Month: January 2017

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Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

Why do we of any side effects one can experience from opium in its pure form.   Poppy seeds do however have a unique nutty aromatic flavor that eat poppy seeds? Poppy seeds, although derived from the same plant that also yields  dangerous opium compounds, are worry-free, in terms of consumption.  Ancient Egyptians and Arabs appreciated these seeds long ago. Nowadays most poppy seeds come from Turkey, France, and Eastern Europe. Thankfully, poppy seeds have stayed  around.  They are known for their flavor complexities.  They  contain antioxidant properties and some important nutrients as well.

Poppy seeds are rich in oleic and linoleic acids; their husks are a good source of fiber, and they are an excellent source of B-complex vitamins, including thiamin and folic acid. They also contain a good amount of iron, copper, calcium, potassium, manganese, zinc and magnesium.

However, we can’t ignore that these  tiny seeds come from the same plant that yields a dangerous drug. Are any of those chemicals perhaps also found in the seeds? As a matter of fact, poppy seeds do contain a very small level of opium alkaloids, such as morphine, thebaine, codeine and papaverine. No need to panic though – these tiny levels of opium alkaloids are one of the reasons poppy seeds are perfect to consume when trying to manage stress and anxiety. In the amounts found in the seeds, these opium alkaloids, when consumed, soothe  nervous irritability, acting as painkillers.

Although lemon poppy seed muffins are nothing new to the bakery scene, I had never ventured out to make my own at home. There are a few things I found to be very important regarding this task. First if you are looking for a fresh, strong lemon flavor, it is imperative that you use fresh lemon juice and lemon zest as opposed to bottled lemon juice . There is no real replacement for lemon zest. Also, the poppy seeds should be the very last ingredient added to the mixture. To keep them lower in overall calories and added sugar, I used a stevia sugar baking mix. You may also use coconut sugar, regular sugar, or for an even lower calorie and lower  carbohydrate  version, just skip the sugar all together. No adjustments are necessary for  the rest of the recipe! It works just as it is. Once Again Cashew Butter added all the moisture and texture required for a perfect muffin without adding extra sugar or trans fats. The only flavor that comes through in this muffin is the bright, sparkling lemon — cashew butter is added only to increase the protein content  and to boost  good fats.

This muffin is perfect with a cup of calming chamomile tea  at the end of a busy week! The powers of poppy seeds, combined with cashew butter’s natural levels of magnesium, coupled with its calming properties makes it a nice way to relax and enjoy a healthy snack!

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins from Once Again Nut Butter

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

2 cups of  oat flour (If you grind your own, make sure that it is finely ground.)

½ cup of coconut sugar (or a stevia baking mix equivalent)

1 tablespoon of  baking powder

¼ cup of poppy seeds

¾ cup of milk of your choice

2 tablespoons of lemon juice

2-3 tablespoons of lemon zest

1 whole egg

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

6 tablespoons of Once Again Cashew Butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Start by combining cashew butter, sugar, and egg, mixing until soft. Add  lemon juice, vanilla and milk. In separate bowl, mix oat flour, poppy seeds and baking powder,  and then  combine the dry mixture with wet ingredients. Finally add in the lemon zest. Mix well and pour into either a loaf pan or muffin pan. Bake until a toothpick can be inserted and removed clean,about 25 minutes for large muffin pan. Store in an airtight container for up  to five  days.

Just Peanut Butter Bread

What happens when you add peanut butter as a key  ingredient in bread making? Well, you get a bread that is higher in protein and other nutrients, making it your best bet for PB & J sandwich.  best  There is absolutely nothing wrong with a classic peanut butter and jelly sandwich made with  traditional white bread. But we believe in no missed opportunities when it comes to getting  all your macro and micronutrients from food. When you add a whole cup of peanut butter to your  recipe, it results in a bread infused with extra fiber, amino acids, B-vitamins, folic acid, and good fats, among others nutrients.

Peanut butter and other nut butters are a popular source of  plant protein. Many people boost their daily protein intake by adding a few tablespoons of their favorite nut and seed butters. We often follow discussion boards and conversations where the quality of the protein found in plants comes into question. Some examples of the discussions we found include the following: Is it as good as animal protein in quality? Can we  substitute eggs, beef, chicken protein? And will you need more than just plant- based food to get all the amino acids our body requires?

Protein continues to be a hot topic today, but unfortunately there is still a lot of misinformation and confusion about it. Let’s look at some evidence based information regarding protein and better understand what we should look for to meet our needs in this blog.

Your body needs protein to build muscle tissue, reconstruct it and keep it healthy. Protein is also required for skin and bone health. These body structures  are made up of amino acids; these are the building blocks of muscle tissue growth and repair.  There are two types of amino acids: first essential amino acids –these come from food you eat. Your body can not produce them on its own. And then there are  nonessential amino acids –these are made naturally by your body from the protein we eat.

Complete proteins are made up of all essential amino acids while incomplete proteins lack at least one of the essential amino acids. Some examples of complete protein include meats, eggs, dairy, soy nuts, quinoa. They are a valuable source of protein for our muscles, but most complete protein comes with some “baggage.”  Let us explain, although meat for example has fantastic quality complete protein, it does also pack saturated fats. Soy nuts and quinoa, for example, are plant- based complete proteins, but you do have to eat a larger quantity to achieve the daily recommended intake.

Incomplete proteins include vegetables, many grains, and most beans and legumes, for example peanuts, almonds, black beans, peas and rice. Just because they are incomplete doesn’t make them inferior to complete proteins, however.. When you combine incomplete protein sources you may achieve a full set of essential amino acids just as you would find in complete proteins. These are known as complementary proteins. For example: rice and beans, spinach salad with almonds, hummus with pitas, whole grain noodles with peanut butter sauce.

There is plenty of controversy about whether  you should eat all plant based or animal based protein. So far the research doesn’t discredit either sources or opinions. There are valid points on both sides. Eating a balanced diet containing complementary plant proteins will fulfill all your needs just as an animal sourced protein diet would. In the end, your choice to eat an all plant based protein diet versus animal or vice versa, has more to do with the other nutrients found in both and your health goals.

But let’s get back  to where we started: Just Peanut Butter Bread! The only reason the word just is in the title is to emphasize peanut butter as the dominant flavor and aroma in this bread. You  choose to add some jelly, more peanut butter, or make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with it. You’ll never regret adding a little more plant protein to your diet in the form of nut butters!

Just Peanut Butter Bread by Once Again Nut Butter

Just Peanut Butter Bread

1 cup of milk of your choice

2 eggs or flax eggs

2/3 cups sugar or sugar substitute such as stevia equivalent

1 cup Once Again Organic American Classic Creamy Peanut Butter

1 tablespoon of baking powder

1 ¾ cup of white whole wheat flour

Mix milk, beaten eggs and peanut butter well. Add sugar and mix again. Finally,  add in flour and baking powder. Mix just until all ingredients are well blended. Pour into 9×5  baking pan, sprayed with non-stick oil and take it to preheated oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 45-50 minutes. Serve with your favorite jelly and more peanut butter, of course! Store in an airtight container for up to five  days, or freeze for up to 60 days.

Just Peanut Butter Bread by Once Again Nut Butter blog

Sunflower Crackers

Have you picked up a package of something as simple as crackers before and looked at the ingredients? Depending on which brand you choose the list of ingredients is rather large. Sometimes including up to 25 ingredients! Crackers are supposed to be flour, water and a little salt. Instead some processed crackers have included so many extra ingredients to enhance flavor, extend shelf life and alter composition to favor their tag lines that it puzzling they can even be considered crackers. Even more frustrating is the addition of ingredients we can’t even pronounce, or that have no place being in a cracker. Several crackers in the market have sugar or high fructose syrup added, which is odd since it’s a saltine. There is a large movement in the food revolution that promotes clean eating. There is no clear definition of clean eating, but overall it means avoiding added ingredients as much as possible, eating fresh and cooking more often. Eliminating artificial preservatives, flavors and colors is a good place to start as well.

Once Again Nut Butters are proud to keep our ingredient list short and simple! Most of our nut and seed butters are made up of one single ingredient. Keeping our products free of artificial additives is our way to help you eat clean every day!  It can be quite a challenge to navigate the grocery stores nowadays with the abundance of options in the store shelves. Although we agree there might be a good point to making everything at home with fresh ingredients, we also understand our busy lives inhibit  us from being able to cook and bake every single food we eat. Once Again Nut Butter is a brand you can trust to provide you the very best in flavor, quality and give you the confidence you can rely on when life gets busy.

Keeping those ideas in mind, this recipe that follows is for a sunflower seed cracker that you can make in less than ten minutes with only 6 ingredients, and we promise you can pronounce all of them!  We have listened to fan requests and  kept this cracker grain free to accommodate gluten-free and paleo friendly dietary needs. The recipe does call for an egg, but you may use a flax egg to make a vegan cracker option. If you are looking for more fiber and don’t have any grain restrictions you may also use oat flour, wheat flour or rice flour instead of the coconut flour. This recipe has been tested with wheat flour and coconut flour so far, and both options worked very well. There is also only ¼ teaspoon of salt included in this recipe: That is intentional. Another alarming figure on most cracker’s nutritional facts label is the amount of sodium they usually contain. . According to the American Heart Association, we are currently eating too much salt; therefore, any measures we can take to lower our salt consumption make sense !

Sunflower Seed Crackers

Sunflower Seed Crackers

½ cup of Once Again Sunflower Seed Butter, No Salt or Sugar Added.
1 tablespoon of coconut oil
1 egg
2 tablespoons of coconut flour
¼ teaspoon of salt
½ cup of flax meal

In a medium- sized bowl, lightly beat the egg, which must be at room temperature. Next, combine sunflower seed butter and coconut oil and add it to the egg. Mix well, and slowly add in coconut flour, salt and finally, the flax meal. It will be a smooth and clay-like mixture. Pour onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Spread it slowly with a flat spatula until the thickness is of about 1/5 of an inch or so. The thinner you spread out the mixture, the crispier the crackers. Bake in an oven a preheated oven at 300 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes. Check every 10 minutes, and then using a toothpick, pop any bubbles that may form during baking. You may sprinkle the top of the mixture with a little extra salt and sunflower seeds before baking as well. Remove from oven, score with a sharp knife tip, then wait until it cools to completely crack into pieces. They will be fresh when stored in an airtight container for up to five days.

Watch how easy you can make them in our video below: