RD.
Flavor a Ho-hum Morning Meal
Add a little energy boost and extra flavor to your usual yogurt bowl or a.m. oatmeal habit. "You can easily give your favorite breakfast an extra healthy boost by mixing this antioxidant-loaded green tea powder into your go-to overnight oats recipe," Katie Cavuto, MS, RD, smartly suggests. And of course, making overnight oats means you get all the nutrition and goodness of whole oats without having to take the time to actually cook breakfast first thing in the morning when you’re crunched for time. Brilliant.
Eat This! Tip
If you're looking for tried and true ways to incorporate this powder into your meals from morning to night, rely on these weight loss-boosting matcha recipes.
To learn more about the wonders of tea, and get started on a 7-day plan that will melt up to 10 pounds, buy the 7-Day Flat-Belly Tea Cleanse now, exclusively in e-Book format. Available for Kindle, iBooks, Nook, Google Play, and Kobo.