This subtly sweet vegan smoothie makes the perfect summer breakfast—or dessert. [Photographs: Vicky Wasik]

I've long been a fan of matcha, the Japanese green tea powder that's fragrant and intensely flavored. On its own, the vibrant green powder is quite savory, but when incorporated into desserts such as French macarons, ice cream and even chocolate, it brings a wonderful depth that helps keep these dishes from slipping into too-sweet territory.

I was curious how matcha would work in one of my many breakfast smoothies, so I followed the lead of pastry chefs and matched the green tea powder with a sweet ingredient—banana—and blended the drink with soy milk, which pairs deliciously with green tea in lattes and bubble teas.

I was delighted with how the smoothie turned out. It's ultracreamy, thanks to the rich soymilk and frozen banana (the freezer is a handy place to store ripe bananas anyway.) The flavor is quite complex, with the matcha powder lending a subtle hint of umami that doesn't often show up in sweet drinks. Pale green and frothy, the smoothie was so delicious that I've been craving it at night, as dessert, rather than in the morning. Whether you choose to whip up this smoothie at 9 a.m. or 9 p.m., you can't go wrong.

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