I’ve developed quite a matcha obsession lately. In case you’re unfamiliar, it’s a traditional Japanese ceremonial tea, most often sold in powder form. It’s great hot, iced, as ice cream, in smoothies and matcha lattes – it has an earthier flavor than other teas, is absolutely refreshing, and gives me a boost when I’m trying not to drink so much coffee. Plus, matcha is good for you. Aside from being vitamin dense, it’s a great source of catechins (specifically EGCg) that fight cancer and, less important but also awesome, help with weight loss. Goooooo matcha!
Caffeine is a good friend of mine and sometimes the only way all this is possible, but you can also get a decaffeinated powder. Always look for an organic product (with all teas, for that matter). I got the US Whole Food Matcha product based on servings:price ratio and ratings.
Any baked goods I make are gluten free, and almond flour is a top ingredient for things that don’t “taste gluten free.” I get my almond flour/meal at Trader Joes (henceforth referred to as TJs), which uses the whole nut and is darker in color consequently. In retrospect, for more beautiful muffins to delight your eyes and entice you to bake them, I should have used a lighter meal like Bob’s Red Mill. The benefit of GF muffins (even for people that love gluten) is that the almond meal is high protein/low carb, and lower guilt. These muffins aren’t super sweet so if you like a morning pastry – let’s be real here, try and train your palate away from that – feel free to add more honey or a dash of maple syrup.
The baking ingredient in my kitchen that I hold on a pedestal, and think of as love in a jar when I drip it into sweets for my family is my Nielsen-Massey Pure Vanilla Bean Paste. I use it nearly every day in matcha lattes, smoothies, baby’s oatmeal, coffee, plain greek yogurt, coconut cream – I even use it in a Mexican cream corn soup in Pati Jinich’s amazing book Pati’s Mexican Table. If it’s not worth it to you to spend more than $10 on vanilla, TJs has some nice extracts, and is also where I most regularly buy honey, eggs, and coconut oil – but shop where you shop.
These muffins have what I need in the morning: low glycemic load so I’m not ravenous and hangry by 9:30am, a caffeine jump, great nutrients, and who doesn’t love a blueberry?
Preheat oven to 375F, and grease a 6-muffin pan with coconut or canola oil spray.
Combine all the dry ingredients in a large bowl until they’re completely mixed and all the wet ingredients in another bowl, and then fold into the dry ingredients. Mix well.
Add about a tablespoon of the mixture to the bottom of each muffin tin and flatten a bit with a spoon. Spread the blueberries between the 6 cups, and give them a little press so they settle into the batter. Spread the remaining batter over the blueberries evenly amongst the tins.
Bake for about 15 minutes, or until the top is a little bit toasty, and a toothpick (okay, I use a skewer) comes out clean. Let them cool before pulling them from the tin. Serve with coconut cream or enjoy with a nice warm cup of matcha. 310 calories, 26g good fat, 10g carbs, 4.3g fiber, 3.6g sugar, 11g protein. Serves 6.