Tag: healthy treat

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.

Peanut Butter Banana Chilled Fudge

Chances are you have some bananas in your kitchen right now! Bananas continue to be one of the most popular commercially sold foods in the world, and with  good reason. Bananas are nature’s pre-packaged, ready to-go, nutrient-filled, sweet snack for all ages. Bananas are often baby’s first fruit, athlete’s secret weapon to avoid cramps and a quick boost of energy for working adults’ at mid-day when these fruits function as a sweet treat. On average Americans consume up to 6,500 bananas in their lifetime, and that’s a whole bunch (pun intended)!

If we are all such big fans of bananas, why do an estimated 1.4 million bananas go to waste daily around the world? Well, if you tossed that brown, spotted banana in the trash this morning, it’s easy to connect the dots. The good news is that we are collectively working on decreasing this astonishingly high number of wasted bananas by coming up with new ways to use the not-so-fresh ones for meals and snacks.

Peanut butter and banana chilled fudge2It’s inevitable, after a few days, if you weren’t able to consume all the bananas you purchased at the store, they will start to show some browning on the peel, and the inside of the fruit will soften gradually. That’s no reason to toss them away, however! They are now perfect for many different uses. The easiest way to put them to good use is to peel, dice and freeze them. Frozen bananas added to smoothies with other fruits and vegetables will add the thick and creamy quality we all look for in a perfectly blended beverage. Banana ice cream was a social media favorite in 2014:  A  search on Yummly and Pinterest will yield over 10,000 recipes for ways to create ice cream with frozen bananas.

Perhaps the oldest way to use up the not so perfectly yellow bananas is to make banana bread. And those recipes never get old. There is nothing quite like the smell of banana bread in the oven. In fact, bananas and baked goods are a match made in heaven.  Bananas can sweeten your baked goods while adding moisture; they substitute for refined sugar and fat at the same time. Our PB&Banana mini-muffins recipe that you can make in the blender offer another way to make the best out of browning bananas (See recipe here).

But we were able to find yet another way to use up your bananas! And this one is a contender to make your top list since it combines bananas and Once Again Peanut Butter in a whole new way. Do you wish fudge could be more than just an every once in a while treat? Great! This recipe is for you.  It’s a  peanut butter banana fudge you can enjoy for breakfast, snack or a desert. There is no cooking involved, and you can prep it all  in fewer  than 10 minutes, then just pop the fudge  in the freezer and forget about it. It  will be ready in 12 hours or so, and you can keep them in the freezer for up to 2 weeks.

Just as with the popular banana ice cream versions, this fudge recipe has room for you to personalize it. Add cacao powder for a chocolate fudge version, or chop up some dark chocolate chips and walnuts for a Rocky Road-type fudge.

… have fun and reduce your waste with this delicious fudge!

Carolina

Peanut Butter and Banana chilled fudgePeanut Butter Banana Chilled Fudge

Makes 15 pieces

½ cup Once Again Peanut Butter
2 bananas
½ cup coconut flakes
2 tablespoons coconut oil
2 tablespoons Killer Bee Honey
Pinch of salt

Mix all ingredients and place in silicone mold or freezer safe dish lined with parchment paper. Freeze for at least 4 hours for best results. Keep in freezer for up to two weeks. They are vegan and gluten free.