Month: June 2016

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.