The matcha green tea powder is of course what makes the granola bars green. It has a lovely tea-like flavor (thank you, captain obvious), and a nice little bitter nuance that I dig. But because matcha is a bit of a specialty item that can be hard to find and so darn expensive, the you can of course omit it entirely. Maybe sprinkle in another kind of superfood powder if you have it (lucuma, maca, baobab, raw cacao), cocoa powder, or protein powder, or whatever else you’re in the mood for. The point is, these are flexible and simple, and a great granola bar base recipe for you to play with. Party on.
The brown rice syrup makes the granola bars ooey-gooey, but because it isn’t overly sweet, I poured in a few tablespoons of maple syrup for good measure. If you are not vegan, you could replace the maple syrup with honey, but I wouldn’t replace the rice syrup with honey because then these would be way too sweet. Just sayin’.
If your tahini is unsalted, add a little more salt to the dry ingredients – I promise that you want the salty-sweet thing going on here. And if you have an allergy to sesame, or feel like something different, use another kind of nut or seed butter instead – hazelnut butter would be divine, pumpkin seed butter too, or combo it up, wild cat!
Matcha Green Granola Bars Makes 14 barsIngredients:
2 cups / 200g rolled oats, gluten-free if desired
1 cup / 135g pumpkin seeds
1 ½ cups unsweetened puffed rice cereal (rice, millet, quinoa etc.)
½ cup dried fruit (raisins, dates, figs, prunes, goji berries), roughly chopped
¼ tsp. flaky sea salt
1 – 1 ½ Tbsp. matcha green tea powder (to your taste)
1/3 cup / 80ml brown rice syrup
3 Tbsp. / 45 ml maple syrup
½ cup / 125ml tahini
2 Tbsp. coconut oil
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1. Preheat oven to 325°F/160°C. Combine oats and pumpkin seeds on a baking sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes, stirring once or twice, until the oats are golden and have a nutty aroma.
2. In a small saucepan combine the brown rice syrup, maple syrup, tahini, coconut oil, vanilla. Whisk to combine. Do not overheat.
3. In a large bowl, combine the cooled oats and pumpkin seeds with the chopped dried fruit, rice puffs, salt, and matcha. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and stir quickly to mix.
4. Pour the mix into a brownie pan lined with plastic wrap or baking paper. Press the mixture firmly, especially into the corners. Place in the fridge for a couple hours to firm up, then remove from fridge and slice into bars. Keep leftovers in the fridge for up two weeks.