Matcha fever is taking over the health food scene and for good reason. The neon green powder is full of antioxidants and blends gloriously into just about any recipe. In these raw matcha macaroons, the green tea powder brings earthy accents to an already healthy and delicious snack. Enjoy!
Matcha is a millennium-old tradition in Japanese ceremonial tea culture. It is made from nutrient-rich young tea leaves that have grown in shade for about 20 to 30 days before harvest. The shade stimulates increased chlorophyll and amino acid levels and turns the leaves a darker shade of green. The tea leaves are then picked, stemmed, and de-vined before being stone-ground into a very fine powder. The powder is then stored away from light and oxygen in order to maintain its vibrant green color and nutritional properties.
Unlike regular green tea, matcha green tea is consumed wholly in its powdered form, instead of as water infused with the leaves. For this reason, matcha green tea offers the body more caffeine (about 35 mg per half teaspoon) than regular tea and more (approximately three-fold) antioxidants than other green teas. Meanwhile, an amino acid in matcha called L-Theanine, feeds only a small amount of caffeine to the body for hours on end, so you don’t experience the energy crash you normally would with regular tea or coffee.
Matcha green tea powder has a grassy, lightly bitter taste – a more intense flavor profile than regular steeped green tea – but is extraordinarily delightful, especially when paired with a healthy sweetener (think: stevia) and vegan milk (think: frothed homemade almond milk).
The best part about matcha is that it extends beyond beverage form. It seamlessly mixes into other dishes, particularly homemade sweets, without compromising texture. In this macaroons recipe, matcha adds a touch of its iconic flavor to the unsweetened shredded coconut, coconut oil, coconut milk, and coconut syrup. Plus, you don’t need to bake or dehydrate these treats before noshing away.
Matcha Macaroons Recipe: Tips and Preparation
For this matcha macaroons recipe, it is important to have a food processor on hand as it does all the work for you and can help you to finish making this recipe within seconds (literally!).
Select shredded coconut that is unsweetened and vibrant in flavor. I’ve realized that shredded coconut varies vastly in the intensity of flavor, from one brand to the next. Oftentimes, I am left with dull-tasting coconut flakes that do nothing for my recipes. Do some shopping around until you find the coconut flakes perfect for your palate. Because coconut flakes play such a large role in this recipe, you want the best quality you can find.
I like keeping all the ingredients coconut-based, from the sweetener to the milk, but you can swap ingredients for the sweetener and milk components based on what you have available. Honey and agave can replace the coconut syrup while nut milk or even water can replace the coconut milk. (Note: honey is not vegan.)
Also, instead of scraping the insides of a vanilla bean, you could use one teaspoon vanilla extract in this recipe.
Raw Vegan Matcha Macaroons Recipe
Makes 15 to 20 macaroons
- 2 cups + ½ cup shredded coconut
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
- 3 tablespoons coconut syrup
- 2 tablespoons coconut milk
- 1 vanilla bean, scraped (or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract)
- 2 teaspoons matcha green tea powder (my favorite brand: Encha)
- Dash of sea salt
Add two cups off the shredded coconut into a food processor and blend for a few minutes, or until the coconut flakes turn into a paste.
Add in the coconut oil, coconut syrup, coconut milk, vanilla, matcha, and sea salt.
Blend for an additional 30 seconds, or until the ingredients are just combined.
Add the last one-half cup of coconut flakes into the food processor and pulse a few times. This step will add texture to your matcha macaroons.
Use clean hands to roll balls out of the mixture. Depending on the size you make the macaroons, the number of servings will vary. Place the macaroons on a baking sheet and pop the sheet into the refrigerator to cool and harden the macaroons for about one hour.
Store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator if you do not consume them all right away.