Tahini Caramel Chews

Discovering new foods is on top of my list of favorite things to do! And sometimes I  don’t have to travel far to do it. During  a regular trip to the Whole Foods, I wandered  over to the bakery counter to inquire about their honey whole wheat bread loaves . They are one of my favorite breads, and I just love to purchase them as soon as they come out of the oven, and then rush home and spread some peanut butter on a few slices that I devour quickly. While waiting several  minutes for the bread to bake, I found myself  looking through at  the delicious treats the market has  on display, when  one called halva caught my eye. The friendly girl at the counter offered to cut a little sample for me, and I was thrilled to try a brand new food. If you, like me, never heard of halva before, let me explain. I looked it up as soon as I got home to further understand these delicious treats. They are sweets, but more specifically, tahini- based confections of Arabic origins. Sugar and tahini are  the main ingredients;   however, there are variations depending on region where they are made or depending upon  what else is added to them. I investigated a little more deeply and found videos on how to make halva , and as you can imagine, soon I was ready to try making it   on my own.

The light and spongy texture of halva reminded me of a sweet, called Torrone, commonly enjoyed by those among  my Italian background. Torrone is a confection typically made of honey, sugar and egg whites with toasted almonds mixed in. They are traditionally consumed during the Christmas season in Italy. I have made Torrone before at home, and it wasn’t an easy task. The results were never close to the original but also yielded a treat that everyone was happy to help consume and critique, while offering  suggestions on how to make the next batch. I found that making halva was a similar experience. After a few attempts, I waved the white flag and declared I was an expert at making Tahini Caramel Chews (that’s what my children called them) instead of halva.

This was one of those times where a failed recipe attempt ended up being  a whole new creation  altogether . Although I didn’t set out to make chewy caramel- like candies, they are delicious and a much healthier alternative to store- bought caramels, actually. The simplicity of it all may  catch one  off guard, however. There are just two ingredients: honey and tahini. But the secret is in the cooking. Apparently to achieve the spongy consistency of Halva you have to stir continuously and stop  at just the right time. I never achieved that point — either I overcooked it or stopped short of the final, perfect temperature. Either way, my results were chewy and not spongy  and light like  the original halva. I am curious to find out if someone reading this post has made halva at home before and has some tips for me. If so, please add your helpful hints to  the comments below. I have not given up and will be trying to make them again for sure!

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Tahini Caramel Chews

½ cup of Once Again Killer Bee Honey

½ cup of Once Again Tahini

Add honey to a saucepan over medium heat. Once the honey starts to boil, wait another 3-5 minutes, mixing constantly. Then add in the tahini. Mix well over medium heat for another 2 minutes or so. Then immediately remove from heat and place in a silicone mold. You may also use a baking dish lined with parchment paper. Let the mixture  cool for 2 hours before trying one! They are very chewy, just like old fashioned caramels. This recipe, however, is not recommended for young children.

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Quick Banana Bread

Not enough time to bake  bread from scratch? Think again! This Quick Banana Bread recipe is perfect for those last minute decisions when you decide to bake when really don’t have the time. To keep the recipe  leaner, we use Greek yogurt and no added refined sugar. The sweetness will come from the natural sugar in the honey and bananas. For that reason,  using overripe bananas will make a sweeter bread. Also, the natural sugars present in Once Again Peanut Butter enhance the flavors derived from the bananas and honey.  Additionally, you can choose to use a flax-egg to keep this bread vegan ,if preferred.

Bread has become a bit of a bad word for  those who are watching their weight. As a registered dietitian, when I see clients who  are searching for help about  how to better manage their health, often one of their first questions  is if they will have to give up bread. Thankfully, I put all their fears to rest when I shout it out: Absolutely not! It’s all about balance. Bread is only a problem when you overeat it. As a matter of fact, the same could be said for most foods. There are no evil foods, or must never eat items, only better-for-you choices. Perhaps bread got its bad rap due to how delicious it is and how easily  one can eat half a loaf in one sitting.  However, there are ways to have your bread and eat it too!

When you choose whole wheat flour among other better-for-you ingredients to bake your bread, the fiber content increases. Also, the bread will have a more balanced ratio of carbohydrates to fats (The added Once Again Peanut Butter helps with that). Both those qualities result in a more satisfying slice of bread, a  slice of bread that will make you feel satisfied  with one or two pieces without running the risk of having to eat the entire loaf. The added protein from Greek yogurt, eggs and peanut butter work well to provide a better nutrient- rich bread. The eggs also help in this regard since you don’t normally find them in a bread. But that is the exact reason this Quick Banana Bread is one step closer to helping us free bread from its bad name on the street.

 

Feel like you can take this up a notch? Try adding chopped nuts and raisins to this loaf for a more decadent bread . Serve with apple butter and a hot cup of tea for an  afternoon reward at the end of a busy week!

Banana Quick Bread

Quick Peanut Butter Banana Bread

1 ½ cup of whole wheat flour

1 ½ teaspoon of baking soda

2 eggs

2 bananas

½ cup of Greek yogurt, unflavored or vanilla

¼ cup of Once Again Killer Bee Honey

¼ cup of Once Again Peanut Butter (smooth or crunchy)

Mash bananas with a fork; then add peanut butter and mix well. Add in eggs, yogurt and honey, and mix all ingredients  well, again. You may use a mixer on low speed, if you prefer.. Finally, add in flour and baking soda, combining  it to form a smooth dough. Place it in a 9×6 loaf pan, or 2 smaller 4.5×3 pans, which have been sprayed with oil or buttered. . Bake in  a preheated oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 40 minutes or until golden on top and around the edges. Test with a toothpick to check for readiness. Store wrapped in foil for up to 4 days.

Double Chocolate Sunflower Cookies

I was recently introduced to two brand new words. And they have become my favorite words in the English language of course! For  purposes of transparency, I have not double checked to see if these words are indeed recognized as part of the American language at this point. Also, they were not invented by me. I wish I were this clever since I have been looking for the correct term to describe exactly  two situations. So without further ado, the words are: Snackcident and Runchies.

Snackcident is defined as accidentally eating an entire bag of cookies at once. Many of us can identify with this phenomenon. It is not quite time for dinner yet, but far enough from lunch that you start to feel the need to eat something. Thankfully we have all grown to embrace the snack as part of our routines. Snacks are supposed to be small portion of food that can hold you over until the next meal. You set forth with the best of intentions and grab a bag of your favorite go-to snack food and portion it  out.  Then you go back for just a couple more, and just one more, and the next thing you know: Snackcident. The entire bag is gone and you feel a bit awkward trying to explain it to yourself just how that happened.

Runchies is a runner’s inability to satisfy hunger after a long run. You can have many variations of  this term by just replacing the word run with workout , biking, swimming or any other exercise that requires a substantial amount of refueling for recovery. You’ve worked hard and left nothing behind, after a brief period of rest you are ready to fuel. Unfortunately, you’ve already eaten a sandwich, a salad and three bananas, and nothing seems to do the trick. It’s not unusual to experience  a peak in appetite a few hours after a strenuous physical activity. This term seems to describe it best, and that’s why it was tweeted several times around multiple boards a few months ago when it caught my attention.

It is a good thing that my passion for nutrition and food in general has joined forces with the best ingredients to take care of both those new terms with Once Again Nut Butter. Nut and seed butters are rich in healthy fats which signal satiety when consumed; therefore, helping you feel full sooner than foods low in fats. Nut and seed butters are also good sources of protein and fiber, both nutrients known to refuel and help with recovery. Our blog contains a large collection of recipes that will help you prevent Snackcidents and also cure the Runchies!

Here is one more recipe to add that is perfect for both situations. These Double Chocolate Sunflower Cookies have only ½ cup of sugar, and by the way, you can use stevia substitute for an even lower calorie count and sugar content. They have one egg, but you can use a flax egg instead  to keep this recipe vegetarian. They are so chocolatey and rich that you’ll be satisfied with two cookies instead of having to eat an entire batch, thus preventing any potential snackcidents. Their protein content combined with fiber and fat from the Once Again Sunflower Seed butter has all it takes to cure your runchies fast!

Make yourself a couple of batches and test out the recipe. Let us know what foods you go to when you are looking for a snack, or when you need to refuel fast in the comments’ section below.

Double Chocolate Sunflower Cookies by Once Again Nut Butter Blog

Double Chocolate Sunflower Cookies

1 cup of Once Again Sunflower Seed Butter – Lightly Sweetened

¼ cup of unsweetened cacao powder

½ cup sugar

2 teaspoons of vanilla extract

1 teaspoon of baking powder

1 egg

½ cup of dark chocolate chips

Combine Once Again Sunflower Seed Butter with cacao powder and mix well. Slowly add in sugar, baking powder, vanilla and whisked egg. Then fold in the chocolate chips. Using a small cookie scoop, place cookies on a  baking sheet. They won’t flatten much in the oven, so you may want to press each one down using a fork or your fingers.  Bake them in an oven preheated to  350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 20 minutes. This recipe makes about 22 cookies. Store them in airtight container for up to 4 days.

This week we are giving away a 4-pack of American Classic Peanut Butter! Enter here:

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Chocolate and Peanut Butter Chia Pudding

Did you ever wonder how people  first had the idea of eating chia seeds? Did they decide that instead of adding water and setting their chia seed pet next to the window they would add the seeds to smoothie?  Okay, it probably didn’t happen that way. But it is interesting that we were all so familiar with chia seeds but not as an edible  ingredient. To think the rich source of nutrients was simply a way to grow hair on funny clay vases for most of the 1980s!

Perhaps after flaxseeds paved the way, we were all more open minded to eating seeds on a regular basis. Chia seeds have become  a phenomenal addition to our diets. They are a source of protein, healthy fats, dietary fiber, minerals, vitamins and antioxidants. They have a high concentration of the plant-based omega-3 fatty acid (alpha-linolenic acid, ALA), making their ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 very good. Just two tablespoons of chia seeds will provide 10 grams of fiber, 18% of your daily recommended calcium, 35% of phosphorus, 24% magnesium and 50% manganese. Not bad for a tiny seed, right?

If you’ve never had chia seeds before, adding a tablespoon to your smoothie is a great way to introduce you to this seed. It doesn’t have much flavor on its own, but the seeds add texture. These mini- seeds absorb liquid pretty fast and become hydrogel capsules. You can compare them somewhat to the texture of tapioca pudding. Since they don’t have much flavor of their own, any liquid you add chia seeds to  will soak up the liquid’s  flavor. . Chia seed puddings are deliciously versatile ways to add nutrients to your breakfast or snack time. Of course we mixed the seeds  with peanut butter and its best match  chocolate. Set  them overnight in the refrigerator so that they have enough time to expand to their maximum capacity, and the results are deliciously refreshing!

A few other ways to enjoy chia seeds are as toppings to your salads, added to smoothies, soups or added to bread dough when baking. You can even use it to make your own jelly. Since they have this gel forming capacity you can skip the pectin usually added to make jams, and just add chia seeds instead. Combine fruit puree, stevia or sugar and chia seeds, blend well and let it rest in the refrigerator overnight.

This Chocolate and Peanut Butter Chia Seed pudding recipe was created as dessert for a “girl’s night” dinner with my friends. They couldn’t believe how beautiful the puddings  looked layered on the glass dishes. Some were a bit reluctant to try it when I mentioned the ingredients, but after one spoonful,  and they were sold! It’s sweet enough, but not overpowering, so you can add some chocolate chips on top  for a flourish . My children were ecstatic to see there were leftovers, since they are big fans of this pudding. Try your own version of chia seed pudding with your favorite Once Again Nut Butter, and let your family and friends rave about the tasty results.

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chia Pudding

Chocolate and Peanut Butter Chia Pudding

½ cup of chia seeds
2 cups of milk (of your preference)
2 tablespoons of Once Again Peanut Butter (Creamy or Crunchy)
1 tablespoon of cacao powder, unsweetened
Divide milk into two separate jars. Add half of the chia seeds to each jar. Then add peanut butter to one jar, and cacao powder to the other. Close jars and shake them for about three minutes. Place in refrigerator overnight. Next morning, layer them up or just enjoy them right out of the jar! Topping suggestions: walnuts, chocolate chips, coconut flakes or granola!

Barbecued Peanut Chicken

Do you call yourself a grill master? I know many men in my life, including my husband, brother and a few friends, who  are proud to display their mastering of the grill. According to the urban dictionary, a grill master is someone in charge of grilling food during a barbecue. That definition is not nearly as exciting as I thought it ought to be. Perhaps it should be something closer to: grill master – the one who handles grilling with excellence continuously outdoing himself with his sizzling creations! Too much? Maybe, but what’s important is that anyone can become a grill master. After playing with the dials and tank nozzles a bit, I learned how to turn on the grill all by myself. This was great achievement, since actually I was already familiar flipping the ingredients on the grill and adjusting the temperatures.  Now I too can call myself a grill master.

Do you know what that means? Here comes more grilling recipes using our favorite Once Again nut butters, of course! The traditional taste coming from the grill usually involves barbecue sauce of some variety. But there are so many different flavors the grill can handle,  I couldn’t wait to get started experimenting with them. Barbecue Peanut Chicken was one of my first recipes for the grill and one we go back to very often, mainly because of its simplicity and popularity. The first time I made it was for a small house party. Each guest who  tried it, loved it and erupted into praise about  how hard I must have worked to infuse all that flavor into the chicken. Little did they know that you don’t even have to marinate the chicken  ahead of time! The secret is in making the paste that goes on the chicken when you place it on the grill.

The thick paste is made up of soy sauce, turmeric, lime juice, curry and peanut butter that sticks to the surface of the chicken. As the chicken grills,  the paste softens and penetrates the meat. After a few minutes of cooking it  one side, just flip over the chicken and add the rest of the paste to the other side and repeat the process. The result is a juicy, flavorful and tender chicken with a peanut butter-inspired flavor.

Now this recipe is part of our weekend routine. Sometimes I prepare the paste ahead of time and leave it in the refrigerator so that someone else can handle the grilling. Saturdays have become quite busy with the start of baseball season, swimming meets and gymnastic practices for the kids. It is nice to know that lunch will be ready in minutes when we arrive back home hungry from our morning activities! To complete the meal, a fresh green salad, steamed broccoli and corn on the cob are often family favorites. But go ahead and pair it up with your own favorite barbecue foods!

Barbecue Peanut Chicken

Barbecued Peanut Chicken

1-1.5 pounds of chicken breast
2 tablespoon of Once Again Creamy Peanut Butter
1 tablespoon of lime juice
2 tablespoons of soy sauce
1/3 teaspoon of curry
1/3 teaspoon of turmeric

In a small bowl, mix peanut butter and lime juice. Once well mixed (you may find it easier to mix using an immersion blender) add in the reminder of the ingredients. Using a sharp knife, butterfly the chicken breast. The mixture will be enough for 2 medium-sized chicken breasts. Place directly on the grill and brush half of the mixture on the chicken. After 10 minutes, flip over the chicken and brush the other side with the rest of the mixture. Grill until the chicken is cooked thoroughly. Enjoy with a side of broccoli or corn!

Peanut Butter Waffles

The waffle, is a cousin to the pancake, and perhaps the long lost  brother of the croissant? Maybe not, but who knew how much fun waffles can be? I received a waffle iron for my wedding, about 9 years ago! And I am sorry to say it was still in the box until recently. Somehow the waffle iron’s box remained  in the back of a  cabinet and forgotten until last month when I watched an old episode of “Good Eats.” If you aren’t familiar with it, it was a show hosted by chef Alton Brown on the Food Network, and my absolute  favorite program .

In the episode I watched, Chef Alton Brown gave a detailed explanation of what makes a waffle different from a pancake (It’s all about the amount of baking soda and baking powder, by the way). And Brown also proceeded to guide viewers on how to purchase a good waffle iron . To my surprise, he recommended the simpler models, with no frills or extra settings. A plain steel or iron waffle iron is really all you need.

After watching the show, I could not go to sleep until I found my waffle iron! I knew it was somewhere, so after turning half of my kitchen upside down, I finally found it tucked into a corner of the under the sink cabinet, still in the box!

The good news was that the model I had was pretty much what Chef Alton Brown recommended on his show. Despite the late hour, I just had to try it out! It’s a good thing that I had a recipe handy and someone willing to eat waffles with me at ten o’clock at night (See, that’s why I married him).

The plain waffle recipes are great, but nothing is quite complete in my book without nut butter. The only question was which Once Again Nut Butter was I going to begin with. Peanut butter seemed to be the obvious choice. Adding nut butters to breakfast recipes such as waffles makes them much more suited for a healthy breakfast. They provide a better ratio of carbohydrate to  protein once you add the nut butter, as well as a wider array of vitamins and minerals. Top your waffle with fruit and you have a complete breakfast! I also used oat flour to add extra protein and keep the recipe  gluten-free, but you can swap that out for regular flour or whole wheat flour.  Additionally, you can substitute any milk of your choice for the coconut milk. . Lastly, although I haven’t tried this recipe with a flax-egg instead of  eggs, I am fairly certain it will work.

The fun doesn’t end there! Notice how the batter for the waffle doesn’t have any added sugar. This is intentional so that you can top it with maple syrup and extra Once Again Nut Butter of your choice. Whatever your choice of toppings, a waffle is an easy and nutritious (when made with the right ingredients) any time of the day for a meal or snack.

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Peanut Butter Waffle – Gluten-Free

1 ¼ cup oat flour

4 teaspoons of baking powder

1 2/3 cup of  coconut milk

2 eggs

2 tablespoons of Once Again Creamy Peanut Butter

Add milk, eggs and peanut butter to mixer and combine at low speed. Then slowly add in the oatmeal flour and baking powder. Mix until well blended. Pour about 1/3 cup of mixture onto  the waffle iron . Amounts may have to be adjusted depending on the size of your waffle iron  – and then cook them until crispy- golden. Enjoy your waffle warm with 100% maple syrup, or Once Again Killer Bee Honey.

Grilled Stuffed Bananas

What about dessert? Can you make that on the grill? We have been on a roll with ideas about  how to cook dinner on the grill. It only seemed fitting that we would stretch the grilling to dessert as well. The answer is a million times: Yes! There are so many ideas that the challenge is where to start. We’ll begin with a simple and fast one, since that seems to please our audience the most. And by “audience,” I mean excited kids begging for a sweet treat after dinner. They can help prepare these as well and even individualize the dessert with their favorite toppings.

There is no reason to skip dessert when you focus on good ingredients and moderation, of course. Always reduce the simple sugars and increase nutrients by adding ingredients such as peanut butter. Any Once Again Nut Butter you pick will add a plethora of nutrients as well as protein, and as a bonus, they are a phenomenal match for grilling fruit.

Today we start with the staple of all kitchens across the country: bananas. It is amazing how versatile this little bit of packaged nature  can be. Peel a large banana, because when it comes to desserts, the bigger the fruits to be grilled, the better. Using a knife, slice it vertically, from end to end, only about half way down. Pry it open carefully with a spoon so that you don’t completely separate the two halves. This is much easier done in real life than describing it with words. Now, add about two tablespoons of creamy or crunchy Once Again Peanut Butter. Top it with chocolate chips and coconut, and wrap the whole thing in foil. Place it on the upper shelf of your grill. Depending on the temperature of your grill, bananas  should start to soften within 10 minutes. Check bananas  with a fork and remove them from grill when desired. It  can be a bit tricky to know when the bananas are  done. We found that some people preferred them  a bit more cooked, until when the bananas started to bubble up, while others preferred just slightly warmed banana with  the toppings starting to melt. It  will be up to you to test  the preferred textures and see what’s your favorite way to enjoy these bananas. The  good news is that the trial and error process can be quite delicious. There really is no wrong way to grill a stuffed banana!

My eight-year old daughter came up with a s’more stuffed banana recipe by adding graham cracker crumbs, chocolate chips and mini-marshmallows to her grilled banana. She makes her mom proud with her creativity when it comes to food!  The next fruit to tackle on the grill will be peaches, but we’d love to hear what you want us to grill up next. Just add your suggestions to our comments and come back to see what we’ve put together for you.

Grilled Stuffed Bananas on www.onceagainnutbutterblog.com

Grilled Stuffed Banana

1 large banana

2 tablespoons of Once Again Creamy Peanut Butter

2 tablespoons of chocolate chips

1 tablespoon of coconut flakes, or crushed graham crackers

Slice banana vertically and  fill it with peanut butter. Sprinkle it with chocolate chips, coconut flakes and wrap it carefully in foil leaving the opening side up. Place each one on the top shelf of the grill the grill on medium heat for 15-25 minutes until bananas are  tender. Enjoy them t while they are  hot, or top them  off with  scoops of vanilla ice cream.

Chicken Kebabs with Peanut Dipping Sauce

Chicken Kebabs with Peanut Dipping Sauce

Let’s kick off grilling season! As soon as the department stores take down sweaters and pants to make room for bathing suits and shorts, we know it’s time to think outdoor activities. When it comes to food, it presents us with  a welcome break from  our kitchen ovens and stovetops. It is the time of year to think about picnics and barbecues.

The grill adds many options to our menus. From grilling vegetables to meats, the possibilities are endless. Grilling chicken can take some time, there is a certain art to it to cook it long enough to achieve the correct internal temperature without burning the outside. However, depending upon the thickness of the chicken breast, this can be a challenge. So why not go for  chicken kebabs instead? The smaller chunks of chicken on the stick are much easier to manage on the grill.  Kebabs are a good solution for beginner grill masters who want to achieve  the perfect texture, grill mark and flavor of the  chicken.

There are a multitude of  recipes available for chicken marinades. The vast majority include lemon juice. It is important to note that the acidity of the lemon juice can actually start to cook the chicken. Therefore, when marinating chicken with acidic based mixtures, keep the steeping time  to under 40 minutes, and place the marinated meat  the refrigerator, always. Overall, ,  kebabs aren’t much of a party platter all on their own. They just beg for a dipping sauce to kick them  up a notch, making them the talk of the party. The right dipping sauce can pull a meal together very nicely. For example, try this easy peanut dipping sauce made with Once Again Creamy Peanut butter that takes only minutes to prepare.

You’ll find this sauce is good on anything, from chicken to grilled broccoli. It’s made with only 4 ingredients. Thus, its simplicity allows you to taste the peanut butter and lime juice, which interestingly enough make  the perfect flavor-match for chicken kebabs. Feel free to throw in a few of your favorite spices to make your own version of this dip. A good addition would be red pepper flakes for a spicy twist.

How phenomenal is it to have a dipping sauce that is neither mayonnaise nor ketchup based!? Our peanut dipping sauce has been  very popular with children of all ages. And one  that adds healthy fats, protein and vitamin E is almost worth the double dipping (pun intended!).

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Chicken Kebabs with Peanut Dipping Sauce

1 pound of chicken breast

2 tablespoons of lime juice

2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons of cumin

½ teaspoon of red pepper flakes

Dipping sauce:

1 tablespoon of lime juice

2 tablespoon of Once Again Creamy Peanut Butter

2 tablespoons of milk (of your choice: I used plain almond)

1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil

Start by cutting up the chicken breast into small cubes. Then add them to a plastic seal bag with lime juice, olive oil, cumin and pepper flakes to marinate for 30-minutes, maximum. In the meantime, if you are using wooden skewers for the kebabs, soak them in water so they won’t burn on  the grill. To prepare the sauce, mix all ingredients in small bowl using a whisk. Or for a smoother consistency, use an immersion blender. Place dipping sauce in refrigerator until it is ready to serve. You may add more or less milk to achieve the thickness of your preference with  the sauce. Place your marinated chicken cubes on  the kebabs and grill until chicken is well cooked. Serve with sauce on the side!

Avocado Chocolate Mousse

Breakfast, snack or dessert? There are many foods that cross over all of those categories and fit perfectly well into each one. I have one more to add to the list: Avocado Chocolate Mousse, healthy enough to be a good way to start your day, filling enough to hold you over until dinner as a snack, and sweet enough to be dessert!

We’ve highlighted the attributes of avocados before (See our blog link here.), but let’s have  a recap: the main vitamins in these luscious fruits are vitamin K, folate and E; they also deliver  the mineral potassium. They are low  saturated fat; have  no cholesterol, no sodium but plenty of oleic acid, which is a monounsaturated fatty acid with multiple health benefits. In short, they are  a super food.

For all those reasons, finding new ways to enjoy avocados is always on my to-do list. However, many children don’t find avocados very attractive at first, perhaps because they are  usually introduced to them as guacamole. This is unfortunate because children’s developing brains have so much to gain from this fruit. As a matter of fact, it makes a fantastic “first food” for babies. Remember of course, babies should be introduced to such foods only after age 6 months, and only using one ingredient at a time; therefore, start with just plain, mashed avocado. The recipe below isn’t appropriate for babies  until they reach  age of 12 months due to the added honey.

If your children or kids you know are not a fan of avocado, try making this avocado chocolate mousse for them and watch their reaction when you tell them the main ingredient is  avocado! This recipe allows you to vary the amount of sweetness that you want by adding more or less honey.  As a general rule, I always suggest starting with the smaller amount and add more slowly; in that way you can keep your final calories under control.

Also, notice the recipe calls for milk. You can choose whichever milk you prefer, from cow’s milk to coconut. But for better results, use full fat versions of your milk. This will make the mousse much smoother and silky. Although, if you are looking for a leaner snack, you can use non-fat milk instead.

Whatever options you choose, this mousse will change the way you look at the dessert!

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Avocado Chocolate Mousse

1 Hass Avocado

3 tablespoons of plain Greek yogurt

1 tablespoon of cacao powder

1 tablespoon of Once Again Peanut Butter

½ cup of milk

1 tablespoon of Killer Bee Honey

Using a knife cut avocado in half; then with a spoon, gently remove avocado from skin. Add to blender or to a small bowl, if you plan on using an immersion blender. Add all ingredients, leaving the milk for last. Add the milk slowly until you achieve the consistency you desire. Mix well and place in refrigerator for up to 20 minutes to set. Serve cold.

 

Homemade Peanut Butter Granola

Of course you can buy granola at the grocery store, but there is something about homemade granola that is just special, don’t you think? Well, if you’ve never tasted homemade granola before this question hopefully has sparked your interest. Granola have earned a high spot in the grocery isles as of the last few years. Less than 10 years ago when you looked for granola, your options were limited to one or two brands, and possibly only three flavors. Nowadays there are multiple brands and the variety of flavors is abundant. Yet, they are still packaged granola, which means they are  made in a big batch process and had to be packaged for sale.  can still be   delicious and so convenient, of course. But it shouldn’t be the only granola you’ll ever taste. Homemade versions have a freshness that you just can’t achieve with store bought varieties. The soft crunch, earthy flavors and texture of the homemade granola are hard  to duplicate in prepackaged products.

So how do you make your own granola at home? It is much easier than you think! Perhaps the convenience of reaching for the bag at the store hindered your curiosity as to  how those things are made in the first place. In fact, granola is a pretty simple food. They became so popular in part because of how you can see their ingredients, and their simplicity attracts those who are avoiding excessive preservatives and additives in their food.  Our  recipe calls for a list of dry ingredients and a list of wet ones . They are mixed well and baked at low temperature for anywhere between 45  to 90 minutes.

Although varieties of granola  now fill up a whole section at the store, it is still quite desirable for many to control exactly what goes in theirs. This can be done when you choose the ingredients yourself and make it at home. The basic granola recipe is almost always oats, and what makes it stick into clumps and toasts at low temperature in the oven is the syrup. This syrup can be corn syrup, tapioca, honey, maple syrup or agave nectar .. Our basic recipe below for granola chooses what we believe to be one of the healthiest “syrups”: honey! To keep overall sugar content at a reasonable level, we add peanut butter and coconut oil to help bind the ingredients — while adding a multitude of other vitamins and minerals at the same time.

We have embraced granola and added it to our breakfast bowls, to our snacks with yogurt and even to our desserts as an ice cream topping (if you haven’t tried that before you simply must!) Therefore, making granola  at home every once in a while to personalize it with the ingredients you would like to add to your diet is a fantastic way to enjoy your unique granola. It is an easy recipe  without the need for any fancy tools or cooking skills. Go on and create your favorite granola recipe and share it with us in the comments below! Want to see just how easy it is to make it? Watch our video below and follow along while making your very own homemade granola.

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Homemade Peanut Butter Granola

2 ½ cups oats

½ cup chopped nuts of your choice

1/3 cup Killer Bee Honey

3 tablespoons flaxseeds

2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons of coconut oil

½ cup Once Again Creamy Peanut Butter

1 teaspoon cinnamon

½ cup raisins

In large bowl, combine all dry ingredients and set aside. In medium saucepan, combine honey, coconut oil and peanut butter and over low heat mix them together well. Add peanut butter mixture to dry mixture and stir to coat evenly. Lastly, add the raisins and pour onto lined baking sheet. Take it to preheated oven of 300F for 45 minutes. Stir every 15 minutes until oats start to turn slightly brown. Remove from oven and let it cool for one hour before packaging into jars. Will last for up to 30 days when stored in dry and cool place. Makes about 4 cups.