Tag: gluten free recipes

Baked Apple with Peanut Butter Crumble

   At least twice monthly people ask me the same question: what should I be eating? As a registered dietitian, that is just something that comes with the territory. People will watch what I eat, often ask what they should be eating, and every once in a while, challenge my choice of foods at the table. What catches them by surprise is that my first answer is not about choosing a specific food, but rather  actually about creating a “food habit” to set  life on  a healthier path. I encourage people to plan their meals and take the time to eat them. Often the reaction is a loud sigh followed by “I wish I had the time to do that,” But reality is, you do! It is a matter of changing your habits and your perspective on how you look at meal times. Eating is not something we just do to survive as human beings, it is also a time when you are nourishing your body by giving it  everything it needs. What you eat today will help your body to thrive over the next few days.   It is continuous work that requires dedication and some planning.

When you take the time to eat, even if it is 15 minutes, you are likely to consume fewer calories and a better quality of foods. Focusing on your meal and disconnecting from electronic screens allows your body to send back signals about when you are full. Mindless eating is a top issue for people dealing with weight management issues. Taking the time to also chew your food well will ensure good digestion. Poor mastication of food leads to suboptimal release of saliva, which is the first step of digestion. No need to go into the details, but you get the idea: When taking shortcuts on the digestion process, you will likely extract fewer nutrients from your food .

Having a slower paced meal is also therapeutic. Concentrating on what you are putting on your fork gives you time to take stock of  how your day has gone so far, what you can do to improve your mood and how you plan on finishing your tasks. It will also lead to a much deserved half- day break! So as hard as it may seem, take the time to eat. Savor your food and ingredients while taking just the few minutes to focus on yourself. And if you can splurge the extra minutes, pop an apple in the oven and go for dessert. This  type of dessert allows you to complete your meal by adding quality of nutrients such as this baked apple with peanut butter crumble to your diet. It takes literally seconds to put together, and while this speedy wonder  bakes, you can tackle a few items of your to-do  list. Or prepare it before you eat lunch, and take the time to eat the rest of your lunch while it is in the oven. Either way, make time for this one, and you won’t regret it —, it is that good!

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Baked Apples with Peanut Butter Crumble

1 apple
¼ cup oats
1 tablespoon of Once Again Peanut Butter
2 chopped dried apricots
1 tablespoon chopped walnuts
1 tablespoon Killer Bee Honey (optional)
½ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon cinnamon

Start by removing the core of the apple, and prepare it to be filled with crumble. In separate bowl mix all ingredients for the crumble with a fork. Add the mixture to the inside of the apple; wrap it in foil and take it to a preheated 400F oven for 30-40 minutes. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream, or enjoy it plain! #GlutenFree #Vegan

Baked Apple with Peanut butter Crumble

Baked Apple with Peanut Butter Crumble - www.onceagainnutbutterblog.com

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.

Gluten Free Ginger Peanut Butter Cookies

Sometime between cleaning up your kitchen from the Thanksgiving Feast, and getting in the car to go purchase your holiday tree all the baking ingredients come out of your pantry and the recipe books are opened! It is indeed the “most wonderful time of the year” when cookies become the topic of conversation and the centerpiece of every gathering.

But when did it become so? Like most holiday traditions, baking cookies started a long time ago, more specifically in the times of the solstice rituals conducted way before the end of the year festivities became the holiday it is today. To find out all the details I asked a few family members (the baking experts in my family) and after only puzzled looks I went to our trusted internet search engines. I found most of these interesting facts on history.com. Ends up that all across the world people gathered to celebrate the changing of the seasons. And since the winter solstice also brought snow, cold and little farming the celebration had to include a feast before the famine of the winter. Animals were killed and kept safety to eat during the winter, the fermented beverages like beer and wine are finally ready to drink after brewing since spring, and their fruits were turned into jams to keep through the long months ahead.

The end of the year celebrations started to take over the solstice rituals during the middle ages, but they kept most of the feast traditions. And every good party has deserts! Ingredients like sugar, lard and butter, spices were all expensive delicacies at that time, so only during celebrations they would be used. And cookies are just the perfect sized treat that can be shared with friends at a party and they happen to combine those special ingredients! Our modern day cookies still rely on those same traditions! Nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger are the same spices we use when baking traditional holiday cookies. The gingerbread for example uses molasses and ginger, something already in use by medieval cooks!

Enough about history, now that we’ve justified our need to bake and enjoy cookies this time of year let’s talk recipes! Here are 2 version of the traditional Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie. One is gluten free using only oats, and the other uses wheat flour. Go ahead and make both versions! They are similar in ingredients but they bake quite differently and are both equally delicious. The gluten free is more of a “flaky” crisp cookie while the wheat flour version is chewier and bakes a little faster. And yes! I incorporated some of our holiday spices in them, but that is optional. The secret to the perfect cookie you ask? My trusted sources say: best quality ingredients and a good oven.

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¾ cups of (gluten free) rolled oats
1 cup Once Again Crunchy Peanut Butter
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp Ginger spice (optional)
1 whole egg
6-8 Tbsp light brown sugar
½ cup chocolate chips (optional)

Mix up Once Again Crunchy Peanut Butter with egg and sugar. Once well mixed add the baking soda, ginger spice and mix in the oats. Lastly add the chocolate chips. Make small rounds using your hands, place in baking sheet and flatten them. Bake in 350F oven for about 15-20 minutes until you notice a light golden edge.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies20141208_151950000_iOS

1 cup flour (may use ½ whole wheat)
1 tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt 1 stick of unsalted butter (may use salted, then omit the ¼ tsp salt) ½ cup Once Again Creamy Peanut Butter
½ cup light brown sugar
½ tsp vanilla
1 egg
½ cup rolled oats
1 cup chocolate chips

Mix flour, baking soda, salt and rolled oats and set aside. Mix Once Again Creamy Peanut Butter with sugar, vanilla and egg. Once well mixed add the dry ingredients. Lastly add the chocolate chips. Using a cookie scoop place them in baking sheet and flatten with your hands so they bake more evenly. Take it to the oven at 350F for about 8-10 minutes or until lightly golden edges.

… happy baking season,

 Carolina