Month: July 2016

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.