CLICK HERE to enter to WIN a WHOLE YEAR SUPPLY of ONCE AGAIN NUT BUTTER

wintheme

  How would you like to try our products while you anxiously await for the giveaway results?         

Open using your mobile device to use in store, or use code for online purchase.

Once Again Nut Butter Coupon

Need to know where to find us? Click here for a store near you.

Learn more about our Nut Butters below! Feel free to use this infographic and share it with your friends too by posting it on your Facebook, twitter, Instagram or whoever you want! Don’t forget to LIKE us on Facebook for more recipes, giveaways and news. fbicon

nutrient-packed

Pumpkin Cake Bites

Magnesium is considered a major mineral, and surprisingly one we are eating less of these days. Dietary intake of this mineral has declined among those eating a Western type of diet, and a supplement may be necessary for some people. Over half of the amount of magnesium in our body is found inside our bones, and the rest in soft tissue such as muscles. New research is amounting to evidence of magnesium’s role in much more than just building bones. Its role in maintaining a healthy blood pressure, decreasing and reducing Type 2 Diabetes  as well as preventing migraine headaches has brought much needed attention to magnesium. Fortunately, magnesium can be found across a spectrum of many foods, including oats, wheat flour, black beans, acorn squash, almonds and almond butter! These are just a few examples of good sources of this vital mineral.

Since all our Once Again Nut Butter products contain  magnesium, we believe  it is another great reason to enjoy our nut butters in more recipes!

First, it is interesting and hopefully useful to you, for us to look at the new research  linking magnesium and diabetes.  A meta-analysis published by Diabetes Care looked at over 500,000 participants and showed a reduction in risk for diabetes type 2 of 14% with every 100mg increase in daily dietary magnesium intake. Then in 2015, another researcher looked at over 100 individuals with prediabetes , manifesting  low blood levels of magnesium. The research was published in the Journal of Diabetes and Metabolism with the conclusion that an oral supplementation of at least 382mg of magnesium daily improved glycemic status in people with prediabetes. More studies will continue to look at how we can prevent and reverse Type 2 Diabetes  with the help of nutrients including magnesium. But in the meantime, it is a good idea for us all to look at our own intake. Evaluate the possible need to adjust it to meet the dietary allowance, which is recommended for ages 19-30 of 310 mg/day for women and 400mg/day for men; and ages 31-50 of 320 mg/day for women and 420 mg/day for men.

It is not necessary to rely on supplements to meet the recommendation. They can easily be met by natural magnesium found in foods. A tablespoon of almond butter has about 45 mg of magnesium, one cup of brown rice has 84mg and 1 cup of black beans contain 91mg for example.

Although pumpkin season may have ended, you can find pumpkin puree year-round in the grocery store. Therefore, the recipe below is a fantastic option to start working on bumping up your magnesium intake right away by combining some good sources from  almond butter, pumpkin, and even maple syrup. For a paleo diet option, make this recipe  with maple syrup and almond butter only. For a vegan option, use flax eggs which actually worked out very well in this recipe. Stay with the maple syrup, but you can use peanut butter or any one of your favorite Once Again nut butters. Since  this recipe  uses honey or maple as a sweetener and no sugar at all or flours, it  is also diabetic friendly, and gluten free. The serving size is helpful aiding in portion control for those watching their weight and total caloric intake each day.

Pumpkin Cake Bites from Once Again Nut Butter

Paleo Pumpkin Cake Bites

1 cup of pumpkin puree

¼ cup of maple syrup (or honey if preferred)

¼ cup of Once Again Creamy Almond Butter (or peanut butter)

¾ tsp of baking soda

1 tablespoon of almond milk

2 eggs (or flax eggs)

½ cup of coconut flour

2 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice

¼ cup of dark chocolate chips

In medium sized bowl, mix pumpkin puree, maple syrup, and almond butter. Once well mixed, add in two  lightly beaten eggs. In separate bowl, mix coconut flour with pumpkin pie spice and baking soda. Then add  the dry mixture to the pumpkin mixture. Once well combined, fold in the chocolate chips and place in 8×8 baking dish lined with parchment paper. Place  it in an  oven preheated to 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 20-25 minutes. Once edges are golden, and center is done, remove from oven, and let it cool. Cut into small squares and serve as cake bites. Optionally, melt ¼ cup of chocolate chips and use as topping for the cake bites. Store in an airtight container for up to five  days.

Chickpea Veggie Stew

Chickpeas or garbanzos, whichever name you prefer, it doesn’t matter! These tiny legumes are a power house of nutrients, fiber, and protein to add to your plate. Interestingly, this legume has been cultivated for a very long time. Remains of its cultivation have been found in the Middle East from 7,500 years ago. It is part of a legume family called Fabaceae, which includes peas and sweet peas.

Dried chickpeas are a tough legume that requires a lengthy amount of cooking to make it ready to consume. They are usually rapidly boiled for ten to 15  minutes and then simmered for two to three hours. To speed up the process, you can soak them for 12-24hrs prior to cooking and shorten the simmering time  down to 30 minutes. Most people skip this time-consuming procedure and buy the canned variety.  This is a fantastic  option to have, as long as you choose a brand that uses the minimum amount of salt needed for preservation. By the way, the  water that you discard from the can, or from your pot after cooking is called “aquafaba.” If you haven’t heard of it before, stay tuned, as we hope to experiment with this ingredient soon in our own recipes. It is a liquid which contains nutrients from the legumes cooked in it, and can even be used as an egg substitute in some recipes!

Chickpeas are also the main ingredient in hummus when combined with tahini and spices. There are many ways to enjoy chickpeas, including in soups, in salads, or as a main dish. They are well-known and regarded for their protein content. One cup of cooked chickpeas provides about 11 grams of protein, while delivering  just 210 calories. This plant protein comes packed with 10 grams of fiber, vitamin B6, iron, calcium and magnesium. With that many nutrients in play, chickpeas are ideal as a main dish any day!

Our recipe below takes this mild tasting legume and infuses it with rich, deep flavors to elevate this simple bean to entrée status. A thick and creamy sauce made up of ginger, olive oil, red peppers, onions and cashew butter complements the texture of garbanzos. Steamed carrots and yellow summer squash complete the dish forming a delicious vegetable stew. Serve it warm with a side of brown rice, or by itself as soup.

Cashew butter thickens this sauce without overpowering the taste of the spices and vegetables. Most nut butters work well as thickeners to sauces, but their flavor comes through in the result. At times, this is just what you want, but when you are looking for a thickener that doesn’t impact or clash with other ingredients, then cashew butter should be your first choice.

Let us know if you try this recipe and how you like it in the comments section below. Since it is a vegetable stew, the more veggies you add, the better. Feel free to add zucchini, eggplant, beets or whatever is in season at the time in your area.

Chickpea and Veggie Stew on Once Again Nut Butter Blog, gluten free and vegan

Chickpea Veggie Stew

¼ cup of chopped onions

2 tablespoons of fresh minced garlic

½ cup chopped red peppers

½ cup sliced carrots

2 medium sized summer squash, diced

2 cups (or 1 can) of chickpeas, drained and rinsed

½ teaspoon of dried ginger

4 tablespoons of Once Again Nut Butter Creamy Cashew Butter

1 ¼ cups of vegetable broth

1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil

First, steam carrots and summer squash for about 10 minutes, until soft. In separate medium sauce pan, add olive oil, garlic, ginger, onions and peppers. Let it sizzle for a few minutes until the onion is starting to brown. Then add in broth and cashew butter and bring everything  to a boil and then remove from stove top heat. Using a had processor or blender, blend mixture until smooth. Return the mixture to the  stovetop set at medium heat ,and add in squash, carrots and chickpeas. Cook for about 10 minutes and serve warm! It’s optional to serve this stew with brown rice or noodles!

Cinnamon Crackers

Ever wonder why some people crave sweets while others don’t care for them  as much? Some of the explanations can be found in our DNA! The chances of you having a sweet tooth for life may have started as early as your life in the womb. Studies show that our ability to taste begins when we are still a fetus. Amniotic fluid can transfer flavors, and these very first exposures can stick with you after birth. Some people are born very sensitive to sugar, while others are sensitive to salty, sour, or bitter tastes and foods.

Our taste buds perceive four basic tastes: sweet, salty, sour and bitter. You have about 10,000 taste buds! Each one connected to a sensory neuron that relays information about a flavor to the brain. Every person has different taste buds. Genetics isn’t completely responsible for your preferences though, In the early years of your life, your experiences play an important part in determining if you’ll have a sweet tooth. For example, if you were constantly rewarded with candy as a toddler for good behavior, your brain made the emotional connection of pleasure and satisfaction with your  sugar intake. Perhaps this knowledge gives us  an opportunity  to change the next generation? I’ll leave it to you to think about that possibility!

If you are one that struggles with a high affinity for sugar and would like to better curb those cravings, then cinnamon could be your answer. Although not likely to resolve sugar urges completely, cinnamon has the power to decrease some of your sugar cravings. As a matter of fact, a tablespoon of peanut butter can also help fight against a lust for sugar.

Cinnamon, a common spice you probably have in your pantry, has many health benefits most aren’t aware of. It has anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties, and it is an excellent source of fiber and trace minerals such manganese, and it’s a good source of calcium. This combination is important and can be helpful for prevention of several health conditions.

It is a great idea to add a tablespoon of cinnamon to your fruit, or other high starch foods such as cereals and breads. The  addition of cinnamon can help lessen the impact of the sugar in your blood . Cinnamon slows the rate at which the stomach empties after a meal, therefore reducing the rapid rise in blood sugars after consuming  food. It also helps those with Type 2 Diabetes improve their ability to respond to insulin, and hopefully decrease their need for medication by normalizing their blood sugar levels on their own.

However, there is much more to learn about cinnamon. The scientific community is not done researching the health benefits of the many spices and herbs we have available for our culinary creations. That is something to look forward to and embrace: a whole new way to taste foods beyond just sugary or salty options!

Our recipe today is a great example of how to use cinnamon to enhance the natural sugar flavor of  foods. Cinnamon crackers are fantastic to snack on or to enjoy as a desert. The recipe uses coconut sugar and pecan flour to also reduce the carbohydrate in the final product, making it a more diabetic-diet friendly food. It naturally contains a bit more protein and healthy fat than your average cinnamon cracker. Enjoy it with a cup of hot tea for a relaxing experience that could replace a high sugar desert in your daily nutritional routine.

Cinnamon Crackers made with Once Again Sunflower Seed Butter

Cinnamon Crackers

½ cup Once Again Sunflower Seed Butter, lightly sweetened

3 tablespoons of sugar or coconut sugar

1 tablespoon of coconut oil

2 tablespoons of pecan flour

1 egg (at room temperature)

2 teaspoon of cinnamon

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Topping:

1 teaspoon of cinnamon

½ teaspoon sugar (optional) or use coconut sugar.

In medium bowl, mix sunflower seed butter with sugar, coconut oil and egg. Add in pecan flour, cinnamon and vanilla. The mixture will be the texture of a soft cookie dough. Spread it over  a cookie sheet, pre-sprayed with non-stick spray. Using a spatula, spread out the mixture thinly without causing any holes. Sprinkle sugar and cinnamon mixture on top of it.  The mixture should cover an area of about 10×12 inches. You may also use parchment paper instead to line the sheet. Bake for 45-50 minutes at 275 degrees Fahrenheit. Take out of oven and allow it to cool completely before scoring and cracking into pieces. Store in airtight container for up to seven  days.

Savory Curry Snack Bars

Although we haven’t shared thousands of sweet granola bar recipes, they certainly are out there on  the web for your viewing pleasure. They come with small variations – some add more ingredients; others make it simple with no baking directions, and a few even venture into exploring unexpected ingredients such as red pepper to spice things up. However, a bar recipe you haven’t seen quite enough of is the savory variety. These bars  aren’t sweet based– on the contrary, they are perfect for when you crave something salty and would rather not dip your hands into a bag of junk food. A common approach to salty snacking used by those looking for better nutrient balance than that found in chips for example, is to eat mixed nuts. This is a  smart choice for snacking  of course, but when it comes to mixed nuts, it’s easy to overindulge  and potentially end up consuming more calories than intended. Therefore, these savory type of snack bars are  a fantastic solution to your salty snack demands.   It is also easy to control portion size with these bars.

There are currently only a couple of savory bars available on  the market. The good news about these bars is they are incredibly fast to make and uncomplicated. . Also, they give  you the opportunity to add your favorite flavor twists, too.

The recipe shared below is for a Savory Curry Bar. It draws influences from Indian cuisine, with the addition of spices such as curry and turmeric. Curry powder is most often a mixture of coriander, turmeric, cumin, fenugreek, and chili peppers. Turmeric is an excellent source of iron and manganese. It is a good source of vitamin B6, fiber, copper and potassium as well. Rich in phytonutrients such as curcumin, demethoxycurcumin, tumerones and tumenorols, this spice offers anti-inflammatory benefits and promises a decreased cancer risk. Research has also shown its potential for improving cognitive function, blood sugar balance, kidney function and helping in the management of some arthritic and digestive disorders. Both curry and turmeric have  strong and unique flavors. If you have not tried these  before, I would recommend trying them first before making the recipe given below.  Here is an experiment: Mix about 1/8 of a teaspoon of curry powder into  plain brown rice to test if you enjoy this Southeast Asian spice. The same method can be used for the testing of turmeric alone. If you don’t enjoy these flavors, you can make the recipe below by simply skipping those spices, or substituting them with ones you actually do love. For example, a rosemary and lavender combination works well for this bar. In the video below, I  go through the steps of making this bar. The trick is to adhere to  the resting time in the freezer, enabling the bar to set. After making this recipe a couple of times, I noticed that the crumbles at the bottom of the container were just too good to waste. I added them to salads as toppings, and that was a genius move! Here is an idea: If you don’t want to wait for it to set in the freezer, just pour the mixture into an airtight jar and store in the refrigerator. Use it as a crunchy topping for your salads, soups or even a rice and bean bowl that calls for more flavor!

The notion of “salty” bars might just be the new trend for 2017. What do you think? Let us know in the comments if you think this trend will be a winner.

img_7787

Savory Curry Snack Bars

2 cups of puffed rice cereal

½ cup of sunflower seeds

2/3 cup of slivered almonds

2 tablespoons of flax seeds

2 tablespoons of flax meal

¾ cup of Once Again Sunflower Seed Butter or Almond Butter

2 tablespoons of coconut oil

½ teaspoon of turmeric powder

½ teaspoon of curry powder

Mix all ingredients, in no special order! Just mix them well.  It is a bit easier to start with the coconut oil and Once Again Nut Butter, and then add in the powders and next the seeds, nuts, and cereal. Once well mixed, press the mixture it onto an 8×8 baking dish. Place  it in the refrigerator to set for four  hours, or in  the freezer for 30 minutes. Cut it into bars and enjoy! Store in refrigerator for up to seven  days. You may also crumble it up and use it as a salad topping!

Sprouted Oat and Fruit Bars

Perhaps you’ve noticed even the most conventional of grocery stores have  expanded their grain selections from white rice and brown rice  now to include quinoa, barley, amaranth, and even freekeh. These ancient grains have gained popularity over the last few  years. The number of recipes including these long-time ignored grains has inspired people to try new varieties.  Since they are filled with more nutrients, fiber and protein than plain white rice, they have presented us with   good reasons to include them in our meal routines.

Gear up for yet another change in your grains. Sprouted grains now are slowly gaining popularity.  And they are not just another fad; the industry believes that they   will represent a dominant trend in the next couple of years in the food marketplace. They will appear as ingredients in baked goods; they will also be  sold in bulk as  a money saving option.

Sprouted grains are made from whole grains. They are the whole grains undergoing  a  transition phase from seed to plant. This process involves the germination process of the seed done under controlled environment so that the sprouting is stopped at just the right time. If the seed continues to sprout into a grain grass, then it is no longer edible since it is passed the point of  digestibility for humans.  Sprouted grains  generally offer the same or better nutrition benefits than whole grains.

When a grain is sprouted, this  means some of the carbohydrates present in that grain are used as energy to grow the sprouts; therefore, they  concentrate the amount of protein, fiber and other nutrients in the grain. There are studies analyzing the possibility that this process also allows for an easier-to-digest  grain with greater nutrient availability for us.

Nutrient availability varies  for each grain, but sprouted wheat, for example, has been shown to contain more fiber and vitamin E, and sprouted wheat flour  contains possibly four times as much folate as regular wheat flour! Since the popularity of sprouted grains has steadily increased, so has the research into their additional health benefits. Within the next few  years, there could be more data available to support our transition to sprouted grains – or not. In the meantime, it is not a bad idea to start experimenting with sprouted grains in your own kitchen. Include them  as an ingredient in your cooking or just add some variety or varieties to your menu.  Take sprouted brown rice, for example. Although there are some websites explaining how to sprout your own grains at home, beware: The technique involves soaking and rinsing the grains  with  warm water several times a day. These  conditions are optimal for bacterial growth and could potentially be present in enough quantity in the final sprouted grain to induce food- borne illness. Therefore, follow sterilization techniques and cook sprouted grains fully when trying out those methods.

Or, more conveniently, you may purchase already sprouted grains which is a good idea for beginners. The following recipe uses store bought sprouted rolled oats. Rolled oats, steel cut oats, or other cracked oats can’t be sprouted since their hull has been removed. Oat groats are usually used in commercial production and deliver a safe and reliable sprouted oat product. The recipe also calls for a fruit puree for which you can use what you have on  hand, or make a puree  to fit a special occasion. Pumpkin puree is a great option for –   a taste of fall, or use apricot puree for a more summer- like fruit bar. Enjoy creating your own versions, and let us know how you’ve delighted in baking with sprouted oats!

20160831_221550510_ios

Sprouted Oat and Fruit Bars

¼ cup of Once Again American Classic Crunchy Peanut Butter

1 cup of puree 100% pumpkin or fig paste, date puree, or apricot puree.

1 cup of sprouted rolled oats

2 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice

3 tablespoons of stevia substitute baking blend (or ½ cup sugar, or coconut sugar)

¼ cup of dried cranberries

Mix peanut butter and pumpkin until well blended. Add stevia and pumpkin spice and combine. Slowly add in oats and cranberries. Spread the mixture in an 8×8 baking dish lined with parchment paper. Take it to a preheated oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 40 minutes. Edges will begin to brown; insert toothpick into the middle to check for readiness. Remove from oven, and let the large bar cool before cutting it up into portion-sized bars. Store them in airtight container for up to one week, or freeze for up to three months. You may also add other toppings such as chocolate chips, chopped walnuts, or raisins.

Peanut-Butter-Oatmeal-Cranberry Cookie

Every few months it is a good idea for you to check how your fiber intake is going by totaling  your daily intake. The food industry is extremely focused on protein these days (It has been for a while, and the trend doesn’t seem to be slowing down). This means that advertisement and packaging are highlighting protein content more than ever. Even cereal boxes have added bright and bold letters to the front of their boxes to call your attention to how much protein they offer up in a serving. Unfortunately, this drives us to also tune into  protein intake and sometimes forget other nutrients that may be even more important.

Protein is crucial. We recently broke down the importance of appropriate protein intake that we invite you to read up on here: (insert link). However, protein takes a back seat to importance in longevity and overall health when it comes to fiber. At one point in time, fiber was the hot topic. Everyone talked about it and there were even snack bars hitting the market with the word  “fiber” in the brand name! Along the way, we forgot that eating enough fiber is a life-long daily ritual that we  must maintain. It is important to us  as  children,  adults, and even more as we  age.

Fiber is what keeps your digestive system working properly. Eating enough fiber each day is also one of the few ways to decrease your risk for chronic heart disease, Type 2 diabetes , colon cancer; it also helps you maintain a healthy body weight, among other health benefits.

Americans, in general, eat enough protein: Even those following a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle generally meet  their protein goals. However, people are not getting enough  fiber. As a matter of fact, in a survey of 2,000 Americans, over 95% of graduate school-educated participants and health care providers weren’t even aware of their daily recommended fiber intake. The Institute of Medicine recommends 38 grams for men 50 years of age and younger, and 30 grams for men over 50 years old. Women 50 years old and younger should get 25 grams, and those older than 50 should get 21 grams. Keep in mind these levels represent  minimum requirements. Shockingly, The Institute of Medicine reports that on average Americans are getting barely 50 percent of their daily fiber requirements. .

Fiber can only be found in plants. Animal products have no fiber at all! This sounds obvious, but many people fail to grasp this simple fact.. Once you connect the dots the answer is quite simple: Eat more plants! That is the only and most efficient way to ensure an adequate daily fiber intake.  Simply put, increase your intake of whole grains, legumes, nuts, fruits and vegetables!

If you aren’t sure how much you are eating each day, it is a good idea to keep a food journal for three  consecutive days. Then go back and using a credible app or website For example: Calorie King, the American Heart Association, the American Diabetes Association. Look up the fiber content of your recorded food and do the math. Are you reaching your daily goals on a consistent basis? If not, then make some changes right away. Remember to swap refined carbohydrates for whole grains, which means, get rid of the white bread and pasta and substitute for quinoa, oats, amaranth or other fiber rich complex carbohydrates. Add more fruits and vegetables throughout your day. Make them your go-to choices for snacks. Take several small steps at a time; try to increase intake only 5 grams of fiber every few days, while also increasing your water intake. Allow your digestive system to adjust, and it will perform better in the long run. Then sit back and enjoy the benefits of a fiber- rich diet!

Our recipe here  is for cookies. How can that be a part of our “eat more fiber” blog today? Well, I strongly believe in no missed opportunities when it comes to the food we  eat. Cookies are a delicious treat that makes their way into our diets every now and again. When they do, it is best if they are homemade with ingredients that will add to your nutrient intake versus set you back on your health goals. These Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies have no refined white flour. They are made simply with oat flour and whole oats. They also have cranberries and peanut butter which contain fiber as well. You can use regular eggs or the flax-eggs (For each egg, combine 1 tablespoon of ground flax seed -measure after grinding- with 3 tablespoons of water. Stir well, and place in the fridge to set for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, the result should be a sticky egg-like substitute which also contributes to your fiber goals. Remember the animal egg has no fiber ! Let us know if you liked this recipe in the comments section below. Also, if you make these cookies share a picture with us on our Instagram, Facebook or Twitter with the #onceagainnutbutter and tag us.

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cranberry cookie from Once Again Nut Butter

Peanut Butter Oatmeal with Cranberries Cookie

1 cup of whole oats

¾ cup of oat flour

¾ teaspoon of baking soda

¾ teaspoon of baking powder

1 cup of Once Again Nut Butter Organic Crunchy Peanut Butter

¼ cup of coconut oil

¼ cup Once Again Nut Butter Killer Bee Honey (maple syrup for vegan)

2 flax-eggs or conventional chicken eggs, lightly beaten

½ cup of dried cranberries

Combine oat flour, baking soda and baking powder. Set aside.  In a separate bowl, mix in eggs (at room temperature), coconut oil and honey. Lastly, add in peanut butter and mix well. Combine dry mixture with wet ingredients and mix well, adding in cranberries into the dough. If mixture is too dry to roll into small balls, add a teaspoon or two of water to mixture. Flatten each ball on cookie sheet and take it to preheated oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 8 to 10 minutes or until edges are golden. Remove from pan and let it cool completely before serving and or storing it in airtight container for up to 5 days. Note, if you are watching your sugar intake, eliminate the honey, no substitution needed. We tried the recipe without it and it works perfectly!  It’s just a bit less sweet, but still delicious!

#nowhitesugar #norefinedsugar #vegan #glutenfree

Breakfast Banana Peanut Butter Muffins

“I am starving! I feel like I could eat a horse!” Many of us have sympathized with this feeling at one point or another. It’s that feeling of hunger that grows uncontrollably until you are able to find something to eat. Your metabolism is so  low on  energy that you are unable to concentrate; your stomach is growling, and all you can do is focus on where your next meal will come from. That is the description of physical hunger. This type of hunger is influenced by your brain, liver, fat tissue and hormones. True physical hunger usually happens when you haven’t eaten for at least five hours.

It is not however to be confused with psychological hunger. This type of hunger is when your inner voices convinces you that you’re hungry even though your body doesn’t need energy at that particular time. Different circumstances  can trigger psychological hunger; one example is the availability of food. Consider this: you’re at work, and only after your lunch, someone offers you a piece of cake.  Maybe you may turn it down at first, but the smell and the fact that it is on  the table next to you slowly triggers your mind to convince you that you are indeed hungry, and that piece of cake will hit the spot! Habit is another culprit in  psychological hunger. You always eat at ten o’clock in the morning since it is your designated snack time. It doesn’t matter  if you’ve had a larger than usual breakfast that day and didn’t have time to get to the gym as you normally do at six am prior to work. One last example, although there are many others, for psychological hunger trigger is the emotional eating. It is perhaps the most common one of all. You may use food to counterbalance negative things that happen during your day, or you eat to celebrate an event. Unfortunately, those instances are usually times when your body doesn’t need energy, but your mind tells you it’s time to eat!

Balancing those two types of hunger entails  a learning process. It is something that takes lifelong commitment and patience. It is part of mindful eating. Mindful eating means being aware of the food you eat, how your body feels when you eat, and when you choose to eat it. It is the difference between “eating to live” and “living to eat.”

There are ways to slowly work on yourself to recognize cues that distinguish between both types of hunger and allow you to achieve balance and mindful eating. One of them is to plan your meals for the day. Structure helps you better adhere to a plan. Pause before eating and ask yourself if you are eating because you are hungry or because it is what you always do at that time. Routinely identifying patterns will allow you to come up with a better game plan.. That’s a mixed metaphor.

This is not to say you shouldn’t enjoy some of life’s pleasures in the form of delicious treats! Just be aware of when you’ll be eating them, and make them  a part of a meal. And always, watch your portions. The problem is not the chocolate cake but the size of the slice, and usually the extra scoop of ice cream that goes along  with it!

Making your favorite treats part of the meal allows you to truly enjoy them without any guilt! They become  a part of your meal plan. These Breakfast Banana Peanut Butter Muffins have many of the making of a healthy breakfast. They have a dose of fruit, protein, healthy fats and a touch of sweetness. Make them in a large muffin pan or a smaller mini-muffin pan for even better portion control. It is much easier to practice balance and mindful eating when you add Once Again Nut Butters to your routine. Protein and healthy fat create satiety, and that is  exactly what you are looking for in your food. You want your food to work for you rather than  you working for your food!

Breakfast Banana Muffins from Once Again Nut Butter Blog

Breakfast Banana Peanut Butter Muffins

4 large over- ripened bananas mashed (about 1 ½ cups)

¼ cup of Once Again Killer Bee Honey

¼ cup of coconut oil

1 egg

2 cups of whole wheat flour

1 teaspoon of baking powder

½ teaspoon of baking soda

¼ teaspoon of cinnamon

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

1/3 cup milk of your choice

½ cup of Once Again Creamy Peanut Butter

Combine mashed bananas and Once Again Peanut Butter in a large bowl. Once well mixed, add in milk, coconut oil, honey, egg and vanilla extract. In separate bowl, mix wheat flour, baking soda, baking powder and cinnamon powder. Now slowly add in dry ingredient mix with bananas mixture and slowly mix just until well combined. Fill muffin tins three quarters of the way full and place in an oven pre-heated to t 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes or until golden on top. Serve them warm or store in airtight container for up to five  days.

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

Why do we of any side effects one can experience from opium in its pure form.   Poppy seeds do however have a unique nutty aromatic flavor that eat poppy seeds? Poppy seeds, although derived from the same plant that also yields  dangerous opium compounds, are worry-free, in terms of consumption.  Ancient Egyptians and Arabs appreciated these seeds long ago. Nowadays most poppy seeds come from Turkey, France, and Eastern Europe. Thankfully, poppy seeds have stayed  around.  They are known for their flavor complexities.  They  contain antioxidant properties and some important nutrients as well.

Poppy seeds are rich in oleic and linoleic acids; their husks are a good source of fiber, and they are an excellent source of B-complex vitamins, including thiamin and folic acid. They also contain a good amount of iron, copper, calcium, potassium, manganese, zinc and magnesium.

However, we can’t ignore that these  tiny seeds come from the same plant that yields a dangerous drug. Are any of those chemicals perhaps also found in the seeds? As a matter of fact, poppy seeds do contain a very small level of opium alkaloids, such as morphine, thebaine, codeine and papaverine. No need to panic though – these tiny levels of opium alkaloids are one of the reasons poppy seeds are perfect to consume when trying to manage stress and anxiety. In the amounts found in the seeds, these opium alkaloids, when consumed, soothe  nervous irritability, acting as painkillers.

Although lemon poppy seed muffins are nothing new to the bakery scene, I had never ventured out to make my own at home. There are a few things I found to be very important regarding this task. First if you are looking for a fresh, strong lemon flavor, it is imperative that you use fresh lemon juice and lemon zest as opposed to bottled lemon juice . There is no real replacement for lemon zest. Also, the poppy seeds should be the very last ingredient added to the mixture. To keep them lower in overall calories and added sugar, I used a stevia sugar baking mix. You may also use coconut sugar, regular sugar, or for an even lower calorie and lower  carbohydrate  version, just skip the sugar all together. No adjustments are necessary for  the rest of the recipe! It works just as it is. Once Again Cashew Butter added all the moisture and texture required for a perfect muffin without adding extra sugar or trans fats. The only flavor that comes through in this muffin is the bright, sparkling lemon — cashew butter is added only to increase the protein content  and to boost  good fats.

This muffin is perfect with a cup of calming chamomile tea  at the end of a busy week! The powers of poppy seeds, combined with cashew butter’s natural levels of magnesium, coupled with its calming properties makes it a nice way to relax and enjoy a healthy snack!

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins from Once Again Nut Butter

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

2 cups of  oat flour (If you grind your own, make sure that it is finely ground.)

½ cup of coconut sugar (or a stevia baking mix equivalent)

1 tablespoon of  baking powder

¼ cup of poppy seeds

¾ cup of milk of your choice

2 tablespoons of lemon juice

2-3 tablespoons of lemon zest

1 whole egg

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

6 tablespoons of Once Again Cashew Butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Start by combining cashew butter, sugar, and egg, mixing until soft. Add  lemon juice, vanilla and milk. In separate bowl, mix oat flour, poppy seeds and baking powder,  and then  combine the dry mixture with wet ingredients. Finally add in the lemon zest. Mix well and pour into either a loaf pan or muffin pan. Bake until a toothpick can be inserted and removed clean,about 25 minutes for large muffin pan. Store in an airtight container for up  to five  days.

Just Peanut Butter Bread

What happens when you add peanut butter as a key  ingredient in bread making? Well, you get a bread that is higher in protein and other nutrients, making it your best bet for PB & J sandwich.  best  There is absolutely nothing wrong with a classic peanut butter and jelly sandwich made with  traditional white bread. But we believe in no missed opportunities when it comes to getting  all your macro and micronutrients from food. When you add a whole cup of peanut butter to your  recipe, it results in a bread infused with extra fiber, amino acids, B-vitamins, folic acid, and good fats, among others nutrients.

Peanut butter and other nut butters are a popular source of  plant protein. Many people boost their daily protein intake by adding a few tablespoons of their favorite nut and seed butters. We often follow discussion boards and conversations where the quality of the protein found in plants comes into question. Some examples of the discussions we found include the following: Is it as good as animal protein in quality? Can we  substitute eggs, beef, chicken protein? And will you need more than just plant- based food to get all the amino acids our body requires?

Protein continues to be a hot topic today, but unfortunately there is still a lot of misinformation and confusion about it. Let’s look at some evidence based information regarding protein and better understand what we should look for to meet our needs in this blog.

Your body needs protein to build muscle tissue, reconstruct it and keep it healthy. Protein is also required for skin and bone health. These body structures  are made up of amino acids; these are the building blocks of muscle tissue growth and repair.  There are two types of amino acids: first essential amino acids –these come from food you eat. Your body can not produce them on its own. And then there are  nonessential amino acids –these are made naturally by your body from the protein we eat.

Complete proteins are made up of all essential amino acids while incomplete proteins lack at least one of the essential amino acids. Some examples of complete protein include meats, eggs, dairy, soy nuts, quinoa. They are a valuable source of protein for our muscles, but most complete protein comes with some “baggage.”  Let us explain, although meat for example has fantastic quality complete protein, it does also pack saturated fats. Soy nuts and quinoa, for example, are plant- based complete proteins, but you do have to eat a larger quantity to achieve the daily recommended intake.

Incomplete proteins include vegetables, many grains, and most beans and legumes, for example peanuts, almonds, black beans, peas and rice. Just because they are incomplete doesn’t make them inferior to complete proteins, however.. When you combine incomplete protein sources you may achieve a full set of essential amino acids just as you would find in complete proteins. These are known as complementary proteins. For example: rice and beans, spinach salad with almonds, hummus with pitas, whole grain noodles with peanut butter sauce.

There is plenty of controversy about whether  you should eat all plant based or animal based protein. So far the research doesn’t discredit either sources or opinions. There are valid points on both sides. Eating a balanced diet containing complementary plant proteins will fulfill all your needs just as an animal sourced protein diet would. In the end, your choice to eat an all plant based protein diet versus animal or vice versa, has more to do with the other nutrients found in both and your health goals.

But let’s get back  to where we started: Just Peanut Butter Bread! The only reason the word just is in the title is to emphasize peanut butter as the dominant flavor and aroma in this bread. You  choose to add some jelly, more peanut butter, or make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with it. You’ll never regret adding a little more plant protein to your diet in the form of nut butters!

Just Peanut Butter Bread by Once Again Nut Butter

Just Peanut Butter Bread

1 cup of milk of your choice

2 eggs or flax eggs

2/3 cups sugar or sugar substitute such as stevia equivalent

1 cup Once Again Organic American Classic Creamy Peanut Butter

1 tablespoon of baking powder

1 ¾ cup of white whole wheat flour

Mix milk, beaten eggs and peanut butter well. Add sugar and mix again. Finally,  add in flour and baking powder. Mix just until all ingredients are well blended. Pour into 9×5  baking pan, sprayed with non-stick oil and take it to preheated oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 45-50 minutes. Serve with your favorite jelly and more peanut butter, of course! Store in an airtight container for up to five  days, or freeze for up to 60 days.

Just Peanut Butter Bread by Once Again Nut Butter blog