Tag: cupcake

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.

Springtime Treats: Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

Springtime Treats: Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

After the long days of cold, hazy skies, windy afternoons, and freezing temperatures, springtime comes!! That first green leaf makes us all smile and look forward to warmer times in the sun. The transition from winter to spring also happens in the kitchen! You can put away your soup pots (not too far out of sight though, since we do enjoy soup all year round) and take out the sauté pans. We dust off our grills, and the kids start asking for popsicles. Here in Florida, spring comes quickly but only lasts about two weeks! We jump into the 80s and 90s fast, and it starts to feel like summer before spring sets in.

UntitledSpringtime vegetables include artichokes, asparagus, spinach green beans, peas, and so many others. Zucchini is more of a late- spring- into- summer vegetable.  Because of the warmer temperatures of Florida, we grow zucchini almost year round. Our backyard garden gives us a nice zucchini harvest around mid-March.

Recently I was given a “spiralizer,” a kitchen gadget with which you can create various widths and sizes of noodles using vegetables. It’s perfect for zucchini, squash, and cucumbers. It’s a lot of fun to use, and the kids love turning the crank and watching the noodles come out the other end., giving us all a different way to eat up all those spring and summer vegetables.

20150325_193627934_iOSAnother creative way to enjoy vegetables is to include them in baked goods. You can never waste the opportunity to add more variety to your baking! The addition of vegetables can provide extra vitamins and minerals to your recipes while substituting other less nutritious ingredients. You can add pureed, chopped, juiced or shredded vegetables to your creations. It is also a fantastic way to preserve your spring and summer crops: puree or juice them and then freeze small portions to use in baking throughout the year. When baking with vegetables, muffins are my first choice. They are a perfect take-along snack to make ahead of time. Use a mini-muffin pans for small portions that you can include in lunchboxes   or for a pre-workout snack. Since they are smaller than regular- sized muffins, they freeze more easily, and you can make big batches for future use. .

20150325_200044763_iOSThis recipe uses zucchini since we’ve harvested an abundant amount our vegetable garden already! But I bet you can make them with squash, pumpkin or carrots as well. These Chocolate Zucchini Muffins are gluten- free and use only honey as a sweetener. This recipe was made with Once Again Cashew Butter, but you can substitute any of your favorite Once Again nut butters. . I do think the cashew butter was a great choice to pair with the zucchini, however.  Not only did it add the much needed protein boost to these muffins, but also gave them a texture and flavor that was rich and savory at the same time. Once they are baked, you can still see the 20150325_195843702_iOSlittle pieces of zucchini, so it is no way to hide food, but that’s not the point at all! I strongly believe in encouraging kids (and adults!) to find different ways to enjoy vegetables that they don’t like cooked in more traditional ways. I am the first to confess that the only way I eat Brussel sprouts is when they are pureed and mixed into my artichoke dip. Everyone has taste unique buds, and it is okay to like different things.

… Enjoy your veggies in baked goods, too!

Carolina

20150325_225256010_iOSChocolate Zucchini Muffins

1 large zucchini (about 1 ½ cup grated)
1/3 cup honey
1 cup Once Again Cashew Butter
¼ cup unsweetened cacao powder
¼ tsp. salt
1 egg
1 tsp. baking soda
½ cup dark chocolate chips

20150325_212109069_iOSUsing a cheese grater, on the thinner side available, grate about 1 ½ cups of zucchini. It takes a large zucchini or two smaller ones for the amount needed in this recipe. Set aside the grated zucchini. In medium bowl, add honey, Once Again Cashew Butter, and mix well; then add egg, cacao powder, salt, and baking soda. Next, add the, and mix well. Fold in the chocolate chips, and fill each muffin cup to about three quarter’s capacity. Bake in 375F oven for 10-18 minutes. The recipe makes about 24 mini muffins or 12 larger muffins. Store them in the refrigerator for up to four days. Frozen muffins can last up to two months. Just reheat muffins for 45 seconds before consuming.