Month: November 2016

Cauliflower and Pumpkin Au Gratin

Cauliflower is a cruciferous vegetable, part of the Brassicaceae family which also includes broccoli, Brussel sprouts, cabbage, collard greens and kale. Although it is in the same family as those vegetables listed, it has never gotten as much attention as the others, Many children describe its mild taste as “bland.”

However, it is time to give cauliflower another chance! The fact that it does not have a strong taste as kale or Brussel sprouts makes cauliflower the perfect vegetable to combine with potent flavors and highlight their qualities without negatively impacting their nutrient content. It is just  the opposite — cauliflower has a variety of vitamins and minerals to contribute to our diet.  I bet you didn’t know it is  a good source of vitamin C!  It has  B vitamins and vitamin K. While keeping a low calorie profile, a cup of cauliflower has only 25 calories but 2 whole grams of fiber and 2 grams of protein. This makes cauliflower a nutrient-dense food that can easily substitute potatoes or noodles in so many recipes.

This recipe was inspired by a healthy version of a mac-and-cheese  that called for pumpkin puree instead of cream and half of the amount of cheese. We took it up a notch to increase the nutrient content even more and cut out the noodles, using  cauliflower instead! It worked out better than the original recipe. It isn’t as much a mac-and-cheese recipe anymore, but rather, it is  something better! The secret weapon here is actually the Once Again Cashew Butter! When you start substituting ingredients, especially ones that decrease the overall fat content of a recipe, you may lose the  creamy texture that is so characteristic of the recipe. By adding Once Again Cashew butter, the nutrient content gets another boost in  plant protein, fiber and unsaturated fat (also vitamin E, K E, K, and B6, along with minerals like copper, phosphorus, zinc, magnesium, iron and selenium, all of which are important for maintaining good bodily function).

Also note that the cauliflower was roasted for this recipe. There is a reason for this beyond just the better taste of roasting versus boiling. When you boil vegetables like cauliflower you may lose a significant percentage of their phytochemicals and some water soluble vitamins such as vitamin C. Therefore, whenever possible, choose to roast, grill or eat your veggies raw to better utilize their valuable nutrients.

This recipe was a huge success in our test kitchensn! Be prepared to add it to your favorites list, for sure! The creaminess, cheesy-rich  flavor, achieved without adding much cheese, is phenomenal. It can be the center piece of  your dinner or a side item at a holiday table. Whenever you choose to prepare and enjoy this recipe, remember to share it with us on our social media or here in our  comments section. Let us know what you thought about  the recipe! And if you make any modifications to better suit your dietary needs or tastes, share that, too. Our goal is to share recipes that work for you.  We want to better learn  your likes and dislikes, which will allow us to gear our creations to cater to  your taste buds.

Cauliflower and Pumpkin Au Grautin from Once Again Nut Butter Blog

Cauliflower and Pumpkin Au Gratin

1 medium cauliflower chopped into medium-sized pieces

1 cup of pumpkin puree

½ medium- sized onion chopped into medium-sized pieces

1 cup of vegetable broth

2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

4 tablespoons of Once Again Cashew Butter (or two squeeze packs)

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Pinch of nutmeg

Start by tossing the chopped cauliflower and onions with olive oil until well coated, and spread the vegetables  on a baking sheet. Place it in the oven at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes. In the meantime, in a medium sauce pan on medium heat in the stove top, add pumpkin and vegetable broth. Mix well then add in Once Again Cashew butter. Next add in ¾ of the cheese and a pinch of nutmeg, mix well and remove from heat. Once the cauliflower comes out of the oven, add it to the pumpkin mixture.  Pour all  into a baking dish, about 9×9 or larger, and sprinkle the rest of the cheese on top. Place it back  in the oven for another 20 minutes. Enjoy as a side item or entrée!

Peanut Butter Carrot Cupcakes

Once Again Nut Butter manufactures  many products, as you know. Here is a fun fact: if you turn the jar around and read the label, at the upper corner, beside the nutrition facts, there is a little square that states which employee’s favorite that particular nut or seed butter is. For example, on the tahini jar, you’ll find that it is Matt’s (from shipping) favorite. I am relieved that I was never asked which one is my favorite. That would be quite difficult to answer, much like asking me which child do I love more! Perhaps, I exaggerate  a bit. But the truth is, when it comes to nut and seed butters, I seem to fluctuate between favorites throughout the year. Currently, my favorite has been good old, plain peanut butter, Once Again Organic Creamy Peanut Butter, to be more specific.

Almonds, cashews and Brazil nuts have gotten a lot of attention lately for their nutritive values, and that spotlight is well deserved, of course. However, that is no reason to forget about peanuts. This seemed like a great opportunity to highlight some reasons why you should have a jar of Once Again Peanut Butter in your pantry at all times, no matter what your particular favorite nut butter is at any particular  time. You may already be aware of the value of this super-popular nut,   since peanuts and peanut butter represent two thirds  of nut consumption in the United States.

Research has shown peanuts can prolong life, reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer and promote healthy weights in adults and children. Peanuts are a powerful, tiny food all on their own; therefore peanut butter needs no other ingredient other than peanuts themselves ! Once Again Nut Butter has a variety of peanut butters to offer, all with peanuts as the first ingredient, of course. As a matter of fact, you will find peanuts to be the only ingredient in our Organic Creamy or Crunchy Peanut Butter, as well as the Old Fashioned Natural Creamy or Crunchy Peanut Butter. There is a version with added salt for those who prefer it, and the American Classic line, which is the first certified organic peanut butter that doesn’t separate. Our American Classic is a stabilized peanut butter that requires little to no stirring. We do not use any hydrogenated oils, so you will get the texture you crave without harmful food additives. The ingredients in the American Classic line include dry roasted blanched organic peanuts, organic palm fruit oil from responsibly planned orchards, organic sugar cane and salt.  Choices abound.

So, what is it about peanuts that make them so good for us? Well, they are high in protein to start off. They contain more than 7 grams of plant protein per ounce, which is more than any other nut, and they contain at least as much protein as any animal source. One ounce of peanuts or two tablespoons of peanut butter contain 15% of the recommended daily value for protein making them a great protein staple for any plant-based diet. They also contain high amounts of important nutrients such as vitamin E, potassium and magnesium. Folate, zinc and vitamin B6 are also present in peanuts. Digging a little deeper into peanut nutrition, we find some other qualities to highlight. For example, we find arginine, an amino acid which helps reduce blood pressure.. Resveratrol has long been touted as an anti-aging compound, and it is also present in peanuts. Phytosterols block the formation of cholesterol in the body, and polyphenols, which work as antioxidants to help prevent damage in the body that can lead to heart disease and cancer, both are found in peanuts, as well.

The USDA underscores  peanuts and peanut butter as a “Smart Snack” on its nutritional lists for schools. . The lists also include popcorn, granola and fruit cups, among others.  However, peanuts are the only one on those lists with “zero empty calories.” Not only do they provide a good source of protein, they also contain high amounts of healthy, monounsaturated fat. It is actually this combination of nutrients that helps kids and adults feel satisfied, get a boost of energy and still maintain stable blood sugar levels.

Peanut butter is not just my favorite, as a matter of fact, The Peanut Institute states that 90% of American households have one or more jars of peanut butter in their pantry. So if you are among the majority, go  and grab your jar and have a spoon already! After reading this post, I would imagine  that you are craving some peanut butter. Better yet, let’s make something with peanut butter, something beyond the traditional and delicious peanut butter and jelly sandwich. How about a Peanut Butter Carrot Cupcake?

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Peanut Butter Carrot Cupcakes

2 cups of oat flour

½ cup  of sugar

1 tablespoon of baking powder

1 cup of milk or milk substitute

1 cup of grated carrots

1 egg

1 teaspoon of vanilla

½ cup of Once Again Peanut Butter

To make your own oat flour, simply add whole oats to the food processor and pulse until you achieve a powdered mixture. Add the 2 cups of oat flour to a mixing bowl with baking soda. In a separate mixing bowl, add peanut butter, egg and mix well. Slowly add in sugar, vanilla and milk. Now add the oat flour mixture to the wet ingredient mixture, and mix well on low speed if using a mixer. Remove from mixer and fold in the grated carrots. Pour batter, filling each cupcake mold three quarters of the way.  This recipe will make about 12 cupcakes. Bake in an oven  a preheated oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes. Allow cupcakes to cool before removing them from pan. You may top them  with  a cream cheese frosting —or just enjoy them plain! Optional: Add  ¼ cup of raisins and chopped walnuts to the batter before baking. Store  cupcakes  in air tight container for up to 5 days.

Sweet and Sour Gummy

Let us introduce to you the amazing powers of ginger. After reading this, you’ll never look at this root the same way again. Some of you may already be familiar with its digestive properties, but there is much more to ginger. This aromatic root usually sold in grocery stores in the produce isle can also be found dried and ground to a fine powder in the spice isle. The later variety is the one often used in baked goods such as the famous gingerbread cookies.

However, it is the fresh root that will yield the best results when considering  a digestive aid. In herbal medicine, ginger is known as a substance which promotes the elimination of intestinal gas and relaxes while soothing the intestinal tract. There are a few research studies that were able to show ginger as an effective treatment to prevent symptoms of motion sickness, and in fact at times being more effective than over-the-counter prescription medications. Ginger reduces all symptoms associated with motion sickness including dizziness, nausea, vomiting and cold sweating. This is very useful for women during pregnancy, a  delicate time when early on fetus development it is best to avoid prescription medications, yet  often women suffer from nausea and indigestion. Ginger is safe to use during pregnancy: it is effective and only a small dose needed (Always check with your doctor before using it during pregnancy).

Ginger is also very powerful as an anti-inflammatory. It contains gingerols, substances  attributed to  relief in pain in so many people suffering from osteoarthritis and /or rheumatoid arthritis. Adding fresh grated ginger to everyday dishes such as steamed rice or stir fry is all it takes to reap the benefits this spice. Ginger has also been studied for its potential cancer preventive properties and immune boosting powers.

It is a wonderful thing that ginger has such pleasant spicy flavor:  this  makes it perfect to add it to both sweets and salty dishes alike. But how can you amplify all those qualities while creating something enjoyable to eat? That’s what the goal was when I created  these Sweet and Sour Gummies. A rich dose of vitamin C comes from  lemon juice, along with  natural sweetness and immune boosting properties from honey combined with the powerful zest of ginger! These gummies are fun to make in different shapes and sizes. If you have ever made gelatin before, then you’re only a few steps away from making these gummies. Animal- based gelatin powder is made up mainly of collagen and water. These two ingredients will add protein and the consistency you are looking for in a gummy, not to mention the health benefits of collagen (sounds like a great next post!). But if you would like a vegan option you may also use the vegetarian gelatin powder made of agar.

These gummies are very sour! They were meant to be eaten one or two at a time after a meal or perhaps at the first sight of a cold since they are very rich in vitamin C. But they are not to be compared to gummy candies. If you would like a more child- friendly gummy, omit  lemon juice  and use  orange juice instead. However,  I found that some children really enjoyed the combination of sour lemon and spicy ginger!

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Sour Gummy

6 tablespoons of gelatin powder (unflavored)

2/3 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice

6 tablespoons of Killer Bee Honey

2 teaspoons of finely grated ginger

In a small saucepan, add lemon juice, ginger and honey; mix well before sprinkling gelatin powder. Whisk mixture to avoid clumping of the gelatin powder. Now turn heat on low and mix it continuously until all of the gelatin powder disappears. Do not boil mixture, just bring it to a simmer. This should take around 7 to 9 minutes on low heat. Pour into a mold and allow the mixture  to cool. For faster results, place in freezer for 15 minutes. Store the gummy mixture  in airtight container in refrigerator for up to 10 days.