Tag: pumpkin

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.

No-Grain Pumpkin Blondie

We value our social media connection with our fans very much! It is where we have the privilege to get to know you and learn a little bit about your likes and dislikes. Recently, we noticed a trend of several people tagging pictures and using the hashtag “paleo diet.” Many of our recipes already fit into the paleo diet standards, but we wanted to build one  that especially follows the paleo way of living.

That required us to look more deeply the paleo diet. Let us clarify that we don’t believe this diet to be a good option for all people but understand some have chosen it and garnered  great results. We encourage each one of you to do your own research and determine if it is something that fits your health goals. In addition, it is always a good idea to discuss this diet with your doctors who know your medical history and may have individualized recommendations for you.

The paleo diet, nicknamed the caveman diet, attempts to mimic our ancient ancestor’s way of eating. The diet avoids foods that come from modern agriculture, such as wheat, dairy, legumes and rely instead on meals full of meat, nuts and vegetables. The concept became popular when Dr. Loren Cordain published a book, The Paleo Diet in 2001. The idea is to eliminate foods that may contain possible irritants to our gastrointestinal tract. There isn’t scientific research (that we know of at this point) that credits this diet for any health advantages over a balanced way of eating. However, as we stated before, we know it may work for some people. And as  long as they are monitored by their doctors regularly, and there are no adverse  effects, then going paleo  is a personal choice. Either way, we love to contribute with delicious recipes that will fit into paleo  plans!

The paleo diet excludes legumes, and since peanut is technically a legume, peanut butter is not included in their list of foods allowed. However, we have encountered some people who follow modified paleo diets that do include peanut butter. The other products we offer, including cashew, almond, tahini and sunflower seed butter are all paleo- friendly products.

Regardless of your food restrictions or dietary plans, this recipe is fantastic and worth a try! It is rich in protein, fiber and low in refined sugar. They make perfect treats for  before or after workout  fuel, and works really well as a weekend, treat too!

Paleo Pumpkin Blondie by Once Again Nut Butter

No-Grain Pumpkin Blondies – Paleo Friendly!

¼ cup of Once Again Organic Cashew Butter
½ cup of Once Again American Classic Creamy Peanut Butter (for paleo – just use 1 whole cup of Cashew Butter and exclude the Peanut Butter. Or use Almond butter instead!)
¼ cup of maple syrup
¾ cup of pumpkin puree
2 tablespoons of pecan flour
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 teaspoon of pumpkin spice
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1 teaspoon of baking soda

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and spray an 8×8 inches baking pan with non-stick spray. In medium bowl, mix in cashew butter, peanut butter, pumpkin puree, vanilla extract and maple syrup. In separate bowl mix pecan flour pumpkin spice, cinnamon and baking soda. Mix in dry mixture and combine just until all ingredients form a homogenous dough. Place in baking pan and bake for 30 minutes, or until edges are golden. Insert toothpick in center to test for readiness  to remove blondies from oven. Let cool and slice to serve. Store in airtight container for up to five days.

Pumpkin and Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars

Pumpkin Oatmeal Bars - www.onceagainnutbutterblog.comI’ll be the first to admit that a bowl of old- fashioned oatmeal is hard to beat, but who has time to prepare it on a daily basis? Thus, the birth of the oatmeal ! How incredible that you can enjoy the benefits of oats and  get the warmth and all the flavor of a bowl of  oatmeal in a bar that is easy to take with you on the go?

Lack of time is another reason so many find themselves at the drive through line of a coffee place on their way to work. And at this time of the year, it is hard not to order from the seasonal menu and indulge in a pumpkin spiced coffee drink of some sort. Unfortunately, those come with a nice side of over-the-top calories, way too much sugar and saturated fat. No worries though, we have you covered for all your pumpkin cravings and your need for a fast breakfast, too. These pumpkin oatmeal bars will meet  both demands. Prepare them ahead of time, and you will have enough for breakfast for the whole week. The recipe below makes about 16 bars, depending on how you cut them. And  there here are a few details to note about this recipe. You can customize it by using whichever  milk you prefer. I have tried them with cow’s milk, almond milk and coconut milk. All three varieties worked well in the recipe. I have also tried it out with flax “eggs” for a vegan option, and the results were equally fantastic.

Per request, I added coconut flakes and chocolate chips to one of my batches for my kids. Just when I thought this recipe couldn’t get any better, it did.  I should really listen to my kids more often! The combination of coconut and chocolate with pumpkin was perfect. Also notice the recipe does not call for any sugar, honey or maple syrup. You can certainly add that for a sweeter bar, but if you are eating them warm at home, then just top it with your choice of honey or maple before serving. If you are adding a sweetener to the recipe, start with ½ cup of sugar or ¾ cup honey or maple and add more to taste.

Not convinced about  how easy they are to make? Watch this video and make  them  along with us!


Pumpkin Oatmeal Bars

Makes about 16

3 cups of quick oats

½ cup pumpkin puree

1 cup milk of your choice

2 eggs

2 teaspoon baking soda

¾ teaspoon salt

½ cup Once Again Peanut Butter

2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

Mix pumpkin puree with milk, then add peanut butter and eggs. In separate bowl, mix oats, baking soda, salt and pumpkin pie spice. Now mix it into the pumpkin,  and combine  all ingredients well. Pour into a 9×13 inch pan and take it to a 350 degree oven for 20-25 minutes, until the top is golden. Serve  bars  with maple syrup or honey for breakfast or an anytime snack! Save left overs in sealed container in refrigerator for up to three days.

Pumpkin Blender Muffins

pumpkin blender muffin 3Tiny bite sized muffins are a staple in my house! Sometimes I have to use my large muffin pan to make cupcakes just so they don’t feel neglected at the back on the cupboard. But what can I say? I now own three different mini-muffin pans and use them weekly. The smaller portion is easier to manage when thinking of snacks and breakfast. They cook faster, are easier to freeze and just more fun to pop in your mouth! Not to mention that you can eat two and that portion usually adds up to less than half of the larger-sized muffins.

Right along with how practical it is to make little muffins, I look for recipes that are fast and easy, so I can make large batches at once. Blender muffins have changed the way I look at baked goods. I learned how to put together recipes for blender muffins a while back when baking with over ripe bananas. It’s so nice to just have one thing to clean when you are done mixing up your batter. It’s so convenient that you can pour the batter from the blender cups straight into the muffin pan and take it all to the oven. As you can tell, I love fast prep and recipes that provide easy clean-up.
I should I say that I was never a fan of those prepackaged mini-muffins you can buy in the store due to the amount of high fructose syrup, artificial flavoring and lack of nutrition they offer. But my kids were exposed to them at school when other kids brought them in lunchboxes, and they came home begging me to buy some. I gave in one day at the grocery store and let them choose one; then we came home and did our own little blind folded taste test between homemade mini-muffins and the store bought ones. I’m happy to report the homemade version won every single time! You can just tell that when something is prepared with higher quality ingredients, it tastes better.
This recipe happens to be gluten- free, and grain-free. But I have also tried it with ½ cup of quick oats, and it turned out great.. Since it’s pumpkin season, I went with the urge and made these pumpkin blender muffins with some Once Again Peanut Butter and Once Again Wildflower Honey, and when adding up the eggs, you end up with a very high protein and nutritious anytime treat.

pumpkin blender muffins1Pumpkin Blender Mini-Muffins
Makes 24 mini-muffins

1 cup Once Again Peanut Butter
1 cup pumpkin puree
2 eggs
3 tablespoons Once Again Wildflower Honey
3 tablespoons maple syrup (optional)
½ teaspoon baking soda

Add all ingredients to a blender and mix at once! Then pour into mini-muffin pan and bake at 350 degree for about 15-18 minutes. Check for readiness by inserting a toothpick into the muffins. When they toothpick comes out clean, the muffins are ready!.
Topping: Mix equal parts of pumpkin puree and peanut butter and use as a topping!

pumpkin blender muffin 2

DIY: Make your own Peanut Butter Pumpkin Truffles!

Fall is officially here! And even though here in Florida we are still in the upper 90’s, there are pumpkin patches and stores are filled with Halloween decorations announcing the arrival of a new season! The lingering of summer in the south doesn’t stop me from pulling out my sweaters and boots from the back of the closet and craving pumpkin flavored everything!

After about 2 hours of research (playing) on Pinterest I had a pumpkin overdose! But was inspired to try something I have never made before: truffles! I do love to eat them, but they just look a little out of my league as far as culinary techniques go.

With pumpkin on my mind and plenty of Once Again Creamy Peanut Butter in my pantry I started to play around with some ingredients to achieve the right consistency for a truffle. My goal was to create a truffle that you can roll easily and only include wholesome and healthier ingredients without adding preservatives or artificial sweeteners. That way I can eat a couple at a time and share them with the whole family too!

I’m happy to say the results were great! After a few tries I arrived at the right ratios and added some spices to bring out the “pumpkin pie” taste I was looking for.  The end result is a gluten-free, low sugar and nutritious truffle I can enjoy without feeling guilty. My kids absolutely loved it and asked for seconds. The combination of Once Again Peanut butter with the pumpkin puree was perfect for me, but you can use any one of your favorite Once Again Nut Butters! I’m thinking the almond butter would be a good one to try next time.  The hardest part of the recipe was melting the chocolate. It was the step that challenged me the most and probably the reason I never ventured into truffle making before.

Here are a few tips that I found extremely helpful.  The double boiling works great if you have a glass bowl that fits into a saucepan without touching the bottom. Add water to the pan and the glass bowl sits on top, use very low heat and mix the chocolate non-stop. Don’t let any water come in touch with the chocolate at any point! My mistake was washing the spoon for mixing but didn’t dry it, it ruined a whole batch of chocolate chips because of the residual water drops coming in contact with the melting chocolate. Also, chips are easier but if you are using a chocolate bar make sure you cut it up into similar sized pieces. Once it is mostly melted remove from heat and keep mixing it! Needless to say this process was a bit of a challenge for me, but so worth it! The chocolate covered truffles looked beautiful and tasted amazing. I did run out of chocolate and used Greek yogurt to cover the last few truffles which turned out pretty good too and makes an even lower calorie truffle!

Check out my short video below. I hope you too get inspired to make your own truffles.

“Pumpkin Peanut Butter Truffle”20141001_230532035_iOS

1/3 cup oat flakes “flour”
1/3 cup pumpkin puree
1/3 cup Once Again Nut Butter Creamy Peanut Butter
1 tsp Pumpkin Spice
1 cup dark chocolate chips

Mix Pumpkin puree and peanut butter first, then add oats (you may use rolled oats, just put them in the food processor first to achieve a coarse oat flour) and pumpkin spice. I thought the sweetness of the pumpkin and nut butter was enough, but if you are looking for a sweeter truffle, you may add a couple tablespoons of brown sugar. Roll them up and dip into melted chocolate. Place in freezer for just 10-15 minutes. Enjoy them!

You can skip the chocolate if that step is too much for you and dip them into Greek yogurt, roll them in coconut flakes or crushed nuts!