healthy + seasonal recipes that are gluten & dairy-free

No-Bake Matcha Coconut + Bee Pollen Bars

No-Bake Matcha Coconut + Bee Pollen Bars

These bars feature matcha green tea powder, coconut, and bee pollen - all known for their energizing powers and superior nutritional properties. A short ingredient list and quick to make, these no-bake bars are an ideal treat for busy people!

no-bake matcha coconut + bee pollen bars (gluten free, vegan) from my natural kitchen

I'm pretty sure we all could use a few recipes that involve minimal ingredients for a super-health/tasty/satisfying treat. For the last month or so, I've been trying to simplify a bit for the sake of my poor stomach. I developed a new food intolerance (goodbye for now, black beans) and the aftermath of my reaction has been pretty uncomfortable - low-energy, on the brink of getting sick with a sore throat most mornings, and totally uncomfortable in my body. My stomach hurts after most meals and I just feel kind of heavy and blah. To help myself out, I'm mostly following food combining principles and loading up on probiotics. If you follow me on instagram, you may have seen my posts about water kefir - so fun! Every time I start a new fermentation project, I feel nervous that it won't work out and so naturally, I was a bit apprehensive to attempt kefir. I bought the grains on a whim, watched a bunch of how-to videos online, and gave it a go. To my surprise, it's been a total success and much easier than I could have imagined - my grains are so happy that they are even multiplying (on that note, any locals want some kefir grains?). Feeling a little ambitious, I went ahead and ordered a gluten free sourdough starter as well as a vegan yogurt culture - my kitchen might just became a bit of a science lab soon ;) 

Because I always seem to have a sweet tooth, no matter how I'm feeling otherwise, I have also been making bars to snack on. My focus has been on what's easily digestible lately, in addition to my usual "how can I make this healthy and jam-pack as much good stuff in as possible?" These are a recent favourite, and couldn't be quicker to make! Lemon or lime zest would be a nice twist, especially for vegans who might avoid bee products like pollen. I love the slightly bitter taste of pollen, and all the protein and nourishing qualities I get from it. Matcha is energizing and delicious with coconut, and they only take about 10 minutes to set up in the freezer!

Five weeks in and I'm finally starting to feel better. Quick no-bake treats like these Matcha Coconut and Bee Pollen bars are sticking around though! Hope you all are enjoying March, can you feel Spring just around the corner? xo

no-bake matcha coconut + bee pollen bars (gluten free) from my natural kitchen
no-bake matcha coconut + bee pollen bars (gluten free) from my natural kitchen
no-bake matcha coconut + bee pollen bars (gluten free, vegan) from my natural kitchen
no-bake matcha coconut + bee pollen bars (gluten free) from my natural kitchen
no-bake matcha coconut + bee pollen bars (gluten free, raw) from my natural kitchen

No-Bake Matcha, Coconut + Bee Pollen Bars

Note: I find that silicon loaf pans are perfect for recipes like these, and used two mini ones here. A large silicon loaf pan would be a fine replacement. Alternatively, you could use a small glass dish (4x6") or double the recipe and use a brownie pan (8x8") lined with parchment paper. The bitterness of the bee pollen and extra matcha really help off-set the sweetness of the coconut and honey, so don't skimp on the extras on top!

3 tablespoons coconut oil

3 tablespoons raw honey

1/2 cup coconut butter

1 tsp matcha green tea powder

a tiny pinch of sea salt

1/2 cup finely shredded unsweetened coconut

1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes

2-3 teaspoons bee pollen (depending on your taste)

extra finely shredded coconut, matcha powder, and bee pollen for topping

extra finely shredded coconut for "lining" the bottom of the dish

Place a few inches of water in a small pot and set over low heat. Place a glass or metal bowl over the pot and add the coconut oil, raw honey, and coconut butter. As the water heats, the coconut oil and butter will gently melt and the raw honey will soften - stir together to combine. In total, this will probably take about 5 minutes. Don't allow the coconut butter to become too melted - it should remain thick, but become soft enough to integrate with the other ingredients. Stir in the matcha powder and salt and combine evenly. In a separate bowl, whisk together the finely shredded coconut, coconut flakes and bee pollen. Add the matcha mixture and combine with a spatula or wooden spoon. 

Sprinkle a layer of finely shredded coconut over the bottom of your pan. Dump the coconut mixture and gently flatten out, careful not the disturb the shredded coconut underneath (this helps the bars come out without sticking to the pan!). Sprinkle extra bee pollen and a little more shredded coconut over the top of the bars and place either in the fridge to set (30 minutes) or in the freezer (for 10 minutes). Check that the bars feel solid before cutting. If using a silicon pan, carefully remove from the pan and transfer to a cutting board to slice. If using a glass or metal dish, either slice the bars in the dish or remove the bars with the parchment paper and slice the bars on a cutting board. Sprinkle a little extra matcha powder over the sliced bars and serve! 

Sliced bars should be stored in a sealed container. Mine kept well up to 3 days at room temperature on my kitchen counter. If your home is warmer than 70 degrees, keep the bars in the fridge. I like these best at room temperature to eat, and find that they keep well for travel or lunches.

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