I have recently gotten in the habit of making a treat that will last for the week to enjoy as a mid-afternoon snack to have on hand while I’m out for the day. I decided to branch out this week when I came across a deliciously looking GREEN recipe from My New Roots. It reminds me of a cross between a rice crispy square and a sesame snap, with a kick of matcha!
These matcha bars have a great sweet and salty flavour. The matcha is very subtle and can be omitted if you don’t have matcha on hand. You can sub another superfood powder in place such as cacao powder, goji berry or camu camu powder. The next time I make them, I am going to cut down the amount of oats in the recipe and sub the oats for sesame seeds for an added boost of calcium and magnesium. If you prefer paleo treats, adding sesame seeds and coconut flakes instead of oats would be a great option. To me, the selling feature of these bars is that they are not over sweetened and are paired with some good fats and protein which prevents blood sugar from spiking (and a cascade of hormonal imbalances from occurring).
Matcha is definitely the star ingredient in this recipe. Matcha is a form of green tea that is finely ground and powdered into a concentrated source of antioxidants. One serving of matcha offers the equivalent amount of nutrients that 10 brewed cups of green tea does and has 137 times more antioxidants than a cup of brewed green tea. Antioxidants are chemical compounds that prevent aging and chronic diseases. So, the more you have, the better equipped your body is in fighting against infections and disease. The reason why matcha is so high in antioxidants is because it has a unique class known as catechins. For example the catechin, EGCG provides potent cancer-fighting properties. It also counteracts the effects of free radicals from pollution, UV rays, radiation and chemicals. Some other benefits of matcha include:
- Boosting metabolism and burning calories
- Detoxifying effectively and naturally
- Calming the mind and relaxes the body
- Is rich in fiber, chlorophyll and vitamins
- Enhancing mood and aiding in concentration
- Providing vitamin C, selenium, chromium, zinc and magnesium
- Preventing disease
- Lowering cholesterol and blood sugar
So now that we all know how good matcha is for us, let’s get to the recipe. It is definitely not a by-the-books recipe so feel free to get creative with the ingredients. The honey can be subbed out for maple syrup but the brown rice syrup should definitely remain in the recipe because that’s how the bars stay together so nicely. These bars pair deliciously with a hot cup of tea or a frothy (matcha) latte.
- 2 cups rolled oats
- ½ cup sunflower seeds
- ½ cup pumpkin seeds
- 1 ½ cups unsweetened puffed rice cereal (rice, millet, quinoa etc.)
- ½ cup dried fruit (raisins, dates, figs, goji berries), chopped
- ¼ tsp. flaky sea salt
- 1 Tbsp. matcha green tea powder (to your taste)
- 1/3 cup brown rice syrup
- 3 Tbsp. honey (or maple syrup)
- ½ cup tahini
- 2 Tbsp. coconut oil
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
How to Make:
- Preheat oven to 325°F.
- Put oats and seeds on a baking sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes, stirring once or twice, until the oats are golden and have a nutty aroma.
- In a small saucepan combine the brown rice syrup, maple syrup, tahini, coconut oil, vanilla. Whisk to combine. Do not overheat.
- In a large bowl, combine the cooled oats and pumpkin seeds with the chopped dried fruit, rice puffs, salt, and matcha. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and stir quickly to mix.
- Pour the mix into an 8 or 9” pan lined with plastic wrap. Press the mixture firmly, especially into the corners.
- Place in the fridge for a couple hours to firm up, then remove from fridge and slice into bars. Keep leftovers in the fridge for up two weeks.