Homemade vegan + gluten-free No-Bake Matcha Protein Bars that taste just like a cookie! Made with whole grain oat flour, cashew butter, and vanilla plant protein with a silky smooth chocolate topping.
Eeeee it’s almost St. Patty’s Day! I remember in high school when my friends and I would all bring in doctor’s notes and skip half the school day to go to the parade downtown. There weren’t any Matcha Protein Bars in site but hey, there was plenty of green beer flowin’.
These luscious No-Bake Matcha Protein Bars (inspired by my beloved Cookie Dough Protein Bars) were born out of the fact that I have like zero green recipes on my blog. That’s no fun! I have salads and smoothies that are green but in a way that’s a wee bit less fun. The best part is that these no-bake bars are made green thanks to MATCHA! Yep, I did you a favor and skipped the spinach this time. Aren’t you excited?
What is Matcha?
Matcha is Japanese powdered green tea leaves. Since you’re ingesting the whole leaf versus the steeped liquid in traditional tea, you get the most antioxidant bang for your buck. What’s so great about that? Antioxidants neutralize free radicals in the body, which cause inflammation and often lead to chronic disease. Matcha has three times the antioxidants of traditional green tea. Wowza!
Matcha has a mild, earthy flavor. If you use too much or aren’t used to the taste of matcha, it may seem bitter. I used two tablespoons in this recipe which helps with the bright green color but feel free to use half that amount if you’re new to matcha.
What is the Difference Between Ceremonial and Culinary matcha?
This tends to be subjective since there isn’t specific grading for quality. Ceremonial grade matcha, known as the Koicha preparation (“thick tea”), is reserved for use in the Japanese tea ceremony schools. The other way to brew matcha is called Ususha, meaning “thin tea.”
Processing matcha is super labor-intensive, which explains why it’s expensive. You’ll find all kinds of matcha available online, including both ceremonial (highest quality and price) and culinary grades of matcha. I used organic culinary matcha from Japan in this recipe. Quality depends on how, where, and when the matcha is harvested, how old the plants are, and if the plants are harvested by hand or machine.
You want to look for authentic Japanese matcha that’s shade-grown to aide in a sweet versus bitter flavor. The brighter the green color, the higher the quality. It should have a sweet, full-bodied smell.
What Protein to Use for Matcha Protein Bars
These bad boys not only taste fabulous, but they’re also bursting with plant-powered protein to conquer any and all snack attacks. You’ll want to use a vanilla flavored protein as it helps flavor the bars and make them taste more cookie-like. This is my favorite protein. I also like this and this one.
Let’s Talk Ingredients!
- Nut butter: Cashew butter makes these taste like cookies, which I love. You could use almond butter but it may have a less cookie-like taste. Make sure it’s the drippy kind!
- Oat flour: This is the main reason why these have a cookie dough flavor. You could sub a portion of the oat flour for almond flour but I haven’t tried these with any other flour. If you’re looking for gluten-free, make sure you use certified gluten-free oat flour. You can also make your own oat flour by blending rolled oats in the blender until you have a fine flour.
- Pure maple syrup: This helps the bars stick together. If you’re not vegan, honey should also work, as will agave.
How to Store
I like eating these right out of the freezer—the texture is amazing! You can also keep them in the refrigerator. You want to keep the chocolate cool so it stays hardened.
CRAVING MORE SNACK GOODNESS? DON’T MISS MY OTHER GO-TO BAR RECIPES:
- Cookie Dough Protein Bars
- Vegan Raspberry Oatmeal Bars
- Carrot Cake Protein Bars
- Salted Chocolate Fudge Protein Bars
- Almond Butter Zucchini Bars
Please let me know how this matcha protein bars recipe turns out for you by leaving a star rating and/or comment! I hope you adore these as much as I do.Print
For the bars:
- 1 3/4 cups oat flour (certified gluten-free if necessary)
- 1/2 cup vanilla plant-based protein powder
- 2 tbsp matcha green tea powder
- 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
- 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
- 1/2 cup cashew butter (can sub almond butter)
- 1/4 cup almond milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
For the chocolate coating:
- Line an 8×8 inch square baking dish with parchment paper going both ways.
- Place oat flour, protein powder, matcha, and salt in a large mixing bowl, stirring to combine.
- Add maple syrup, cashew butter, almond milk, and vanilla. Stir until you have a ball of “dough.” Using wet hands, press evenly into prepared baking dish.
- Make chocolate coating by placing chocolate chips, coconut oil, and cashew butter in a medium microwave-safe bowl. Microwave in 20-second intervals for about a minute, or until melted, stirring each time. Pour chocolate over bars and use a spatula to spread evenly.
- Freeze for at least 2 hours before slicing into 12 bars. Top with plenty of sea salt and devour!
Recipe by Alexis Joseph of Hummusapien™. Photos by Eat Love Eats.