Iced Matcha Latte in a Mason Jar

Iced Matcha Latte in a Mason JarGrowing up in Texas, I was used to 100+ degree heat and blazing sun, but Texas has nothing on New York. The temperature rarely creeps into triple digits here in NYC, but that doesn’t mean we escape the heat. Oh, no. There is nothing quite as brutal as 85+ degree heat in a city made entirely of concrete and surrounded by water. I used to think New Yorkers were just wusses when it came to heat, but I am here to say that I was deeply wrong. So, so wrong. My sincere apologies to every sweaty, miserable New Yorker that I have ever called a weakling.

Iced Matcha Latte in a Mason JarWhen it’s this warm, baking is far less appealing than it might normally be. Today, I’m staying away from the oven and cooling off with an Iced Matcha Latte. Creamy, sweet and ice cold, it’s a great way to beat the heat!

Iced Matcha Latte in a Mason JarMy single-serve Iced Matcha Latte in a Mason Jar is completely vegan, refined sugar-free, and requires just six ingredients, two of which are ice and water.

Iced Matcha Latte in a Mason JarIced Matcha Latte in a Mason JarI start by combining 2 1/2 teaspoons of matcha green tea powder (I use this one), 2 teaspoons of maple syrup, and a splash of vanilla in the bottom of a pint mason jar. Stir that all together until all the lumps of matcha have disappeared and you have a paste.

Iced Matcha Latte in a Mason JarNext, stir in a few tablespoons of water.

Iced Matcha Latte in a Mason JarIced Matcha Latte in a Mason JarIced Matcha Latte in a Mason JarPour almond milk (or any milk you like) up to the 1 cup mark. Add an ice cube or two, seal the jar, and shake it up!

Iced Matcha Latte in a Mason JarOpen the jar, pour it into a glass with some more ice cubes, and enjoy with a cute straw or two! Life’s just more fun when you have cute straws.

Iced Matcha Latte in a Mason JarMy Iced Matcha Latte in a Mason Jar is just as cold, creamy, and sweet as any you’ll find in a coffee shop, and it’s a fraction of the price! Matcha contains antioxidants and caffeine, so these lattes make for a great mid-afternoon pick-me-up! Treat yourself to one this weekend 🍵💚Iced Matcha Latte in a Mason Jar

Iced Matcha Latte in a Mason Jar
makes 1 latte 

2-2 1/2 teaspoons matcha green tea powder*
2 teaspoons maple syrup (agave and honey work, too)
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
4 tablespoons water
~2/3 cup almond milk (or other dairy or plant-based milk)
ice cubes

In a pint mason jar, combine matcha powder, maple syrup, and vanilla. Stir together with a fork until there are no lumps. Add water, almond milk, and 2 ice cubes. Screw on lid. Shake for 1 minute, until combined. Strain out the ice cubes while pouring your latte over fresh ice. Enjoy!

Note:

Matcha comes in different grades and colors. For a brighter color, use ceremonial grade matcha. Food grade matcha (the variety I used in my Matcha Chocolate Chip Cookies) will work, but the color will be subtler.

Raspberry Fudgesicles {Vegan & Sugar Free}

 Everyone has that one friend who can’t eat anything.

Well, they can obviously eat something, but it’s rarely anything you can enjoy together. 

For me, that’s my pal, VJ. She’s a gluten-free vegan. Of course, I am one of those people who can and will eat just about anything. When we became friends, I worried that we’d never be able to eat together. Food is such an important part of all our lives: beyond preparation and consumption, there is the social aspect of sharing a meal with someone else. Due to our different diets, I wasn’t sure we’d ever be able to happily eat at the same restaurant or make dinner together. 

But I shouldn’t have worried. Not only is VJ a wizard when it comes to navigating menus for options that are both gluten-free and vegan, but she straight-up doesn’t care what anyone else at the table is eating as long as they’re having a good time. When we went to Maine last month, she stood on a rickety chair taking action shots while our friend, Liz, and I rushed around the kitchen making pie and Lemon Bars that she couldn’t enjoy. VJ came and sat with me at the Swans Island Post Office at midnight, just so I could use WiFi to post those recipes on this blog. And she regularly reads and shares my posts, even though I rarely make recipes that fall into her dietary parameters. She’s the kind of friend that everyone should be so lucky to have–one who is selfless, flexible, encouraging, and supportive.

VJ, this one’s for you. 

You’ll never believe what’s in these Raspberry Fudgesicles. There’s no dairy, and not one bit of sugar. Nope. Not even a little bit. These ice pops are completely nutritious, but they certainly don’t taste that way! 

 How does that work? It’s simple, really. Coconut milk and avocado keep them creamy. Dates make them sweet. Fresh raspberries and cocoa powder make them delicious! Add to that a bit of vanilla and a few cups of ice cubes and blend until smooth. Pour the mixture into ice pop molds, add popsicle sticks, and freeze for several hours. 

 Once you release your ice pops from their molds and take a taste, you won’t believe that they are actually good for you! These creamy Raspberry Fudgesicles are full of chocolate-raspberry flavor and melt just like those fudgesicles you got from the ice cream truck when you were a kid. Except there’s no need to feel guilty having one of these. Nope! Full of vitamins and minerals, protein and good fats, and completely free of sugar, they’re practically healthy enough for breakfast 😊

My favorite thing about these Raspberry Fudgesicles is that I can share them with just about anyone. Vegan, sugar-free, full of nutrients, and totally delicious, they’re the best way to cool down with your friends this summer. 

 Raspberry Fudgesicles {Vegan & Sugar Free}
makes about 12 standard ice pops

24 Medjool dates, pits removed
1/2 ripe avocado
1/2 cup cocoa powder (natural or Dutch process)
6 ounces fresh raspberries
1 15 ounce can full-fat coconut milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 cups ice cubes

Combine dates, avocado, cocoa powder, fresh raspberries, coconut milk, and vanilla in a high-powered blender, and blend until smooth. Add ice and blend again until smooth. Divide among ice pop molds and add popsicle sticks. Freeze at least six hours or overnight.

Before enjoying, run molds until warm water for 1-2 minutes before removing ice pops.

Tropical Cashew Granola

 It’s officially summer, and I can’t wait to get to the beach. I’m only four weeks away from a trip to Maine with a bunch of friends–it can’t get here soon enough! It’s super woodsy and we definitely won’t see any palm trees, but that doesn’t mean we won’t be eating tons of tropical fruit while we’re up there.

How, you may ask, will we have tropical fruit in the wilds of Maine? In the form of my new favorite granola! 
Yes, I am that person who packs homemade granola into her luggage. And why wouldn’t I? It’s full of whole grains, nuts, and fruit, so it’s super satisfying. It’s also refined sugar-free, gluten free, and vegan, so this is one recipe that will fit all my friends’ various dietary needs.

Between easy breakfasts and snacks, I know we will go through the full two-quart batch in no time. I mean, who can resist this Tropical Cashew Granola?! It’s loaded with dried mango and pineapple, toasted coconut, and cashews–perfect for any day at the beach. 
Normally, I am not a huge fan of dried fruit (especially in granola), but I make exceptions for dried mango and pineapple. I’ll eat a whole six-ounce bag in a day! The sweet mango, tangy pineapple, and toasted coconut work incredibly well with the crunchy oats and cashews. A moderate amount of sweetener and a full teaspoon of salt keep it all just sweet enough to enjoy with your favorite yogurt and fresh fruit. I can’t get enough. 

Having made a lot of granola in the last few years, I can tell you that the homemade stuff is a snap to put together and infinitely better than any boxed variety. When you make something from scratch, you can control the ingredients and customize it to your taste.

For instance, I love my Maple Pecan Granola (which I used as the base for this recipe), but sometimes I want my granola to have more clusters than that recipe allows. So, I took the basic formula and swapped half the maple syrup for brown rice syrup. It’s super thick and allows the oats and cashews to cluster a bit without adding excessive amounts sweetener. And since brown rice syrup has a mild flavor, the maple is still front and center!

Tropical Cashew Granola is like summer in a bowl! Don’t be surprised if the combination of mango, pineapple, coconut, and buttery cashews has you packing a jar for your vacation, too! 

  Looking for more granola? Check out my Peanut Butter Granola!

Tropical Cashew Granola
makes about two quarts

1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup brown rice syrup*
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
3 cups old-fashioned oats
2 cups raw unsalted cashews, chopped
1 cup unsweetened flaked coconut
6 ounces unsweetened dried mango, chopped into bite-size pieces
6 ounces unsweetened dried pineapple, chopped into bite-size pieces

Preheat oven to 300F. Line a baking sheet with parchment. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together olive oil, brown rice syrup, maple syrup, and salt. Use a silicone spatula or wooden spoon to fold in oats, cashews, and coconut. Spread mixture on prepared pan. Bake 40 minutes, stirring at the 15 and 30 minute marks to prevent burning.

When granola is done baking, let cool five minutes before stirring in dried mango and pineapple pieces. Let granola cool completely in the pan on a rack.

Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three weeks.

Note:

Brown rice syrup can be found near the honey and syrups at most well-stocked grocery stores, or on Amazon. If you cannot find it or do not wish to use it, you may use an equal volume of mild honey or maple syrup. Your granola will not have many clusters, but it will still be delicious.