Month: August 2017

High Protein Chocolate Mousse

If you told me a few months back that I would be dedicating a whole blog to cottage cheese, I would have had a hard time believing you.  However, our readers keep coming back for our healthy recipes, while remaining in constant search of delicious ways to meet their diverse nutritional needs.

Now let’s talk about our passion, that is, bringing you the best combinations of ingredients to meet all of your dietary requirements while also giving you recipes that taste great, of course. Although many of you may be vegan or vegetarian, we also want to bring options to those who aren’t. This is what led me to further explore the possibilities of cottage cheese.

A sadly forgotten ingredient in my kitchen was recently brought back into to the light when on a grocery trip I spotted it on sale. Upon picking up the small container of cottage cheese, I analyzed the label and was reminded of how much protein cottage cheese has packed into such small caloric content. One cup of low fat cottage cheese has 28 grams of protein and just 163 calories. It is also crammed with many nutrients like B vitamins, calcium, phosphorus, and selenium. But the highlight of this this nutritional powerhouse’s profile is the fact that over 70% of cottage cheese’s calories derive from protein. That makes these humble curds an excellent source of protein, and a convenient food choice for athletes, people on the move, and those requiring a bit of extra protein each day.

Perhaps the last time you had cottage cheese was at your school cafeteria when it was served with a side of some sort of soggy fruit.  Bleck! If you then designated cottage cheese as a food you would rather not eat, think again! Cottage cheese can be transformed and used as an ingredient in an array of decidedly different, delicious ways. It can be added to smoothies just as a protein supplement would be. And as a bonus, cottage cheese has a velvet-like consistency when blended that can achieve the creaminess that you are looking for in your drinks. Plain cottage cheese has a very mild flavor, unlike that of most cheeses; therefore, it can easily absorb the flavors that it is paired with.

It also can be blended and added to soups as a thickener to build extra protein content in the recipe. You can use it in place of Feta or blue cheese in your salads, add it to pancake batter, your favorite lasagna recipe, or even splurge some through your granola in the morning.

For some time, cottage cheese has been a popular choice amongst those looking to build muscle mass due to its high casein content. Casein accounts for 80% of the protein in cottage cheese, and it is a slowly absorbed protein. This allows for better muscle building, as well as prolonged absorption of the amino acid leucine, which also increases muscle building capacity.

Potentially the only thing missing from low fat cottage cheese is a healthy dose of monounsaturated fatty acids and omegas found in almond butter, for example! To fill this gap, we have created a perfectly delicious solution. Blending almond butter with cottage cheese to create a chocolate mousse will change the way you’ll think about night- time snacking.  Since its protein is so slowly absorbed, cottage cheese is effective in preventing muscle breakdown that may occur at night. Therefore, a serving of our High Protein Chocolate Mousse is just what you may need before you embark upon a night of restful sleep.

The creaminess of the cottage cheese, enhanced by the richness of the almond butter, is matched with the depth of cacao powder to make this chocolate mousse irresistible! Feel free to top it with some fresh fruit and drizzle on a little extra almond butter for some genuine crowning glory.

High Protein Chocolate Mousse

High Protein Chocolate Mousse

½ cup of cottage cheese

2 tablespoons of Once Again Almond Butter

1 teaspoon of cacao powder

1 packet of stevia (or 1 tablespoon of honey or coconut sugar)

Add all ingredients to blender and pulse until smooth. Place in refrigerator to set for 30 minutes and enjoy! The total protein for this one-portion serving is about 17 grams.

Peanut Butter Jelly Oatmeal Bars

Healthy baking substitutions have become a popular way to continue to enjoy some of our favorite treats without feeling guilty! Among a variety of popular ingredient substitutions, removing eggs and adding apple sauce is a commonly used trick for those watching total calorie and fat in their diet. Have you ever wondered why that works? Or perhaps if it always works?

Using eggs in a baking recipe usually serves two main purposes. One is to add moisture, the other is to develop a desired consistency. Both of these outcomes can be achieved with applesauce. There are a few rules, however. To ensure a successful baking experience. When a cake recipe has a leavening agent such as baking powder, the eggs will add the moisture needed as the cake rises while baking. Applesauce can function in the same way in these recipes, and you can substitute ¼ cup of it for each egg in the recipe. Also adjust the baking powder up by 25-30% more and bake for just a few minutes longer, checking the cake with a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake before removing it from the oven.

For cookie recipes, the more appropriate substitution is for 1/3 cup of applesauce per egg. In this case, you may also use a sweetened applesauce and decrease the amount of refined white sugar the recipe requires.  The ideal times to use this substitution is for when the recipe has another source of moisture and fat in the recipe. For example, a recipe that calls for oil and eggs is a perfect candidate for apple sauce substitution. If the only source of moisture is the eggs, consider starting out by just substituting half the amount of eggs for applesauce.

As you can see below, in the recipe for Baked Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars, there are no eggs, instead we used applesauce. However, notice the additional fat source in the recipe is peanut butter which allows for this substitution to yield a perfectly baked treat! It makes it possible for those following a vegan or more plant-based diet to bake without compromising when it comes to flavor. This recipe is a gluten-free (use gluten-free certified oats) and vegetarian with  a vegan option, if you use maple syrup instead of the honey.

These bars are not very sweet. They rely on the jelly or jam you choose to use as a topping. Alternatively, you could double up on the honey or vegan sweetener and increase the oat flour to ¾ cup, if you desire a sweeter desert version versus a less sugary breakfast bar.

Once Again Nut Butter’s variety of products helps you stay in control of what you eat by offering you no salt, and unsweetened varieties for each of our nut and seed butters. When baking, choose which one you prefer and adjust the other ingredients in your recipe accordingly! The difference between eating pre-packaged cookies and homemade cookies is quantum, amounting to the ability to choose quality ingredients and keep your recipes clean, that is, free of additives. Once Again Nut Butter products were designed with rare marketplace ideals in mind. Minimal, highest quality ingredients allow each nut or seed flavor to really shine through no matter how you use the butters!

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Peanut Butter Jelly Oatmeal Bars

2 cups of oats

½ cup of oat flour

½ teaspoon of baking powder

¼ cup of honey (or maple syrup, if vegan)

½ cup of unsweetened apple sauce (You may use sweetened apple sauce, if preferred.)

3 tablespoons of Once Again Peanut Butter

½ cup of milk of your choice

½ cup of strawberry preserves

In a large mixing bowl, combine oat flour, oats and baking powder. In a separate medium bowl, mix honey, applesauce, peanut butter and milk. Then combine wet ingredients into dry, mixing well. Pour into baking pan, about 7 by 11 inches in size, prepared with coconut oil non-stick spray. Lastly, spread the ½ cup of preserve or jam as a thin layer on top. Place in a preheated oven at 350 Fahrenheit for 30 minutes or until edges are lightly golden. Remove the baked result from the oven, and once cooled, cut it into bars or squares and store in an airtight container for up to 3 days. These bars are best stored in refrigerator.

Quinoa Cashew Bites

Quinoa is so much more than what it appears to be! Did you know that quinoa is not even a true grain even though it is usually lumped with grains in recipes and nutritional discussions? This funny word carries a powerful array of nutrients. Regardless of how you pronounce it, although correctly, it is “keen-wah,” today is a good time to learn more about this wonder and discover why you should be eating it more often.

Whole grains are rich sources of fiber and many nutrients, but they often fall short on protein. Grains are considered incomplete proteins due to their lack of sufficient amounts of the amino acids lysine and isoleucine. Quinoa, which is not a grain, but a seed, has significantly greater amounts of both amino acids mentioned above, and is therefore a complete protein source, in fact, similar to animal protein sources. One cup of cooked quinoa delivers an average of eight grams of protein. This peculiar seed, a relative of beets, also contains significantly more fat. Fortunately, it is the healthier fat that enhances our immune systems and doesn’t damage our hearts. It’s no wonder that it has long been a star ingredient in many vegan and vegetarian recipes. It provides quality protein and fat for those on a plant-based diet.

Quinoa comes in a variety of colors, including red, white, and black. Although they don’t have a highly distinctive taste, the white variety seems to be the most popular. And here is some good news: Prepare it just as you would most grains. Calculate one cup of dry quinoa to two cups of water, and bring it to a boil, simmering for 15 to 20 minutes or until all liquid is absorbed. The result will be fluffy, translucent-like spheres, with small string-like attachments, which are parts of the seed hulls. Quinoa does absorb most of the liquid; therefore, it is easy to flavor by just adding spices and herbs to the water when cooking. For an interesting option, add a teabag of your favorite flavor to the boiling water, apple spice for example, for a sweet quinoa base that you can use for breakfast dishes or desserts.

Nowadays quinoa is available as a flour to use for baking, too. It is easy to incorporate this nutritious seed into our meals, and we have now an even easier and delicious way to enjoy it! Try our recipe for Quinoa Cashew Bites. Quinoa and cashews accent each other’s flavors perfectly in this recipe. These bite-sized snacks are handy for pre-workout snacks, after school snacks or mid-day pick-me-ups. Have fun making them in different molds for special occasions, too! How about trying heart-shaped silicone molds to make some sweet treats for your loved ones?

Quinoa Cashew Bites

Quinoa Cashew Bites

1 cup of toasted quinoa

½ cup of Once Again Cashew Butter

¼ cup of coconut oil

2 tablespoons of maple syrup

1 tablespoon of unsweetened coconut flakes

Start by adding quinoa to a dry skillet set over medium heat and shake it constantly until you start to hear small pops. Keep mixing quinoa until it is all popped. It takes only 3-4 minutes after the first few pops for the process to be complete. Then remove the popped quinoa from the heat. Let it cool before mixing it with the rest of the ingredients on our list. Mix all well and spoon the combination into molds to set in refrigerator for four hours.  Or place the bites in the freezer for one hour of quick-setting. Remove them from the molds and keep the bites in an airtight container in refrigerator for up to 7 days.