Posts tagged ‘peanut butter’
For some reason or another, some of routine recipes never get posted. Maybe they seem too simple for me to share? Instead of just assuming that you didn’t want to see some of my favorite go-to munchies, I thought I’d share a few with you in this post.
1. Super Secret Cookie Dough- variations of this recipe have been posted at many blogs so I hadn’t bothered sharing my version until now…I’ve been making this “cookie dough” for over a year now and have made several variations (list below).
Healthified cookie dough that takes about 7-8 minutes to pull together. Plus, it’s packed with fiber, protein and healthy fats from the nut butter – this stuff is seriously addicting! I’ve even sandwiched two cookies together with this as the “filling”. Usually it doesn’t last that long and I wind up eating it with a spoon I bet it would even be yummy as frosting on a cupcake!
What is so super secret? There are chickpeas in this dessert! It sounds ridiculous and even yucky to some but I LOVEEEEEEEE this stuff! Give it a try before you judge me, ok?
Super Secret Cookie Dough
1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas (if you use the ones from a can, rinse thoroughly)
1/3 cup chunky OR creamy peanut butter (almond butter, cashew butter, sunflower seed butter etc can all be subbed)
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/8 tsp sea salt (omit if using salted nut butter)
2 Tbsp almond milk or other non-dairy milk
3-4 Tbsp coconut palm sugar, honey, agave or a combo (my favorite is 2 Tbsp powdered coconut sugar, 1 Tbsp honey and a pinch of pure stevia to round out the flavors)
2 Tbsp flaxseed meal, almond or other nut meal or oat flour (or sub your favorite flour)
chocolate chunks, chips or carob or cacao nibs (I chopped up a portion of the Lindt bar Hint of Sea Salt – my fav! )
optional: one scoop of good tasting vanilla protein powder (I use Jay Robb’s)
1. In a food processor, add chickpeas and process until finely chopped (there might still be chunks, that’s ok). Add the peanut butter, vanilla, salt and a drizzle of almond milk until smooth and creamy.
2. Add the sweetener, flax/nut meal (and protein powder if you want the extra boost – the amount of sweetener may need to be decreased if your protein is really sweet) and process until blend well. If additional sweetener is needed, add it at this time to taste. If you need another drizzle of almond milk, feel free to add a small amount at this time (I like it thick!).
3. Stir in the chocolate chips (or chopped nuts or dried fruit) and enjoy immediately or refrigerate for a couple hours. I love the flavor straight from the food processor but refrigerating the mixture helps the flavors meld and it’s even better!
2. No-Bake Coconut Macaroons - chewy coconut bites that are egg-free, grain-free and vegan! These quick yummy morsels can be whipped up in less than 5 minutes and frozen for a sweet bite-size treat. Coconutty goodness through and through
No-Bake Coconut Macaroons
2/3 rounded cup coconut flakes, slightly crushed with your fingers (could also use 2/3 cup shredded coconut)
1/4 cup almond flour or almond meal (or your favorite flour if you want nut-free)
1 Tbsp maple syrup, honey or agave (date paste, raisin paste or mashed banana would do the trick too)
dash of pure vanilla extract
pinch of sea salt
3 Tbsp coconut butter, melted
Optional Mix-in ideas – mini chocolate chips, chopped dried fruit chunks, lime/lemon zest, spices
1. Line a plate or small baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil and set aside.
2. In a small mixing bowl, combine all ingredients until well incorporated. Using a tablespoon, pack mixture firmly to form small rounds to help stick together. Plop (yes, this is a formal baking word) onto prepared plate/sheet and freeze for 30 minutes until hardened. Enjoy!
3. “The Comfort Snack”aka gluten free toast with spread of choice + chia seeds + fruit. Simple? Of course, but it’s one of my favorite quick snacks or light desserts – my favorite combination is cream cheese (I love the flavor of vegan Tofutii cream cheese but it’s a guilty pleasure) but coconut butter, nut butter, ghee, or goat cheese are all delicious!
This really doesn’t need instructions – but toast a slice of your favorite gluten free bread. Remove immediately and smear on your favorite spread (about 1 tbsp or so), sprinkle with a heaping 1/4 tsp chia seeds (or flax) and top with slices of fruit (bananas are the best!). Sometimes I will even use cottage cheese as the spread; scoop a spoonful and then toast to warm the mixture, then sprinkle with chia and add the fruit.
4. Veggie Nachos - okay, okay, I know this isn’t considered healthy but I have to include another guilty pleasure – I am a completely sucker for tortilla chips, add some vegetarian refried beans, homemade salsa or pico de gallo, shredded organic cheese and fresh cilantro and I have a salty snack that I cannot resist. Everyone deserves a little indulgence occassionally, right? The only thing I am missing here is homemade guacamole…
Indulgent Vegetarian Nachos
About 14-15 corn tortilla chips (you could also use bean and rice chips like Beanitos if corn-free
1/2 cup BPA free black or pinto vegetarian refried beans
1/4 to 1/3 cup organic shredded cheddar cheese (or Mexican blend – use dairy free for vegan)
1/3 cup salsa of choice or pico de gallo
1-2 Tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
1. Preheat oven to 375F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil. 2. Spread chips on the lined baking sheet with slight overlap. 3. Drop or spread refried beans onto chips. Next, sprinkle with shredded cheese and bake for about 5 minutes or until cheese is melted. 4. Remove from oven, spoon salsa/pico over the chips and sprinkle with cilantro. Enjoy immediately!
*For a healthier approach, add some sauteed chopped vegetables (zucchini, onion, squash, peppers) on top of the beans prior to baking.
A few of my other favorite quick snacks are:
Until the past few years I haven’t been a fan of cheesecake. I think the aversion began when I was afraid of anything containing dairy, due to the fact I was told I was lactose intolerant and I would have major stomach issues. Turns out, I can eat dairy within reason and gluten was the culprit.
I thought I would give cheesecake another shot but with my twist on it. Since I eat a large majority of the things I create/make, it’s gotta be healthy or the waistline would suffer much more. I had great results with agar agar powder when making my coconut milk panna cotta so I thought I would give it a try with a no-bake cheesecake. This worked beautifully!!!
I made a no-cream cheese cheesecake with peanut butter, cottage cheese, almond milk and a no-bake chocolate crust and it has a rich and creamy texture and no fuss with a cracked top either! I’ve attempted a baked cottage cheesecake a couple times in the past with okay results – but it was nothing to write home about, this however is!
I served this cheesecake “plain” with chopped peanuts and another slice with a sour cherry compote – oh boy, this contrast is lovely! It’s the old-time favorite peanut butter and jelly sandwich all dressed up in dessert form. The sweetness of the cheesecake, the saltiness of the peanut butter and the tartness of the cherry compote made me giggle with excitement. Strawberry or raspberries could also be subbed in place of the cherries for a yummy combo too.
Peanut Butter No-Bake Cheesecake
For chocolate crust (makes one 6 inch crust, can be doubled)
1/4 cup gluten free rolled oats
1/2 cup raw almonds, peanuts
2 Tbsp flaxseed meal (or your favorite GF flour)
2 Tbsp cocoa or cacao powder (or carob powder for caffeine free)
4 medjool dates (soaked if really dry)
dash of sea salt
1/4 cup of powdered coconut/palm sugar (I pulsed mine in my magic bullet)
1 cup of non-dairy milk, divided (I used unsweetened almond)
1 1/4 tsp agar agar powder (not flakes, will need 3x as much)
2 cups of 2% cottage cheese (if really watery, strain for 15 minutes – mine was really thick)
1/3 to 1/2 cup unsalted, natural creamy peanut butter (I used 1/2 cup) – can substitute sunbutter for peanut free
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
pinch of stevia extract or liquid stevia to taste
chopped raw or roasted unsalted peanuts
For sour cherry compote (inspired by my orange scented cranberry sauce)
1 1/4 cup frozen tart red cherries, chopped (could use fresh pitted cherries)
1 1/4 cup fresh cranberries (you could use frozen too)
3-5 Tbsp coconut palm sugar, honey, agave OR 7-110 medjool dates OR a combo (adjust sweetness to taste)
pinch of sea salt
1/2 cup apple juice
For the crust:
1. In the bowl of a food processor, add all ingredients and pulse until combined. A ball should form and stick together. If too wet, add more oats, nuts or flaxseed meal and if too dry add a tiny drizzle of oil, milk or water and pulse again.
2. Press into a 6 inch springform pan (no need to grease) and set aside while you prepare the filling.
For the filling**:
1. In a small saucepan, combine agar powder, 3/4 cup of milk and powdered palm sugar and stir. Let side for 5 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, in a blender or Vitamix, combine cottage cheese, peanut butter, vanilla, pinch of stevia and remaining 1/4 cup of milk. Blend until smooth and well incorporated (1-2 minutes)
3. Heat the agar, milk and palm sugar over medium heat until simmering and bubbles start to form. Stir constantly for one to two minutes until sugar is mostly dissolved and the mixture starts to thicken.
4. Remove from heat and add to blender. Blend immediately for one minute or until well combined.
5. Pour over prepared crust and let chill in the refrigerator for 4 hours up to overnight (or until set). Remove sides from spring form pan carefully, garnish with chopped nuts and serve with compote if desired. Enjoy!
For cherry compote (you will have extra after using for cheesecake, could use as a sauce for pancakes, breads, garnish etc):
1. In a medium saucepan, add all ingredients and bring to a boil. Stir and reduce heat to bring to a simmer on medium-low and let cook for about 10 to 12 minutes.
2. Halfway through cooking (5-6 minutes) use a fork or a spoon to mash berries and cherries and release more of their juices. Let cook for another 5 minutes, occassionally stirring and mashing until thick. (sauce will thicken more as it cools)
3. Serve immediately warm or refrigerate until ready to serve for a chilled sauce. Heat on low to reheat if preferred warm and enjoy!
*If using dates for your sweetener for the compote, soak them until soft and puree them along with the juice before cooking
**Recipe Notes: I used one 6 in springform pan for the peanut butter cheesecake with the crust and poured the remaining filling into two glass serving dishes for a crustless cheesecake for kicks. This is an easy alternative if you don’t want to make the crust! You could pour it into cocktail glasses and serve with a compote or crushed gluten free graham crackers You could even make individual cheesecakes and divide and press the crust to the bottom of individual ramekins or glasses for easy serving.
Have you ever eaten Kabocha squash? I used to be afraid of it since I wasn’t sure what is was BUT now, I think it might be my favorite squash of all…move over butternut!
It’s considered a Japanese pumpkin and has a hard, deep green skin. This winter squash is known for it’s exceptional flavor and texture and has a succulent, naturally sweet flesh.. Kabocha is even sweeter than butternut squash when it’s ripe (see notes below on how to pick a ripe one). The flavor and texture of the Japanese pumpkin has been said to be a cross between a sweet potato and a pumpkin.
Kabocha squashes are available all year round, but my research indicated the best flavored ones are harvested in the late summer and early fall. Kabocha can vary in size, with the average weighing two to four pounds. You can easily recognize a kabocha by its dark green color with some celadon colored stripes and a dull surface. It’s shape is like a squatty pumpkin and has a very short grey stem, and is more dense than a pumpkin because of its smaller cavity. The firm and stringless flesh inside is an intense yellow-orange color.
How to store: Kabocha squashes can be kept at room temperature for up to a month without refrigeration. After cooking, however, the leftovers must be refrigerated.
Nutrition: Eat up! Kabocha has an abundance of beta carotene, the precursor to vitamin A, is kabocha’s prime nutrient, along with vitamin C, iron and potassium. This starchy squash also contains folic acid, calcium, and trace B vitamins.
How to select a ripe Kabocha: Select a squash that looks heavy for it’s size, has splashes of golden or grayish hues on the exterior. The lighter gray the exterior, the sweeter it will be. You can still cook kabocha if it’s a deep emerald color (many people do!) but it’s at it’s peak with splotches of golden and/or gray.
TO BAKE/ROAST: Simply wash the squash and place, whole on a baking dish. Bake at 375 for 50 to 60 minutes unless exterior gives to the touch. To shorten the baking time, cut the squash in half with a very firm knife. Scoop out the seeds, brush cut areas with a little olive oil (or grapeseed or and place cut side down on a lightly oiled baking dish. The squash bakes in about 40 to 50 minutes at 375 F (350 for glass dish) until soft but not browned. The flesh can then be scooped out with a large spoon. You can mash well to form a puree, it makes a great substitute for pumpkin puree!
A cooked ripe kabocha is so delicious that it needs little or none of the usual fats and sweeteners traditionally added to bland squashes. It tastes lovely sprinkled with salt and pepper.
*If you wrap the squash in aluminum foil, shiny side inside, the skin, which is completely edible and highly nutritious, will remain soft enough to enjoy along with the delicious flesh.
TO STEAM: Use a very firm chef’s knife to cut squash in half, scoop out seeds, and lay cut side down on cutting board. You can leave the skin on the squash or if you choose to remove the skin, use both hands with the knife in a horizontal position, peel off the skin by holding the blade away from the body and using a pushing motion to cut. Cut squash into cubes and place in a steamer with sufficient water. Turn heat to high and steam for 7 to 10 minutes.
TO BRAISE: Cut into cubes as above and add to stews or soups the last 10 minutes of cooking.
One of my favorite ways to enjoy kabocha squash is mashed, sprinkled with salt, a bit cinnamon and a tablespoon or two of nut butter (peanut butter, almond butter, and pecan butter are my favorites with this squash but cashew butter, sunflower seed butter and tahini would work too). This may sounds strange but it is SOOO delicious — thick about sweet potato casserole: potatoes, pecans and streusel – this is basically the same thing!
Mashed kabocha works great as a side dish, breakfast or a nutritious snack! You could even drizzle with maple syrup or honey for a dessert-like squash…If mixing nut butter with squash raises red flags (don’t knock it til you try it though), this squash could also be mashed with a small pat of butter or ghee (optional but delicious), salt and pepper and served as a nutritious replacement or addition to mashed potatoes at your next holiday or family meal!
Mashed Kabocha Squash with Nut Butter
1 cup cooked, roasted kabocha squash flesh, warmed (see instructions above how to bake)
sea salt to taste
ground cinnamon to taste
1-2 Tbsp of creamy or crunchy nut butter (peanut butter is my #1 choice)
drizzle of maple syrup or honey
1. Mash the kabocha flesh into a thick paste using a fork or a masher. Sprinkle in the cinnamon and salt to taste. Drizzle with warm or room temperature nut butter and enjoy! Delicious served hot or at room temperature.
Serves one but could be easily be doubled, tripled etc.
You can substitute cooked kabocha for other winter squashes in recipes too with yummy results:
- Try using kabocha squash in my Crustless Pumpkin Pudding Pie in a Jar
- Use cubed and roasted kabocha in my Caramelized Onion, Butternut and Goat Cheese Pizza
- Make Kabocha Fries like my Butternut Squash Fries (skin is edible if difficult to peel)
- Substitute Kabocha puree for pumpkin in my Pumpkin Pie Smoothie
- and of course, you can make Kabocha soup…recipe to come
Happy Friday lovely readers!
I’ve got a breakfast quinoa bake that is packed with decadence and nutrition! Just like my banana bread flake bake from a while back, I’m on a quinoa breakfast kick again. Must be the colder weather that makes me crave a warm and comforting breakfast with lots of flavor AND stars two of my all-time favorite ingredients – nut butter and chocolate. Feel free to use your favorite nut butter and chocolate (or carob) for the bake – the recipe is flexible. I used peanut butter but sunflower seed butter, almond butter, cashew, pecan etc would all work well here.
I’ve listed both quick cooking and baking instructions, just in case you need a fast breakfast or snack on the go.
So I thought I’d give the winter squash a rest…just for a day! Don’t worry, I have plenty of upcoming recipes that will be a great addition to your holiday menus that use your favorite fall flavors and ingredients
Chocolate N’ Nut Butter Quinoa Bake (adapted from my Banana Bread Quinoa Bake)
½ cup quinoa flakes (can sub oats but cooking time will be less*)
1 Tbsp raw buckwheat groats or millet, optional but adds a nice texture
2-3 tsp chia seeds
¼ cup unsweetened applesauce
½ small banana, mashed
2 Tbsp nut butter (I used peanut butter)
1 1/2 tsp chocolate chips and/or coconut sugar, agave or honey, optional for a sweeter variation
dash of sea salt
dash of pure vanilla extract
Raw or roasted nuts (I used chopped peanuts) OR more nut butter
Chocolate (or carob) chips or chunks (I used chopped unsweetened Bakers, love this for breakfast)
Coconut butter, optional
(Oven and Microwave Cooking Methods Included)
1. In a small bowl, add in all ingredients and stir until well combined.
2. Grease a 12 to 16 oz microwave safe ramekin or bowl with coconut oil then add quinoa mixture to prepared dish. Press mixture in the ramekin and use fingers, fork or spoon to smooth out create an even surface.
If baking in the oven
Preheat oven to 350F, then place dish in oven and bake for 22-27 minutes, or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cool slightly and then invert onto serving dish, garnish with toppings and enjoy!
If using quick microwave method
Place dish in the microwave and cook for 3 to 4 minutes (microwaves vary). The “bake” will slightly rise and will be more firm to touch and mixture will pull away from the sides of the baking dish. Be careful not to over cook or you will have a hard hockey puck that you will have to give to your dog. Let cool for one minute and then invert onto serving dish, garnish with toppings and enjoy!