Tag: peanut butter

Peanut Butter Chocolate Quinoa Brittle

Earlier this year, several better health and living news outlets reported the scoop about a newly developed urine test that measures the healthiness of a person’s diet. It is a five-minute test that measures biological markers in urine created by the breakdown of foods such as red meats, chicken, fish, fruits, and vegetables. This allows for the evaluation of a persons’ intake of fat, sugar, fiber, and protein.  Although the technology is fantastic to have, one wonders about the usefulness of having such a hi-tech and newfangled test. After all, isn’t a person’s nutritional intake more easily tracked by using old-fashioned food diaries?

Unfortunately, people tend to underestimate their caloric intake and usually inaccurately record the true picture of their diets. Since food records are an integral part of weight management, tools used by health workers when helping their patients, this test could aid in filling in the information gap of some lingering questions. Often an individual struggling to follow a plan needs an incentive. Some speculate that the perceived threat of their physicians finding out about their “slip ups” and “cheat days” may be enough to keep clients on track.

Regardless of how you feel about invasive data being used to track a person’s adhesion to a prescribed plan, we believe healthy eating must be made easier and much more exciting to ensure life-long, healthy eating habits. Often, such eating is associated with confronting flavorless foods, dull ingredients, and absolutely no desserts. But why not broaden the definition of dessert, in particular, to include more than just high-sugar, empty-calorie treats? When a post- meal bite includes ingredients such as chia seeds, flax seeds, quinoa, oats, and peanut butter, there is no risk of falling into a chasm of empty calories. These ingredients are filled with nutrients including fiber, vitamins, minerals, protein and healthy fats. They may complete the meal by delivering the reminders of one’s needed daily recommended micronutrient intake, while also satisfying a sweet-tooth.

Whatever plan you are currently following, or healthy habits you have adapted into your routine, go ahead and enjoy this  Peanut Butter Chocolate Quinoa Brittle occasionally, without any worries about  the uncomfortable possibility of having to “explain yourself” after a urine test!

Peanut Butter Quinoa Brittle from Once Again Nut Butter Blog

Peanut Butter Chocolate Quinoa Brittle

4 tablespoons of coconut oil

½ cup of quinoa (uncooked)

¼ cup of whole oats

2 tablespoons of chopped peanuts

2 tablespoons of flax seeds

1 tablespoon of chia seeds

1 ½ tablespoons of honey  (Maple syrup can be a  vegan substitution)

2 tablespoons of Once Again Creamy Peanut Butter

¾ cup of dark chocolate chips

In a medium bowl, add 2 tablespoons of coconut oil, 1 ½ tablespoons of honey, and 2 tablespoons of peanut butter, and stir well. Now add the dry ingredients in any order you choose (except for the chocolate). Mix well and spread on a baking sheet using a flat spatula. The mixture should be about ¼ inch thick. Place in pre-heated oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes, or until edges are slightly golden. Remove from oven and let it cool. In small bowl, melt the chocolate chips, and combine the other 2 tablespoons of coconut oil. Pour over brittle mixture, and spread it out in a thin layer. Let it cool and set until it hardens. To speed up the process, place the brittle in refrigerator for 15 minutes. Finally, using your hands, break the brittle into pieces and enjoy! Any leftovers  must be stored in the  refrigerator.

Pumpkin Muffin Tops

Online news and social media have an abundance of food and nutrition related story topics. At times, it can be difficult to discern facts from trendy fads. The increase in interest in how foods can improve our health and help achieve our lifestyle goals represents one of our generation’s positive attitudes.  It works if  you can focus on science and study-based recommendations and dismiss  bogus and sometimes money-influenced dramatic headlines.

A recent study is the perfect example of reliably sourced information we can follow and even celebrate, since the results amount to  good news for all peanut lovers out there. This study published by BMC Medicine from the Imperial College London School of Public Health looked at twenty population studies, encompassing  their meta-analysis, totaling over 820,000 study participants. The large data set allowed them to not only draw conclusions about  more common causes of death, such as heart disease and cancer, but they were also able to draw conclusions about respiratory diseases, diabetes and kidney disease.

Researchers found that high intake of peanuts and other nuts reduced the risk of respiratory disease mortality by 24%, and diabetes by 32%. Peanuts only, although other nuts also showed some positive impact, were shown to effectively reduce the risk of stroke and kidney disease. The study speculates that up to 4.4 million premature deaths in North and South America, Europe, Southeast Asia, and the Western Pacific may have been attributable to peanut and other nut consumption ranging below 20 grams per day. This offers supports for major public health impacts, including increasing the dietary recommendations for nut consumption to decrease chronic disease risk and mortality. Just 15-20 grams of peanuts, approximately one  tablespoon of peanut butter is all it takes to reap major health benefits!

Of course, we can eat nut butters right out of the jar anytime for our daily dose of nutrient filled energy food; however, making these Pumpkin Muffins Tops (below) will satisfy your cravings for something sweet. The recipe includes only half a cup of sugar – you can substitute  stevia baking sugar or  coconut sugar instead. These muffin tops won’t be overly sweet, but when combined with  peanut butter, the natural sweetness of the peanuts really shines through. Using whole wheat flour and pumpkin puree helps you increase fiber intake and boosts naturally occurring vitamins and minerals in each muffin top.

As you well know, our recipes strive to only use ingredients that will help you achieve your daily nutrient goals! Try making these and storing some in the freezer to enjoy throughout your busy week too. They keep well in an airtight container for up to 60 days.

Pumpkin Muffins Tops from Once Again Nut Butter Blog

Pumpkin Muffin Tops

¼ cup of Once Again American Classic Crunchy Peanut Butter

2 whole eggs

1 cup of puree pumpkin

½ cup of sugar (or 3 tablespoons of stevia baking sugar substitute)

1 tablespoon of pumpkin pie spice

1 ½ cups of whole wheat flour

1 teaspoon of baking powder

1 teaspoon of baking soda

In a large mixing bowl, add flour, baking soda, baking powder, stevia and pumpkin pie spice. Mix well and set aside. In a separate bowl, combine peanut butter, lightly beaten eggs, and pumpkin. Slowly add the dry mixture to the wet ingredients and mix just until a homogenous mixture is achieved. Do not over mix to avoid creating very dense muffins instead of light and fluffy ones. Drop 1 tablespoon dollops onto a greased baking sheet and bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 20 minutes or until edges turn golden. Store muffin tops in an airtight container for up to five  days.

Source:

Study: Aune D, Keum N, Giovannucci EL, et al. “Nut consumption and risk of cardiovascular disease, total cancer, all-cause and cause-specific mortality: a systematic review and dose-response meta-analysis of prospective studies.” BMC Med 2016;14(207)

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.

Sprouted Oat and Fruit Bars

Perhaps you’ve noticed even the most conventional of grocery stores have  expanded their grain selections from white rice and brown rice  now to include quinoa, barley, amaranth, and even freekeh. These ancient grains have gained popularity over the last few  years. The number of recipes including these long-time ignored grains has inspired people to try new varieties.  Since they are filled with more nutrients, fiber and protein than plain white rice, they have presented us with   good reasons to include them in our meal routines.

Gear up for yet another change in your grains. Sprouted grains now are slowly gaining popularity.  And they are not just another fad; the industry believes that they   will represent a dominant trend in the next couple of years in the food marketplace. They will appear as ingredients in baked goods; they will also be  sold in bulk as  a money saving option.

Sprouted grains are made from whole grains. They are the whole grains undergoing  a  transition phase from seed to plant. This process involves the germination process of the seed done under controlled environment so that the sprouting is stopped at just the right time. If the seed continues to sprout into a grain grass, then it is no longer edible since it is passed the point of  digestibility for humans.  Sprouted grains  generally offer the same or better nutrition benefits than whole grains.

When a grain is sprouted, this  means some of the carbohydrates present in that grain are used as energy to grow the sprouts; therefore, they  concentrate the amount of protein, fiber and other nutrients in the grain. There are studies analyzing the possibility that this process also allows for an easier-to-digest  grain with greater nutrient availability for us.

Nutrient availability varies  for each grain, but sprouted wheat, for example, has been shown to contain more fiber and vitamin E, and sprouted wheat flour  contains possibly four times as much folate as regular wheat flour! Since the popularity of sprouted grains has steadily increased, so has the research into their additional health benefits. Within the next few  years, there could be more data available to support our transition to sprouted grains – or not. In the meantime, it is not a bad idea to start experimenting with sprouted grains in your own kitchen. Include them  as an ingredient in your cooking or just add some variety or varieties to your menu.  Take sprouted brown rice, for example. Although there are some websites explaining how to sprout your own grains at home, beware: The technique involves soaking and rinsing the grains  with  warm water several times a day. These  conditions are optimal for bacterial growth and could potentially be present in enough quantity in the final sprouted grain to induce food- borne illness. Therefore, follow sterilization techniques and cook sprouted grains fully when trying out those methods.

Or, more conveniently, you may purchase already sprouted grains which is a good idea for beginners. The following recipe uses store bought sprouted rolled oats. Rolled oats, steel cut oats, or other cracked oats can’t be sprouted since their hull has been removed. Oat groats are usually used in commercial production and deliver a safe and reliable sprouted oat product. The recipe also calls for a fruit puree for which you can use what you have on  hand, or make a puree  to fit a special occasion. Pumpkin puree is a great option for –   a taste of fall, or use apricot puree for a more summer- like fruit bar. Enjoy creating your own versions, and let us know how you’ve delighted in baking with sprouted oats!

20160831_221550510_ios

Sprouted Oat and Fruit Bars

¼ cup of Once Again American Classic Crunchy Peanut Butter

1 cup of puree 100% pumpkin or fig paste, date puree, or apricot puree.

1 cup of sprouted rolled oats

2 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice

3 tablespoons of stevia substitute baking blend (or ½ cup sugar, or coconut sugar)

¼ cup of dried cranberries

Mix peanut butter and pumpkin until well blended. Add stevia and pumpkin spice and combine. Slowly add in oats and cranberries. Spread the mixture in an 8×8 baking dish lined with parchment paper. Take it to a preheated oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 40 minutes. Edges will begin to brown; insert toothpick into the middle to check for readiness. Remove from oven, and let the large bar cool before cutting it up into portion-sized bars. Store them in airtight container for up to one week, or freeze for up to three months. You may also add other toppings such as chocolate chips, chopped walnuts, or raisins.

Peanut-Butter-Oatmeal-Cranberry Cookie

Every few months it is a good idea for you to check how your fiber intake is going by totaling  your daily intake. The food industry is extremely focused on protein these days (It has been for a while, and the trend doesn’t seem to be slowing down). This means that advertisement and packaging are highlighting protein content more than ever. Even cereal boxes have added bright and bold letters to the front of their boxes to call your attention to how much protein they offer up in a serving. Unfortunately, this drives us to also tune into  protein intake and sometimes forget other nutrients that may be even more important.

Protein is crucial. We recently broke down the importance of appropriate protein intake that we invite you to read up on here: (insert link). However, protein takes a back seat to importance in longevity and overall health when it comes to fiber. At one point in time, fiber was the hot topic. Everyone talked about it and there were even snack bars hitting the market with the word  “fiber” in the brand name! Along the way, we forgot that eating enough fiber is a life-long daily ritual that we  must maintain. It is important to us  as  children,  adults, and even more as we  age.

Fiber is what keeps your digestive system working properly. Eating enough fiber each day is also one of the few ways to decrease your risk for chronic heart disease, Type 2 diabetes , colon cancer; it also helps you maintain a healthy body weight, among other health benefits.

Americans, in general, eat enough protein: Even those following a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle generally meet  their protein goals. However, people are not getting enough  fiber. As a matter of fact, in a survey of 2,000 Americans, over 95% of graduate school-educated participants and health care providers weren’t even aware of their daily recommended fiber intake. The Institute of Medicine recommends 38 grams for men 50 years of age and younger, and 30 grams for men over 50 years old. Women 50 years old and younger should get 25 grams, and those older than 50 should get 21 grams. Keep in mind these levels represent  minimum requirements. Shockingly, The Institute of Medicine reports that on average Americans are getting barely 50 percent of their daily fiber requirements. .

Fiber can only be found in plants. Animal products have no fiber at all! This sounds obvious, but many people fail to grasp this simple fact.. Once you connect the dots the answer is quite simple: Eat more plants! That is the only and most efficient way to ensure an adequate daily fiber intake.  Simply put, increase your intake of whole grains, legumes, nuts, fruits and vegetables!

If you aren’t sure how much you are eating each day, it is a good idea to keep a food journal for three  consecutive days. Then go back and using a credible app or website For example: Calorie King, the American Heart Association, the American Diabetes Association. Look up the fiber content of your recorded food and do the math. Are you reaching your daily goals on a consistent basis? If not, then make some changes right away. Remember to swap refined carbohydrates for whole grains, which means, get rid of the white bread and pasta and substitute for quinoa, oats, amaranth or other fiber rich complex carbohydrates. Add more fruits and vegetables throughout your day. Make them your go-to choices for snacks. Take several small steps at a time; try to increase intake only 5 grams of fiber every few days, while also increasing your water intake. Allow your digestive system to adjust, and it will perform better in the long run. Then sit back and enjoy the benefits of a fiber- rich diet!

Our recipe here  is for cookies. How can that be a part of our “eat more fiber” blog today? Well, I strongly believe in no missed opportunities when it comes to the food we  eat. Cookies are a delicious treat that makes their way into our diets every now and again. When they do, it is best if they are homemade with ingredients that will add to your nutrient intake versus set you back on your health goals. These Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies have no refined white flour. They are made simply with oat flour and whole oats. They also have cranberries and peanut butter which contain fiber as well. You can use regular eggs or the flax-eggs (For each egg, combine 1 tablespoon of ground flax seed -measure after grinding- with 3 tablespoons of water. Stir well, and place in the fridge to set for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, the result should be a sticky egg-like substitute which also contributes to your fiber goals. Remember the animal egg has no fiber ! Let us know if you liked this recipe in the comments section below. Also, if you make these cookies share a picture with us on our Instagram, Facebook or Twitter with the #onceagainnutbutter and tag us.

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cranberry cookie from Once Again Nut Butter

Peanut Butter Oatmeal with Cranberries Cookie

1 cup of whole oats

¾ cup of oat flour

¾ teaspoon of baking soda

¾ teaspoon of baking powder

1 cup of Once Again Nut Butter Organic Crunchy Peanut Butter

¼ cup of coconut oil

¼ cup Once Again Nut Butter Killer Bee Honey (maple syrup for vegan)

2 flax-eggs or conventional chicken eggs, lightly beaten

½ cup of dried cranberries

Combine oat flour, baking soda and baking powder. Set aside.  In a separate bowl, mix in eggs (at room temperature), coconut oil and honey. Lastly, add in peanut butter and mix well. Combine dry mixture with wet ingredients and mix well, adding in cranberries into the dough. If mixture is too dry to roll into small balls, add a teaspoon or two of water to mixture. Flatten each ball on cookie sheet and take it to preheated oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 8 to 10 minutes or until edges are golden. Remove from pan and let it cool completely before serving and or storing it in airtight container for up to 5 days. Note, if you are watching your sugar intake, eliminate the honey, no substitution needed. We tried the recipe without it and it works perfectly!  It’s just a bit less sweet, but still delicious!

#nowhitesugar #norefinedsugar #vegan #glutenfree

Breakfast Banana Peanut Butter Muffins

“I am starving! I feel like I could eat a horse!” Many of us have sympathized with this feeling at one point or another. It’s that feeling of hunger that grows uncontrollably until you are able to find something to eat. Your metabolism is so  low on  energy that you are unable to concentrate; your stomach is growling, and all you can do is focus on where your next meal will come from. That is the description of physical hunger. This type of hunger is influenced by your brain, liver, fat tissue and hormones. True physical hunger usually happens when you haven’t eaten for at least five hours.

It is not however to be confused with psychological hunger. This type of hunger is when your inner voices convinces you that you’re hungry even though your body doesn’t need energy at that particular time. Different circumstances  can trigger psychological hunger; one example is the availability of food. Consider this: you’re at work, and only after your lunch, someone offers you a piece of cake.  Maybe you may turn it down at first, but the smell and the fact that it is on  the table next to you slowly triggers your mind to convince you that you are indeed hungry, and that piece of cake will hit the spot! Habit is another culprit in  psychological hunger. You always eat at ten o’clock in the morning since it is your designated snack time. It doesn’t matter  if you’ve had a larger than usual breakfast that day and didn’t have time to get to the gym as you normally do at six am prior to work. One last example, although there are many others, for psychological hunger trigger is the emotional eating. It is perhaps the most common one of all. You may use food to counterbalance negative things that happen during your day, or you eat to celebrate an event. Unfortunately, those instances are usually times when your body doesn’t need energy, but your mind tells you it’s time to eat!

Balancing those two types of hunger entails  a learning process. It is something that takes lifelong commitment and patience. It is part of mindful eating. Mindful eating means being aware of the food you eat, how your body feels when you eat, and when you choose to eat it. It is the difference between “eating to live” and “living to eat.”

There are ways to slowly work on yourself to recognize cues that distinguish between both types of hunger and allow you to achieve balance and mindful eating. One of them is to plan your meals for the day. Structure helps you better adhere to a plan. Pause before eating and ask yourself if you are eating because you are hungry or because it is what you always do at that time. Routinely identifying patterns will allow you to come up with a better game plan.. That’s a mixed metaphor.

This is not to say you shouldn’t enjoy some of life’s pleasures in the form of delicious treats! Just be aware of when you’ll be eating them, and make them  a part of a meal. And always, watch your portions. The problem is not the chocolate cake but the size of the slice, and usually the extra scoop of ice cream that goes along  with it!

Making your favorite treats part of the meal allows you to truly enjoy them without any guilt! They become  a part of your meal plan. These Breakfast Banana Peanut Butter Muffins have many of the making of a healthy breakfast. They have a dose of fruit, protein, healthy fats and a touch of sweetness. Make them in a large muffin pan or a smaller mini-muffin pan for even better portion control. It is much easier to practice balance and mindful eating when you add Once Again Nut Butters to your routine. Protein and healthy fat create satiety, and that is  exactly what you are looking for in your food. You want your food to work for you rather than  you working for your food!

Breakfast Banana Muffins from Once Again Nut Butter Blog

Breakfast Banana Peanut Butter Muffins

4 large over- ripened bananas mashed (about 1 ½ cups)

¼ cup of Once Again Killer Bee Honey

¼ cup of coconut oil

1 egg

2 cups of whole wheat flour

1 teaspoon of baking powder

½ teaspoon of baking soda

¼ teaspoon of cinnamon

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

1/3 cup milk of your choice

½ cup of Once Again Creamy Peanut Butter

Combine mashed bananas and Once Again Peanut Butter in a large bowl. Once well mixed, add in milk, coconut oil, honey, egg and vanilla extract. In separate bowl, mix wheat flour, baking soda, baking powder and cinnamon powder. Now slowly add in dry ingredient mix with bananas mixture and slowly mix just until well combined. Fill muffin tins three quarters of the way full and place in an oven pre-heated to t 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes or until golden on top. Serve them warm or store in airtight container for up to five  days.

Just Peanut Butter Bread

What happens when you add peanut butter as a key  ingredient in bread making? Well, you get a bread that is higher in protein and other nutrients, making it your best bet for PB & J sandwich.  best  There is absolutely nothing wrong with a classic peanut butter and jelly sandwich made with  traditional white bread. But we believe in no missed opportunities when it comes to getting  all your macro and micronutrients from food. When you add a whole cup of peanut butter to your  recipe, it results in a bread infused with extra fiber, amino acids, B-vitamins, folic acid, and good fats, among others nutrients.

Peanut butter and other nut butters are a popular source of  plant protein. Many people boost their daily protein intake by adding a few tablespoons of their favorite nut and seed butters. We often follow discussion boards and conversations where the quality of the protein found in plants comes into question. Some examples of the discussions we found include the following: Is it as good as animal protein in quality? Can we  substitute eggs, beef, chicken protein? And will you need more than just plant- based food to get all the amino acids our body requires?

Protein continues to be a hot topic today, but unfortunately there is still a lot of misinformation and confusion about it. Let’s look at some evidence based information regarding protein and better understand what we should look for to meet our needs in this blog.

Your body needs protein to build muscle tissue, reconstruct it and keep it healthy. Protein is also required for skin and bone health. These body structures  are made up of amino acids; these are the building blocks of muscle tissue growth and repair.  There are two types of amino acids: first essential amino acids –these come from food you eat. Your body can not produce them on its own. And then there are  nonessential amino acids –these are made naturally by your body from the protein we eat.

Complete proteins are made up of all essential amino acids while incomplete proteins lack at least one of the essential amino acids. Some examples of complete protein include meats, eggs, dairy, soy nuts, quinoa. They are a valuable source of protein for our muscles, but most complete protein comes with some “baggage.”  Let us explain, although meat for example has fantastic quality complete protein, it does also pack saturated fats. Soy nuts and quinoa, for example, are plant- based complete proteins, but you do have to eat a larger quantity to achieve the daily recommended intake.

Incomplete proteins include vegetables, many grains, and most beans and legumes, for example peanuts, almonds, black beans, peas and rice. Just because they are incomplete doesn’t make them inferior to complete proteins, however.. When you combine incomplete protein sources you may achieve a full set of essential amino acids just as you would find in complete proteins. These are known as complementary proteins. For example: rice and beans, spinach salad with almonds, hummus with pitas, whole grain noodles with peanut butter sauce.

There is plenty of controversy about whether  you should eat all plant based or animal based protein. So far the research doesn’t discredit either sources or opinions. There are valid points on both sides. Eating a balanced diet containing complementary plant proteins will fulfill all your needs just as an animal sourced protein diet would. In the end, your choice to eat an all plant based protein diet versus animal or vice versa, has more to do with the other nutrients found in both and your health goals.

But let’s get back  to where we started: Just Peanut Butter Bread! The only reason the word just is in the title is to emphasize peanut butter as the dominant flavor and aroma in this bread. You  choose to add some jelly, more peanut butter, or make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with it. You’ll never regret adding a little more plant protein to your diet in the form of nut butters!

Just Peanut Butter Bread by Once Again Nut Butter

Just Peanut Butter Bread

1 cup of milk of your choice

2 eggs or flax eggs

2/3 cups sugar or sugar substitute such as stevia equivalent

1 cup Once Again Organic American Classic Creamy Peanut Butter

1 tablespoon of baking powder

1 ¾ cup of white whole wheat flour

Mix milk, beaten eggs and peanut butter well. Add sugar and mix again. Finally,  add in flour and baking powder. Mix just until all ingredients are well blended. Pour into 9×5  baking pan, sprayed with non-stick oil and take it to preheated oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 45-50 minutes. Serve with your favorite jelly and more peanut butter, of course! Store in an airtight container for up to five  days, or freeze for up to 60 days.

Just Peanut Butter Bread by Once Again Nut Butter blog

Frozen Peanut Butter Bark

We are breaking all traditions with this recipe! Peppermint bark is a chocolate treat generally made up of peppermint candy pieces captured in white chocolate on top of  a bed of dark chocolate. We usually find it  in  stores during  the second half of the year as we near holiday season. There have been many twists on this recipe over the years, and quite a few of them include peanut butter. However, this one has just about one thing in common with the original bark,  well,  maybe two. There is chocolate in this version, and the last step of the recipe is similar since you break it apart to form large pieces of bark.

Perhaps the most dramatic difference between the original and this recipe is that this one sets in the freezer  and remains there to deliver a frozen bark that will certainly find a place in your recipe box right along  with your  other bark recipes. The best twist in this recipe is the fact that you can make it so very quickly. It takes just a few minutes to mix up the ingredients, spread it thin on parchment paper and place  it to the freezer. A few minutes later, just break it up and enjoy! Maybe you’ll be pleased to know this version of bark is much lower in calories than the chocolate version, so you can enjoy several pieces at a time. It makes a great snack too, so you don’t have to just limit it to dessert.

Our frozen peanut butter bark features  yogurt as its  main ingredient. You can keep  this recipe extra lean by using no fat or low-fat Greek Style yogurt, or you can have a more satiating snack by making it with whole fat yogurt. The texture will be thicker and smoother with the full fat version as well, but the taste is only slightly different.

Sometimes breaking the rules just makes all the sense, and the results are better than one can imagine! With  our version of bark, you’ll get a healthy dose of plant protein from the peanut butter, combined with the protein from yogurt.

If you don’t feel quite daring enough to leave all traditions behind, just adapt this recipe a bit. Instead of the almond butter drizzle, add in the crushed peppermint candy pieces to  the mixture as well as  the  topping. Just make sure the peppermint is nearly crushed due to the time it will spend in the freezer to harden. As with all our recipe creations, we love to hear what you’ll do with it next! Share your creations with us on any social media  platform of your choice, or in the comments below.

Frozen Peanut Butter Bark by Once Again Nut Butter Blog

Frozen Peanut Butter Bark

 1 cup of plain yogurt (or vanilla)

2 tablespoons of Once Again Crunchy Peanut Butter

1 squeeze pack of Once Again Almond Butter (or a tablespoon from the jar)

1 tablespoon of chocolate chips

Mix yogurt with peanut butter, then spread  it on parchment paper until you achieve about a quarter-inch thickness. Drizzle the almond butter over  the mixture  and sprinkle with  chocolate chips. Place  it in  the freezer for 45 minutes, and then break  apart  with your hands and place pieces in airtight container. Store in the  freezer.  This bark  melts quickly when left at room temperature. Enjoy!

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?

img_5104

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.

Thumbprint Peanut Butter Cookies with Chocolate Chips

Thumbprint cookies have been around for a long time! Although there is some controversy as to exactly when they were first created however, there are records of them from the early 19th century. History is also not clear about whom to credit for this cookie’s creation either the Polish, Swedish or possibly the Jewish people of Eastern Europe. Regardless of their  exact origin, these cookies are to this day a favorite in our American bakeries and cookbooks.

I like to imagine that perhaps they came about by accident. A mother somewhere in Europe had just set out a pan of cookies ready to go in the oven, and in the meantime her children, while she wasn’t looking, wanted to check if the cookies were ready and one by one stuck his or her thumb into the cookies! To cover up their mistake the child  added some jam to each little “thumb-hole”. The mother saw the kids around the cookie pan and told them to scatter, quickly taking the pan to the oven without noticing what the kids had done. And just like that: the thumbprint cookie was born. !

Obviously there is no record of how it came about, but it’s fun to think about the possibilities. That brings me to why these are perfect cookies to bake with little fingers around. If you have kids around looking for something to do, this recipe is your answer to a fun and delicious activity to keep them busy. Children’s smaller- sized thumbs make the perfect indentations into these cookies for you to add a few chocolate chips. In case you don’t have little fingers around, just make the cookies bigger and use your own thumb of course. Another option is to use the back of a ½ teaspoon measuring spoon —  this tool will make the  perfect size.

Here are a few other notes about this particular thumbprint cookie recipe. The original is similar to a sugar cookie; this one, on the other hand, is a peanut butter cookie. Instead of vegetable oil, we used coconut oil. A few of our blogs have touched on  why we use coconut oil in baking (see here), but if you are not convinced yet, this is a good recipe to try. It is important to use the egg at room temperature when mixing it with coconut oil. The oil is liquid only at room temperature; when mixed into a cold liquid such as cold milk or eggs, it will solidify. This makes it very difficult to turn this mixture into a cookie dough. Lastly, we made this recipe two different ways: One using regular sugar, and once using sugar substitute (stevia was our choice). Both methods turned out fantastic! We noticed that with the sugar substitute, you need a little more time in the oven, so if choosing this method just carefully watch your cookies while they are in the oven. .

Don’t feel like you have to fill them with chocolate chips either! The choice is completely yours! You can choose jam, chopped nuts, dried fruits, or even an extra tiny dollop of peanut butter. Share with us what you decided to fill your cookies with and post in the comments’ section below. We can’t wait to hear about your version of this old- time, traditional cookie.

img_4951

Thumbprint Peanut Butter Cookies with Chocolate Chips

1 cup of whole wheat flour
¾ teaspoon of baking powder
½ tablespoon of coconut oil
1 egg at room temperature
¼ cup + 1 tablespoon of Once Again Crunchy Peanut Butter
½ cup of sugar or equivalent in sugar substitute
1 teaspoon of vanilla
½ cup milk of your choice
Whisk egg at room temperature and add peanut butter, coconut oil, vanilla and sugar. Mix well, and then slowly add in wheat flour mixed with baking powder. Finally, add  milk as needed to form dough. You may need a little more than a ½ cup for a smooth dough. Roll about 1 tablespoon of dough at a time into small rounds. Using the back of a ¼ teaspoon create small wells in each cookie, or just use your thumb! Then fill each with chocolate chips or your favorite jam. Bake them in  an oven preheated  to 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 12-20 minutes. Store cookies  in airtight container for up to 4 days.