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…
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
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…
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??