Vibrant and verdant matcha, a traditional tea powder hailing from Japan, is familiar in latte form thanks to coffeehouses throughout the land. But additional possibilities for incorporating this healthy super-ingredient in other recipes are vast, varied, easy and delicious.
For example, these mint and matcha-flavored protein bars, freckled with cacao nibs or mini dark chocolate chips and primed for portable eating.
Curiosity piqued? I hope so, because matcha is a flavor worthy of experimentation. It has a trio of characteristics –sweet, vegetal and mildly astringent–that add a mellow backdrop in all sorts of baked goods and beverages. Further, adding matcha to a recipe is as simple as stirring: no prior preparation is required, simply measure and mix in.
Beyond beguiling flavor, matcha is a spoonful of power. A short list of matcha’s benefits includes the following:
*Offers a rich source of antioxidants (15 times the amount of pomegranates or blueberries) and polyphenols (10x more than brewed green tea).
*Enhances cognition (bring on the memory and concentration boosts!)
*Increases energy and endurance (excellent pre-workout)
*Increases metabolism (burn those calories!)
*Enhances cholesterol profile (lowers (bad) LDL, boosts HDL (the good kind))
This past weekend, I crafted these no-bake protein bars to make the most of some matcha powder that has been on standby in my pantry. The additions of mint and chocolate are inspired from a recently consumed cookie with the same flavors. It was too good to have only once in a rare while!
If you are working hard to eat healthfully this January, my hope is that these treats, which are further enhanced with a scoop of plant-based protein powder, will keep you satisfied and on track.
Happy New Year!