A sweet, creamy keto version of a vanilla matcha latte perfect to sip any time.
Starbucks started my obsession with matcha lattes, so much so, that I had to seek out a sweetened matcha so I could make it at home. On keto, I wanted to recreate this much loved latte in a sugar free, low carb style, but I wanted to kick it up a notch on the flavor charts. That’s how my keto friendly vanilla matcha latte was born.
Creating the vanilla matcha latte
It took me awhile to perfect this recipe. At first I created this recipe without the thickened cream. That meant there wasn’t the frothy layer at the top of the cup that lattes should have. I’m not sure if it was the lack of froth that gave me a feeling of beverage flatness, or if it was just not meeting my expectations of a latte in general, so I tried again.
By whipping some cream with sugar I was able to create a frothy layer on the top of the latte. This solved the froth problem, however I had a new problem. When the cream is added to the top of the matcha latte, it’s cold because you can’t whip warmed cream, so I ended up with a disconnect in temperatures. Since I already wasn’t using the traditional frothed milk, having a cold, semi thickened whipped cream on top made it feel more like the whipped cream I’d add to a hot chocolate rather than a hot tea drink.
Back to the drawing board again and I learned that if I whipped the cream in the bottom of the mug first, then poured the matcha and almond milk over it, the cream would rise to the top of the glass and get warmed just a bit. It was still a little chilled, but it worked.
On to a new problem. Vanilla extract made my drink taste too much like a bitter alcohol, rather than providing the sweet vanilla flavor I was looking for. It’s a vanilla matcha latte, the sweet vanilla flavor is what I was expecting.
I didn’t want to use vanilla beans because once you open the pod you need to use all of the vanilla inside, and I didn’t want to waste any vanilla. Wasting is bad anyway, but with vanilla prices skyrocketing right now; nope, not going to happen.
Vanilla powder and maltodextrin
What I ended up doing was finding some vanilla powder. For me this was a great fix, what wasn’t so great, was the only vanilla powder I could find had maltodextrin in it. This particular maltodextrin is a corn based product (starch), is basically a sugar (maltose, a sugar produced from a breakdown of starch), has carbs, and has a higher glycemic index (GI) than table sugar making it not so keto friendly.
I have paid pretty close attention to my ketone levels after drinking the vanilla matcha latte when using the vanilla powder to create it, and it hasn’t affected my ketosis, however everyone is different, and everyone’s daily diet is different, so it could just be that the other things I’m eating during the day are helping me stay in ketosis or the maltodextrin level is small enough it hasn’t affected me. Either way, look for a powder that doesn’t have maltodextrin or other sugars if possible. Another possible fix could be to find pure ground vanilla beans. I couldn’t find this ingredient, except online, and I wanted it sooner than later, so I haven’t tried it yet. But I plan to!
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You can make the vanilla matcha latte using a basic wire whisk. If you’re looking for some new kitchen utensils or want to know what I use in my own kitchen, here’s the short list.
For the heavy cream
Handheld Milk Frother: This is the milk frother I purchased a couple years ago. It works great for giving whipped cream a bit of thickness, but it was only okay for actually frothing milk. Luckily I don’t need to froth milk for keto! The frother loses some of it’s higher speed soon after the battery is changed. It still works, but it doesn’t have the same power as with a fresh battery, though I do get a decent amount of uses out of a battery before it loses too much power to be effective. Even with the dropped power it’s good to thicken cream, but it might take longer if you actually want to make a firmer whipped cream.
For the matcha
Matcha Whisk: This is not the exact set I purchased since I bought mine in a locally owned Tea shop years ago. With that said, this matcha whisk set appears to be everything you need. It comes with the bamboo whisk, a matcha whisk holder (which I strongly recommend to help keep the whisk properly shaped and allows it to dry properly). It also comes with a matcha scoop and tea spoon, but I do not own either of them, so I can’t provide much commentary on them other than they look cool. I have made this vanilla matcha latte using both a regular wire whisk and a matcha whisk. I prefer the matcha whisk, but it takes an extra step or two.
In order to use the matcha whisk, you would only pour a small amount (maybe 1/4 to 1/3 cup, I’ve never measured) of the warmed almond milk into a bowl along with the matcha, sweetener, and vanilla. Then use the matcha whisk to fully combine the powders into the liquid. After whisking with the matcha whisk, you’d then add it back to the rest of the almond milk, and finally pour it into the thickened cream. The reason I prefer the extra steps is because I feel that the matcha whisk does a better job breaking down the powders for a smoother, less clumpy drink.
Alternative to frother or matcha whisk
Wire Whisk: Speaking of whisks, if you choose to use a wire whisk instead of the matcha whisk I suggest using a smaller wire whisk since this is just a single serve beverage. I own a set of wire whisks similar to this set and I used the smallest of the three whisks. Also, make sure you use something thinner like these whisks. In the past I owned a thicker plastic whisk and hated it because it did a horrible job breaking up smaller clumps. Due to the finer nature of the powders in this recipe, a thinner whisk will do a much better job to give you a smoother finished product.
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