Welcome to Springtime! Well, almost spring anyway…lol! The weather around Texas has been warming up, wildflowers are starting to bloom and everything is looking green! This time of year looks and feels like the start of something new.
This year, I am trying to experiment with some new ingredients. There are so many cool, new ingredients on the market that I really want to try. First up, is Matcha Green tea.
My first experience with matcha was actually when I was in primary school in NZ. We were learning about Japanese culture and got to experience a traditional matcha green tea ceremony. Little did I know how much I would like matcha um let’s say “several” years later… lol!
There have been so many scientific studies on matcha. It helps to promote cancerous cell death, inhibits cancer cell growth, is high in antioxidants, detoxifies your body and helps immune system function if taken regularly. Matcha also helps promote fat loss and can help you recover from workouts faster. Who knew that this one tea could had so many health benefits?!
I’ve been getting more and more into matcha green tea lately. You can use it in so many ways! Obviously the first way is matcha green tea lattes – delicious! Especially with coconut milk which I am a little obsessed with… it’s so creamy! People even use matcha in baked goods like muffins or breads, and in protein balls.
If you’re following me on Instagram, you know I love me some protein balls! They are really the best on-the-go snack. I love how you can get a perfect bite of protein and healthy fats… not to mention, flavor! These Matcha Green Tea protein balls get a bunch of flavor from the mint extract. It kinda reminds me of Mint Chip ice cream. And that really helps in the afternoon when you need a little something sweet to get you through the work day!
The protein content of these protein balls comes from two different sources: cashews and protein powder. I love Vega Protein and Greens powder because it provides not only protein, but also the nutrients from vegetables and is sweetened with stevia. I use this protein powder almost every time I make our family smoothies. The vanilla flavor is our fave because it is such a perfect complement to any of the natural sweetness of the fruit in the smoothie.
To take these protein balls to the next level, I added… you guessed it, chocolate chips! I fell in love with Lily’s Chocolate Chips. These chocolate chips are not only amazing because they are sweetened with stevia, but they are also non-GMO, vegan, gluten free, fair trade and a portion of the proceeds help raise money for children with cancer. I’m more than happy to support a company that gives back!
Please give these Matcha Mint Chip Protein Balls a try and let me know what you think! If you do, take a photo, post it on Instagram and tag me @nourish_with_renata and #nourishwithrenata on Instagram! I would love to see what you make!
- 1 cup pitted Dates soft or soaked in hot water for 10 mins then drained
- 1 tsp organic Matcha green tea powder
- 1/2 tsp mint Extract
- 1/2 cup raw cashews
- 1 scoop Vanilla Protein Powder
- 1 tbsp water if needed
- 2 tbsp chocolate chips
- 1 tbsp raw cacao powder optional
In a high speed blender or food processor, add in dates and process till a sticky ball forms.
Add in the Matcha, mint extract, cashews and protein powder. Blend again till well combined. Batter should hold together when pressed between your fingers.
If batter is not coming together, add in water and process again. Continue doing this until batter just begins to hold together. You do not want the mixture to be too wet.
Stir chocolate chips into batter.
Take large tablespoons of the batter and form golf-ball size balls.
If desired, roll balls in cacao powder.
Store protein balls in the fridge in an air-tight container for up to 1 week.