Colorful & comforting seasonal recipes for savory dishes, sweets and cocktails. 

Matcha Bowl & Honey Granola

Matcha Bowl & Honey Granola

In a hopeful effort to usher in springtime weather, I'm going to post two delightfully green recipes in a row. There's a considerable bit of snow still on the ground, but I've already started picking out seeds to start for this summer's garden and a plot in our backyard to try to bring them to harvest. Speaking of, I'm excited to share that the Springfield-Green County Library District just started a fantastic new Heirloom Seed Library program in which patrons may check out locally sourced heirloom seeds for free with their library card. The seeds are currently available for checkout at The Library Station and Midtown-Carnegie Branch Libraries. If you're living in Springfield and ready to get started, stop by these branches and visit the following online resources.

The inception of the Heirloom Seed Library will be coupled with events over the next few months on basic garden planning, community gardening and seed saving. Admittedly, I'm partial, but this is a really cool new service and I'm so proud of my co-workers for bringing this dream to life. If you're living in Springfield, I hope you'll take advantage of the chance to check out seeds from the library and connect with other growers in the process. 

Onward to a new recipe that I'm excited to share with you, a Matcha bowl! I had my first Acai bowl a few weeks back and was spellbound by the experience. The bowl contains a thick acai berry smoothie topped with granola, fresh fruit then drizzled in honey. As a quick aside, I'm missing you lovely #womenincoffee and my #USCoffeeChamps breakfast pal, Heather. This breakfast bowl is inspired by that experience, but with Matcha green tea as the focal point. The thick smoothie brings together frozen pineapple, frozen banana, coconut milk, matcha powder and honey. It's garnished with a simple homemade granola, fresh fruit, honey and cocoa nibs. If you've not yet cooked or baked with matcha powder, test it out in a bit of hot water to taste it. While the cocoa nibs echo some of the soft bitter qualities of the green tea, their fruitiness brightens the experience and the honey sweetness ties everything together. Consider this on St. Patrick's Day if you're looking into green breakfast possibilities. -Mallory

Matcha Bowl
Makes 2 matcha bowls
1 cup frozen pineapple
1 frozen banana
1 cup coconut milk
1 tablespoons matcha powder
2 tablespoons honey, divided
1/4 cup granola, recipe below
1/4 cup cocoa nibs
1 fresh banana
1 cup fresh strawberries

Blend frozen pineapple, frozen banana, coconut milk, matcha powder and 1 tablespoon of honey in a blender until smooth. Divide the smoothie between two bowls and top each with granola, fresh fruit, cocoa nibs and the remaining honey.

Quick & Easy Granola
Makes 4 cups
4 cups rolled oats
1 cup almonds, chopped
1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup honey
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 325 degrees fahrenheit. Combine oats, almonds, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt in a large mixing bowl. In a small saucepan over low heat combine honey, butter and vanilla extract. Stir until the butter is melted. Pour onto dry ingredients and mix until everything is well coated. Spread out evenly onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 25 minutes, stirring half way through. Remove from oven, let cool and store in an airtight container for up to a week.

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