March tends to be a very green month, not literally as there is still usually a lot of snow still on the ground here. Being Irish and my great grandmother and grandmother being very proud of their Irish heritage and wearing so much green it got past to me and my girls embraced it at a very young age. This came to be quit interesting as we spent a month in Ireland last year and it wasn’t as we dreamed it would be. Other than the occasional leprechaun seen outside the bars in the big city we didn’t see any running around, no pots of gold, no pipers playing down dirt roads, and no rainbows. I do have to say that while there weren’t a lot of people wearing green (soccer jerseys seem to be the preferred attire otherwise it as is it is here) the colors over there, the grass, trees, ect seemed to be greener. Here we tend to make a lot of green colored treats in March and what we thought were traditional Irish foods. I laugh at that one as they eat a lot of Chinese, Indian, and Asian food there more than the potatoes, sausages, sauerkraut we think of here. While you can still find those there, black pudding traditionally being served at breakfast there weren’t many Irish restaurants. So green foods this year, yep sure there will be the green smoothies that are a staple in our house but being a matcha lover I decided to take a different approach this year and do a lot of matcha recipes. I got a couple different brands of matcha that I buy and some were more green than others. The organic ones tend to be less of a bright green. As I was whipping up a couple of other recipes the girls informed me that we were out of granola well I guess I will have to make some then and since I had the matcha out it was going to be Matcha Granola. While it didn’t turn out as green as I would have hoped, I could had sprinkled more on after it came out which you can do, I didn’t want to use too much and have the girls not like it. Also adding in other green foods we had like pistachios and pumpkin seeds. You may notice this looks a little different than my other granolas. I actually kept it thicker while cooking and more pressed together. You can do this by baking in a 9×9 pan or using just the middle section of a lined cookie sheet and keeping it about 1/2″ or a little more thick. I also pressed it a little when it came out and let it cool completely on the pan before peeling it up and breaking into pieces so it is more like big granola bar like chunks which are great for snacking or adding more texture to top your parfaits or smoothies!
Are you a matcha tea drinker? Do you have a favorite matcha recipe?
Makes about 20 ounces, about a standard sized bag of granola (weighed this time as with big chunks it is hard to measure in cups)
2 tsp match powder, plus 2 tsp dusting optional
1/2c shredded unsweetened coconut
1/3c pumpkin seeds, unsalted raw
2 TBSP chia seeds
1/4c maple syrup, or honey
2 TBSP coconut oil, melted
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 dates roughly chopped, or dried cranberries, goji berries, or dried fruit of choice
Preheat oven to 300F. Rough chop almonds and pistachios, by hand or food processor. In large bowl combine almonds, pistachios, coconut, pumpkin seeds and chia seeds. In a small bowl combine maple syrup, coconut oil, vanilla, and 2 tsp of matcha powder. Pour wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and stir to combine. Stir in chopped dates or dried fruit of choice. Line a baking sheet or 9×9 pan with foil. Spread on a prepared baking sheet/pan, bake for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. Remove from oven, sprinkle with additional Matcha if desired. If wanting big chunks press granola together in the bottom of the pan or about 1/2″-3/4″ thick if on a baking sheet and let cool completely. Peel from sheet and break into pieces. Store in an airtight container. Enjoy!