I've been wanting to experiment with baking matcha muffins / loaf for a while now and finally gave it a whirl this morning. Fridays are my favorite time for baking so that I can post a recipe in time for YOUR weekend mornings. Last week I did peanut butter pancakes.
Today's fluffy, moist, freshly baked treat: gluten-free Matcha Morning Muffins - accented with ginger spice, banana, green California pistachios, vanilla and orange citrus juice - or non-dairy milk - whichever you'd prefer. I tried these muffins both fat free and with a splash of safflower oil - both ways were taste-test approved by my husband (who ironically hates all things tea - but loves all things muffins).
Plus get my Matcha 101 facts and info - a quickie smoothie recipe (or try my Secret Ingredient Matcha Shake recipe) - and how I ended up with three bottles of matcha...
I love matcha in smoothies & now in muffins!..
$50 30g jar of organic matcha, American Tea Room
muffins... (no oil added, gf, vegan)
or loaf (I added some safflower oil to the loaf)..
Matcha Morning Muffins or Loaf
makes 12 muffins or 1 loaf or 1 mini loaf + 6 muffins, vegan, gluten-free
1 1/3 cups gluten-free sweet sorghum white flour (Bob's Red Mill)
1 Tbsp organic matcha green tea powder (*)
2-3 tsp baking powder
3 Tbsp organic sugar (Florida Crystals)
2 bananas, mashed
1 cup orange juice (*see notes for non-dairy milk sub)
2 tsp flax seeds
2 tsp ginger powder
1 tsp salt
1-2 Tbsp safflower oil (optional)
2 Tbsp pistachios (optional)
1/4 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
* If you want to sub in soy milk for orange juice (gives a smoother, vanilla-ish flavor) you will want to add in a few extra tablespoons of sugar to account for the natural sweetness of citrus.
* I used 1 1/2 Tbsp matcha powder, but only do that if you like a stronger tea flavor.
* Also note - I did not use the super spensive matcha for muffins .. I only use that in beverage form :)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Combine all dry ingredients.
2. Stir flax seeds into liquid - allow to sit a few minutes.
3. Mash bananas. Fold all wet ingredients into dry and stir until smooth.
4. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes - or until edges look firmed. Loaf will take longer depending on size.
5. Cool a few minutes to allow muffins to set. Serve warm.
Nutrients per muffin (12 muffins per batch):
Calories: 107kcal, Fat: 1.4g, Carbs: 22g, Protein: 2.6g Fiber: 2.3g, Vita C: 20% RDA
matcha muffins or loaf..
What is Matcha? Matcha is a green powder made from ground whole leaf green tea. So instead of soaking the leaves and drinking an infusion of tea - you are in a sense "eating" or consuming the entire leaf of green tea. In turn, you are getting more antioxidant benefits and the "high" from green tea caffeine is released in a more even distribution - as opposed to a quick caffeine jolt and soon followed crash of energy. Matcha is also known for creating a sense of focus, calm - aka ZEN mood.
My Recent Matcha Obsession. In the past two weeks I've bought three different jars of matcha. Let me explain...
my three matcha jars...
I didn't buy them out of need - a bottle of matcha takes a good while to consume - but I was more so 'sold' on them. The first tiny jar was from Whole Foods - maeda-en brand. This was the tiniest and cheapest jar I could find - since I was trying matcha for the first time and didn't know if I would even like it.
Turns out, I love it! I went through most of that first jar very quickly. Then as I researched matcha I found that the benefits were plentiful and I'll admit to having sticker shock from some of the prices I found. An average price for 30g or organic matcha seems to be around $20-$30.
At Whole Foods, I found my second jar of matcha - made by The Republic of Tea - which was 43 grams at around $26. But then I realized that I was not buying organic matcha and that didn't sit well with me since green tea is such a delicate plant. So I sought out to find some high quality organic matcha - and I found myself at the American Tea Room in Beverly Hills with a salesman who is even more of a matcha-lover than me and drinks it everyday - sometimes twice a day. But I was pleased to meet him since he gave me some very interesting info...
From my chat with the salesman at American Tea Room, I learned that high quality matcha "is a art form - much like a fine bottle of champagne." Of course he was trying to sell me a $50, 30g jar of matcha at the time. Hmm..
No really, I actually do have oodles of respect for this 800 year old tradition of matcha. In fact I even caved and bought the $50 jar because it smelled so darn fabulous - and sitting next to the $170 jar of 30g matcha - it seemed like a deal.
Plus, the salesman confessed to me that he had tried both the $50 and $170 30g jars and they were about equal in flavor quality. The price difference came from how the matcha was made - the more expensive jar being painstakingly crafted in very small batches by Buddhist Monks - all according to the ancient traditions.
Are you following me?
Or did I lose you at the $170 jar of matcha?
My husband gave me a serious dose of evil eye when I grinned a wide smile, snatched a $50 jar and set it by the register for purchase. I've been blaming a lot of my super food purchases lately on my "smoothie book ingredient needs" but this one seemed a little far fetched for that - so I just followed my mother's advice "when in doubt - smile!"
I don't always splurge like that. And trust me, it was the fact that the American Tea Room was offering 15% off all purchases for father's day weekend that pushed me over the edge to buy it. If not for that, I wouldn't have caved so easily on my impulse purchase. But I must say that the American Tea Room matcha is pretty fantastic. Amazing, really. And as small as 30g seems - it should last me a good month.
So why my recent matcha obsession? Well here are a few tidbits of info..
Matcha Info (source: American Tea Room factsheet)
* Matcha is the oldest variety of shade grown Japanese green tea ground into fine powder - matcha has been a part of Zen Buddhist culture for over 800 years.
* By consuming green tea in the for of matcha - as opposed to drinking it - you are consuming 10 to 15 times more nutrients.
* Matcha is granite ground and is best when organic (for obvious pro-organic reasons like pesticides and earth-friendly status.) Granite ground teas contain the highest concentration of antioxidants compared to even fruits and vegetables.
* one gram of matcha has an ORAC (oxygen radical absorption capacity) of 1384. In comparison, one gram of spinach: 27, cranberries: 95, gojiberries: 253, dark chocolate: 227, blackberries: 54...
* Matcha green tea is the healthiest natural beverage known to mankind thus far .
..whoa, hold your horses ATR, that last statement is a little extreme - but I won't rule it out as a possibility. I'd call it a toss up between coconut water, pure spring or mineral water and then also maybe this amazing matcha stuff.
If you are still skeptical (like i was) just try it and see how it makes you feel. I've become addicted to my matcha high and enjoy it both dissolved in warmish (almost boiling) spring water - and also in smoothies.
Basic matcha smoothie: (many more in my 365 smoothie book!)
1 1/2 bananas, frozen
3/4 cup soy milk (vanilla flavor or add a squeeze of agave syrup)
1 teaspoon matcha
1/4 cup ice (optional)
(I like 1 tsp chia seeds added too)
Matcha Nutrients Note: I asked the ATR man if matcha is effective in smoothies and baked gods. He seemed to think that 'tea' form is best and the most widely studied - but smoothies could also be good. We both agreed that baking probably destroys some of the nutrients - but I honestly don't know for sure. Any matcha experts have some insight on this??