Matcha Oatmeal Cups

Have you tried matcha yet? If you’ve stepped into any coffee shop lately you’ve probably noticed matcha lattes on a menu, or if you haven’t seen it there then you’ve likely spotted this bright green beverage take Instagram by storm because it’s #trendyaf. I mean it is pretty lovely to look at.

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And luckily, not only does it look amazing, but it contains amazing nutritional properties as well! Matcha is the entire green tea leaf formed into a powder that is 137 times more concentrated in antioxidants than regularly brewed tea- yes, 137 times more! And to boot, matcha contains more antioxidants than blueberries and pomegranate, which are also excellent, more well known, sources. Antioxidants are vital to our body’s defense system and can better help us fight off a cold or infection.

In addition, matcha tea contains an amino acid, L-theanine, that has been shown to produce a calm and soothing effect. So, unlike coffee, you get a boost of energy but with a clearer, less jittery head and hands.

All of these health benefits aside, I have to admit that I have some matcha in my cabinets but rarely pull it out! But seeing as we were celebrating St. Patrick’s Day (yes, I’m writing this post quite belated) I decided to include this powerhouse powder in a breakfast recipe.

I made these Matcha Oatmeal Cups for quick and easy breakfasts that can be eaten cold or warmed up. I like to serve mine with a little bit of extra plain yogurt and a sprinkle of hemp seeds for added protein and staying power, or you could even add in a scoop of your favorite plain or vanilla protein powder to the mix instead. I hope you enjoy them!

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Have you ever tried matcha?

Leave me a message below with how you like to enjoy it!

Matcha Oatmeal Cups- makes 12

Ingredients

  • 2 very ripe bananas

  • 1 whole egg

  • 2 tbsp coconut oil, liquid

  • 1/4 cup maple syrup

  • 1/2 tsp sea salt

  • 2 cups unsweetened almond/soy/oat milk

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • 2 1/2 cups old fashioned oats

  • 1 tsp baking powder

  • 1 tbsp ground flax seed

  • 4 tbsp matcha powder

  • Dried banana chips for topping

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350' and grease a muffin tin. I prefer to not use liners because I find the cups just steam rather than crisp up on the outside.

  2. In a large bowl, combine the mashed banana, egg, oil, and maple syrup and whisk well to combine. Whisk in the salt, nut milk, vanilla and matcha. Stir in the oats, baking powder and flaxmeal and let it all sit a few minutes. 

  3. Distribute the mixture between the tins, should leave you with 12, about 2/3 full (they don't rise). To the top of each cup, set a banana chip before sliding into the oven. Bake for 20 minutes or until you press on the center and it is tender, but not squishy wet. They will continue to set as they cool. They are fine at room temperature for a day, then keep cups stored in the fridge for up to a week, or freeze for longer storage.


Tuscan Bean and Swiss Chard Soup

It’s March and somehow we’re still getting snow! Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely LOVE the snow, but it feels a bit more appropriate to have a snowfall in January and February with sub-zero temperatures, rather than a snow flurry followed by a fifty-degree sunny day- oh well! At least the weather is giving me one more excuse to keep riding the soup train and make up some simple, nourishing lunches.

Of all the countries we have traveled to, Italy is hands down our favorite. We love the people, the history, the wine, and, of course, the food! In Tuscany, there is a soup called ribollita that uses copious amount of Tuscan kale and gets it’s thickness from creamy white beans and tomato puree. It is savory, yet sweet all in one bite and has the perfect heft for a filling lunch soup.

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This Italian classic inspired my lunch prep for this week, but with a few minor adjustments. In an effort to mix up my leafy green intake, rather than use kale I threw in some rainbow Swiss chard. Chard is quite high in vitamins C, K, and A, meaning it is perfect for fighting off winter colds and helping combat oxidative stress and inflammation. It packs a punch in the fiber department, so is great for balancing blood sugars and dropping your LDL, or “bad”, cholesterol.

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My version also uses farro instead of toasted bread for the carbohydrate component. If you haven’t yet cooked with this ancient grain I stongly encourage you to pick up a bag! Farro is exceptionaly high in fiber and protein, both of which help with insulin sensitivity (meaning your cells are very open to taking in glucose from the blood and using it for energy) and provides immense satisfaction and keeps hunger at bay.

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This recipe serves 3 portions, so you and your sweetie could each have a bowl for dinner one night, and the remaining can get packed up for lunch. Or if you’re lucky, like me, you get to enjoy it all for yourself for 3 days of lunches.

Enjoy!

Tuscan Bean and Swiss Chard Soup- serves 3

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 small onion, diced

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

  • 1/2 bunch Swiss chard, stems removed and chopped into small dice, leaves torn into bite-size pieces

  • 1 tsp of each- dried thyme, rosemary, oregano

  • 1 (14.5 oz.) can of diced tomatoes

  • 4 cups low sodium vegetable broth

  • 1/2 cup cooked farro

  • 1 (15 oz.) can low sodium cannellini beans, rinsed and drained

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • For garnish- shaved parmesan, chopped flat leaf parsley, balsamic vinegar

Directions

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, swiss chard stems, and a pinch of salt. Saute for about 3 minutes. Add in the spices and saute for another minute.

  2. Pour in the can of tomatoes and their juices and the vegetable broth. Increase the heat to high and bring to a gentle simmer. Cover and let cook for about 7-8 minutes.

  3. Reduce the heat and add in the cooked farro and beans. Cook for another 3 minutes to heat these items through. Stir in the chard leaves gently. Taste and add salt, pepper, and red pepper flake as desired.

  4. Serve with shaved parmesan, chopped parsley, and even a drizzle of aged balsamic vinegar.

Pesto Cauliflower Oats

February is American Heart Month and one of my favorite ways to celebrate is with heart healthy foods like oatmeal! Let’s be real though, oatmeal is one of my favorite weekly breakfasts all year long for so many reasons. Oh, oatmeal, let me count the ways I love thee…

  • Oats contain beta-glucans, which are a unique form of soluble fiber that helps reduce your LDL, the “bad”, cholesterol. This fiber helps reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke, ya’ll!

  • Oats are a complex carbohydrate, meaning they break down and are absorbed more slowly than other refined cereals. This helps prevent blood sugar spikes and energy crashes.

  • Gut health is all the rage, and including oats in your diet helps feed the beneficial bugs in your colon which has far-reaching effects for our larger digestive and immune systems.

  • Oats are versatile and can be cooked up with sweet ingredients, or taken a savory route, which is what I’m showing off today!

If you haven’t given savory oats a go, I highly suggest starting with this pesto-packed bowl.

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Savory Pesto Cauliflower Oats- serves 1

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup dried rolled oats

  • 1 cup water

  • 1/2 cup steamed riced cauliflower

  • 2 tbsp of your favorite pesto (I’m using a spinach walnut one)

  • Handful of cherry tomatoes, halved

  • 1-2 cooked Good Food Made Simple egg white patties cut into strips (or 1 whole boiled egg with the yolk)

  • Everything But The Bagel Seasoning or just some salt and pepper

Directions

Combine oats, water, and cauliflower in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave for about 2 minutes, add pesto and give it a stir, then cook for another 30-60 seconds or until desired consistency achieved. Carefully remove and top with tomatoes, egg patties or whole egg, and seasoning.