It’s almost Saint Patrick’s Day which means… fire up the G-train!
You need to be WEARING green, DRINKING green drinks and EATING green(s)!
Isn’t that what St. Paddy’s Day is all about?!?
Well, I’ve got you covered in the eating “green” department and we’re not talking about a salad here! Rather, a delicious, chocolate, matcha icing bar that will knock you off of your feet (that is, if the green beer doesn’t get to you first! *wink).
It was total happenstance that I stumbled upon this recipe.
My daughter was learning about ancestry in school and part of her heritage is Irish. Each child was asked to bring a food dish that was representative of their heritage, so for her, that meant bringing a food from Ireland.
To tackle our assignment I immediately googled “Irish” and “kids” and “desserts.” Several things came up, but the festive “Irish Oat Flapjack” bars on the sight “Thirsty For Tea” totally caught my eye.
I looked at the ingredients list which consisted of: “butter, brown sugar, syrup, oats, chocolate, white chocolate.” Translation: refined sugar, dairy-butter, gluten.
I couldn’t handle the thought of making a dish for kids with UNHEALTHY ingredients. And, in full disclosure, I didn’t actually *have* any of those ingredients, so in order to make these healthier… I was going to have to improvise.
I started by substituting coconut oil for the butter because it has the same texture; grade-b maple syrup for the Golden syrup it called for because it’s rich in minerals and antioxidants; and raw honey for the brown sugar because it’s a healthier, natural sugar. These ingredients together, are the base of the bar.
I used some gluten free oats to keep it g-free, but when I combined everything in a bowl before baking, I noticed the batter was rather runny… soupy to be exact!
I felt it needed a binder, which is when eggs come in handy, but I wanted to keep it more vegan-ish (despite it having honey which is NOT vegan), so I experimented with a chia “egg.” That’s simply one tablespoon of chia seeds and three tablespoons of hot water.
I added the “egg” to the mixture, crossed my fingers and then baked the heck out of it! (Initial recipe said 30 minutes, it was more like 45-60 minutes for my batch.)
After the oat bars cooked, I covered the bars in dairy-free, dark chocolate chips and then spread it evenly to create a smooth finish.
I then melted some white chocolate on the stove by placing water in the bottom of a small saucepan, then sat a clear bowl on top of the water that fit inside the saucepan, and slowly melted the chocolate. (You can also do it in the microwave see directions.)
Once it melted I added a teaspoon of matcha powder to bring in that green.
Then, I took a fork and dipped it in the white chocolate and shook it over the chocolate to create a fun little pattern and finish.
The results… a crisp, sweet bar with a slightly, crunchy chocolate-y coating that has hints of vanilla and matcha!
My husband and kids could not get enough of it (I actually made three batches in one week) and my daughters’ school friends and her teacher thought they were amazing. They could not believe they were eating something relatively wholesome, that tasted like such a treat!
By slipping in the chia egg/seeds, I added some protein, fiber and calcium. The grade-b syrup is rich in antioxidants and the honey offers antimicrobial properties as well as anti-inflammatory benefits.
Who would ever guess a bar this decadent could supply all of that? This mom that’s who, because Amy is my name and superfoods are my game! 😉
Happy St. Patrick’s Day to you! ☘
Matcha Irish Oat Bars Ingredients:
2 1/4 c. gluten free oats (Bob’s Red Mill gluten free oats)
3/4 c. unrefined coconut oil
2 Tbsp raw honey
1/4 c. grade A or grade B maple syrup
1 chia “egg” (1 Tbsp chia seeds + 3 Tbsp hot water)
1/4 tsp pink himalayan sea salt
3/4 c. to 1 c. dairy free chocolate chips
1/4 c. dairy free white chocolate chips (or bar)
1 tsp matcha powder
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees, heavily grease an 8×8 pyrex pan with coconut oil or a coconut oil spray.
- In a small saucepan melt the coconut oil, honey, syrup and salt on medium to low heat, remove from heat once it’s melded together (roughly 10 minutes).
- Make chia “egg.” In a small bowl add 1 tablespoon chia seeds, then pour in 3 tablespoons of hot water. Let “egg” sit for a few minutes until it becomes a gel-like consistency (takes about 5 minutes).
- In a medium sized mixing bowl measure out your oats, then add the melted honey/coconut oil/syrup mixture, stir in your chia egg, mix well.
- Pour mixture into your 8×8 pyrex pan and bake at 300 degrees for 40 to 60 minutes, or until bars start to look light brown. (I baked mine for 50-55 minutes. They were still soft, but slightly crisp and firmed up in the fridge.)
- Once bars have cooked, remove from oven, pour dark chocolate chips immediately over the oats. Let chips sit for a few minutes, then GENTLY spread chocolate out evenly using an offset icing spatula, or the back of a small spoon.
- Make your matcha white chocolate icing. You can either use a double broiler method: on the stove place water in the bottom of a small saucepan, place a pyrex bowl that fits inside the pan, pour white chocolate chips (or bar) into the bowl and stir on low to medium heat until melted. OR you can melt chips in microwave for 30 seconds, take out and stir, heat another 30 seconds, take out and stir. Repeat process until melted.
- Once white chocolate has melted, stir in 1 teaspoon of matcha powder until smooth.
- Lastly, decorate bars with matcha icing. – Dip a fork into the matcha icing, start on one side of the pan and shake fork vertically until you’ve reached the other side. Dip fork again and shake fork in a horizontal pattern over the entire pan.
- Let bars set up in the fridge for 30 minutes to an hour before cutting, or until they are firm.
- Store and serve these from the refrigerator.
**Yields roughly 16-18 bars depending on how large you cut your squares.
*You can find matcha powder, dairy free chocolate chunks (or dairy free chips) and the dairy free white chocolate bar I used on www.vitacost.com It’s my favorite sight to get supplements. They have the best prices and they ship to your doorstep in one to two days. Can’t beat it!
*If you’re not worried about dairy, use a rich dark chocolate bar or chips and white chocolate chips.
*Recipe has been adapted from “Thirstyfortea.com”