Updated: Aug 14
Christmas came early for me this year. You know how much I like tea and spices, right? Well, a few weeks ago we were invited to the opening of a tea and spice shop in our town: The Spice & Tea Exchange (check them out in town or at https://www.spiceandtea.com/beaufort). I was so excited! I was like a kid in a toy store, dreaming of what Santa might bring me. Since it's the holiday season, I decided to buy myself an early gift (okay, many early gifts) instead of waiting for Santa. I got so many things there, but the one thing that really caught my eyes was the Matcha display. I love Matcha tea, and I treat myself to it once in a while.
I'm excited to share my new recipe with you that I came up with using Matcha tea and fermented beet powder. I love the color combination red and green, and it's perfect for this time of year. Your body will thank you for these treats. These Matcha balls can be made year-round, but they're definitely beautiful as a healthy holiday treat. I'll definitely be making more to keep in my freezer as something to treat myself with because they're not only delicious; they're very good for you as well. They're similar to my vegan, grain-free, sugar-free, no-bake energy bites, so if you haven't tried those yet, you should check them out.
What do I Love About These Treats?
Each ingredient in this recipe is a superfood.
These treats are full of probiotic and prebiotic (click here for my story about why I love probiotic foods so much).
There's no need to bake probiotic Matcha balls!
They store really well. You can keep them in the fridge for up to 5-7 days or freeze them for up to one month.
They can suit people on vegan and grain-free diet.
What is Matcha and What Do I Love About It?
Matcha is a type of green tea made from the leaves of the tea plant Camellia sinensis. But it's not like any ol' kind of green tea. This high-grade green tea is super concentrated and finely ground. I just love the slightly sweet, earthy, and wheatgrass flavor that Matcha has. It's definitely not for everybody, but I happen love it. And there are many people like me out there who love strong flavors like Matcha tea powder has. Also, the health benefits are just enormous!
What are the Health Benefits of Matcha?
There so many health benefits in matcha tea, especially for those who consume it regularly.
The type of antioxidant found in Matcha is called polyphenol. This antioxidant can improve heart health, lower blood sugar, and help with weight lost in the long-term.
Matcha is one of the top 12 cancer-fighting foods. Some studies show Matcha can fight different types of cancer, such as bladder cancer, breast cancer, colon cancer, and prostate cancer.
Fermented Beet Powder?
Let's take a minute to talk about fermented beet powder and why I value this product so much. You know I love beets, right? You can make so many good things with them in their natural form, like my fig-beet salad with goat cheese, walnuts, & citrus vinaigrette. But I discovered fermented beet powder a few years ago and fell in love with it. I use it in many of my recipes (like my probiotic veggie-flavored wraps).
Powdered beets are made out of fermented beets. Due to the high sugar content, Russian people have been using fermented beets for many centuries. After fermentation, the bacteria eats up all the sugar, leaving you with good bacteria for your gut. Beet powder can lower your blood pressure, boost brain power, improve athletic performance, fight inflammation, support liver health, help with weight loss, and help with blood flow that oxygenates all parts of the body.
What Do You Need to Make This Recipe?
Prunes or Medjool Dates – I used organic prunes, and they are honestly some of the best prunes I’ve used. They're perfectly sweet and so big! You can use other brands, but I would recommend using organic. No sulfurs or preservatives added is important! Also, using dates is another great option if you don't like prunes. I just love the combination of prunes and beets; they're so good together!
Matcha Tea Powder – Again I would recommend organic Matcha. I used this kind. It's radiation-, filler-, and sugar free, and is the highest ceremonial grade Organic Matcha Powder – USDA & JAS Certified Organic.
Sunflower seeds - You can use sunflower seeds like I did or use pumpkin seeds or a even combination of the two! In the video I explain why it's important to take one extra step and soak your seeds or nuts before using them in recipes. You can also see my note below with more on this subject.
Almond butter - For this recipe you can use any nut butter you wish. I like to use the kind that contains only one ingredient: almonds.
Fermented beet powder - See my note above about this ingredient that gives a beautiful bright red color and has tons of health benefits.
Celtic Salt - I'm big lover of Celtic salt. I use it for pretty much almost all my recipes, including all my ferments. This salt supplies the body with over 74 vital trace minerals & elements which are crucial for a healthy body since all our food these days is depleted in minerals, especially iodine.
Kombucha - I used homemade ginger and apple kombucha, but any kind will work. Kombucha is a fermented drink with amazing health benefits. To find out more about kombucha, head over to my page Why are Ferments Good for You?
Raw honey - I love to use raw local honey for all my raw cooking where I don't have to use heat.
Unsweetened coconut - Organic Desiccated Coconut. It’s pure, simple, organic, and gluten-free. I love this brand. It's high in fiber (a 28-gram serving of shredded coconut contains over 3 grams high quality of dietary fiber), a source of healthy fats (a 28-gram serving of shredded coconut contains more than 18 grams of healthy fats), and high in protein (there’s nearly 2 grams of high-quality plant protein in 28 grams of this coconut).
Cocoa nibs - I love cocoa nibs for the extra crunch and chocolate flavor without adding sugar. On top of all that, cocoa nibs are high in antioxidants, making this source of chocolate a superfood. Cacao nibs are the "raw material" that is used for making cacao powder. They are naturally fermented in banana leaves in the shade for 3-5 days.
Note on Soaking Seeds
For the last few years, I've been taking the extra step to soak my nuts and seeds before consuming them. More and more people are eating raw and unprocessed whole foods, which is a good thing - unless they're loaded with enzyme inhibitors and phytates. These can cause a disturbance in the body. Raw is definitely not nature’s way for grains, nuts, seeds, and beans. These foods are loaded with phytic acid which not only grabs on to important minerals, but it also inhibits enzymes that we need to digest our food. This includes pepsin (needed for the breakdown of proteins in the stomach) and amylase (needed for the breakdown of starch into sugar). Trypsin (needed for protein digestion in the small intestine) is also inhibited by phytates.
The soaking process not only neutralizes phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors but will also increase the vitamin content, particularly B vitamins. Tannins, complex sugars, gluten, and other difficult-to-digest substances are partially broken down into simpler components that are more readily available for absorption.
How to Soak Seeds or Nuts
For every cup of any type of seeds or nuts, add 1 teaspoon of Celtic salt. Cover and soak for a few hours (depending on the kind of nuts or seeds, it can take anywhere from 2-12 hours). Rinse well and pat dry. You can eat them as-is once they're dried off and keep them in the refrigerator for the next 3 days. If you want them completely dry like I did for this recipe, put them in the oven on its lowest setting until they're dry. For the raw version, a use dehydrator for 12 hours. I like to freeze my nuts, seeds, beans, and grains so I can have them on hand whenever I need them.
Prep time: 5 minutes
Making time: 15 minutes
Total time: 20 minutes
Author: Inna of innichkachef.com
Servings: 24 balls
1/2 cup almond butter
1/2 cup raw honey
1/4 cup kombucha (see note above)
1 cup unsweetened coconut
1/3 cup cocoa nibs
1 cup prunes
1 1/4 cups sunflower seeds
Fermented beet powder (for coating)
Matcha tea powder (for coating)
Place all ingredients except cocoa nibs, fermented beet powder, and matcha tea powder into a food processor and pulse until the mixture becomes like dough.
Add cocoa nibs and pulse just a few times so everything incorporates evenly but the cocoa nibs still holds their shape and aren't crushed.
Form the dough into balls using a small cookie scooper.
Roll the balls in fermented beet powder and then dip the balls in the Matcha powder (leaving half of the ball uncovered in Matcha powder). The balls should look half red and half green.