Tag: vegan

Lemon Cashew Bars

Summertime and ice-cold lemonade go together like hot dogs on 4th of July! As we enter warm season, our taste buds gravitate toward citrus and berries, barbecues, and frozen treats. At the same time, lemons become a more frequent addition to our dishes during these sultry months of the year. Perhaps our bodies just know how much we need the extra fluid, electrolytes and vitamin C, which are all present in citrus.  This may explain our cravings for such tangy-sweet flavors.

You can substitute lemons for limes and vice versa, as your imagination commands. They are both very acidic but have pleasantly different tastes and aromas. As a matter of fact, most people can discern the distinct scents of lemon or lime while blindfolded. Fragrance aside, lemons have a slightly higher content of vitamin C when compared to limes.

When using these jewels of nutrition as ingredients in recipes they behave alike but provide distinct flavor results. For example, when looking to boost a sweet tang, lemons may work best; however, if the objective is to dull down a bit the sugar in a recipe,  limes will be a better fit.

Our Lemon Cashew Bars recipe was originally created with lemons, but recently tested using limes instead, and the results were just as delicious! The Lemon Cashew Bars are slightly less sweet- tasting than the ones prepared with limes when nothing else was modified. These bars are so easy to make, allowing you to stock up your refrigerator all summer long. That way you won’t be caught without a healthy snack anytime during your busiest days, and they can also be conveniently and neatly away for a picnic or car trip. You may find similar bars on grocery store shelves, but don’t be if surprised your homemade versions taste so much better! The secret is in the citrus zest, and of course, the top-quality ingredients you use at home. Just 4 ingredients, a food processor and your refrigerator— that’s all you’ll need! Let us know which homemade version you prefer, the lime or lemon? We are ready to experiment with orange and grapefruit as well. What do you think?

Lemon Cashew Bars

Lemon Cashew Bars

¾ cup of dates

2 tablespoons of lemon juice

Zest of one lemon

½ cup of Once Again Cashew Butter

½ cup of raw cashews

Using a food processor, start by combining the dates and lemon juice. Pulse until you achieve a homogeneous mixture. Then add the cashew butter and cashews. Lastly, add in the lemon zest. Place mixture in a baking pan about 4 x 8 inches in diameter, lined with parchment paper. Set in refrigerator for 4 hours, or for just 1 hour in freezer. Cut into bars and store in airtight container in refrigerator for up to 10 days.

Peanut Butter Jelly Oatmeal Bars

Healthy baking substitutions have become a popular way to continue to enjoy some of our favorite treats without feeling guilty! Among a variety of popular ingredient substitutions, removing eggs and adding apple sauce is a commonly used trick for those watching total calorie and fat in their diet. Have you ever wondered why that works? Or perhaps if it always works?

Using eggs in a baking recipe usually serves two main purposes. One is to add moisture, the other is to develop a desired consistency. Both of these outcomes can be achieved with applesauce. There are a few rules, however. To ensure a successful baking experience. When a cake recipe has a leavening agent such as baking powder, the eggs will add the moisture needed as the cake rises while baking. Applesauce can function in the same way in these recipes, and you can substitute ¼ cup of it for each egg in the recipe. Also adjust the baking powder up by 25-30% more and bake for just a few minutes longer, checking the cake with a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake before removing it from the oven.

For cookie recipes, the more appropriate substitution is for 1/3 cup of applesauce per egg. In this case, you may also use a sweetened applesauce and decrease the amount of refined white sugar the recipe requires.  The ideal times to use this substitution is for when the recipe has another source of moisture and fat in the recipe. For example, a recipe that calls for oil and eggs is a perfect candidate for apple sauce substitution. If the only source of moisture is the eggs, consider starting out by just substituting half the amount of eggs for applesauce.

As you can see below, in the recipe for Baked Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars, there are no eggs, instead we used applesauce. However, notice the additional fat source in the recipe is peanut butter which allows for this substitution to yield a perfectly baked treat! It makes it possible for those following a vegan or more plant-based diet to bake without compromising when it comes to flavor. This recipe is a gluten-free (use gluten-free certified oats) and vegetarian with  a vegan option, if you use maple syrup instead of the honey.

These bars are not very sweet. They rely on the jelly or jam you choose to use as a topping. Alternatively, you could double up on the honey or vegan sweetener and increase the oat flour to ¾ cup, if you desire a sweeter desert version versus a less sugary breakfast bar.

Once Again Nut Butter’s variety of products helps you stay in control of what you eat by offering you no salt, and unsweetened varieties for each of our nut and seed butters. When baking, choose which one you prefer and adjust the other ingredients in your recipe accordingly! The difference between eating pre-packaged cookies and homemade cookies is quantum, amounting to the ability to choose quality ingredients and keep your recipes clean, that is, free of additives. Once Again Nut Butter products were designed with rare marketplace ideals in mind. Minimal, highest quality ingredients allow each nut or seed flavor to really shine through no matter how you use the butters!

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Peanut Butter Jelly Oatmeal Bars

2 cups of oats

½ cup of oat flour

½ teaspoon of baking powder

¼ cup of honey (or maple syrup, if vegan)

½ cup of unsweetened apple sauce (You may use sweetened apple sauce, if preferred.)

3 tablespoons of Once Again Peanut Butter

½ cup of milk of your choice

½ cup of strawberry preserves

In a large mixing bowl, combine oat flour, oats and baking powder. In a separate medium bowl, mix honey, applesauce, peanut butter and milk. Then combine wet ingredients into dry, mixing well. Pour into baking pan, about 7 by 11 inches in size, prepared with coconut oil non-stick spray. Lastly, spread the ½ cup of preserve or jam as a thin layer on top. Place in a preheated oven at 350 Fahrenheit for 30 minutes or until edges are lightly golden. Remove the baked result from the oven, and once cooled, cut it into bars or squares and store in an airtight container for up to 3 days. These bars are best stored in refrigerator.

2-Steps Creamy Ice Cream

Let’s start with some great news: you don’t need an ice cream maker for this recipe! Ice cream makers are  fantastic kitchen gadgets to have allowing you to make several ice cream flavors right in the comfort of your own home. Although you may want to invest in one eventually, today you can still make this frozen treat without it. And you will not be disappointed either, since most people assume that unless you have an ice cream maker your homemade ice cream won’t be creamy and smooth as the store-bought variety.

Our recipe mimics the texture of artisanal ice cream by adding our Once Again Creamy Cashew Butter to the mix prior to freezing. Cashew butter has the ideal balance of natural sugars and fats that deliver the creaminess you expect from ice cream. The appeal of ice cream making at home is also in the fact that you can pick the ingredients and therefore avoid unnecessary additives and artificial ingredients added to the manufactured options of grocery store varieties.

Our base for this ice cream recipe consists of the following: frozen banana, adding the sweetness to our cream, avocado, which has high fat content and freezes well, and our Once Again Cashew Butter. To this combination at the appropriate ratio given below in the recipe, you can add your own twist of flavors. For example, you could add frozen berries instead of chocolate, or frozen mango and pineapple as well. We recently tried coconut flakes, pineapple and a splash of orange juice, which was another winning combination.

Here are a few tips for making this recipe. The better you mix the ingredients, the smoother the ice cream. Therefore, use a good high-speed blender or food processor for best results. Also, when pouring into a dish to take it to the freezer, choose a shallow one instead of the deeper kind. Something like a cake pan works well for bigger batches. The larger surface area allows the ice cream to freeze evenly avoiding ice crystal formation in the process.  Also, cover the cream with plastic wrap allowing it to touch the top of the ice cream,  as this prevents any air from coming into contact with the ice cream during freezing. Prior to serving, remove from freezer and let it stand for just a few minutes. Use an ice cream scoop that has been dipped in lukewarm water between servings. And remember to return reminder of ice cream to freezer as soon as possible to avoid melting and ice crystal formation. If you don’t eat it all in the first serving, you can store it in the freezer for up to one week. Another idea is to turn the ice cream into Popsicles! We are anxious to hear how you add your own flair to this recipe.  Please share it with us in the comments section!

2-Steps Creamy Ice Cream from Once Again Nut butter

Easy Creamy Ice Cream

1 cup vanilla flavored yogurt of your choice

2 frozen bananas

¼ cup of Once Again Creamy Cashew Butter

3 tablespoons of cacao powder

½ of a Hass avocado

Place all ingredients in a high-speed blender or food processor. Blend until smooth, and then pour mixture into a shallow container and freeze for 4 hours. Remove ice cream from freezer, and let it stand for 5 minutes. Then, scoop and serve!

Lemon Tahini Dressing

Every year millions of people participate in biometric screenings. They do this either by choice or they may be mandated to do so by their physicians — or they are required to do this for work.  These screenings are meant to flag any individuals who may be at risk for two of the most common chronic diseases in our country: heart disease and diabetes.  One of the numbers often measured during biometric screenings are one’s total cholesterol, including a breakdown of LDL and HDL. Most people recognize those as the “bad cholesterol” and the “good cholesterol”numbers. Those two values allow the medical team conducting the screens to give advice to individuals based on their risk for heart disease based on lifestyle and more importantly what they eat can impact their health.

People either celebrate their high HDL number, or leave with a set of foods they should include in their daily intake to boost their HDL values. However, a recent study found that just looking at your HDL high numbers and resting assured that you’re protected from heart disease may not be that simple. HDL cholesterol is credited with protecting against heart disease because these lipoproteins help eliminate the excess cholesterol from the bloodstream. Therefore, looking at how well they function is just as important as looking at the quantity of HDL present in your bloodstream.

Previously, small-scale trials have shown that consumption of antioxidant-rich foods (virgin olive oil, tomatoes, berries, for example.) improved HDL function in humans. Recently, researchers selected 296 people at high risk of cardiovascular disease and assigned them to either a Mediterranean diet with an additional 4 tablespoons of virgin olive oil per day, a Mediterranean diet with an extra serving of nuts, or a healthy control diet group which included plenty of fruits and vegetables and restricted processed foods (1).  Interestingly, only the control group saw reduced total and LDL cholesterol levels. None of the groups noted a significant HDL increase either. But, the group consuming extra virgin olive oil had significantly improved function of their HDL when compared to others.

These improved functions included increased reverse cholesterol transport, the process where HDL removes cholesterol plaque in the arteries and transports it to the liver for elimination or production of hormones. Also, witnessed were increased antioxidant protection, vasodilator capacity, and anti-inflammatory properties.

Studies looking at how simple diet modifications can impact overall health are abundant nowadays, and scientists have just started this journey toward optimal nutritional awareness! They are eager to continue investigating food properties and how we can improve quality of life and longevity. We have recently touched on the plant-based eating approach in a previous blog: Finding substitutes for your dips and sauces that replace ingredients with ones that include potential health benefits is just what we had in mind when creating this Lemon Tahini Dressing. It is a completely plant-based dressing that combines the plant-protein rich tahini, with 6 grams of protein per 2 tablespoons of Once Again Tahini, with heart healthy extra virgin olive oil. The touch of garlic and lemon are essential for flavor, and boosting your immunity as well!

We hope you’ll enjoy this dressing with your favorite salad combo, as well as a sauce for roasted vegetables, as a spread for your wraps or as a dressing for your grain bowls. Whichever way you choose to enjoy it, you’ll be adding to your quality of life with each bite.

Lemon Tahini Dressing

2 tablespoons of Once Again Nut Butter Tahini

1 lemon

1 teaspoon of garlic paste

¼ teaspoon of salt

2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

2-3 tablespoons of warm water

In a small jar, (Here’s a tip: Use your empty Once Again Nut Butter jars! This is a great way to recycle them) add tahini, the juice of 1 lemon, plus the zest of that lemon, 1 teaspoon of garlic paste (or 1 garlic clove smashed), salt, and olive oil.  Replace lid,  and shake the mixture well. Now add 2-3 tablespoons of warm water until desired thickness for your dressing is achieved. We suggest no more than 4 tablespoons of warm water so that the flavor of the dressing is not diluted. You should store leftover dressing in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

  1. Álvaro Hernáez, Olga Castañer, Roberto Elosua, Xavier Pintó, Ramón Estruch, Jordi Salas-Salvadó, Dolores Corella, Fernando Arós, Lluis Serra-Majem, Miquel Fiol, Manuel Ortega-Calvo, Emilio Ros, Miguel Ángel Martínez-González, Rafael de la Torre, M. Carmen López-Sabater, Montserrat Fitó. Mediterranean Diet Improves High-Density Lipoprotein Function in High-Cardiovascular-Risk Individuals. Clinical Perspective. Circulation, 2017; 135 (7): 633 DOI: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.116.023712

Tahini Dipping Sauce

Compared to a typical American diet, the plant-based approach to meal planning is higher in unsaturated fats, fiber, usually has better nutrient-density and contains more vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. It is no surprise many people are interested in modifying their lifestyle to follow a plant-based eating pattern!

Perhaps the reasons approach to eating is growing in popularity is that it doesn’t mean going vegan or vegetarian, eliminating any macronutrient or even prohibiting certain foods. Plant-based eating includes fruits and vegetables, whole grains, a variety of protein-rich foods such as beans, peas, nuts, seeds and soy. Dairy products, seafood, lean meats, eggs and poultry are also on the menu, but are not the focus. Animal- sourced protein becomes complementary to your meals instead of the dominant choice. It is also encouraged to minimize the use of additives such as salt and sugar to enhance flavor and to rely on herbs and spices.

Plant- based diets are helpful in reducing risk for chronic disease, but it does require some effort to look for some variation to your routine menus. It is not an all-or-nothing proposition, to get started you can simply choose a meal you eat routinely and substitute the plant protein for the animal-based one. For example, if tacos are on your menu, choose two different types of beans for the filling and skip the meat. As an alternative for meat-based lasagna, use vegetables only!

As previously discussed on a previous blog, the clear majority of people are overeating protein. Therefore, when changing to plant-based eating, they won’t suffer any side effects from perhaps a bit lower protein intake. Interestingly, plant-based eating often matches the same amount of daily protein intake. Beans, nuts, peas and other legumes are rich in protein and can easily make up for the lack of animal foods. As a bonus, these foods offer more than just protein. They have a much wider variety of nutrients and fiber, something you can find in animal foods. The recommended fiber intake is 38 grams for men and 25 grams for women, with all fiber counting to achieve daily goals.

If you are also moving towards plant-based eating, we have a fantastic sauce for you! This tahini dipping sauce can be used in many ways. For example, it can serve as a topping to roasted vegetables, as a dip for raw veggies and when thinned, and it can be used as salad dressing. Plant-based ingredients can deliver flavorful sauces that include an array of culinary textures and nutrients.

Tahini Dipping Sauce

½ cup Once Again Tahini

¼ teaspoon of salt

¼ teaspoon of garlic powder

Warm water

In small bowl add tahini, salt, and garlic and mix well. Next, slowly add one tablespoon at a time of warm water to the mixture until the desired thickness is obtained. Suggestions:  3 tablespoons of water for a dip, or 5 tablespoons of water to use as a sauce for entrees.

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 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.

Chickpea Veggie Stew

Chickpeas or garbanzos, whichever name you prefer, it doesn’t matter! These tiny legumes are a power house of nutrients, fiber, and protein to add to your plate. Interestingly, this legume has been cultivated for a very long time. Remains of its cultivation have been found in the Middle East from 7,500 years ago. It is part of a legume family called Fabaceae, which includes peas and sweet peas.

Dried chickpeas are a tough legume that requires a lengthy amount of cooking to make it ready to consume. They are usually rapidly boiled for ten to 15  minutes and then simmered for two to three hours. To speed up the process, you can soak them for 12-24hrs prior to cooking and shorten the simmering time  down to 30 minutes. Most people skip this time-consuming procedure and buy the canned variety.  This is a fantastic  option to have, as long as you choose a brand that uses the minimum amount of salt needed for preservation. By the way, the  water that you discard from the can, or from your pot after cooking is called “aquafaba.” If you haven’t heard of it before, stay tuned, as we hope to experiment with this ingredient soon in our own recipes. It is a liquid which contains nutrients from the legumes cooked in it, and can even be used as an egg substitute in some recipes!

Chickpeas are also the main ingredient in hummus when combined with tahini and spices. There are many ways to enjoy chickpeas, including in soups, in salads, or as a main dish. They are well-known and regarded for their protein content. One cup of cooked chickpeas provides about 11 grams of protein, while delivering  just 210 calories. This plant protein comes packed with 10 grams of fiber, vitamin B6, iron, calcium and magnesium. With that many nutrients in play, chickpeas are ideal as a main dish any day!

Our recipe below takes this mild tasting legume and infuses it with rich, deep flavors to elevate this simple bean to entrée status. A thick and creamy sauce made up of ginger, olive oil, red peppers, onions and cashew butter complements the texture of garbanzos. Steamed carrots and yellow summer squash complete the dish forming a delicious vegetable stew. Serve it warm with a side of brown rice, or by itself as soup.

Cashew butter thickens this sauce without overpowering the taste of the spices and vegetables. Most nut butters work well as thickeners to sauces, but their flavor comes through in the result. At times, this is just what you want, but when you are looking for a thickener that doesn’t impact or clash with other ingredients, then cashew butter should be your first choice.

Let us know if you try this recipe and how you like it in the comments section below. Since it is a vegetable stew, the more veggies you add, the better. Feel free to add zucchini, eggplant, beets or whatever is in season at the time in your area.

Chickpea and Veggie Stew on Once Again Nut Butter Blog, gluten free and vegan

Chickpea Veggie Stew

¼ cup of chopped onions

2 tablespoons of fresh minced garlic

½ cup chopped red peppers

½ cup sliced carrots

2 medium sized summer squash, diced

2 cups (or 1 can) of chickpeas, drained and rinsed

½ teaspoon of dried ginger

4 tablespoons of Once Again Nut Butter Creamy Cashew Butter

1 ¼ cups of vegetable broth

1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil

First, steam carrots and summer squash for about 10 minutes, until soft. In separate medium sauce pan, add olive oil, garlic, ginger, onions and peppers. Let it sizzle for a few minutes until the onion is starting to brown. Then add in broth and cashew butter and bring everything  to a boil and then remove from stove top heat. Using a had processor or blender, blend mixture until smooth. Return the mixture to the  stovetop set at medium heat ,and add in squash, carrots and chickpeas. Cook for about 10 minutes and serve warm! It’s optional to serve this stew with brown rice or noodles!

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

Sweet Potato Curry with Almond Butter

Every year, the month of October  kicks off Vegetarian Awareness Month with World Vegetarian Day happening on October 1st and ends with World Vegan Day on November 1st.  Even though technically this celebration was a while back, many people heard about it for the first time in 2015  and are still trying to understand all the information and new facts that the vegetarian campaigns brought to light. We are all tuned in to what the proposed Dietary Guidelines of 2015 set by the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Agriculture (USDA) for all Americans (and now the confirmed 2016 Dietary Guidelines). These apply to all of us, even if we are not vegan or vegetarian.  And the message is loud and clear: Eat More Vegetables! Regardless of your age, social economical status, race, dietary restrictions or whatever factors we wish to name and consider, , we should all be eating more plants. These include plant-based protein, fats and fuel (carbohydrates).

Often, the barrier to increasing intake of vegetables is the lack of creativity when bringing them to the table. Let’s be honest, there is just so much steamed broccoli and cauliflower one can eat  each  week. Therefore, most household cooks plan meals around their main dish, which is, in the vast majority of families, a meat such as chicken, beef or pork. But what if for a change, we could change that mentality —even if just once weekly— to focus on something else  other the main dish? Well, that is what the Meatless Monday campaign has been doing, and it has been able to catch the attention of thousands of people since its inception. Inspired by decreasing our intake  of  animal products, I created this recipe that will entice even  more traditional families to give it a try!

It is all about flavor, easy preparation, and delivering nourishment to your body. There is a slight misconception  of  some people that when eating a meatless meal you may still be hungry, or feel the need for a snack shortly after the meal. But that is simply incorrect! Plant- based protein and fats are just as satiating, and  in some  cases, even more so than meat- based meals since they tend to be accompanied by higher levels of fiber which aid in the feeling of fullness after eating a meal.

To make this Sweet Potato Curry recipe  you will take advantage of  a spiralizer, which is a fun way to change the way you look at vegetables, especially root vegetables. By slicing them thinly creating noodles, they will cook much more quickly r. This can facilitate preparing dinner at the end of the day when you don’t have a few extra hours to wait for the oven to preheat and bake. Sweet potatoes can be cooked along with carrots and squash in minutes on  the stove top with some added liquid.. This recipe calls for light coconut milk, which you may not be familiar with, but it is a wonderful creamy way to add thickness to sauces without using cream (an animal-derived  product). This type of coconut milk is usually sold in cans or cartons; they are made for cooking and not to be confused with the coconut milk now found in your dairy section which is  used as a milk alternative. The curry powder adds a wonderful aroma and flavor to the dish, but if you are not a curry fan, you may leave it out completely and the results will still delicious ! The almond butter in the sauce brings this recipe together very nicely adding, not only flavor and texture, but a tad extra vitamins, minerals and healthy fats! Have fun thinking of other vegetables, you can add or substitute in this curry recipe and create your own versions at home!

Sweet Potato Curry with Once Again Almond Butter - www.onceagainnutbutterblog.com

Sweet Potato Curry

1 tablespoon of coconut oil (or substitute olive oil)

1 large sweet potato

2 carrots

1 large yellow squash

1 teaspoon of fresh ginger

1 teaspoon of yellow curry powder

1 can of light coconut milk (13 oz.)

2 tablespoons of Once Again Creamy Almond Butter

1 teaspoon of salt

 

Garnish:

1 small apple

2-3 apricots

1 tablespoon of pumpkin seeds

Use a spiralizer to cut the sweet potato, carrots and squash into thin noodles. As an option, you may purchase potato noodles. In separate bowl, mix coconut milk with all other ingredients and set aside. Add the noodles to a medium sized pan with the coconut oil on medium heat. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes; then add the coconut milk mixture and bring it to boil. Reduce to low heat and simmer for 15 minutes for curry to thicken. Serve warm with a garnish of apples (use the spiralizer for thin slices), diced apricots and pumpkin .

#vegan #vegetarian #glutenfree