Tag: almond butter

Pumpkin Cake Bites

Magnesium is considered a major mineral, and surprisingly one we are eating less of these days. Dietary intake of this mineral has declined among those eating a Western type of diet, and a supplement may be necessary for some people. Over half of the amount of magnesium in our body is found inside our bones, and the rest in soft tissue such as muscles. New research is amounting to evidence of magnesium’s role in much more than just building bones. Its role in maintaining a healthy blood pressure, decreasing and reducing Type 2 Diabetes  as well as preventing migraine headaches has brought much needed attention to magnesium. Fortunately, magnesium can be found across a spectrum of many foods, including oats, wheat flour, black beans, acorn squash, almonds and almond butter! These are just a few examples of good sources of this vital mineral.

Since all our Once Again Nut Butter products contain  magnesium, we believe  it is another great reason to enjoy our nut butters in more recipes!

First, it is interesting and hopefully useful to you, for us to look at the new research  linking magnesium and diabetes.  A meta-analysis published by Diabetes Care looked at over 500,000 participants and showed a reduction in risk for diabetes type 2 of 14% with every 100mg increase in daily dietary magnesium intake. Then in 2015, another researcher looked at over 100 individuals with prediabetes , manifesting  low blood levels of magnesium. The research was published in the Journal of Diabetes and Metabolism with the conclusion that an oral supplementation of at least 382mg of magnesium daily improved glycemic status in people with prediabetes. More studies will continue to look at how we can prevent and reverse Type 2 Diabetes  with the help of nutrients including magnesium. But in the meantime, it is a good idea for us all to look at our own intake. Evaluate the possible need to adjust it to meet the dietary allowance, which is recommended for ages 19-30 of 310 mg/day for women and 400mg/day for men; and ages 31-50 of 320 mg/day for women and 420 mg/day for men.

It is not necessary to rely on supplements to meet the recommendation. They can easily be met by natural magnesium found in foods. A tablespoon of almond butter has about 45 mg of magnesium, one cup of brown rice has 84mg and 1 cup of black beans contain 91mg for example.

Although pumpkin season may have ended, you can find pumpkin puree year-round in the grocery store. Therefore, the recipe below is a fantastic option to start working on bumping up your magnesium intake right away by combining some good sources from  almond butter, pumpkin, and even maple syrup. For a paleo diet option, make this recipe  with maple syrup and almond butter only. For a vegan option, use flax eggs which actually worked out very well in this recipe. Stay with the maple syrup, but you can use peanut butter or any one of your favorite Once Again nut butters. Since  this recipe  uses honey or maple as a sweetener and no sugar at all or flours, it  is also diabetic friendly, and gluten free. The serving size is helpful aiding in portion control for those watching their weight and total caloric intake each day.

Pumpkin Cake Bites from Once Again Nut Butter

Paleo Pumpkin Cake Bites

1 cup of pumpkin puree

¼ cup of maple syrup (or honey if preferred)

¼ cup of Once Again Creamy Almond Butter (or peanut butter)

¾ tsp of baking soda

1 tablespoon of almond milk

2 eggs (or flax eggs)

½ cup of coconut flour

2 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice

¼ cup of dark chocolate chips

In medium sized bowl, mix pumpkin puree, maple syrup, and almond butter. Once well mixed, add in two  lightly beaten eggs. In separate bowl, mix coconut flour with pumpkin pie spice and baking soda. Then add  the dry mixture to the pumpkin mixture. Once well combined, fold in the chocolate chips and place in 8×8 baking dish lined with parchment paper. Place  it in an  oven preheated to 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 20-25 minutes. Once edges are golden, and center is done, remove from oven, and let it cool. Cut into small squares and serve as cake bites. Optionally, melt ¼ cup of chocolate chips and use as topping for the cake bites. Store in an airtight container for up to five  days.

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!

Sweet Almond Rice Pudding

Rice pudding meets all the criteria for comfort food: It is easy to make, has simple ingredients and tastes amazing! It takes only a few bites to stir feeling of happiness and at times, it takes  you down memory lane. Although rice pudding has been much more popular in the past, it is slowly making a come-back (at least I hope so!) with different twists. Rice pudding is common in countries where rice is a staple, such as Asia and in South America. I grew up in Brazil where rice pudding was called arroz doce, and usually made with short grain white rice, milk and sugar. Here in the USA, most rice pudding recipes are of European origin and call for cinnamon, nutmeg, and depending on what region you are from, it is either sweetened with sugar or maple syrup.

Regardless of which recipe you may follow, they all have a few things in common. They must be creamy, and this is why this is no time to substitute skim milk for a creamier milk. Whatever milk you choose to use in this recipe, make sure it is the full fat variety. The rice  must be soft but not chewy, and this can be tricky since it has to do with the type of rice you are using, making it necessary for you to adjust the liquid.  If you prefer making your rice pudding with basmati rice, you may have to increase the  liquid. The recipe below uses short grain white rice; therefore, if you choose a different one, alter your recipe accordingly.

Lastly, this pudding must be sweet. After all, it is a pudding and often a desert. The sweetness may come from sugar, syrup — or if you are watching your blood sugar, you may use stevia instead. To achieve the right amount when using sugar substitutes, follow the package directions for equivalents for sugar since each brand has a slight variation. Also, I always recommend to error on the side of caution since you can always add more stevia later.

Do you remember that  I mentioned rice pudding is evolving into much more than just plain comfort food? Well, that’s where Once Again Nut Butter comes into the picture. I took a traditional family recipe  for rice pudding, and by simply adding ½ cup of Once Again Crunchy Almond Butter,  took this rice pudding into a whole new dimension! It was an instant success — the almond butter complements the rice pudding so well that it was almost baffling why I hadn’t tried this before. It is delicious, and you can use whichever favorite Once Again Nut Butter you would like, but I do recommend trying the almond at some point. And although rice pudding is usually served warm, I found the leftovers that were refrigerated pretty amazing the next day!

 Almond Butter Rice Pudding (2)

Sweet Almond Rice Pudding

1 cup of rice

4 cups of water

1/2 cup sugar or 1 teaspoon of undiluted stevia powder* (18-24 packets of stevia sweetener)

4 cups of milk** (of your choice, we used whole cow’s milk traditionally)

1 egg

1 tablespoon of corn

½ cup of Once Again Crunchy Almond Butter

*Or you may use 18-24 stevia sweetener packets; remember, sweetness varies with brands. Start with less, since you can always add more to the finished recipe.

**If using stevia, decrease milk to 3 cups.

Cook rice as indicated in package, using all 4 cups of water. When the rice has absorbed almost all the water, and it’s nearly ready, add 2 cups of hot milk (heat milk near its boiling temperature in separate pan or microwave). In a separate bowl, whisk together egg, sugar or stevia and corn starch. Then stir in this mixture with the rice.

Lastly, add in almond butter and the last cup of warm milk. Bring mixture to a boil and then turn off burner on stove top, the pudding is ready to be served! Or it may be refrigerated and served cold.

Almond Butter Rice Pudding (5)

Sweet Potato Curry with Almond Butter

Every year, the month of October  kicks off Vegetarian Awareness Month with World Vegetarian Day happening on October 1st and ends with World Vegan Day on November 1st.  Even though technically this celebration was a while back, many people heard about it for the first time in 2015  and are still trying to understand all the information and new facts that the vegetarian campaigns brought to light. We are all tuned in to what the proposed Dietary Guidelines of 2015 set by the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Agriculture (USDA) for all Americans (and now the confirmed 2016 Dietary Guidelines). These apply to all of us, even if we are not vegan or vegetarian.  And the message is loud and clear: Eat More Vegetables! Regardless of your age, social economical status, race, dietary restrictions or whatever factors we wish to name and consider, , we should all be eating more plants. These include plant-based protein, fats and fuel (carbohydrates).

Often, the barrier to increasing intake of vegetables is the lack of creativity when bringing them to the table. Let’s be honest, there is just so much steamed broccoli and cauliflower one can eat  each  week. Therefore, most household cooks plan meals around their main dish, which is, in the vast majority of families, a meat such as chicken, beef or pork. But what if for a change, we could change that mentality —even if just once weekly— to focus on something else  other the main dish? Well, that is what the Meatless Monday campaign has been doing, and it has been able to catch the attention of thousands of people since its inception. Inspired by decreasing our intake  of  animal products, I created this recipe that will entice even  more traditional families to give it a try!

It is all about flavor, easy preparation, and delivering nourishment to your body. There is a slight misconception  of  some people that when eating a meatless meal you may still be hungry, or feel the need for a snack shortly after the meal. But that is simply incorrect! Plant- based protein and fats are just as satiating, and  in some  cases, even more so than meat- based meals since they tend to be accompanied by higher levels of fiber which aid in the feeling of fullness after eating a meal.

To make this Sweet Potato Curry recipe  you will take advantage of  a spiralizer, which is a fun way to change the way you look at vegetables, especially root vegetables. By slicing them thinly creating noodles, they will cook much more quickly r. This can facilitate preparing dinner at the end of the day when you don’t have a few extra hours to wait for the oven to preheat and bake. Sweet potatoes can be cooked along with carrots and squash in minutes on  the stove top with some added liquid.. This recipe calls for light coconut milk, which you may not be familiar with, but it is a wonderful creamy way to add thickness to sauces without using cream (an animal-derived  product). This type of coconut milk is usually sold in cans or cartons; they are made for cooking and not to be confused with the coconut milk now found in your dairy section which is  used as a milk alternative. The curry powder adds a wonderful aroma and flavor to the dish, but if you are not a curry fan, you may leave it out completely and the results will still delicious ! The almond butter in the sauce brings this recipe together very nicely adding, not only flavor and texture, but a tad extra vitamins, minerals and healthy fats! Have fun thinking of other vegetables, you can add or substitute in this curry recipe and create your own versions at home!

Sweet Potato Curry with Once Again Almond Butter - www.onceagainnutbutterblog.com

Sweet Potato Curry

1 tablespoon of coconut oil (or substitute olive oil)

1 large sweet potato

2 carrots

1 large yellow squash

1 teaspoon of fresh ginger

1 teaspoon of yellow curry powder

1 can of light coconut milk (13 oz.)

2 tablespoons of Once Again Creamy Almond Butter

1 teaspoon of salt

 

Garnish:

1 small apple

2-3 apricots

1 tablespoon of pumpkin seeds

Use a spiralizer to cut the sweet potato, carrots and squash into thin noodles. As an option, you may purchase potato noodles. In separate bowl, mix coconut milk with all other ingredients and set aside. Add the noodles to a medium sized pan with the coconut oil on medium heat. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes; then add the coconut milk mixture and bring it to boil. Reduce to low heat and simmer for 15 minutes for curry to thicken. Serve warm with a garnish of apples (use the spiralizer for thin slices), diced apricots and pumpkin .

#vegan #vegetarian #glutenfree

Pumpkin Almond Bundt Cake

Pumpkin Almond Bundt Cake

I have a confession to make: I have a few too many Bundt cake pans! There, it’s out and the universe now, and I feel better already. Maybe it is because of the excitement of filling the pan with the batter and waiting to see the beautiful cake come out the oven: It reminds me a little bit of playing with modeling clay in kindergarten. Using molds and cookie cutters are really just bakes’ ways to express their inner child- like spirit, after all. I truly enjoy the creative process that goes into baking, sometimes more than eating the baked good…, well not really the cake is the best part!

When creating recipes for Bundt cake pans, I look for ingredients that can shine by themselves but also tell a story when a part of my cake.  This may sound unusual, but remember I mentioned the creative process before.  When you make cakes in such beautiful shapes, they  become the center of your table, and therefore, must come with a story. For example, a family recipe for vanilla cake, when mixed up and baked in a fancy Bundt cake pan, gains new life as a family tradition, something to be celebrated, pictured and shared. In our interconnected world that we live in today, with social media as a part of most of our lives, we take pictures of our food and share it with those near and far with a few words that make up the story of each  cake.

When all things go “pumpkin”- flavored by mid- October, it is time to bake a pumpkin Bundt Cake, and what better ingredient to join your story than Once Again Almond Butter?  Besides adding flavor, moisture and depth to your cake, it brings a story of its own. Almond butters complement pumpkin so effortlessly in baked goods. The savory nature of the pumpkin meshes well with the nut butter, and they bring out the best in  each other.  Add a little nutmeg and honey, and you’ve achieved Bundt cake heaven. The recipe below is my original — I have made it again, and increased the honey up to 1 cup, and added ½ cup coconut oil which made it sweeter and fluffier, but, nevertheless, I still go back to my original recipe. It is not as sweet as a standard cake, but that is what I love about it. I usually dust a little powdered sugar on it and slice it thick, with  the finishing touch being  apricot jam or apple butter. Served with a nice cup of hot tea, this cake is my headline for the day. My social media post would look something like this: “Enjoying a slice of Bundt heaven made with almond butter goodness slathered in apricot jam while sipping my tea— #blessed!”

… bake and share your stories,

Carolina

Pumpkin Almond Butter Bundt Cake - www.OnceAgainNutButterBlog.comPumpkin Almond Bundt Cake

4 eggs

1 cup pumpkin puree

½ cup Killer Bee Honey

1/3 cup Once Again Creamy Almond Butter

3 cups whole wheat flour (or white flour)

1 ½ teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon cinnamon

½ teaspoon nutmeg

¼ teaspoon salt

1 cup milk

Whisk eggs together until frothy, and then add pumpkin and almond butter. Mix well, while in separate bowl, mix flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Mix dry ingredients  into egg mixture and finally, add the milk.  You can add a little more milk if the mixture is too thick.  Pour batter slowly into the Bundt cake pan, and place it in  a preheated oven to 350 degrees. B for 60 minutes, and check with a toothpick for readiness.  When the toothpick comes out clean, the cake is done.

Pumpkin Almond Butter Bundt Cake2- www.OnceAgainNutButterBlog.com

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Avocado Shake: What happens when you combine avocado with Once Again!

Avocado Shake: What happens when you combine avocado with Once Again!

Americans’ love affair with the avocado may have started off with  guacamole, but it has evolved into much more than just adoring it as a dip for chips! Nowadays, you can find avocados as an ingredient in appetizers, entrees and desserts. But should you be invested in a long- term relationship with avocados for your health?

Yes! Joking aside, avocados are a powerhouse of nutrition. In just one serving (100 grams or 3.5 oz), here are the top nutrients and percentages of your RDA’s:

  • Vitamin K: 26%Avocado and Almond popscile
  • Folate: 20%
  • Vitamin C: 17%
  • Potassium: 14%
  • Vitamin B5: 14%
  • Vitamin B6: 13%
  • Vitamin E: 10%

All that in just 160 calories! Avocados have scared some away because of their  high fat content, but that should not stop you from enjoying them. The fat in avocados is mostly monounsaturated fatty acids, mainly oleic acid, which is beneficial for reducing inflammation, among providing other benefits .  Avocados are naturally cholesterol-l free and also contain small amounts of magnesium, manganese, copper, iron, zinc, phosphorus, and vitamins A, B1, B2 and B3! And don’t forget fiber too; in just one serving, there are 7 grams of it!

This combination of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory components is what makes the avocado a super fruit able to combat cancers, lower cholesterol, boost heart health and help with weight loss. Avocados also aid in the absorption of fat- soluble vitamins such as vitamin A, K, D and E; therefore, enjoying avocados mixed with Once Again Nut Butters is a win-win!

Go ahead and slice them up, and add them to your sandwiches and wraps! Smash them and use them  as a spread instead of mayo. Since avocados are high in fat, they are also perfect for baking, adding to smoothies, making ice cream and so much more!

Looking for an avocado recipe to add to your menu? This one is so simple that you can make it in the morning faster than toast.

Avocado and Lamond Butter shakeAvocado Shake

Serves 1

  • ½ Hass avocado
  • ¾ cup chilled coconut milk (or other milk of your choice)
  • 2 tbsps. Once Again Almond Butter
  • 1 packet of stevia (optional)
    Blend together and enjoy! Use the other half of the avocado to make a second batch to freeze in popsicle molds for a late afternoon snack.

~Carolina

Zucchini Muffin Recipe: Veggies in your muffin? Why not!

Zucchini Muffin Recipe: Veggies in your muffin? Why not!

The basic elements for growing a plant are the following: water, oxygen, soil and sun. If you have access to all four, then you are ready to start your own garden. Either in the front of your house, in the backyard, or even inside your house, as long as you have windows and raised garden beds on wheels, it will work! But why should you try to grow a plant, or moreover, your own vegetables?

Some reasons are more obvious than others. You can control what chemicals go into it; you can save some money by growing your own organic produce; , you are helping the planet, and you will taste the satisfaction of success in a vegetable you grow yourself. Other less apparent but perhaps more important reasons for trying to grow some vegetables yourself include therapeutic stress relief, knowledge and respect for nature, cultivating patience versus anger and overall contributing to a much better world for future generations.

Planning is a crucial part of growing food. Learning the weather patterns and how each affects specific varieties of seeds is a good place to start. There is a lot of “learning as you grow” when you first join the expanding group of “home food growers.” The resources are fantastic and most of them are accessible from your home computer. Here are few links that may help you get started:

  1. For types of garden to build and how to start: http://www.clemson.edu/extension/hgic/plants/vegetables/gardening/
  2. USDA People’s Garden: http://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/usda/usdahome?contentidonly=true&contentid=peoples_gardening_resources.html
  3. USDA Tips for Organic Gardening: http://blogs.usda.gov/2015/03/17/tips-for-starting-an-organic-garden/

One of the best parts of growing your own food is eating it! And if you find yourself with an abundance of a specific fruit or vegetable during picking season, don’t forget to freeze it or dry it to save it for the winter. Add your home grown produce to your daily menu in a variety of creative ways. The zucchini muffin recipe below is a perfect example of how to use up some of your summer harvest. These muffins freeze well so that you may bake them and have a lunchbox or snack item stash for when you need it. The secret to turning zucchini into a muffin is adding almond butter, of course! zucchini is mild tasting veggie, so when paired with Once Again Lightly Toasted Unsweetened and Salt Free Creamy Almond Butter,  it absorbs its flavors and highlights its best qualities. Not to mention, they make  a powerful nutrient combo— the zucchini offers vitamin C, A and fiber, while the almond butter brings on the protein, iron and omegas.

You may follow the same recipe below using summer squash, as well! If you just can’t wait for your produce to be ready for picking, this recipe is worth a try with some local market ingredients!

zucchini muffinZucchini Muffins                       makes 30 mini muffins

  • ¼ cup Once Again Killer Bee Honey
  • ¼ cup Once Again Creamy Almond Butter
  • 1/3 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup milk
  • ¼ cup coconut oil
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 ½ cup grated zucchini
  • 1/3 cup rolled oats

In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and soda, salt, cinnamon and oats. In a separate bowl combine eggs, milk, coconut oil (liquid at room temperature), almond butter and honey. Once well mixed, combine both mixtures until blended but don’t over mix it. Use mini muffins pan or a regular-sized one. Bake at 375 degrees oven for 15-20 minutes, depending upon which pan you use. Store in an airtight container for up to 4 days, or freeze to keep for up to 3 weeks.

zucchini muffin2

Almond Butter Pie: “As Easy As Pie”

Almond Butter Pie: “As Easy As Pie”

Why do we use the phrase, “As easy as pie” when referring to a job or task that should only take minutes and little work to complete? After all, rolling out flaky pie crust, mixing up the perfect filling and baking a pie is really not that simple! Maybe the common saying refers to how easy it is to eat up a slice of pie? Regardless of its origins or appropriate meaning, the four-word phrase inspired me to come up with a pie recipe that really is easy to make and delicious to eat, of course.

There is no need to roll out dough or preheat the oven for our Almond Butter Pie recipe. This is a freezer/refrigerator pie that uses a cookie crust. The cookies most commonly used for crusts are graham crackers, but feel free to crush up your favorite  to make this crust. Chocolate graham crackers crushed up inside a sealed plastic bag, then mixed with coconut oil take only minutes to prepare, and makes a rich pie crust that goes well with any Once Again Nut Butter you choose to mix  in  for your pie. There is another surprise in this recipe —  it is a healthier pie you can indulge in, even having two pieces at a time if you’d like to! There are only two ingredients: Greek yogurt and almond butter. You may add maple syrup as an option for a sweeter version, but honestly you won’t miss it much if you don’t.

The pie goes into the freezer for 45 minutes, then into the refrigerator for 10 minutes before serving. It is best to eat it right out of the refrigerator.  It can melt if left outside for too long. I made the pie in a 9- inch glass pie dish, but next time I plan on cutting the recipe in half and making it in single serving glass dishes instead. The larger pie is perfect for a party or larger family dinner, but when it’s just there are just 3-4 people to serve, the smaller recipe would be just perfect.

Almond Butter PieAlmond Butter Pie
Serves 6-9 people

6-8 chocolate graham crackers
2 tbsps. coconut oil
28 oz. vanilla Greek yogurt
1 cup Once Again Creamy Almond Butter
Prepare the crust first by crushing the graham crackers in a sealed plastic bag; then add to glass bowl and mix with about two tablespoons of coconut oil. You may add extra oil if your crust is not sticking together well.  Place in 9-inch pie dish and press to form crust. Set aside to prepare the filling. Mix 28 oz. of Greek yogurt with one cup of almond butter.  You may choose peanut butter or sunflower seed butter as well! Mix well using a large spoon, and then add it to the pie crust. Place in refrigerator until about 30 minutes before you are ready to serve. Then set it in the freezer for the last 30 minutes. This will make the pie  easier to slice and serve.

… have a deliciously healthy day,

Carolina

How to make a Peanut Butter Apple Crisp the easy and healthier way!

How to make a Peanut Butter Apple Crisp the easy and healthier way!

“An apple a day will keep the doctor .” Who came up with that saying anyway? My research (done out of curiosity) yielded some interesting results! The phrase is from Wales, and it’s a variation from the original, a Pembrokeshire proverb: “Eat an apple on going to bed, and you’ll keep the doctor from earning his bread.” The apple being an international symbol for health, combines here its properties as antioxidant, fiber and nutrient rich fruit with the fact that it was used as a “teeth cleaning” tool, since eating it would help remove all other stickier foods from their teeth and gum line.

Too much info? Perhaps, but it’s interesting to find out that the silly things we say can sometimes have much deeper meanings. With all of its shining qualities in mind, let’s get to our recipe:  Peanut Butter Apple Crisp! Apples are an excellent choice to include in your daily diet, and they are versatile; you can enjoy them in so many different ways. Simply washing and eating them is the favorite of many, but slicing them up and smothering them in peanut butter is a close second. I use pureed apples20150426_193149112_iOS in baked goods to add sweetness and moisture. As a matter of fact, many people substitute applesauce in equal parts in recipes that call for oil and achieve healthier results without compromising taste and texture.

The Peanut Butter Apple Crisp recipe can be made in a pie dish to serve several people, or even in individual baking dish for single servings! It only takes minutes to prepare before going in the oven, and the ingredients are likely ones you stock in  your pantry. Warning: you may be tempted to make this recipe tonight, and we highly recommend that you give into  those feelings and enjoy a nice healthy bowl of 20150426_202407804_iOSit and share  your review with us.

Below you’ll find the recipe for the larger batch — as well as a reduced recipe for just one serving. If you make the larger batch and don’t devour the entire pan at once (when warm out of the oven with a nice scoop of ice cream), it makes a great topping for yogurt the next morning!

                     Peanut Butter Apple Crisp

20150426_202635484_iOS(Measurements for one serving appear  in parentheses)

3 large apples, cubed (1/2 apple)
4 tbsps. Once Again Creamy Peanut Butter (1 tbsp.)
1 lemon (1/2 Tbsp. lemon juice)
1 tsp. cinnamon (1/4 tsp.)
1 cup oats (1/4 cup)
2 tbsps. Once Again Creamy Peanut Butter (1/2 tbsp.)
1 tsps. cinnamon (1/4 tsp.)

Apple crispStart by mixing the 4 tbsps of Once Again Creamy Peanut Butter with the juice of 1 lemon. If you’re peanut butter was refrigerated, then first warm it up in saucepan for just a few minutes, this makes it much easier to mix in the lemon juice. Now add cinnamon and stir well. Fold in the apples until they are well coated in the mixture. Place it in a baking dish and sprinkle a little extra cinnamon on top. For the crumb, in a small bowl mix the 2 tbsp Once Again Creamy Peanut Butter with oats, forming a crumbly mixture. There will be larger chunks in it, and that is what makes it so good! Add cinnamon and mix it in the crumb. Now top the apple mixture in the baking dish with the crumb mixture and bake for 45 minutes at 350F. Enjoy it warm! Or place it in covered dish and save it in refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Oats and Oat Flour: Gluten-free or Not? Recipe for Chocolate Oats Brownie

We have posted a few recipes with oat flour as an ingredient. Something I use very often in my recipes, it is one of my favorite ways to adapt a conventional recipe to a gluten-free version by substituting oat flour for the wheat version. A few readers brought up some points and questions about oat/oat flour that are interesting to share.

First off, oat flour is simply ground up oats. You may purchase oat flour, or if you are like me, and would like to control how coarse the oat flour is depending on the recipe, then you can make it yourself. Usually 1 cup of whole oats will yield about ¾ cups of flour. Add the oats to a food processor, a mini chopper, or even a coffee grinder to get the texture you are looking for. I recommend making just what you need for the recipe instead of making extra for storage. Oat flour attracts humidity and can easily spoil if not kept in an airtight container in a dry cool place. The whole oats, on the other hand, are much more stable. I hope this makes it easier for a lot of you to try out some of the recipes with oat flour!

Next, please consider that not all oats are gluten-free, meaning that some types may prove unsafe for those who are gluten-intolerant.  No doubt, some will find this confusing.   Pure, uncontaminated oats are indeed gluten-free! Unfortunately, the issue with oats is cross-contamination. Most commercial oats are processed in facilities that also process barley, wheat, and rye (all of which contain gluten). Another contamination point occurs in the actual fields where the oats grow. If oats are grown next to wheat fields, cross-contamination may be difficult to control at time of harvest due to shifting winds and other variables. So unless the package actually says “gluten-free,” there is no guarantee that it isn’t contaminated with gluten.

Nevertheless, many gluten- intolerant people have no reaction when they consume oats, even if they are not marked as gluten-free certified. That is simply because people have different levels of sensitivity to gluten. It is a very personal scale, and only those who frequently buy and try different oats can safely make choices for themselves. Our advice is to always be clear — if you bake a recipe with gluten-free certified oats or just plain oats, let your food audience know  precisely which —so that individuals can make an informed decision about their consumption of the product.

As I mentioned, oat flour is my favorite way to make a recipe, gluten-free- friendly! It is much easier to bake with than potato or corn flour, in my opinion. It is also more versatile than xanthan gum or almond flour. Oats also add so much fiber; they have a special type of fiber called beta-glucan, the component found to have beneficial impact on cholesterol, making oats one of the most heart- friendly grains available. Oats have also been linked to reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes, due Chocolate Oats Brownieto their blood sugar stabilization qualities.  And they also impact immune system health. There are many studies still looking at oats and their properties; so far oats continue to stack up as a powerful grain to prevent many diseases, potentially!

Starting your day with a bowl of oats is a great idea for all ages! And if you didn’t have time to get your oatmeal in the morning, why not get your share with these Chocolate Oat Brownie Bites? They are made with oat flour but also Once Again Almond butter, increasing even more your necessary fiber and boosting your protein intake, simultaneously. They are perfect when served with ice cream or just a plain glass of cold milk.

~Carolina

Chocolate Oats BrownieChocolate Oat Brownie
2 cups whole oats (1 ¾ cups oat flour)
¼ cup sugar
½ cup Once Again Almond Butter
1 cup Greek-style vanilla yogurt
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking soda

Add the oats to food processor and grind them into a fine flour.  Add the baking soda and cocoa powder to the mix, and set aside. In separate bowl, mix Once Again Almond Butter with yogurt and sugar. Then mix dry and wet ingredients until you have a thick dough-like result. Use a cookie scoop to help fill sections of a mini-muffin pan. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and bake for about 15 minutes. Yields: about 20 brownie bites.