Tag: breakfast

Pumpkin Filled Croissants

The combination of pumpkin and peanut butter is not an obvious one, such as pumpkin and pecans — or peanut butter and jelly. However, if you dare to think outside old lines and combine these two flavors, you won’t be disappointed. We have many times before in other recipes, but usually receive comments back from reluctant followers saying they just couldn’t see how it would work out and chose to either substitute Once Again Cashew Butter, almond butter, or just skip it altogether—How sad! But we are here to give you one more reason to try this! Leave your fears at the door, and dive into this powerful combo, and we promise you will not regret it.

Our pumpkin croissants can be whipped up in a matter of minutes using store-bought croissant dough. You may choose to make your own of course, but when shortcuts exist that do not sacrifice nutrient value or taste, we encourage their use in our kitchen. After all, many people give up, after gazing over hundreds of recipes, and move on, due to a long ingredient list with complicated directions.

But a lack of time should not limit your making these mouth-watering autumn treats!

And please remember, we enjoy new tips, tricks and recipes as well, so if you have a good one for creative croissant dough to share, please do so in the comments’ section below.

You will bake these croissants according to directions using the store-bought dough, or you can substitute your homemade, from scratch recipe, and proceed to bake these according to that one.

Now, when purchasing refrigerated dough, we recommend looking for ones with the shortest list of ingredients and minimally added preservatives. Here at Once Again, we take a serious vow: Most of our jars of nut butters contain just one or two ingredients.

As a guide, always look for nut butter that has no wheat flour, water, and not too much sugar, salt, or oil!

Now let’s leap onward to the best part, the filling for these croissants. Pumpkin puree is just plain pumpkin; it contains some natural sugar but not enough to make it sweet. Pumpkin is rich in water and has no fat. Peanut butter complements pumpkin by adding natural sweetness from the peanuts and healthy fat. A small amount of maple syrup will sweeten the batch when enhanced by pumpkin spice. The four ingredients come together perfectly to make up the filling for these croissants. Then, as you can watch in our short video, it’s just a matter of rolling up the crescents and baking! The aroma from your oven as they bake will be irresistible.

Let us know your favorite way to enjoy them in the comments below, perhaps with coffee or tea?

Pumpkin Filled Croissants

Pumpkin Filled Croissants

Filling:

¼ cup of pumpkin puree

3 tablespoons of Once Again Peanut Butter

2 tablespoons of maple syrup

1 teaspoon of pumpkin spice

Dough: Use your preferred refrigerated croissant dough or make your own!

In a medium bowl, add pumpkin puree, peanut butter, maple syrup, and pumpkin spice. Mix well, and then add about one tablespoon to open triangle shaped croissant dough, and then roll into a crescent shape. Place each crescent in a baking pan with edges down to ensure proper baking. Store in airtight container for up to 3 days. Best enjoyed fresh out of the oven! Makes about 8 croissants.

Jumbo Flourless Chocolate Muffins

This recipe takes a different approach to  my usual baking,  not so much in the ingredient choices, but in the size of the finished product. If you have been following our recipe blogs for a while, you likely noticed my preference for “bite-sized” type of baked goods, small portioned desserts and mini-sized versions of recipes. But there are times when one just needs a jumbo -sized muffin! Maybe you need one after a long week at work, or a particularly challenging meeting, or perhaps after a bad episode of your favorite T.V. show. Whatever the reason, there are times when it is appropriate to indulge in a super-sized baked treat. And for those times, we want you to be prepared with a quick recipe to go to.

When baking large- sized muffins, it is crucial that the batter  you are preparing have enough leavening agent to grow and stay fluffy during the oven baking process. Not to get too technical here, but your leavening agent, also known as raising agent, incorporates gas bubbles into the dough. The two most often used in baking are baking soda and baking powder. So why don’t we  take a minute to explain the difference between the two? You can use this information to create your own recipes and have confidence they  won’t flop when put in the oven.

Baking soda, aka: pure sodium bicarbonate, combines with the moisture and an acidic ingredient in your mix, resulting in a chemical reaction that produces bubbles of carbon dioxide. These expand when in the oven causing your dough to rise. Since they act immediately, once the baking soda is added, you are on a timer to get your muffins to the oven or else they could fail to rise. Note that the recipe depends on an acidic ingredient for it to work. This can be yogurt, buttermilk, lemon juice or even chocolate. Without one, your baking soda won’t work at all. It’s nice to check to see if   your baking soda is fresh by adding a teaspoon to vinegar some of it; if it bubbles immediately, you are good to go!

The other agent widely used in our recipes is baking powder. This one contains sodium bicarbonate as well, but also includes the acidifying agent (cream of tartar) and a drying agent (starch). It can stand a little extra time, as it does not lose its potency so quickly, so you don’t have to rush your batter  into the oven. It will work once it reaches warmer temperatures, allowing your muffins  to rise in the oven while baking. It can also be tested for freshness by adding a teaspoon to warm water; if it bubbles right away, it’s fresh!

Some recipes will actually ask for both, baking soda and baking powder. This allows the raising to happen twice:  once while you are mixing it (because of baking soda) and then again when it reaches the oven (because of baking powder), giving your recipe  an extra boost of air bubbles. The art of baking is a balance of science and experience. And I don’t claim to be an expert in by any means! But learning little facts about the most common ingredients will help us all advance along the  road to becoming  “master bakers.”

As a little  side note, did you know that most (if not all, I’m still investigating this) cake, cookie and muffin recipes that call for a pinch of salt do not necessarily need it? That’s right! If you are concerned about your sodium intake, try omitting the salt when you can and see if your end results are the same. So far in my kitchen, it has worked. Hooray for healthier shortcuts that are successful!

~ Carolina

jumbo flourless chocolate muffins on onceagainnutbutterblog.com

Jumbo Flourless Chocolate Muffins

¾ cup Once Again Cashew Butter

2 eggs

1/3 cup Killer Bee Honey

1/3 cup Unsweetened cacao powder

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

½ teaspoon baking soda

2 tablespoons milk or water

¼ cup chocolate chips (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 F. Beat together cashew butter, eggs and honey. Add in the cacao powder, vanilla and baking soda. If mixture is too thick, add in 2 to 3 tablespoons of water or milk (your choice). Place batter in muffin tins, sprinkle a few chocolate chips on top, and take the batch  to oven for  20 to 25 minutes. Enjoy the muffins  warm, or store them in an airtight  container for up to 3 days. Makes 6 large muffins. #glultenfree #noiol #norefinedsugar

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

Go nuts for Doughnuts! Baked Peanut Butter Doughnut Holes

Go nuts for Doughnuts! Baked Peanut Butter Doughnut Holes

Doughnut holes made with Once Again Nut ButterWho knew there was a national day dedicated to doughnuts? Well, apparently the whole world knew – except me. A few weeks ago, social media had a very sweet day with pictures of all sorts of delicious doughnut creations. From the best gourmet doughnuts, to homemade versions, they all turned into inspiration for me in the kitchen for creating my own doughnut recipe. Deep frying was out of the question, both for nutritional purposes; also   a big pot filled with oil at high temperature oil is not my idea of happy cooking. But how do you keep the moist and soft texture you get when you bite into a doughnut when baking instead of frying? I played around with the ingredients and found that using coconut oil and peanut butter was the perfect solution for a doughnut like mouthfeel and flavor. So although you may substitute some ingredients in this recipe, using coconut oil and peanut butter is a must.

Collecting kitchen gadgets is somewhat of a hobby for me lately, but I haven’t added the “doughnut pan” to my pantry just yet. Therefore making doughnut holes using a mini-muffin pan was the way to go! The small pan made these tiny treats perfectly- sized since who can really just eat one, right? And you don’t have to feel guilty about popping two or three of these into your mouth; they are a much healthier version than their traditional deep fried, high sugar, low protein alternatives.20150527_203504107_iOS

You may notice this recipe has the same ingredients as a previously shared recipe for our “Peanut Butter and Jelly Muffins”.  It’s fantastic when one recipe can be made into so many different ways! I have made the recipe below with a gluten- free flour mixture, as well, for a friend and it worked beautifully.

Doughnut holes made with Once AgainPeanut Butter Doughnut Holes

1 cup all-purpose flour (or any flour substitute you may prefer)
1/2 cup Once Again Creamy Peanut Butter
¼ cup sugar
½ tsp. salt
½ tbsp. baking powder
1 egg
½ cup milk (or milk substitute)
1 tbsp. vanilla
2 tbsp. coconut oil
½ cup sugar and cinnamon mixture
Coconut Oil for brushing the doughnut holes

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a medium size bowl, add sugar, peanut butter, and mix well; then mix in flour, salt and baking powder.  In a separate bowl whisk together egg, milk, vanilla and coconut oil ,making sure that  all ingredients are at room temperature. Combine ingredients in both bowls and mix well. Add to mini-muffin pans, filling almost to the top of each cup. This will make them more rounded when they rise in the oven. Bake until you can insert a toothpick, and it comes out clean. Depending on oven settings, this usually takes 15-20 minutes. Brush each doughnut hole with coconut oil and roll it in the sugar and cinnamon mixture. The recipe makes about 18 doughnut holes. Store them in air tight container for up to 4 days.  They are best when warm and fresh!

By the way! Have you heard of http://www.yummly.com? What a magnificent way to save all our recipes and even create a recipe grocery list that you can see on your smart phone! Yummly puts every recipe in the world in your pocket. The most powerful recipe search, the recipe sites you love, your digital recipe box, recipe recommendations just for you, and a smart shopping list – all with you wherever you go. Visit the website and start adding our recipes to your recipe box!

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.

Banana Peanut Butter Mousse: 4 Ingredients = Perfection

Have you starred at your refrigerator trying to find the perfect food to snack on? Have you looked at your pantry hoping something would just jump out to satisfy that sweet craving? You’re not alone! Just the other day I found myself in such predicament. And worse yet, I haven’t been able to grocery shop so there weren’t many ingredients to play with. Despite those difficulties I was pleasantly surprised at the perfect treat I was able to make with just 4 ingredients you probably have in your pantry!

This Banana and Peanut Butter Mousse is creamy and sweet; and making it in little desert shot glasses gives you just the right portion and hits the spot for desert or a mid-afternoon snack. You’ll need about 1 banana for 2 servings. Bananas are the one fruit I don’t run out of too easy. Sometimes I wonder if the cashier at the grocery store scratches her head when I go through with 4-5 bunches each shopping trip. There are only 4 of us in the house, but at an average of 1.5 bananas each per day, well you do the math!

The second ingredient is the Once Again Creamy Peanut Butter, about 2 tablespoons per banana, mash the bananas and add the peanut butter mixing it well. For better results use a blender. That’s it for the bottom layer, the middle is a graham cracker crushed up, and the top is a tablespoon of vanilla flavored Greek yogurt. That’s it! See, quick and simply delicious.

I made this for desert on a Friday night, there were 2 left over that were stored in the refrigerator. Saturday morning during my usual jog I beat my minutes per mile record, and I think it might just be the race back to the house to enjoy the left overs before someone else had the idea! It was the perfect snack for my post run refuel, protein and energy to restore my muscles.

Sometimes the best recipes are born out of “necessity” with a little creativity,

Carolina

20150128_175305677_iOSBanana and Peanut Butter Mousse

1 Banana
2 Tbsp. Once Again Creamy Peanut Butter
1 Graham Cracker
2-3 Tbsp. Vanilla Greek yogurt
Mash up banana and mix in the Once Again Peanut Butter, for smoother results use a blender. Add it to the bottom of the desert dish, then crush the graham cracker using the back of spoon and a plastic sealed bag. Add the crumbs as the middle layer, and top it off with about a tablespoon of vanilla Greek yogurt. May store in refrigerator for 24hrs, note the banana will get a little darker with time.

Grab and Go: Oatmeal Cups

Grab and Go: Oatmeal Cups

A few months ago I shared a recipe for “Oatmeal in a Jar” which is still a family favorite! It is easy to make and each family member can personalize it to their taste preferences. Even better it’s the fact that you prepare it ahead of time so in the morning it is a “grab and go” type to breakfast.

These “Oatmeal Cups” follow those same concepts with a new twist. There are a few versions of baked oatmeal cups and most recipes have ingredients that I don’t usually keep in my pantry. Also they seem to be larger recipes making 24-30 cups at a time, which is a bit much for my family of 4! Even though you can freeze these, I still think they taste best when fresh and consumed within 2-3 days.

The recipes I’ve seen before also didn’t include my favorite ingredient to mix with oats: Once Again Nut Butters! Once Again Nut Butter adds the protein boost that oats lack. Also, by adding Once Again Nut Butter you can eliminate the sugar in most recipes since they are naturally sweet.

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You can use any Once Again Nut Butter you prefer, even crunchy! The applesauce adds and holds moisture; you can use pumpkin puree instead as well. Whisk them together with a wire whisk. In a separate bowl add about 2 cups of rolled oats (for gluten free recipe make sure your oats are gluten free certified) and the trick to turn these into baking cups instead of stovetop oatmeal is to add 1 tsp of baking powder and ½ tsp salt.Inspired and determined I went to the kitchen and started to mix up a batch of regular oatmeal for cooking in the stovetop. First ingredient is a 1 cup of milk, which you can use any milk your family prefers. (I made up a batch with almond milk, and one with regular whole milk as well). I added ½ cup of Once Again Almond butter and ½ cup of unsweetened applesauce.

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When I picked up the baking powder from the pantry I realized the “good by” date was November 2014. Ops! I had all the ingredients ready to go and wasn’t sure if I should use the expired baking powder.

My husband is more of a sweet tooth so he drizzled his with some honey and enjoyed it with a hot cup of coffee the next morning.  These Oatmeal cups also made it to the kids’ lunch boxes!Quick call to my mom solved the problem! In case you didn’t know: you can boil ¼ cup of water then add ½ tsp baking powder, if it foams right away then the baking powder is still good! If you don’t get a quick foam but only a small sizzle, then your baking powder is no longer good for baking. Better test than have a whole batch of gooey oatmeal cups!

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Next, add the milk mixture with the oats and mix well. You can use baking cups, silicone cups or just lightly spray your muffin pan before pouring the mixture until about ¾ full. The toppings is where you can each personalize it with your favorite ingredients. The first batch I added cinnamon and chopped apples to all of them. The second batch had vanilla and then the kids helped with the toppings: strawberries, raspberries, chopped nuts and dark chocolate chips.

Did I mention they are nutritiously powerful little bites since they pack fiber, protein and brain boosting fats all in one delicious cup? Top it with some berries and add some chia seeds for extra antioxidants, protein and omega-3s.

20150104_201740000_iOSAlmond Butter Oatmeal Cups

1 cup milk
½ cup Once Again Nut Butter: Almond Butter
½ cup applesauce unsweetened
2 cups rolled oats
½ tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
Toppings: chocolate chips, chopped strawberries, raspberries, chopped nuts.
Optional: 1 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp vanilla

Mix oats with baking powder and salt and set aside, in separate bowl whisk together well the milk, Once Again Nut Butter and applesauce. Add in the oats mixture and mix well. Fill up ¾ full each muffin, will make about 9. Add toppings and use a spoon to push them into the mixture. Bake at 375F for about 20 minutes. Eat them warm or store in airtight container for 2-3 days.