Matcha is all the rage these days! Matcha is a form of powdered green tea. The green tea leaves are dried and ground into a powder, which are then mixed into hot water for a very potent green tea.
Matcha contains a specific amino acid called L-Theanine that has been shown to counteract stress, as well as a unique class of antioxidants known as catechins, which have potent cancer-fighting properties. It also contains chlorophyll, which is associated with lower rates of certain cancers. Green teas in general have been associated with a significantly lower risk of cardiovascular disease and lower total cholesterol.
My favorite tea shop, The Republic of Tea, recently sent me some of their new line of Super Green Teas to try. They have 4 different types: Lean Green, Brain Boost, Serenity and Immunity. All have a blend of matcha and green tea plus a variety of herbs like echinacea in the Immunity blend and lavender in Serenity. Regardless of the extra benefits, their green tea has the best taste of any of green tea I’ve tried. You know it’s a quality green tea when the tea actually steeps green, not brown.
Now back to these granola bars. The great thing about the powdered form of matcha is that you can do lots of other things with it other than just drinking it in the form of tea. Think smoothies, baked goods, lattes, etc. In this recipe, the matcha is mixed into the granola which is also packed with tons of healthy fats, protein, and complex carbohydrates, so you can get all your macronutrients in one place, plus a load of micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) too.
Recipe and photo by Mary Curnutte, Nutrition Awareness Intern