We grew up eating Jell-O® just like every other American kid, we liked Jigglers®, and our moms made wobbly molds filled with fruit. But what nobody ever told us until we were adults is that the very same substance that makes fruit and water stabilize into a gelatinous mass is also one of the substances that makes bone broths so nourishing and healing. Stick a chicken carcass or beef bones in a pot and simmer it with water for a few hours, and there’s a reason that what emerges helps you feel better—the cooking process helps the bones release gelatin, the gut-healing ingredient known to grandmothers for hundreds of years.
Being that we’re nearing the end of our cookbook deadlines, there have been too many pizza doughs and loaves of bread and sourdough crackers laying around for us to also find room for whole chickens in our diet, so our bone broths have been sorely lacking from our lives. Still though, even when we’re busy, there’s time to whip up a hot pot of tea and combine it with water and gelatin. The idea came to me while I was brewing probably my fifth cup of matcha tea this month: I knew you could make gelatin with fruit juice, so wouldn’t the same thing work with tea? And indeed, two batches later, I can tell you the answer is yes! It’s so easy! And when I grab a single serving to slurp in the kitchen or at my work desk, I’m also gaining the benefits of fresh mint (read more here) as well as matcha, which you may remember our mentioning in those naturally colored tricolor cookies last month and for which you may read a a lengthy look at the health benefits here.
Matcha Mint Tea Gelatin with Honey Vanilla Whipped Cream
As it's unlikely many people reading this will have tasted matcha mint tea before, let alone matcha mint tea gelatin, let's talk about taste: Think of the clean, almost grassy flavor of green tea, combine that with light and refreshing fresh mint, and add it raw honey to sweeten. What results is this recipe, which is both bright from the gelatin and luscious from the homemade whipped cream.
- 6 cups of water, divided
- 1 tablespoon fresh mint leaves, plus more to garnish
- 3 tablespoons raw honey
- 3 matcha green tea bags
- 3 tablespoons gelatin (we recommend Great Lakes Unflavored Gelatin)
for the whipped cream:
- 8 ounces (236 ml) heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons raw honey
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, bring 3 cups of water to a boil. Reduce to simmer and add 3 tablespoons of honey and 3 tea bags. Let steep for 3 to 5 minutes, according to tea package recommendations.
Meanwhile, in a Vitamix or other large 8-cup blender, pulse together 3 cups of water and 3 tablespoons of gelatin. (The more you blend, the more frothy and bubbly the mixture will become, so try to only quickly mix to combine.)
Once tea has steeped, remove tea bags and mint, and pour tea directly into the Vitamix, on top of the gelatin mixture. Use a long wooden spoon (not using the blender's settings! that will overfill the container!) to just stir the cold and hot water together, helping the gelatin to fully absorb.
Pour blender contents into 9 (4-ounce) juice glasses (or any 1- to 2-quart dish or container). Place in refrigerator to chill, 2 to 3 hours or until firm (you may cover with plastic once containers are no longer warm).
To make whipped cream, place heavy cream in a large 3- or 4-quart glass bowl. Using your left hand to tilt the bowl on its side and your right hand to run a hand mixer, blend the heavy cream on low speed until it starts to slightly thicken. Add honey and vanilla, and continue mixing until firm peaks form.
Remove firm gelatin glasses from the refrigerator to serve, and top with dollops of whipped cream and fresh mint to garnish.
While this recipe uses matcha green tea, the same recipe could be used with any herbal, black, green, red, or white tea.