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!Print
No-bake protein bars made with matcha, mint and plant protein powder! The bars are gluten-free, vegan, and easy-to-make, too.
- 1–1/2 cups rolled oats (certified GF, as needed)
- 1/2 cup vanilla vegan protein powder
- 3 tablespoons matcha powder
- 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed meal
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/2 cup almond butter
- 2/3 cup almond milk
- 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 3/4 teaspoon pure peppermint extract
- 3 to 4 tablespoons cacao nibs
- Grease or spray 10 cups of a standard size muffin tin.
- Process the oats in a food processor until finely ground; add the protein powder, matcha, flaxseed meal, and salt; pulse to combine.
- Add the almond milk, almond butter, maple syrup, and peppermint extract; pulse until blended and mixture comes together into a dough.
- Remove dough and roll into an even log (any size); slice crosswise into 9 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a ball and press evenly into prepared cups.
- Loosely cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Remove from tin and store as directed (be sure to eat one immediately, too—for quality control 🙂
Storage: Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 1 week or freezer for 3 months. Will keep, un-refrigerated, in a lunch bag/purse for transport during the day.
- Category: Protein Bars, Snack
- Serving Size: 1 round bar
- Calories: 149
- Sugar: 4.9 g
- Sodium: 79 mg
- Fat: 7.4 g
- Saturated Fat: 0.8 g
- Carbohydrates: 15.7 g
- Fiber: 4.4 g
- Protein: 7.2 g
- Cholesterol: 0 mg