Almond Puffs Cereal

When it comes to breakfast cereals, choosing a healthy option is easier said than done. It is obvious that Americans love cereal; one must simply stroll down to the nearest grocery store to notice entire aisles dedicated to cereals. Cereal is indeed a delicious way to start your day! However, if choosing the wrong kind, you could be compromising your nutritional goals in just one bowl before the day even starts properly. Nutritionists and health experts agree that when it comes to breakfast cereals, the most overdone ingredient is sugar. Most of options on the market have excessive sugar and lack substantial macronutrients needed to start your metabolic processes in the early hours of the day. Fiber and protein are often neglected to make room for ingredients such as high corn fructose syrup and white flour, which deliver a tasty treat instead of a nutrient-packed breakfast. There are exceptions, and thankfully you can find some phenomenal cereals nowadays. However, picking which one is right for you will require a process a bit like a treasure hunt.

You’ll need basic knowledge of how to read nutrition labels as well as how to decipher ingredient lists and be ready to spend a good 30 minutes flipping boxes around at the store shelves. The bright colors and big bold letters on the front of the boxes are catchy but hide the actual contents inside. Distinguishing between marketing and evidenced-based claims can be quite tricky.

We don’t want to discourage you from finding the perfect breakfast cereal for you and your family, but in the meantime, or occasionally, you could make your own at home! It is surprisingly simple, requiring only 6 ingredients and about 20 minutes in the oven.

You will need Once Again Creamy Almond Butter or your favorite Once Again Nut or Seed Butter, a little maple syrup and oat flour. In just one bowl you can mix all ingredients together and you are ready to roll. If you have little helpers hanging around the kitchen with you, let them handle the rolling out of the dough! They are experts in playing with modeling clay and dough after all. Creating long snakes that you can snip to make pillow-shaped cereal is a fun project for all.

Not a big breakfast cereal person? Don’t dismiss this recipe so quickly! These Almond Puffs are perfect for snacking too. Just fill up an air tight container and pack it along with you for the day — when hunger strikes, you can munch on it for a satisfyingly and crunchy, nutrient-filled snack that won’t compromise your health goals for the day.

 Almond Puffs Cereal by Once Again Nut Butter

Almond Puffs Cereal

1 egg

½ cup of Once Again Creamy Almond Butter

¼ cup of maple syrup

1 cup of oat flour

1 teaspoon of baking powder

½ teaspoon of vanilla extract

Whisk egg, and then mix it into the almond butter. Add in maple syrup and slowly blend in flour. Mix in baking powder and vanilla extract. Roll out dough into long rope and cut ½ inch pieces with a dinner knife. This type of knife will create little pillow shapes versus cylinders. Place them on a baking sheet lined with a silicone mat, or sprayed with non-stick spray and bake for 15 to 20 minutes. Turn them halfway to bake evenly. Store in airtight container for up to one week. Serve with the milk of your choice!

Coconut Almond Bonbons

What is sweet, and what is salty? This simple question can yield a wide variety of answers depending upon whom you ask. How you perceive sweet, sour, bitter, or salty depends upon both your genetics and other factors you have been exposed to.  There are talented individuals that educate their palates to distinguish between numerous subtle tastes beyond just those for primary tastes we tend to use to describe what we eat. Can you imagine taking a bite of a risotto for example and being able to list each ingredient precisely simply through taste? Regardless of how intricate you can describe your taste sensations, it is something you’ve developed over the years. A child who has never tasted a lemon for example, may think that an orange tastes sour. Once that children awaken and expand their palates, they can better classify different food tastes.

So, why are we discussing taste palate ranges you may wonder? Today we are sharing a recipe for bonbons. Bonbons, a word of French origin, is defined by Webster’s dictionary as a candy with chocolate or fondant coating and fondant center that sometimes contains fruits and nuts. The expectation when you bite into a bonbon is one of sweetness. However, for a more educated palate, the desired experience just may include a nutty taste combined with some slight bitterness of cacao and a sweet undertone that gives your tongue an exuberant panoply of flavors. That experience sounds much more satisfying than simply splurging through a barrage of sugar. Therefore, our recipe will highlight the coconut, cacao and almonds versus the sugar. We suggest you re-define your senses s bit prior to indulging in this treat, perhaps by drinking a glass of water and/or eating a saltine cracker, just as professional taste testers often do as part of their preparational rituals. This will allow you to clear your mind from prior expectations and allow your brain to create new connections as you taste each flavor separately and then in symphony as they are so well combined in this bonbon.

Through practicing this sequence often, you will be slowly educating your taste palate to require less sugar to define something as “sweet.” If you haven’t deciphered the health benefits yet for this practice, here is it in plain words: You will eat less refined sugar and still enjoy what you eat!

Our recipe for Coconut Almond Bonbons uses maple syrup as a sweetener, but only 3 tablespoons. This moderation is what gives the other ingredients a chance to shine through individually. It is also a vegan and gluten-free recipe. You can easily substitute the Once Again Almond Butter with cashew, peanut butter, sunflower seed butter or even tahini, if you would like to experiment. Each one will give you a completely different bonbon. For a party or event, consider making a few with each different nut or seed butter and then using different sprinkled toppings to decorate them. When you make these, please share a picture your creations with us on social media and tag us @onceagainnutbutter. We love sharing your results with our community.

Coconut Almond Bonbon from Once Again Nut Butter

Coconut Almond Bonbons

¼ cup of Once Again Almond Butter

¼ cup of coconut flour

3 tablespoons of coconut oil

3 tablespoons of maple syrup

2 tablespoons of cacao powder

Mix Once Again Almond Butter and coconut flour, place it in molds, or roll it into small balls. Now mix coconut oil, syrup and cacao powder. Dip each one into chocolate mix, or pour mixture in molds. Place bonbons in the freezer for 45 minutes, allowing them to set. Remove bonbons from the freezer for 5 minutes before enjoying them. Store them in the freezer in an airtight container for up to one week.

Lemon Cashew Bars

Summertime and ice-cold lemonade go together like hot dogs on 4th of July! As we enter warm season, our taste buds gravitate toward citrus and berries, barbecues, and frozen treats. At the same time, lemons become a more frequent addition to our dishes during these sultry months of the year. Perhaps our bodies just know how much we need the extra fluid, electrolytes and vitamin C, which are all present in citrus.  This may explain our cravings for such tangy-sweet flavors.

You can substitute lemons for limes and vice versa, as your imagination commands. They are both very acidic but have pleasantly different tastes and aromas. As a matter of fact, most people can discern the distinct scents of lemon or lime while blindfolded. Fragrance aside, lemons have a slightly higher content of vitamin C when compared to limes.

When using these jewels of nutrition as ingredients in recipes they behave alike but provide distinct flavor results. For example, when looking to boost a sweet tang, lemons may work best; however, if the objective is to dull down a bit the sugar in a recipe,  limes will be a better fit.

Our Lemon Cashew Bars recipe was originally created with lemons, but recently tested using limes instead, and the results were just as delicious! The Lemon Cashew Bars are slightly less sweet- tasting than the ones prepared with limes when nothing else was modified. These bars are so easy to make, allowing you to stock up your refrigerator all summer long. That way you won’t be caught without a healthy snack anytime during your busiest days, and they can also be conveniently and neatly away for a picnic or car trip. You may find similar bars on grocery store shelves, but don’t be if surprised your homemade versions taste so much better! The secret is in the citrus zest, and of course, the top-quality ingredients you use at home. Just 4 ingredients, a food processor and your refrigerator— that’s all you’ll need! Let us know which homemade version you prefer, the lime or lemon? We are ready to experiment with orange and grapefruit as well. What do you think?

Lemon Cashew Bars

Lemon Cashew Bars

¾ cup of dates

2 tablespoons of lemon juice

Zest of one lemon

½ cup of Once Again Cashew Butter

½ cup of raw cashews

Using a food processor, start by combining the dates and lemon juice. Pulse until you achieve a homogeneous mixture. Then add the cashew butter and cashews. Lastly, add in the lemon zest. Place mixture in a baking pan about 4 x 8 inches in diameter, lined with parchment paper. Set in refrigerator for 4 hours, or for just 1 hour in freezer. Cut into bars and store in airtight container in refrigerator for up to 10 days.

High Protein Chocolate Mousse

If you told me a few months back that I would be dedicating a whole blog to cottage cheese, I would have had a hard time believing you.  However, our readers keep coming back for our healthy recipes, while remaining in constant search of delicious ways to meet their diverse nutritional needs.

Now let’s talk about our passion, that is, bringing you the best combinations of ingredients to meet all of your dietary requirements while also giving you recipes that taste great, of course. Although many of you may be vegan or vegetarian, we also want to bring options to those who aren’t. This is what led me to further explore the possibilities of cottage cheese.

A sadly forgotten ingredient in my kitchen was recently brought back into to the light when on a grocery trip I spotted it on sale. Upon picking up the small container of cottage cheese, I analyzed the label and was reminded of how much protein cottage cheese has packed into such small caloric content. One cup of low fat cottage cheese has 28 grams of protein and just 163 calories. It is also crammed with many nutrients like B vitamins, calcium, phosphorus, and selenium. But the highlight of this this nutritional powerhouse’s profile is the fact that over 70% of cottage cheese’s calories derive from protein. That makes these humble curds an excellent source of protein, and a convenient food choice for athletes, people on the move, and those requiring a bit of extra protein each day.

Perhaps the last time you had cottage cheese was at your school cafeteria when it was served with a side of some sort of soggy fruit.  Bleck! If you then designated cottage cheese as a food you would rather not eat, think again! Cottage cheese can be transformed and used as an ingredient in an array of decidedly different, delicious ways. It can be added to smoothies just as a protein supplement would be. And as a bonus, cottage cheese has a velvet-like consistency when blended that can achieve the creaminess that you are looking for in your drinks. Plain cottage cheese has a very mild flavor, unlike that of most cheeses; therefore, it can easily absorb the flavors that it is paired with.

It also can be blended and added to soups as a thickener to build extra protein content in the recipe. You can use it in place of Feta or blue cheese in your salads, add it to pancake batter, your favorite lasagna recipe, or even splurge some through your granola in the morning.

For some time, cottage cheese has been a popular choice amongst those looking to build muscle mass due to its high casein content. Casein accounts for 80% of the protein in cottage cheese, and it is a slowly absorbed protein. This allows for better muscle building, as well as prolonged absorption of the amino acid leucine, which also increases muscle building capacity.

Potentially the only thing missing from low fat cottage cheese is a healthy dose of monounsaturated fatty acids and omegas found in almond butter, for example! To fill this gap, we have created a perfectly delicious solution. Blending almond butter with cottage cheese to create a chocolate mousse will change the way you’ll think about night- time snacking.  Since its protein is so slowly absorbed, cottage cheese is effective in preventing muscle breakdown that may occur at night. Therefore, a serving of our High Protein Chocolate Mousse is just what you may need before you embark upon a night of restful sleep.

The creaminess of the cottage cheese, enhanced by the richness of the almond butter, is matched with the depth of cacao powder to make this chocolate mousse irresistible! Feel free to top it with some fresh fruit and drizzle on a little extra almond butter for some genuine crowning glory.

High Protein Chocolate Mousse

High Protein Chocolate Mousse

½ cup of cottage cheese

2 tablespoons of Once Again Almond Butter

1 teaspoon of cacao powder

1 packet of stevia (or 1 tablespoon of honey or coconut sugar)

Add all ingredients to blender and pulse until smooth. Place in refrigerator to set for 30 minutes and enjoy! The total protein for this one-portion serving is about 17 grams.

Peanut Butter Jelly Oatmeal Bars

Healthy baking substitutions have become a popular way to continue to enjoy some of our favorite treats without feeling guilty! Among a variety of popular ingredient substitutions, removing eggs and adding apple sauce is a commonly used trick for those watching total calorie and fat in their diet. Have you ever wondered why that works? Or perhaps if it always works?

Using eggs in a baking recipe usually serves two main purposes. One is to add moisture, the other is to develop a desired consistency. Both of these outcomes can be achieved with applesauce. There are a few rules, however. To ensure a successful baking experience. When a cake recipe has a leavening agent such as baking powder, the eggs will add the moisture needed as the cake rises while baking. Applesauce can function in the same way in these recipes, and you can substitute ¼ cup of it for each egg in the recipe. Also adjust the baking powder up by 25-30% more and bake for just a few minutes longer, checking the cake with a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake before removing it from the oven.

For cookie recipes, the more appropriate substitution is for 1/3 cup of applesauce per egg. In this case, you may also use a sweetened applesauce and decrease the amount of refined white sugar the recipe requires.  The ideal times to use this substitution is for when the recipe has another source of moisture and fat in the recipe. For example, a recipe that calls for oil and eggs is a perfect candidate for apple sauce substitution. If the only source of moisture is the eggs, consider starting out by just substituting half the amount of eggs for applesauce.

As you can see below, in the recipe for Baked Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars, there are no eggs, instead we used applesauce. However, notice the additional fat source in the recipe is peanut butter which allows for this substitution to yield a perfectly baked treat! It makes it possible for those following a vegan or more plant-based diet to bake without compromising when it comes to flavor. This recipe is a gluten-free (use gluten-free certified oats) and vegetarian with  a vegan option, if you use maple syrup instead of the honey.

These bars are not very sweet. They rely on the jelly or jam you choose to use as a topping. Alternatively, you could double up on the honey or vegan sweetener and increase the oat flour to ¾ cup, if you desire a sweeter desert version versus a less sugary breakfast bar.

Once Again Nut Butter’s variety of products helps you stay in control of what you eat by offering you no salt, and unsweetened varieties for each of our nut and seed butters. When baking, choose which one you prefer and adjust the other ingredients in your recipe accordingly! The difference between eating pre-packaged cookies and homemade cookies is quantum, amounting to the ability to choose quality ingredients and keep your recipes clean, that is, free of additives. Once Again Nut Butter products were designed with rare marketplace ideals in mind. Minimal, highest quality ingredients allow each nut or seed flavor to really shine through no matter how you use the butters!

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Peanut Butter Jelly Oatmeal Bars

2 cups of oats

½ cup of oat flour

½ teaspoon of baking powder

¼ cup of honey (or maple syrup, if vegan)

½ cup of unsweetened apple sauce (You may use sweetened apple sauce, if preferred.)

3 tablespoons of Once Again Peanut Butter

½ cup of milk of your choice

½ cup of strawberry preserves

In a large mixing bowl, combine oat flour, oats and baking powder. In a separate medium bowl, mix honey, applesauce, peanut butter and milk. Then combine wet ingredients into dry, mixing well. Pour into baking pan, about 7 by 11 inches in size, prepared with coconut oil non-stick spray. Lastly, spread the ½ cup of preserve or jam as a thin layer on top. Place in a preheated oven at 350 Fahrenheit for 30 minutes or until edges are lightly golden. Remove the baked result from the oven, and once cooled, cut it into bars or squares and store in an airtight container for up to 3 days. These bars are best stored in refrigerator.

Quinoa Cashew Bites

Quinoa is so much more than what it appears to be! Did you know that quinoa is not even a true grain even though it is usually lumped with grains in recipes and nutritional discussions? This funny word carries a powerful array of nutrients. Regardless of how you pronounce it, although correctly, it is “keen-wah,” today is a good time to learn more about this wonder and discover why you should be eating it more often.

Whole grains are rich sources of fiber and many nutrients, but they often fall short on protein. Grains are considered incomplete proteins due to their lack of sufficient amounts of the amino acids lysine and isoleucine. Quinoa, which is not a grain, but a seed, has significantly greater amounts of both amino acids mentioned above, and is therefore a complete protein source, in fact, similar to animal protein sources. One cup of cooked quinoa delivers an average of eight grams of protein. This peculiar seed, a relative of beets, also contains significantly more fat. Fortunately, it is the healthier fat that enhances our immune systems and doesn’t damage our hearts. It’s no wonder that it has long been a star ingredient in many vegan and vegetarian recipes. It provides quality protein and fat for those on a plant-based diet.

Quinoa comes in a variety of colors, including red, white, and black. Although they don’t have a highly distinctive taste, the white variety seems to be the most popular. And here is some good news: Prepare it just as you would most grains. Calculate one cup of dry quinoa to two cups of water, and bring it to a boil, simmering for 15 to 20 minutes or until all liquid is absorbed. The result will be fluffy, translucent-like spheres, with small string-like attachments, which are parts of the seed hulls. Quinoa does absorb most of the liquid; therefore, it is easy to flavor by just adding spices and herbs to the water when cooking. For an interesting option, add a teabag of your favorite flavor to the boiling water, apple spice for example, for a sweet quinoa base that you can use for breakfast dishes or desserts.

Nowadays quinoa is available as a flour to use for baking, too. It is easy to incorporate this nutritious seed into our meals, and we have now an even easier and delicious way to enjoy it! Try our recipe for Quinoa Cashew Bites. Quinoa and cashews accent each other’s flavors perfectly in this recipe. These bite-sized snacks are handy for pre-workout snacks, after school snacks or mid-day pick-me-ups. Have fun making them in different molds for special occasions, too! How about trying heart-shaped silicone molds to make some sweet treats for your loved ones?

Quinoa Cashew Bites

Quinoa Cashew Bites

1 cup of toasted quinoa

½ cup of Once Again Cashew Butter

¼ cup of coconut oil

2 tablespoons of maple syrup

1 tablespoon of unsweetened coconut flakes

Start by adding quinoa to a dry skillet set over medium heat and shake it constantly until you start to hear small pops. Keep mixing quinoa until it is all popped. It takes only 3-4 minutes after the first few pops for the process to be complete. Then remove the popped quinoa from the heat. Let it cool before mixing it with the rest of the ingredients on our list. Mix all well and spoon the combination into molds to set in refrigerator for four hours.  Or place the bites in the freezer for one hour of quick-setting. Remove them from the molds and keep the bites in an airtight container in refrigerator for up to 7 days.

Spicy Peanut Noodles

Can the food you eat really impact how efficiently your body burns calories? It seems like every other month there is new hype about which foods can speed up your metabolism and help you burn those extra pounds. People respond with curiosity and willingness and try just about everything.  After all, who doesn’t want to eat and shed pounds at the same time?

To better understand how food affects metabolism, let’s review how it works. Metabolic rate refers to the number of calories burned by the body each day. This number comes from a mathematical equation that includes your resting metabolic rate, physical activity and the thermic effect of food. The resting metabolic rate is the largest component, unfortunately, we have very little if any control over this number. Physical activity makes up 30-50% of your rate, and we have complete control over that, as well as the thermic effect of foods (TEF). Although it only makes up 10% of your metabolic rate, what you choose to eat is completely up to you! Carbohydrates burn 5-10% of calories eaten, fat 0-5%, and protein 20-30%.

You may have heard that eating spicy foods can rev up your metabolism. This claim does indeed have some foundation. The belief is that eating spicy foods raises your body temperature which in turns means your body spends extra energy cooling itself, and therefore, increasing your metabolic rate. Numerous studies have confirmed that capsaicin, the compound in chili peppers which gives them all the heat, does indeed raise your metabolism. A 2011 study even found that taking a ¼ teaspoon of cayenne pepper increased the calories burned in the following meal! But before you drown all your food in hot sauce, you should know that the increased calorie-burn only amounted to an average of 10 calories!

Interestingly, drinking cold water also gives you a metabolic boost! If you require a large glass of iced water after eating spicy foods, you are increasing your odds for achieving a speedier metabolism. Research suggests that those who consume 8 to 12 glasses of water per day burn more calories than people who only drink up to 4 glasses per day.

These two facts are good enough reasons to make some Spicy Peanut Noodles for lunch today! However, if you need one more, how about the fact that they taste amazing! The nutty flavor and spicy red chili match in this sauce recipe give new life to plain noodles. No need for heavy cream sauces when enjoying noodles! Try this recipe with the addition of steamed edamame or tofu for a complete vegetarian meal.

Spicy Peanut Noodles by Once Again Nut Butter

Spicy Peanut Noodles

3 tablespoons of red chili sauce

¼ cup of Once Again Creamy Peanut Butter

1 teaspoon of sesame oil or extra virgin olive oil

¼ cup of liquid aminos (or soy sauce)

2-4 tablespoons of warm water

Cooked thin noodles of your choice. We recommend rice noodles or whole wheat noodles. Mix all ingredients for the sauce except for water in a container you can seal with a lid and shake well. Lastly, add in one tablespoon of water at a time until desired consistency. Pour the sauce over hot cooked noodles and serve!

2-Steps Creamy Ice Cream

Let’s start with some great news: you don’t need an ice cream maker for this recipe! Ice cream makers are  fantastic kitchen gadgets to have allowing you to make several ice cream flavors right in the comfort of your own home. Although you may want to invest in one eventually, today you can still make this frozen treat without it. And you will not be disappointed either, since most people assume that unless you have an ice cream maker your homemade ice cream won’t be creamy and smooth as the store-bought variety.

Our recipe mimics the texture of artisanal ice cream by adding our Once Again Creamy Cashew Butter to the mix prior to freezing. Cashew butter has the ideal balance of natural sugars and fats that deliver the creaminess you expect from ice cream. The appeal of ice cream making at home is also in the fact that you can pick the ingredients and therefore avoid unnecessary additives and artificial ingredients added to the manufactured options of grocery store varieties.

Our base for this ice cream recipe consists of the following: frozen banana, adding the sweetness to our cream, avocado, which has high fat content and freezes well, and our Once Again Cashew Butter. To this combination at the appropriate ratio given below in the recipe, you can add your own twist of flavors. For example, you could add frozen berries instead of chocolate, or frozen mango and pineapple as well. We recently tried coconut flakes, pineapple and a splash of orange juice, which was another winning combination.

Here are a few tips for making this recipe. The better you mix the ingredients, the smoother the ice cream. Therefore, use a good high-speed blender or food processor for best results. Also, when pouring into a dish to take it to the freezer, choose a shallow one instead of the deeper kind. Something like a cake pan works well for bigger batches. The larger surface area allows the ice cream to freeze evenly avoiding ice crystal formation in the process.  Also, cover the cream with plastic wrap allowing it to touch the top of the ice cream,  as this prevents any air from coming into contact with the ice cream during freezing. Prior to serving, remove from freezer and let it stand for just a few minutes. Use an ice cream scoop that has been dipped in lukewarm water between servings. And remember to return reminder of ice cream to freezer as soon as possible to avoid melting and ice crystal formation. If you don’t eat it all in the first serving, you can store it in the freezer for up to one week. Another idea is to turn the ice cream into Popsicles! We are anxious to hear how you add your own flair to this recipe.  Please share it with us in the comments section!

2-Steps Creamy Ice Cream from Once Again Nut butter

Easy Creamy Ice Cream

1 cup vanilla flavored yogurt of your choice

2 frozen bananas

¼ cup of Once Again Creamy Cashew Butter

3 tablespoons of cacao powder

½ of a Hass avocado

Place all ingredients in a high-speed blender or food processor. Blend until smooth, and then pour mixture into a shallow container and freeze for 4 hours. Remove ice cream from freezer, and let it stand for 5 minutes. Then, scoop and serve!

Tahini and Oats Breakfast Cookies

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day! Or is it? The idea of eating something in the early hours of the day has been a topic of discussion for years in the health and nutrition field. The simple definition of breakfast has been called into question. Is breakfast the first meal you have in the day regardless of what time it occurs? Or, alternatively, is a meal considered breakfast only if it is consumed before 11 am? Does it make a difference if a person is awake at 5am versus 8am?

These are all great questions, and unfortunately some without readily available answers. Here is what we do know however, and hopefully this information can help you decide how to change— or not change your current lifestyle.

The best time to eat is within 60 minutes of waking up. Your blood sugar is naturally low when you wake up, assuming you have had at least seven to eight hours of sleep. Therefore, eating within 60 minutes of getting up can help prevent a complete blood sugar crash. If you ignore this, and just wait until three to four hours after waking up, close to lunch time, you are at high risk of overeating to compensate for the lack of energy because you are feeling post- blood sugar lows. Timing is important after all, but you may not need to sit down and have a complete meal to prevent a crash. Simply consuming 100 to 150 calories of balanced carbohydrates and protein may do the trick.

However, if you do have time to sit down and have a more complete meal in the early hours of the day, you may reap some benefits. Data from combined studies all suggest that individuals who eat a meal in the first hour after waking up are less likely to be overweight since they are better able to control their meal choices for the remainder of the day.

Have you ever gone grocery shopping when you are extremely hungry? You walk out of the grocery store with double the amount of food you realistically need, including a few items you just couldn’t resist — things that you normally would not purchase. The same concept applies to when you skip that first caloric intake of the day. You operate on a brain influenced by lack of fuel. Our brain uses glucose, a form of sugar, as energy fuel. When you don’t have readily available energy, your reaction may be delayed, your ability to think clearly is impaired, and you are at higher risk for making impulsive decisions.

Beyond just helping your weight management strategies by curbing your appetite for the duration of the day, eating breakfast also jumpstarts your metabolism. Eating sets in motion numerous biological processes related to digesting and storing food. These metabolic pathways result in increased energy expenditure, also known as diet induced thermogenesis (DIT).  The combination of adequate energy levels post- breakfast and a metabolically active system are positive points leading us to conclude that eating breakfast is indeed a very good idea! This still leaves the question, is it really the “most important meal” of the day?

That is a question that only you can answer! And your answer depends upon   your current priorities. If you are in pursuit of a weight loss goal, then yes, this first meal could be the missing link ready to set you on a path to success. However, what you eat for breakfast is likely the more important component.

To fuel our brain, as mentioned above, readily available energy in the form of sugar is necessary. Including fruits and whole grains takes care of that portion. Also, to meet your daily requirement for protein, it is important to consume about 20 percent of your daily protein goal in the morning. Lastly, healthy fats should also have a presence in your first caloric intake for the day. This is not only due to their value as a satiety tool, but also because they contain essential fatty acids along with other nutrients integral to your health.

Many Americans have time constraints as their main obstacle when it comes to adhering to a healthy breakfast routine. That is where the food industry has thrived in marketing on-the-go breakfast foods such as granola bars, pocket sandwiches and morning energy drinks. A cheaper and often healthier option is to make your own on-the-go items when you have time, and store them for the week. Well then, our Tahini and Oats Breakfast Cookie gives you a reason to get up in the morning! The combination of all the health benefits associated with oats’ high fiber content, the plant protein and healthy fats found in almonds and tahini (sesame seed paste), the touch of sweetness from the honey which contains anti-inflammatory properties, covers most of your needs to jump- start your busy day.

They are also convenient for those who get their daily exercise early in the morning. By condensing nutrients and calories into small bite sizes, you can consume something before your workout and avoid common GI- related side effects associated with eating right before aerobic activities. Feel free to tweak the recipe to better fit your needs. Consider perhaps the addition of flax seeds for an even higher content of omegas, fiber and protein, or the substitution of stevia instead of the honey for a lower sugar content. Stay in control of what you eat by selecting the very best ingredients every time you bake. You can count and rely on our nut and seed butters since they (except for lightly sweetened options, just look at the labels) only contain one ingredient!

Tahini and Oats Breakfast Cookie by Once Again Nut Butter

 

Tahini and Oats Breakfast Cookie

1/3 cup of Once Again Tahini

1 cup of quick oats

1/3 cup of chopped almonds

1/3 cup of maple syrup or honey

1/3 cup dark chocolate chips or dried cranberries (You can use both!)

1 teaspoon of cinnamon

In medium sized bowl combine tahini and maple syrup (or honey) well. Add in oats, almonds, and cinnamon. Lastly, stir in chocolate chips or dried cranberries. You may also use both, 1/3 cup of each works well. On baking sheet, drop 1 tablespoon of batter for each cookie, and using a fork flatten them to bake evenly. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 to 15 minutes or until golden brown on edges. Remove from oven and let it cook for a few minutes before serving. Store in airtight container for 4 days at room temperature, or in refrigerator for up to 7 days.

Cashew Delights Sandwich Cookies

Whoever thought up the idea a sandwich cookie was a pure genius! A clever way to enjoy 2 cookies at once made better by a creamy filling. It is no surprise sandwich cookies are commonplace and abundant across the world. That’s right, it is not an exclusively American phenomenon. People in other countries may have different flavor combinations, but they too enjoy the double cookie held together by a delicious middle layer. For example, Australia’s favorite cookie is the Tim Tam, which consists of two malted cookies (or their preferred term: “biscuits”) separated by a light chocolate cream filling and coated in more chocolate. Brazil has a wedding day tradition to serve and enjoy a sandwich cookie called Bem Casado, which translates to “well married.” It’s two butter cookies with a dulce de leche filling, covered in powdered sugar.

We are also fans of sandwich cookies here at Once Again Nut Butter! So, here we set off to create an easy recipe to make at home using wholesome ingredients. First, there are some basic rules when creating sandwich cookies. There must be two cookies that are flavorful enough to stand on their own. The cookies should be strong enough to hold a filling. When baked, these cookies must stay soft but not too mushy, to prevent them from   blending with the creamy middle.  A crispy cookie is harder to work with since it crumbles too easily when assembling the final product

Ideally, the filling is not sweeter than the cookie. It is creamy and could contain crunchy ingredients to add a surprise texture for that moment when you bite into it. There are several discussion boards on social media dedicated to arguing for those who like to separate the sandwich cookies, lick the middle and then enjoy the cookie versus those who prefer to bite into the total cookie.  Either way, it is important that   each component of the cookie be able to shine on its own. The cookie we created has a soft cashew butter cookie making the outer layers and a creamy- sweet, nutty filling. The amount of filling you add to each sandwich is entirely up to you. In our test kitchen, we had a bit of filling left over, and we weren’t short of volunteers ready to lick the bowl and also try it as a topping for ice cream or a spread for their toast.

The cashew cookie has a thinner batter, and we found it easier to pour about one tablespoon of it in regular- sized muffin tins to bake them rather than using a conventional cookie sheet. This helped ensure that they were evenly sized and baked. The filling will be rather thick. It allows you to stick both cookies together without having to worry about a the  middle spilling out. But if you would like, you may add a couple of tablespoons of warm water to your filling for a thinner texture. And perhaps you have a different idea for your filling? Share it with us in the comments, We are thinking that a little bit of cacao powder could take these delights up a notch— What do you think?

Cashew Sandwich Cookies on Once Again Nut Butter Blog

Cashew Delights Sandwich Cookies

Cookie

¾ cups of Once Again Nut Butter Cashew Butter

½ cup of coconut sugar (or brown sugar)

1 egg

Filling

½ cup of chopped nuts (Choose your favorite, or use a mix!)

5 oz of dates (Deglet, Noor or Medjool)

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

4-6 teaspoons of warm water

In a small bowl, beat the egg, and mix in the coconut sugar. Next, add the cashew butter and mix well. For evenly sized cookies, we recommend using a muffin tin to bake the cookies. Add about 1 tablespoon of batter to each muffin slot and tap the pan down on the counter to flatten the batter. Place in oven, at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 10-12 minutes, or just until edges become golden. Remove cookies from oven and let them cool before removing them from the pan. They will be a bit soft when first removed from oven, but will harden and be crispier when cooled. The recipe will make about 18 cookies, or 9 sandwich cookies when assembled with the filling.

For the filling, add pitted dates and warm water to food processor until you achieve a homogeneous mixture of paste consistency. Add in chopped nuts and mix well in processor. Now add ½ to 1 tablespoon of filling to each cookie and top it with another cookie. Enjoy these amazing delights! Store in airtight container for up to 5 days. They will keep better in the refrigerator.