I recently had the joy of joining the good folks on the Home & Family show to make what has become one of my most favorite desserts: Matcha Custard with Berries (a recipe straight from the pages of Smart Plants)! We blended, we whisked, we poured, and we garnished, and in the blink of an eye, little cups of velvety-smooth bliss were served. If you want to see just how obsessed I am with this treat, just take a look at my face at the end of the video when I have a first bite! (Now you know why I don't play poker.)
Here's a little background on this recipe: I actually first developed this custard several years ago, when an event I was cooking for specifically requested an array of tantalizing treats that were healthy and packed with benefits. This custard recipe was one of those treats, and turned out to be such a hit, that I've been making it for all my social get-togethers (and my family) ever since. I love it because it's so easy (but seems fancy!), and can actually enhance how you feel on so many levels! That's why, by the time I started writing the recipes for my newest book, I knew this magical little concoction was one I definitely wanted to share. It's naturally packed with "smart plants."
Okay, I know what you're thinking: how can custard be so healthy? And I understand that! Custard, which is essentially like a thick pudding, is classically made with cream, sugar, and eggs ... and little else. But this recipe contains none of those things! In fact, my version is little more than cashews, matcha, arrowroot, and maple syrup, along with some extra-special superfoods.
Here's what's so wonderful about these ingredients:
Cashews: Great source of minerals, and the healthy monousaturated fats your brain (and body) loves.
Matcha Powder: A featured natural nootropic in Smart Plants! Excellent for calm focus and thought-flow, and highly neuroprotective.
Arrowroot Powder: No GMO cornstarch here! Arrowroot has small amounts of vitamins and minerals, and is especially good for the digestive process (healthy gut equals healthy brain).
Berries: Another featured natural nootropic in Smart Plants! Berries are well-studied for their abilities to promote better memory and learning, and protection against disease.
Cacao Nibs: Optional, but as a yet another featured Smart Plants natural nootropic, why not go all out? Cacao is packed with minerals like magnesium, amino-acids, and mood-boosting, attention-enhancing compounds.
Maple Syrup: A "better choice" sweetener. Still sugar, but used minimally (per serving), and offering at least a few trace minerals along with its great flavor.
Ready to make this "smart" recipe for yourself? Grab the recipe below, but first watch how easily it comes together here!
Matcha Custard With Berries
Reprinted with permission from Smart Plants, © 2019
1 cup raw cashews, soaked in water overnight
4 cups hot water
1 teaspoon matcha powder
7 tablespoons maple syrup
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
½ teaspoon sea salt
6 tablepsoon arrowroot powder
1½ cups fresh berries, such as blueberries, blackberries, or raspberries
1 tablespoon cacao nibs (optional)
Rinse and drain the cashews, and then place them in a blender. Add the hot water to the blender along with the matcha powder. If the top of your blender has a removable center cap, remove it to help release steam and then cover the top with a kitchen towel. Blend the ingredients into a smooth milk.
Pour 1 cup of the matcha milk into a medium bowl and set it aside.
Pour the remaining matcha milk into a medium pot. Whisk in the maple syrup, vanilla extract, and salt.
Add the arrowroot powder to the reserved matcha milk in the bowl and whisk the mixture into a slurry. Add the slurry to the match milk in the pot and warm it over medium-low heat. Whisking continuously, cook the mixture for 4-5 minutes or until it begins to thicken into a loose, pudding-like consistency. Once the consistency has thickened, take the pot off the heat immediately—the custard will continue to solidify as it cools. Pour the custard into a large container or 6-8 individual small cups (ramekins work well). Serve the custard warm or cold, topped with plenty of fresh berries, and cacao nibs if using.
Variation: Orange blossom water, a natural extract also used in Moroccan cuisine, is a wonderful addition that adds a sensual floral flavor to the custard. To use, add 1½ tsp of orange blossom water to the matcha milk while you’re adding the maple syrup, vanilla extract and salt to the pot.
On social? Don't forget to #humblebrag about your delicious superfood creation, and be sure to tag us at @luminberry and @superfoodjules on Instagram, or @luminberry and @superfoodcuisine on Facebook.