Hint of Green Tea Muffins
Have you ever played guessing games with international food products? You know, like when you’re in a store in a foreign country and see a great row of sauces (at least you think they are sauces) and the one using basil (or some kind of leaf, who knows) catches your eye. Do you buy it? That kind of fun uncertainty is what I felt when given a package from a family friend visiting from Tokyo not too long ago.
Usually the Japanese products that I buy have little English labels with the name of the product and nutrition info on it. However, this mystery package that I had contained not one word of English anywhere.
But even without English, I normally do fairly well with hiragana and katakana. But I was out of luck, all I saw was kanji galore. So I did what anyone else would do in this situation (or the night before Christmas), I shook the package.
Hmm, I thought it could possibly be the swish of green tea powder. And after noticing some abstract green squiggly lines on the package I surmised…what I had must be a beautiful package of matcha powder!
Imagine my surprise several months later when I was ready to start baking with it, I opened the package and found this instead.
I know some people grind up these loose green tea leaves and use it as a substitute for matcha, but I didn’t really want to do that. So what I did instead was brewed a nice strong cup of green tea, made some tweaks to the recipe, and came up with this mildly sweet muffin with just a hint of green tea.
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
6 oz. plain lowfat yogurt
1/3 to 1/2 cup brewed green tea
1 tsp vanilla
Brew a 1/2 cup of green tea. I used about 2 tsp of green tea leaves to 1 cup of water (1 cup instead of 1/2 so I could drink some while cooking). Set this aside.
In a large bowl, combine the whole wheat and all purpose flours, sugar, salt, and baking powder. In another bowl combine the yogurt, eggs, 1/3 cup green tea, vanilla, and softened butter. You can use a hand mixer or whisk to quickly get the lumps out.
Next combine both wet and dry ingredients and mix until it blends together. If the batter feels to thick (hard to stir), add a little more green tea to thin it out.
Pour into a lightly greased muffin pan and bake at 350 degrees F for 30 to 40 minutes until light golden brown. Makes 10 to 12 muffins.