Who doesn't need a little boost to get on with the day and get things done? Many turn to coffee for that spurt of energy, but there's a healthier, more nourishing, and less-stressing alternative: green tea powder, also known as matcha. And although we would all love to sit down, relax, and sip on some matcha tea for breakfast, a green tea granola bar is a better alternative for busy people on the go.
In this recipe, we will show you how to make matcha "green-boost" granola bars that are both vegan and gluten-free.
In less than 30 minutes, you can make a big batch of these energy bars for the whole week. The list of ingredients is short and accessible: only natural, plant-based, and healthy ingredients, without added refined-sugars or unnecessary fats.
To make wholesome and energetic snacks, we need proteins, lots of dietary fibres, some powerful - yet beneficial - stimulant, and something to glue it all together. We packed all of these properties into a portable treat. If you are into nutrition facts, keep reading to learn more. Or jump straight to the recipe below!
Matcha is the pillar ingredient in our green energy bar. We wrote an in-depth article on why caffeine from matcha is healthier than coffee's, which we encourage the curious and the coffee lovers to read.
In short, both matcha and coffee have caffeine, a source of excitement for our body, but also anxiety and nervousness. Unlike coffee, matcha contains a chemical called L-theanine that promotes a state of calm and mental alertness and offsets the harmful effects of caffeine. So while both coffee and matcha can boost our energy levels, too much coffee makes us nervous, whereas matcha puts us in a state of focused alertness — ideal for working and studying!
As a source of proteins, we used almonds and almond butter. You can use peanut butter if you prefer, or any other nut butter that you fancy. We like almonds because they are a rich source of vitamin E, unsaturated fats, and magnesium, and have a delicate taste.
For extra vitamins, fibres and precious antioxidants, we added a mix of pumpkin seeds, oats, and the superfood goji berries. Learn about the nourishing properties of goji berries here.
The bell rings and class is over. Now let's have some fun together and prepare some crunchy matcha tea granola bars!
Can granola bars be frozen?
Our matcha granola bars will keep well in an air-tight container for up to a week. If you want to extend their life, freezing them is the best option.
We often end up with heaps of food when testing our recipes. We feel a sense of relief by knowing we can turn to the freezer and save the product of our hard work for a later date.
Some recipes are better suited for freezing than others. Chewy and low-water content foods, like these matcha bars, are ideal candidates, as they can thaw quickly and often without re-heating.
As these bars are a bit sticky, we suggest you keep them separate while freezing. If you have enough space in the freezer, lay them down without touching one another. Otherwise, stack them in a bag interleaved by layers of parchment paper.
You can enjoy our matcha bars cold or at room temperature. For a refreshing snack, take them out of the freezer and wait 3-5 minutes before eating.
Are granola bars good for weight loss?
We can't vouch for all granola bars, but ours are perfect for people that are watching their weight. We have used plant-based ingredients rich with healthy fats and gut-friendly fibres, and we cut on all refined sugars.
What makes a winning weight-loss snack? It's all about loading on fibres and limiting carbs, especially simple carbohydrates like white sugars.
But you shouldn't stop there. What's the point of losing weight if you are not nourishing your body? After all, you can lose weight by simply not eating, and that won't take you far. The trick is to find the right balance of complex carbs, healthy fats, vitamins and proteins so that you digest more slowly, you feel satiated with less, and your body gets everything it needs to function well.
A cupful of mixed nuts and seeds can do wonders for you, as they abound with heart and cholesterol friendly fats, vitamins and essential minerals. Good news, we've got plenty of nuts and seeds in our granola bar.
When it comes to fibres, we could think of no better ingredient than oats for our recipe. Oats are cheap, easy to find in any store, and so wholesome. They pack a powerful soluble fibre called beta-glucan, which bears many health benefits. It makes you feel full for longer, keeps blood glucose levels in check, and lowers bad cholesterol.
To make our green boost-bars even more nourishing, we sprinkled in a few goji berries. These berries are a member of the exclusive superfood family. Imagine that just a handful covers all your recommended daily intake (RDI) for vitamin A and half of your RDI for vitamin C.
To sum up, adding our matcha bars to your weight-loss plan is a safe bet. Remember to be balanced and moderate in your eating habits. Your body needs fats - the good ones - to thrive, as well as proteins, vitamins, minerals, carbs, and the whole shebang.
We built a search engine to help you find recipes based on nutritional profiles. For example, check out this link for a list of recipes with low saturated fats, high-fibres, and low sugars.
Can I eat this matcha energy bar if I have diabetes?
Although these cereal bars are prepared without refined sugars, they still contain maple syrup, which people with diabetes should consume in moderation or remove altogether.
To be on the safe side, we recommend you replace maple with one of the diabetes-friendly alternatives mentioned below.
The great thing about preparing homemade granola bars from scratch is that you have complete control over the ingredients and thus over sugars and calories.
We suggest two options to make these snacks low-carb and diabetes-friendly.
The first is to replace maple syrup with date paste. Dried dates are naturally sweet, and have a low glycemic index (GI) and glycemic load (GL), meaning they will not spike your blood sugar levels. To make a date paste, blitz soaked dates with water in ratio 2:1, so, for example, 100g (3.5 oz) of dates and 50 ml (1.7 fl oz) of water.
Another way to make these oat and matcha bars totally sugar-free is to replace maple syrup with the same amount of nut butter and then add erythritol. This natural sweetener has zero sugars and zero calories, making it the perfect choice in low-carb diets for diabetics or for those following a ketogenic plan.
Our healthy granola bars recipe is gluten-free and vegan, prepared with plant-based wholesome ingredients. Now, with these maple syrup alternatives, you can also make them suitable for low-sugar diets.
Spread the oat flakes, chopped almonds, and pumpkin seeds over a baking tray lined with parchment paper.
Then, roast the ingredients in the oven at 170°C (340°F) for conventional ovens or at 150°C (300°F) for fan ovens for 10 minutes.
Toasted nuts and seeds will make the granola bars crunchier and more flavourful.
Blitz half of the oats, almonds, and seeds into a food processor until finely ground.
Meanwhile, warm the maple syrup and almond butter over low heat, and when the mixture starts to bubble, remove from the hob (1).
When melted, these two ingredients are runnier and make it easier to mix the dough. With their help, the bar will hold together perfectly.
Next, take a bowl and combine the oats, nuts, seeds, goji berries and matcha. Stir well to evenly distribute the green tea powder.
Then, incorporate the maple and nut butter and work the ingredients until you have a compact and sticky dough (2).
Transfer the energy bar mixture to a 20 cm (8 inches) square baking tin lined with parchment paper.
Press down with your fingertips to distribute the dough evenly. Then, press down as firmly as you can with the back of a spoon or a spatula. Pressing down hard here is very important as it will make the granola bar hold together when it cools down (1).
Let the slab set in the fridge until cold to the touch and then slice it into single-serving bars (2).
For a boost of fibres and precious omega-3 fatty acids, you can substitute a few tablespoons of oats with ground flax seeds. Thanks to its binding property, flax meal will make your green bars hold together even better.