Marrying health with not only taste but ease and interest is something I aim for – most days. I’ve got better at it over the years, I think. Not only in my day-to-day cooking adventures but in recipe development for work, brands and here on my tiny slice of cyberspace. As we all seem to be spreading ourselves more thinly, many of us are looking for recipes and ideas that deliver a lot for very little effort, myself included.
Today’s easy-peasy recipe is pretty representative of where I want to go with my food – mixing the familiar with the more novel in a way that is both accessible and (hopefully) intriguing: specifically, oats, seeds, coconut, black treacle, turmeric, maca, matcha green tea, yuzu powder.
Without wanting to brag, these are the best granola bars I’ve ever made. Note the “I’ve ever made”, not “I’ve ever had”. But I’m happy with that.
Granola bars are tricky little beasts. You would think that with the simple ingredients you could just mix it all together and all would be well. You would be wrong. Getting the right balance of stickability is not for the impatient or slap-dash: too much and you risk an emergency visit to the dentist; too little and it falls apart in your hands. Commercial granola bars rely on a combination of sugars, baking and voodoo to weld the whole thing together in a most disconcertingly homogenous way. Being unschooled in voodoo my minimally -sweetened and unbaked granola bars are no match for the uniform look of the bought ones. Tricky little beasts, indeed.
Maybe you have cracked the to-me elusive combination of healthy and cohesive granola bar, but I confess that for all that I think this is a winner as far as the tricky balance of taste and health, these do crumble a bit. I hope that’s not a deal breaker for you. I think of the crumbly bits that one gets when cutting these up as bonuses to add into yogurt, on top of a scoop of the something fruity and frozen, popped into the mouth as the baker’s perk.
It’s not as bad as I am making out, but I don’t want you to think you will get a perfectly formed bar. Scoring your batch before cooling will definitely help. Perhaps adding a bit of mashed banana would do the trick (not a banana fan as sweetener I’m afraid – too dominant). I realise my less than pro-looking bars are because I err on the side of not very much sugar and adding in healthy powders and lots of whole foods, but I’d rather eat my slightly crumbly, nutritious bites than what passes for healthy granola bars at the shops. In any case, a good dunking in melted dark chocolate will cure the crumbliest of granola bars, right? But if you are up for it, these are amazing with the optional yuzu drizzle.
I’ve saved posting this until St Patrick’s Day, but these are no novelty green food so make them up for any day. Besides, they aren’t very green. These granola bites are perfect for lunch boxes and after-school/3 pm snacking, and keep very well for up to a week. Not bad for a low effort, effort. 🙂
Are you eating anything green for St Patrick’s Day? How is your granola bar game? Care to share your secrets?
Matcha Green Tea Granola Bites with Yuzu Drizzle
Heavily adapted from a recipe in Clean, Green Eats by Candace Kumai.
These granola bites are very easy to make, but as they are no-bake treats they need to be handled with a little care. We took some to the beach recently and ate them without any crumbling, but it was a cold day. 😉
The yuzu drizzle is brilliant – the two Japanese ingredients of matcha and yuzu are made for each other – but completely optional. Not everyone has yuzu powder or juice: use lemon juice instead, eschew completely for a bare bar, or even douse in melted chocolate. xx
100g (1 cup) whole rolled oats
50g (1/2 cup) green pumpkin seeds/pepitas
60g (3/4 cup) flaked almonds
50g (1/2 cup) sunflower seeds
60g (1/2 cup) Grape Nuts cereal, soaked in warm water or green tea for 10 minutes and drained (or use 1 & 1 /2 cups oats)
12g (1/2 cup) puffed quinoa or amaranth – optional
20g (1/2 cup) shredded unsweetened coconut
2 tbsp maca powder – optional
2 tbsp chia seeds or flax seeds, lightly ground
1 rounded tsp matcha tea – the less expensive culinary grade is fine here
1/2 tsp ground turmeric, optional
85g (1/4 cup) black treacle/blackstrap molasses (they are not the same thing, but either are fine here)
85g (1/4 cup) maple syrup
180g (3/4 cup) cashew or almond butter
1 rounded tbsp coconut oil
1/4 tsp fine salt
1 tbsp yuzu powder
5 tbsp powdered/icing sugar
Enough water to make a drippy drizzle!
OR melt about 100g dark best quality chocolate (I like Lindt or Green and Black’s cooking chocolate)
1. Preheat oven to 180C/160C fan/350F (this is for toasting some of the ingredients). Completely line a 9 x 13 tin or glass dish with parchment paper, with some of the paper sticking up so you can lift it all out to cut up.
2. Put oats, almonds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and coconut flakes on a baking tray and bake in the oven for eight minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool.
3. Meanwhile, pop the wet ingredients into a large saucepan and heat through, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon or heat-proof spatula.
4. Add everything from the tray and all of the remaining ingredients to the saucepan and turn well with a spoon or spatula. Press the mixture (it will smell amazing!) into the lined tin or dish, folding the paper over it (or use a sheet of cling film) to really press down and get any air out. Smooth your hand along it, score it with a sharp knife, cover and let it cool and harden for at least an hour before cutting. If it is warm where you are, pop it in the refrigerator. Once cut into squares, drizzle over the sweet yuzu mixture or melted dark chocolate. Andrew likes them bare. The bars, not himself. 😉
Other Green Tea Treats on Food To Glow
Matcha Almond Skillet Blondies
Green Tea, Lime & Passionfruit Polenta Cake
If you are wanting some savoury green food, why not try my Vegan No-Chicken Salad, Jalapeño-Ranch Kale Chips, Vegan Miso Creamed Kale, Cauliflower and Green Olive Tapenade Gratin, Wild Greens, Chickpea and Ricotta-Feta Borek/Pie, Pea & Coriander Dip, or Broccoli, Spinach & Wild Rice Phyllo Pie? I’ve got loads of “green” foods, so have a look through my messy, sprawling index for more ideas.
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39 thoughts on “Matcha Green Tea Granola Bites with Yuzu Drizzle (vegan/gf recipe)”
These look great! I try to add matcha tea to something everyday. Don’t know if it is doing me any good or not but I keep using it!
It will be, Heidi! I drink a cold pint of it every day, often with a drop of turmeric extract (I get the latter from Spice Drops – love their stuff). It’s habit I have. I even take it on holiday with me as I will have that instead of coffee.
Wow there are definitely lots of ingredients here that are new to me – I’m not very adventurous! You always make these things sound so intriguing.
Thanks Becca. The yuzu is great in sweet and savoury dishes. I prefer the powder to the liquid as the latter can go off if you don’t use it in good time. The maca is renowned for its hormone balancing properties, among other things. Great for ladies of any age. And men for a natural Viagra! Apparently 😉
Amazing pictures. Love the vibrant colors/style you bring. Matching matcha and yuzu here is pretty brilliant. Maybe we can go even harder pedal-down with the Asian by using some black/white sesame seeds. Looking forward to trying this recipe!
That’s a fabulous idea! I have some of both. Next batch! Thanks for the suggestion. Top Tip. 🙂
Looks delicious 🙂
These look awesome! Healthy vs sugary and filled with hydrogenated oils you can usually get in a box from store.
This is the first time I see yuzu powder. Thank you for sharing.
I know, right? Looking at labels can be pretty scary these days, even with so called health foods. Much better to make your own with stuff you know about. Oh, yuzu powder keeps for ages so it is a good investment.I use it in sweet and savoury dishes. 🙂
YUM!! These look amazing! What a great recipe! Thanks for sharing!
I’m so glad it appeals to you Callee. 🙂
What a fabulous “fully-loaded” granola bar recipe! I’m afraid I haven’t made much in the way of granola bars, so i have no anti-crumble tips for you. No worries though. It’s not a deal breaker for me. Especially if I can douse them in melted dark chocolate 🙂
I usually do a raw bar rather than granola-type bar, the squash it all together kind. But granola bars are that much more portable. Either are nice if you like all of the ingredients though. Thanks for stopping by, EA and for the lovely tweet too!
These sound incredible!! Such a great breakfast-on-the-go idea!
Thanks Jess. The crumbly bits are especially nice added to some coconut yogurt – mmm
Granola bars are indeed very very tricky because you can eat too much! I’ve always had this terrible habit of eating ten granola bowls in one sitting and too many Nature Valley oats n’ honey bars all at once because they were so so delicious!
Ha ha! I hadn’t thought of it that way but you are right, Cassie. 😉
Love the combination of matcha and Yuzu drizzle. Sounds and looks really yum. Would love to make these, but oats in Australia are not gluten free. Is there a substitute ingredient that I can use instead of oat?
Maybe they are available online for you? We are spoiled perhaps as we grow them in Scotland, and it is easy to get gf ones. Or rather of course oats are gf but often contaminated in processing. How about buckwheat flakes?
A little bit goes a long way with matcha in terms of its super nutritional value, it’s great! These granola bars look fantastic!
Aw cheers, Jemma. 🙂 I drink a pint of cold matcha tea every morning, and *knock on wood* I have managed to escape the colds, coughs and other nasty bugs doing the rounds over the past few years. That and turmeric are my daily go tos.
Love the look of these! I’ve bookmarked your recipe to make this weekend, thanks for sharing!
That’s so great to know, Grace. I hope you like them – with or without the yuzu 🙂
Wow these look awesome!!! and so packed with goodies!!!
Thanks! I don’t think I could have added anymore or they wouldn’t have stuck together 😉
I actually have some yuzu powder that I got sent, but I had no idea what to do with it. Now I do! These are some unique and delicious granola bars.
One of the very few who are reading this I’m sure! I was sent some by souschef ages ago but used it up and ordered some for myself. Here is another recipe I’ve posted with yuzu just to give you an idea of how I use it in savoury dishes. http://kelliesfoodtoglow.com/2015/09/07/burnt-aubergines-avocado-tahini-sauce-with-fried-capers-and-chickpeas-vegan-gluten-free/
Kellie these look fantastic… love the colours and flavours! Granola bars are tricky indeed… haven’t made them for ages but remember getting into a sticky crumbly mess the last time I attempted it!
I’m glad you like the look of these, Katie. They aren’t too crumbly. Just a little bit 🙂
Your “tricky little beasts” look AMAZING! Love how inventive these are. I have definitely never had a granola bar with such a creative combination of flavors. And once again, your photos are breathtaking!
Thanks so much, Lauren. They somehow jive with your jackfruit char sui bao!
What a beautiful green colour and I love the sound of the yuzu drizzle
You’re unschooled in the art of voodoo?? I would never have said so ;o) Love the look and sound of these bars – and thrilled to know you are a fellow-banana avoider. Satan’s own fruit if you ask me 😉
Now I know what to do with the matcha that I got a few months ago! These bites look wonderful
loves those bites…:-) i must give it a go
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