Tag: peanut butter

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.

No-Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake Bites

Recent food news tells us that this year’s pumpkin craze is at a lower rate compared to last few culinary cycles. Currently, industry is churning out a few thousand different products with fall-time limited production of myriad pumpkin-flavored yummies. From the most commonly accepted ones, including pumpkin-spiced coffees and cookies to the most bizarre examples, as well, to say that they abound is quite the understatement! A quick search on Google yielded some strange examples of wannabe delights: pumpkin-spiced pizza, pumpkin potato chips, and pumpkin pasta sauce.

However, pumpkin has competition in the fall flavor line-up this year! It seems maple syrup could be the next food to make a come-back. Maple syrup is nothing new: We have enjoyed it for years as part of our breakfast foods, and as a powerful sweetener in baking recipes. It has countless uses.

Of course, pumpkin and maple syrup team up well in innumerable recipes!

So, it seems like a good time to review the nutritional lore of maple syrup and why it is an ingredient worth exploring, not only for its uniquely sweet taste but also, because of its vast nutritional implications.

Just as a side note though, we aren’t dampening our enthusiasm for pumpkin. So, don’t get that impression. Pumpkin still has a lot to give, and we are willing to continue to explore the versatility of this nutrient-rich vegetable, here and beyond.

But today we are really talking about a pumpkin-maple syrup synergy. Maple syrup is a fantastic sweetener and can often be used instead of refined white sugar. Unlike sugar, maple syrup has a significant number of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that can contribute to meeting daily nutrient requirements. Pure maple syrup has on average in 4 tablespoons serving size, more than 100% of our daily intake of manganese, 37% of riboflavin, 18% of zinc, 7% of magnesium, 5% of calcium, and 5% of potassium.

Pure maple syrup is a single, natural product produced by the concentration of sap from the maple tree. It is a natural sweetener that contains no added sugar, coloring agents, artificial flavorings, preservatives or other additives. Its simplicity allows us to include it in our recipes without fear of artificial additives that you normally encounter in corn- based syrups, for example.

Therefore, when a little sweetness is called for, choosing how you achieve the perfect taste makes all the difference. When developing our recipes, we will often use honey, another powerful sweetener with a long list of benefits (See this blog post), but at times, the better recipe match is maple syrup. These No-Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake Bites combine ease of preparation with all the flavors of sumptuous autumn. The unique flavor of pecans in the crust blend and enhance the tones of pumpkin and maple in the cheesecake, delivering a clean and guilt-free dessert to enjoy anytime!

No-bake Pumpkin Cheesecake Bites

No Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake Bites

Crust

1 cup of pecan meal

1 cup of dates

Cheesecake

½ cup of Once Again Creamy Cashew Butter

4 of ounces of cream cheese (or cream cheese substitute if vegan)

½ cup of maple syrup

2 tablespoons of pumpkin spice

1 cup of pumpkin puree

Start by adding dates to a bowl with warm water for 5-15 minutes to soften. Then add them to food processor, and pulse until dates form a dough-like ball. Add in pecan meal, and pulse again. For the filling, in separate bowl, start with Once Again Cashew Butter; add in cream cheese, maple syrup, and pumpkin spice, and mix well. It is much easier to mix if the cream cheese is at room temperature.  To prepare the cheesecake bites, use one tablespoon of crust and press to form in a muffin pan. Then add filling up to the top of each muffin crust. Place the pan in the  freezer for 1 hour and then move it to the refrigerator for 30 minutes prior to serving. Store extras in freezer for up to 30 days.

Edible Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

A new food trend has taken over Instagram and Facebook feeds in the last few months, leaving many of us drooling over photos of delicious spoonsful of nothing less than cookie dough! That’s right! What was once deemed unsafe to be consumed raw, now comes in a variety of flavors, and the recipes are simple to follow.

Technically, the one ingredient that has made raw cookie dough a health risk to consume comes to us by the dozens, eggs! However, simply removing eggs from your average cookie recipe doesn’t quite do the trick. The FDA warns that plain white flour isn’t recommended for raw consumption either, due to possible contaminants. Many cookie recipes also call for some type of vegetable oil, which if consumed raw can have an awkward aftertaste and texture. Thus, a multi-level challenge emerges for us.

After briefly researching edible cookie dough recipes and some experimenting in our kitchen, we have come up with a knock-out recipe of our own. Perhaps the best part of the whole adventure was the experimenting! Each failed recipe became a reason to eat the rejects and start over again. When you are using ingredients such as whole grain oats, dark chocolate, and our Once Again nut and seed butters, eating up the failed attempts is a delicious job that needs to be taken care of, well, lickety-split!

As usual, we strive to include good sources of nutrients in all our recipes. Even our treats fit safely into a healthy lifestyle. That’s the goal, after all! This explains why we chose whole oat flour as our starch in this particular recipe. Due to the natural sweetness of peanuts, our Once Again Peanut Butter was the best match for this cookie dough. However, we have tried the recipe with Once Again Almond Butter, and it was just as amazing.
Pumpkin is in the air as we approach the fall season, so why not add pumpkin puree to this recipe as well as many others? Just one tablespoon of maple syrup sufficed to sweeten the whole batch. The dark chocolate is completely optional here, and you can be substitute coconut, dried fruits, or chopped nuts. However, in my opinion, the dark chocolate works phenomenally to balance the pumpkin and peanut butter flavors in this unique edible cookie dough. Did we mention that  it takes literally fewer than 5 minutes to make this? Watch our video, and whip up some for yourself, too!

Edible Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough 

Pumpkin Cookie Dough

2 tablespoons of pumpkin puree

2 tablespoons of Once Again Peanut Butter

1 tablespoon of maple syrup

¼ cup of oat flour

1 teaspoon of pumpkin spice

¼ cup of chopped dark chocolate

Start with the pumpkin puree, and mix in Once Again Peanut Butter. Once well blended, add in maple syrup, and then slowly mix in the oat flour. Add in pumpkin spice and dark chocolate chips, and mix well. Enjoy the result with a spoon, or roll it into cookie dough balls. Store in refrigerator for up to 5 days. Makes about 8 teaspoons of cookie dough.

Spicy Peanut Noodles

Can the food you eat really impact how efficiently your body burns calories? It seems like every other month there is new hype about which foods can speed up your metabolism and help you burn those extra pounds. People respond with curiosity and willingness and try just about everything.  After all, who doesn’t want to eat and shed pounds at the same time?

To better understand how food affects metabolism, let’s review how it works. Metabolic rate refers to the number of calories burned by the body each day. This number comes from a mathematical equation that includes your resting metabolic rate, physical activity and the thermic effect of food. The resting metabolic rate is the largest component, unfortunately, we have very little if any control over this number. Physical activity makes up 30-50% of your rate, and we have complete control over that, as well as the thermic effect of foods (TEF). Although it only makes up 10% of your metabolic rate, what you choose to eat is completely up to you! Carbohydrates burn 5-10% of calories eaten, fat 0-5%, and protein 20-30%.

You may have heard that eating spicy foods can rev up your metabolism. This claim does indeed have some foundation. The belief is that eating spicy foods raises your body temperature which in turns means your body spends extra energy cooling itself, and therefore, increasing your metabolic rate. Numerous studies have confirmed that capsaicin, the compound in chili peppers which gives them all the heat, does indeed raise your metabolism. A 2011 study even found that taking a ¼ teaspoon of cayenne pepper increased the calories burned in the following meal! But before you drown all your food in hot sauce, you should know that the increased calorie-burn only amounted to an average of 10 calories!

Interestingly, drinking cold water also gives you a metabolic boost! If you require a large glass of iced water after eating spicy foods, you are increasing your odds for achieving a speedier metabolism. Research suggests that those who consume 8 to 12 glasses of water per day burn more calories than people who only drink up to 4 glasses per day.

These two facts are good enough reasons to make some Spicy Peanut Noodles for lunch today! However, if you need one more, how about the fact that they taste amazing! The nutty flavor and spicy red chili match in this sauce recipe give new life to plain noodles. No need for heavy cream sauces when enjoying noodles! Try this recipe with the addition of steamed edamame or tofu for a complete vegetarian meal.

Spicy Peanut Noodles by Once Again Nut Butter

Spicy Peanut Noodles

3 tablespoons of red chili sauce

¼ cup of Once Again Creamy Peanut Butter

1 teaspoon of sesame oil or extra virgin olive oil

¼ cup of liquid aminos (or soy sauce)

2-4 tablespoons of warm water

Cooked thin noodles of your choice. We recommend rice noodles or whole wheat noodles. Mix all ingredients for the sauce except for water in a container you can seal with a lid and shake well. Lastly, add in one tablespoon of water at a time until desired consistency. Pour the sauce over hot cooked noodles and serve!

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!

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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!

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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.