Because sometimes you just need a little superfood pick me up. Any MATCHA lovers out there?
I’m back today with another NO BAKE recipe. It’s been ridiculously hot here in Northern California, and I haven’t had the heart to turn on the oven in days. It’s been all salads and fresh fruit for us all week, but I did make these fun Matcha Energy Balls to share with you.
What’s an energy ball, you may ask? Basically it’s a cute little snack loaded with healthy goodness to help fuel your busy day. They are totally customizable with your favorite nuts, seeds, nut butters and sweeteners, so the flavor combinations are endless. I like to keep energy balls stocked in the fridge for quick and easy snacking, especially as I’m running off to go work out or have a busy work day here on the blog.
If you don’t know what Matcha is, it’s a special type of powdered green tea that is grown and produced in Japan . The gorgeous green color and high chlorophyll content comes from the green tea leaves being shaded from the sun for the last few weeks of their growth. The leaves are then stone ground into a fine powder that can be used to make teas and other green tea flavored goodies.
So I’m going to tell you now that these Matcha Energy Balls are NOT intended to be kid-friendly. I tend to believe that caffeine is not good for kids. They have enough energy already. I’m pretty new to Matcha and have been experimenting with Matcha lattes made with homemade creamy pumpkin seed milk and matcha chia pudding. I’m enjoying the pick me up it gives me without making my feel crazy the way caffeine usually does.
What I love about Matcha:
- It’s caffeine but with out the jittery effects of coffee (the process of shading and harvesting increases the content of L-Theanine, an amino acid that helps balance the caffeine.)
- Antioxidants. A total buzzword, I know. But antioxidants help prevent or stop cell damage which can boost your energy and and your health. Basically they help counteract the damage from toxins we may come into contact with.
- Brain power. Think increased focus and concentration. This is because the L-Theanine in green tea is known to help stimulate alpha brain waves, which are associated with relaxed alertness and creativity.
- Chlorophyll. It’s the pigment that makes plants green. Turns out that it’s good for us too. It helps your liver do it’s daunting job of detoxifying your body, and studies have shown chlorophyll to reduce your risk for certain cancers.
I used dried apricots, pistachios, sunflower seeds, and tahini for the base of my energy balls. I prefer dried apricots as they have about half the amount of sugar as dates. I’m a bit obsessed with tahini right now, but almond butter, sunflower butter, or cashew butter works great too. But like I said, it’s easy to customize your own Matcha energy balls with whatever dried fruit, nuts, seeds, and nut butters you like.
I don’t recommend eating these little nuggets later in the day as Matcha does contain caffeine. But if you are looking for a delicious, easy and healthy way to fuel up and snack, you are going to love these.
FOR ENERGY BALLS
- 1/2 cup dried apricots (like this)
- 1/2 cup pistachios
- 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
- 1/4 cup tahini (I like THIS toasted brand)
- 1 tbsp coconut oil, melted
- 1 tbsp honey or maple syrup
- pinch of salt
- 1–2 tsp matcha powder ( I like THIS brand) ** see note below
- Process apricots in a food processor until completely broken up and starting to form a paste. Add the rest of the energy ball ingredients and process until well combined and nuts and seeds are broken up into tiny pieces. Taste and adjust for sweetness and salt.
- Spoon out a tablespoon of mixture at a time and roll into small balls. Set aside.
- Dust each ball with optional toppings: extra matcha, coconut shreds, pistachio pieces or cacao powder. Place in fridge to set for at least an hour. Store in air tight container in fridge for up to a week OR freeze for longer shelf life.
- I love dried apricots because they are not as sweet as some dried fruits. Feel free to experiment with raisins, dates, or dried cherries as well.
- I used tahini, but almond butter, sunflower butter, or cashew butter works great too.
- For better digestion, I always recommend using soaked/sprouted nuts and seeds. You can either buy them already soaked OR make your own. Simply soak in water with a bit of sea salt overnight. Drain and rinse. And dehydrate at 110’F until crispy.
** The recipe calls for 1-2 tsp of matcha. If you are sensitive to caffeine, use one. If you rock caffeine like a boss, use two.
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