Matcha green tea muffins with honey cashew icing – gluten free, grain free, dairy free, clean and paleo friendly.
I’ve always been slow when it comes to fashion and trends. If an outfit season had just ended, I’d want the item but couldn’t find it anywhere. Like the fact that matcha green tea powder was the “IT” superfood of 2015 and I’ve only just boarded the matcha obsession train mid 2016. Or the fact that instagram has become a more popular form of social media than blogging and I’m a relative newbie to it.
The only time I was on par with the latest trend was in the Summer of 1987 when bubble and frill skirts were all the rage. I owned one of each and wore them with abandon, only to mourn their imminent death shortly after.
Lucky for me health is not a fad so while everyone else may have moved onto spiralised veggies as noodles, cauliflower steaks and farrow, I’ll explore new dishes and flavours at my own pace.
Today I want to share with you a wonderful recipe that incorporates matcha green tea powder.
What is matcha green tea powder and why is it so good for you?
Matcha is green tea leaves ground into a fine powder. Long used in Japanese culture, the leaves are grown in the shade to increase their chlorophyll content. Once ready for harvesting they are picked, steamed, dried and ground. Consumed straight with hot water, matcha has 137 times more antioxidants than regular green tea. This is because you’re consuming the entire ground leaves rather than throwing a tea bag and all its leaves away. You will get the same nutritional benefit from 1 cup of matcha green tea as you would from 10 cups of regular green tea. It boasts 20 times more antioxidants than blueberries too!
The great thing is although it contains caffeine, you don’t get the jittery side effects that a cup of coffee would give you. You can find matcha green tea powder in health food shops or online. It’s also known to block fat absorption thus causing fat to be flushed out of your system rather than absorbed into your cells.
How to purchase matcha
Matcha can come with a slightly hefty price tag for a tea, so before you commit to buying some, try a matcha latte from a Japanese cafe or visit your local Asian grocery store who will most likely stock the powder for around $10. Culinary (food) grade matcha is great for flavouring food such as lattes, ice cream and cakes as it is stronger in flavour than ceremonial grade – which is of higher quality (and more expensive) but perfect for drinking as a tea. You notice the difference in taste as ceremonial grade is not as bitter.
If you enjoy matcha and wish to consume it regularly, you can move onto higher quality organic grades of matcha such as Matcha Live Longer which gives you the choice between 3 grades of matcha powder starting at $15 for 30 grams (free shipping on all orders). You could also try some from Kenko Tea – $34.90 for a 100 gram bag of organic cooking grade matcha powder. Otherwise give The Healthy Chef a go with her highest quality organic ceremonial grade matcha (can be used in drinks or food) at $68.95 for 100 grams (up to 100 serves). Your local health food shop should also stock matcha powder. I bought a bag from my health food store made by Matcha Maiden which is a great brand.
* Disclaimer: I am in no way affiliated with the above recommended brands.
These matcha green tea muffins with honey cashew icing are moist and delicious with the right amount of matcha flavour. However, they still had to receive the thumbs up from my taste testers, in particular, hard to please Kath who I refer to as Colin Fassnidge (MKR). Not that I’m complaining as Colin – er Kath makes me want to produce better recipes so for that I thank her. I’m pleased to say her moans of satisfaction and delight meant this baby was was ready to released to you. She threw in the word moist a couple of times too, just so you know.
They’re smaller than gluten filled muffins, more of a cupcake size, however they are nutrient dense and will fill you more than gluten baked treats of that size. The muffins themselves aren’t very sweet so the addition of the honey cashew icing will complement them perfectly. I find they turn out perfectly moist when an inserted skewer comes out a little dirty. Let them cool and then ice them. These muffins can be frozen complete with the icing and will taste just as great once thawed out. I had to freeze mine as I made them on a Saturday morning and not long after I arrived at work they were ready to be eaten. It was as if they were made fresh that morning. The icing may melt a little due to the coconut oil so keep this in mind if making them on a hot day. If that’s the case, you’re better off icing them immediately prior to serving. The icing can be kept in the fridge and when ready, spread with a knife or use a piping bag with nozzle. I transferred my icing into the piping bag immediately after making it. I let it harden in the fridge then piped it straight onto the muffins which gave it that lovely little snail twirl look.
Did you know?
Matcha green tea first originated in Japan when green tea seeds were brought over from China by the Zen monk, Eisai in 1191 AD. He planted them in the temple grounds of Kyoto and was the first person to grind the leaves into a powder for use in tea ceremonies. It was his encouragement of the cultivation of green tea trees and linked health benefits that launched tea in Japan on a large scale.
Samurai, the noble warriors of medieval and early-modern Japan, drank matcha before heading into battle due to the tea’s ability to create mental clarity and sustained energy.
Here’s an overview on what to do
Why this is so good for you
Matcha green tea powder increases mental alertness and clarity, increases immune strength, detoxifies the body, releases a sustained boost of energy (over 6 – 8 hours compared to coffee’s 30 minute quick boost), helps prevent and treat bacterial, fungal and viral infections, controls stress levels, reduces the risk of cancer, reduces the risk of diabetes, maintains cardiovascular health and helps maintain weight.
Almonds alkalize the body (good for fighting inflammation), nourish the nervous system, provide good brain function, build strong bones and teeth, provide healthy fats which aids in weight loss, reduce risk of heart disease and help protect against diabetes.
Arrowroot (starch) helps prevent neural-tube defect and other congenital malformation in offspring, helps regulate heart rate and blood pressure, aids in fat metabolism in the body, aids in digestion and regulates bowel movement, can relieve nausea and replaces nutrients that are lost due to diarrhea and vomiting.
Eggs are high in protein (which helps you keep full) and most of the nutrients are found in the yolk. Eggs help prevent age related deterioration of the eyes and prevent cataracts, blood clots, stroke, heart disease and breast cancer; promote the growth of healthy hair and nails; and aid in the brain development of a growing foetus.
Vanilla aids digestion, regulates blood sugar, reduces nervous tension, helps prevent PMS and keeps the heart strong.
Honey helps reduce the risk of heart disease, reduces ulcers, reduces throat irritation, strengthens the immune system, enhances performance and topically can help treat infections.
Cashews help prevent cancer, help reduce the risk of heart attack, help prevent age related eyesight deterioration, help protect against migraine, soreness and fatigue, help develop bone and connective tissue, aid in producing skin and hair melanin, reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes and help reduce the risk of developing gallstones.
Coconut/coconut oil speeds up metabolism, reduces the risk of heart disease, reduces the risk of diabetes, improves digestion, increases immune strength, is anti-bacterial, anti-vira, anti-fungal and anti-parasitic, prevents osteoporosis, prevents stroke and helps prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.
Coconut sugar aids digestive health and is low GI so it won’t spike your blood sugar levels and make you feel lethargic later on. It’s also not addictive like cane sugar.
I hope you enjoy.
Love, Tash x
* To measure ingredients for baking: I tip contents into cup, tap a few times till contents settle, then refill, tap again and then level off with a butter knife.
- 1/2 cup cashews, soaked overnight in cold water or in just boiled water for 20 minutes
- 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
- 1/4 cup honey
- 2 tablespoons arrowroot (starch)
- 2 cups almond meal/flour (finely ground, skinless almonds)
- 2 tablespoons arrowroot (powder/starch) or tapioca (powder/starch)
- 3/4 cup coconut sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 1/2 tablespoons Matcha green tea powder
- 1/4 teaspoon fine pink Himalayan salt
- 1/2 cup coconut milk (or milk of choice)
- 2 eggs (free range or organic)
- 1 teaspoon concentrated vanilla extract (or 2 teaspoons regular vanilla extract)
- Drain and rinse cashews. Place all ingredients in a high speed blender, small strong food processor or smoothie maker with ice crushing blades and blitz til smooth and creamy. Chill.(icing will thicken once cold).
- Preheat oven to 160 degrees C. Brush oil on the inside of patty cases so the muffins won't stick.
- Place all dry ingredients in a medium sized bowl. Mix well so the baking powder is distributed thoroughly.
- Whisk wet ingredients together and add to dry. Mix till just combined.
- Distribute evenly between patty cases and bake for up to 20 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out slightly dirty.
- Allow to cool completely before icing.