Have you been tempted yet to supercharge your cuppa and turn it matcha green? This bright, finely ground green tea powder was, until fairy recently, most commonly associated with Japanese tea ceremonies; but it’s reputation for being a life-boosting superfood has meant that it’s popping up in all sorts of things, from smoothies to green tea ice cream and green tea lattes (yes, even Starbucks has a version). And now I’ve joined in by making these Matcha Raspberry Bliss Balls…
I love green tea – especially when I’m feeling a little under the weather – but I hadn’t yet tried matcha (in a cup of tea or otherwise), when a recipe in the latest issue of Vegan Life Magazine caught my eye. I was intrigued by the way it introduced this ingredient, as a flavouring for cupcakes, in a way that would appeal to people who had never tried it; which is, more generally, what I loved about this issue.
Timed to coincide with people’s likely forthcoming desire to start eating more healthily (my copy arrived on December 29th), the issue was absolutely bursting with bright, accessible and enticing recipes and advice on how to incorporate more whole foods and superfoods into your diet. As someone whose entire approach to eating is one of simple but delicious ways to produce whole food-centric meals, this issue really made me feel excited for the possibilities of others taking up this approach too; and it had some great raw and detox recipes that anyone could make with just a few ingredients.
I think that’s why, together with a really informative piece on the health benefits of tea, the matcha cupcake recipe appealed – it gave me an idea of how I could use this much-lauded superfood in a flavour-intense, sweet treat. I wanted to take the recipe for inspiration, rather than to make it myself, because, I’ll be honest, I’m just not a cupcake maker. There, I said it. Now, don’t get me wrong, the recipe looks really tempting, and I could certainly make adaptations to whole food-ise the ingredients, but I think I’ll leave that to the experts – I know when to play to my strengths, and frosting just isn’t one of them.
So, hot on the heels of the delicious success of my Macadamia Goji Bliss Balls, I decided to try out using matcha powder in a similar way. By using it in a raw recipe, these bliss balls benefit from the full nutritious value of the green tea. The zing of the raspberries really cuts through the dense chocolate and date flavours, making these fresh and bright, just like the tea that inspired them!
Still not convinced? Here are some great reasons to give these Matcha Raspberry Bliss Balls a go:
- matcha is a natural superpower – the leaves aren’t heavily processed, so the antioxidants contained within are found in far higher amounts than in regular green tea;
- matcha can make you happy! It is thought to have mood-boosting qualities;
- lots of B vitamins and chlorophyll, for great skin, hair, and a healthy heart;
- matcha can boost to your metabolism before exercise, which can aid weight-loss (making this a dessert that could actually help you to lose weight!);
- awesome antibacterial properties to help you to feel better when you have a cold; and
- all the benefits from a supercharged combination of antioxidants from the raw cacao and the raspberries (not forgetting the vitamin C), giving you an indulgent-tasting chocolate treat that’s really good for your health and happiness!
I coated these Bliss Balls using chia seeds, raw cacao and a mixture of raw cacao and matcha powder. If you’re new to matcha, I’d suggest only using a tiny amount in this way, as the initial taste can be quite strong, but it really does work well in combination with the raw cacao! I think these could be a really fun and unique addition to an afternoon tea – what better way to introduce this superfood to your friends?
- 10 dates, pitted
- 75g ground almonds
- 2 tbsp raw cacao (or cocoa powder)
- 8 raspberries
- 2 tsp matcha powder
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 2 tsp solid coconut oil
- Pinch Himalayan pink salt
- Chia seeds, raw cacao and additional matcha powder for coating
- Put all the ingredients except those you're going to use to coat the bliss balls in a food processor and pulse on a slow speed. The mixture should start to clump together; once this happens you can increase the speed to create a smooth paste.
- Use a teaspoon to scoop out a little of the mixture at a time and roll into balls using your hands.
- Put each of the coating ingredients in a small bowl and roll each ball in turn to cover completely.
- Store in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer.