Advertisements
Tag Archives: Nut butter

Pumpkin Pie Walnut Butter & Pumpkin Protein Crepe

7 Jul

I have TWO recipes to share with you today. I have been going a little bit crazy with the pumpkin lately. But when you have delicious, fresh puree to use, why not?!

I love nut butters, all kinds. Well, all MY kinds that are made fresh and healthy, without added sugars and bad oils that is! I literally am pulling out my food processor at least one time if not two times a week to make some. It just seems to..disappear. Weird.

And I don’t think I have to tell you how much I love pumpkin. So the two combined together to create a smooth, creamy, fall favorite flavor–flawless. I was tempted to just eat it all with a spoon! (Okay so maybe I did have a spoonful or two and made sure none was wasted on the food processor). Anyways, it is a must try if you are a fan of pumpkin! A warning that I sometimes don’t think of since mine never lasts that long, nuts go bad when combined with liquids after about a week, so make as much as you think you will have in that time frame (and keep refrigerator!) :)

Next up, I came home from a long 4 hour morning of organic chemistry class (yes, I am stuck taking organic chemistry during the summer), and wanted a protein packed sweet treat. I was going to resort to egg whites and have something on the side at first after not being able to decide, but then knew I really wanted to use my pumpkin once again. So, call me crazy, but I combined the two. What resulted from the combo+ some other ingredients, was something I can’t quite call a pancake, or a crepe, or a sweet omelette. I wasn’t really sure what to call it, but crepe was the closest in texture :) I filled it with some vanilla “cream”, and had a delicious, sinlessly sweet pumpkin creation sitting on my plate. High in protein, healthy and delicious. Don’t judge it until you try it!

photo 1

Pumpkin Pie Walnut Butter
-1 cup walnuts, toasted
-1/4 cup fresh pumpkin puree
-1/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
-1 tsp ground flaxseed
-1 tsp cinnamon and vanilla extract
-1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

Optional: Sweetener of choice (fresh pumpkin was sweet enough for me, but if using canned, you will want to add 1 or 2T honey or 1 packet of stevia)
Directions: Food process toasted nuts until butter forms–this will take about 5-10 minutes of blending. (Check out how to make homemade nut butter here). When smooth nut butter has formed, add all other ingredients and blend until thoroughly combined. Enjoy! Great on toast, oatmeal, or any other way you typically use nut butter!

photo 2

Pumpkin Protein Crepe with Vanilla Cream filling
For Crepe:
-2/3 cup egg whites
-1/3 cup pumpkin
-2T cottage cheese
-1T ground flaxseed
-1 tsp baking powder and vanilla extract
-dash of sea salt
*Sweeten to taste (fresh pumpkin and my filling were sweet enough for me alone)

Vanilla Cream
-1/4 fat-free or low-fat ricotta cheese
-1/4 greek yogurt
-1/2 very ripe big banana
-1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Optional: 1T honey if banana isn’t sweet enough

Directions: Blend all crepe ingredients until smooth in blender. Cook in pan on medium heat until done (makes one big crepe or 2/3 small). Blend all vanilla cream ingredients together. Fill crepe/crepes with filling, and roll up! (Mint leaf for decoration) Enjoy!

Pumpkin Benefits:
1) High in Vitamin aid which aids in eyesight
2) High in fiber to keep you satisfied
3) Rich in Beta Carotene with plays a role in cancer prevention and benefit your skin
4) More potassium than a banana (great post workout food!)
5) Rich in Vitamin C to keep you fit and healthy

Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/05/pumpkin-health-benefits_n_1936919.html
Advertisements

2 Delicious Chocolate PB Mugcakes (Reese’s Cup, and Chocolate PB Cinnabon)

3 Jul

This is what happens when a challenge arises. See, I may have stopped running competitively, but oh do I still have that competitive spirit! That is why I find it so fun to participate in these challenges via Instagram. Like I said in a previous post, one of my favorite instagram accounts to follow, TastyHealth, is putting on another fun challenge. Remember the last challenge she did back in spring, when I kept making those delicious pancake stacks?! (like here and here!) Well, now she is putting on a mugcake challenge! The first week’s theme was chocolate. Oh I do love my chocolate. I already posted my Mocha Coconut Latte mugcake, but I submitted two more entries this week as well! I came up with a delicious, Reese’s Cup mugcake, and a Chocolate Peanut Butter Cinnabon mugcake!

Both were so absolutely delicious. I made one for my brother when he came in town for a few days, and then I also introduced my sister to mugcakes with the other one! They both were big fans. By the way, did I ever mention that my brother is opening his OWN RESTAURANT?! He is indeed! A healthy fast food type restaurant, called SoFresh! (click here for the website!) If you live near the Tampa, FL area, you should definitely check it out when it opens in July!! I am so proud of him :)

Anyways, mugcakes have become one of my favorite desserts when wanting something quick, healthy, yet delicious. Perfect for a college student or anyone not having much time to bake! I didn’t make them too often before this challenge, except for this chocolate one, but now I am hooked! Even though I still believe real food is of course always a better option. But when wanting a dessert, this is definitely a great option compared to most!

photo 4

photo 2

Got you convinced that you should make one yet?!

Reese’s Cup Mugcake
For Cake:
-2T peanut flour
-6T egg whites
-2T water
-1tsp psyllium husks
-1 scoop chocolate greens powder or 1T cocoa powder with stevia to taste
-1tsp baking powder

For Peanut Butter Cream Filling:
-2T fat free ricotta cheese
-3T almond milk
-2T peanut flour
-1/2 tsp pb extract (can omit)
-1/2 melted ripe banana

For Chocolate Shell:
-1/2 cup Greek yogurt
-2T cocoa powder
-2T honey or 1 packet stevia

Directions: Combine all mugcake ingredients together. Pour into mug and cook for 2 minutes. Melt banana in microwave in bowl for about 30 seconds (gives caramelized taste), and mix in the rest of all cream ingredients. Cut mugcake in half, and full with peanut butter filling. Mix together “shell” ingredients, and top cake with this ” chocolate shell”

Chocolate PB Cinnabon Mugcake

For Cake:
-2T peanut flour
-1T oat flour
-3T egg whites
-1T Greek yogurt
-1/2 scoop chocolate greens powder
-1tsp all natural pb
-1/2 tsp cinnamon
-1/4 tsp butter extract
-1tsp baking powder

For Chocolate Topping
-1T cacao powder
-1T water
-1T honey

For PB Swirl
-1tsp melted all natural pb
-1/4 tsp butter extract

Directions: Mix all cake ingredients together. Place in mug and cook for 1.5 minutes. Top with chocolate sauce. Swirl in melted pb. Top with cacao nibs if desired

Pumpkin Peanut Butter No Sugar Granola {1st RecipeRedux Post!}

21 Jun

Why does every single granola today have to be loaded with sugar as well? Here people think they are being “healthy” by having yogurt and granola, yet they are eating flavored yogurt with tons of sugar, and granola with tons of sugar. Sugar overload without even knowing it?? I think so. This sugar detox I have been on this last month has really open my eyes. There really is so much added sugar in almost everything these days! I am constantly having to read labels throughout this detox for fear of buying and eating something with sugar; even products you would never guess had sugar!

That is why I decided to make my own granola. And what better way to make it than a pumpkin and peanut butter flavor, my two favorite things? Well, actually I could name a few more things to squeeze on that list, but those are certainly two of them :)

No, this granola isn’t super sweet like the store-bought stuff you are normally use to, as it does have no sugar; but it is quite good! And without the super sweet taste, it won’t spike your blood sugar levels and lead to overeating! My mom even liked it better than the one she was eating prior to this.

It is loaded with many of my favorite seeds: hemp, flax, and pumpkin seeds! Which leads me to why I had to hold out on sharing this recipe for a little bit. This is my first month being a part of Recipe Redux, which is an awesome community of healthy living bloggers that strive to create more nutritious recipes. Each month, we get a theme that we must make a recipe according to. Can you guess this month’s theme?! You got it, SEEDS! “Sowing Seeds” to be exact :) I knew I had been wanting to make a healthy no sugar granola for awhile when starting my sugar detox, so this was a perfect opportunity to do just that. I hope you enjoy, I know I did as mine only lasted a couple days!

photo 3

Pumpkin Peanut Butter No Sugar Granola
-1 cup oats
-1/2 cup hemp seeds
-1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
-1/2 cup currants
-1/4 cup mashed ripe banana
-1/4 cup pumpkin
-3T ground flaxseed
-2T peanut butter
-1T coconut oil
-1 tsp each: vanilla extract, cinnamon
-1/2 tsp sea salt
optional: 1/4 cup cacao nibs, or 2T of honey if wanting a sweeter granola
Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all seeds, oats, and currants, cinnamon, sea salt, and cacao nibs (if using) in a bowl. In small bowl, combine mashed banana, pumpkin, oil, extract, and peanut butter. Mix in wet ingredients into dry ingredients. (if too dry, add more pumpkin or oil, if too wet, add a touch of flaxseed). Mixture should be crumbly but sticky. Place on non-stick cookie sheet (can place on aluminum foil on sheet to prevent mess if desired). Bake in oven for 10 minutes. Take out and toss mixture around, bake for another 10 minutes. Check: if browned, it is done and you can take out; if not crispy yet, bake for 5 minute intervals, watching closely, as it burns very easily! Take out and let cool on tray. Enjoy!

Hemp Seed Benefits:
1)High Protein (and very digestible protein)
2)Contains all 20 amino acids (including the 9 essential amino acids our bodies can’t produce)
3)High Fatty Acids and Fiber amounts
4)Contains vitamin E and trace minerals
5)Perfect 3:1 ratop of Omega-6 Linoleic Acid and Omega-3 Linolenic Acid
6)Rich source of phytonutrients
7) Richest known source of polyunsaturated essential fatty acids

Flaxseed Benefits
1)High in fiber, both soluble and insoluble
2)Contains all 9 of the essential amino acids your body cannot make
3)Contains lignans, which have both plant estrogen and antioxidant qualities
4)Rich in Omega-3 essential fatty acids
5)May reduce inflammation

Pumpkin Seed Benefits
1)Filled with minerals including: phosphorous, magnesium, manganese, iron, and copper
2)Contains phytosterols, compounds that have shown to reduce cholesterol
3)Contains L-tryptophan, which help with good sleep and lowering depression
4)High in zinc, serving as a natural protector against osteoporosis
5)Good Source of vitamin E
6)Most alkaline-forming seed
7)Excellent source of vitamin B group
8)Contains good quality protein
9)Reduces inflammation without side effects of drugs
10)Good for prostate health



 

“Not-tella” and Banana Nut Muffin Butter

9 Jun

This may have been my greatest idea yet. I have been on a nut butter craze since this no sugar challenge. Also, with just eating healthier and avoiding bad fats, I have been loading up on all the delicious good fats, like homemade almond butter, avocados, and coconut oil! I am not exaggerating when I say I make homemade nut butter at least once a week. I dont know what happens. One moment, the jar is full..and a few days later, it has disappeared! :) I have also been eating an avocado a day–a new favorite food of mine!

So I went to go make my normal weekly raw almond butter, but then saw 2 ripe bananas that needed to be dealt with. Usually I just cut these up and freeze them (my favorite snack!), but today, a genius idea came into my mind.

I had wanted to make a sweet nut butter for awhile. Specifically, a chocolate one. But with no sugar allowed, I decided against it for awhile..until today.

What you’re about to see below is what I would like to call “Not-tella”. What kind of name is that you may ask? Well, this is surely not that name brand Nutella stuff..similar, but so much better. And did I mention it is so much healthier?! Ahh I think I died and tasted a bit of heaven when licking the spoon the first time. I could eat this whole batch. But I won’t. Let’s just hope it makes it through the week :)

I also made a batch without cocoa powder in it. This I would like to call banana nut muffin butter. Why? Well, it’s a nut butter, it has bananas, and tastes like a delicious, creamy butter version of banana bread!

If you try one thing tomorrow, this must be it. You will be SO thankful you did.

photo 3

Not-tella
-2 cups raw almonds (can use store bought butter–1 cup)
-1 large ripe banana
-1.5 T cocoa powder
Directions: Food process enough almonds to make 1 cup of nut butter (about two cups). This step will take awhile. Once blended into butter, add in 1 large ripe banana. Blend again. Add in cocoa powder. Blend once more. Enjoy! Keep refrigerated.

For Banana Nut Variety: Leave out cocoa powder. Add 1/4 cup chopped almonds after all blending is done (for a banana NUT muffin taste!)

For Almond Joy Variety: Add 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut with banana and blend. You can also add coconut extract if desired. For a non-banana almond joy recipe, check this post out.

photo 1

Blend the nuts into butter first

photo 2

Add chopped banana and blend

 

photo 3

Banana Nut Muffin Butter Variety!

Banana Health Benefits:
1)High in potassium which prevents muscle cramping
2)counteracts calcium loss
3)Helps overcome depression because of Tryptophan
4)Heightens your mood, relieve PMS, and cause relaxation
5)High in B6 which prevents swelling and aids in weight loss
6)Rich in pectin which aids in digestion
7)High in fiber
8)Makes you more alert

Almond Healthy Benefits:
1)Relief from respiratory disorders
2)Aids in hair, skin and dental care
3)Improves digestion
4)Can relieve coughs
5)Good for those with diabetes
6)Heart Healthy

PB2 has Added Sugar?!

22 May

Sugar Detox:Day 3

I’m feeling great! Once again, sitting in a 4 hour organic chemistry class without gum is harsh for me, but other than that, fruit has been enough to satisfy that sweet tooth! One finding from yesterday..

pb2 pb2-03

You know that so loved PB2 peanut flour that tastes so great?! Well now I know why. It has added sugar!! Why does everything have to have added sugar to it? I would not have used as much of this as I have in the past if I had known. Thankfully I realized this before I ruined my sugar detox!

Another bad thing about pb2: It has had almost all the fat taken out, so that it is so much “lower in fat and calories”. But isn’t the reason we eat nut butters is to get in some healthy fat. I think so. And now, with this, that isn’t true.

The Truth about PB2 in detail can be found here!

I’ve learned it’s all about moderation. Moderation in eating the food. Not Modifying the food to make it “healthier” so we can eat mass amounts of it! There is such an over eating epidemic in the world today. By the way, things that are “low in fat” have usually had that fat replaced with sugar, so they truly are healthier for you!

There is a peanut flour in which is truly just peanut flour, and no sugar added. Like I said, it still doesn’t have those healthy fats, but I will probably purchase some for minimal use. My main source of nuts will definitely be coming from real, full fat, yet raw nut butters I make at home:) That’s truly healthy! This genetically modified, sugar free, low fat stuff is not truly “healthy”. Low in calories unfortunately does not mean healthy, just like high in calories does not mean unhealthy! There is such a misconception of what healthy is today, and it has led to obesity and eating disorders of all kinds unfortunately.

What to take away from this? Reevaluate what you coin as healthy and not healthy. And check your products labels, they might just surprise you! Fats are good for you, in moderation and of the right type :)

Making Your Own Nut Butter

15 Apr

I’ve posted before about specific recipes for different flavors of nut butters I’ve made, but I’ve gotten a lot of questions as to how to even go about making homemade nut butter!

So I’ve decided to dedicate today to showing you all the steps in making it:) It seems appropriate since just yesterday I made a huge container of fresh, homemade almond butter. It was heavenly. There is just something about the homemade stuff. Something that tastes so much better than the store bought butters!

And guess what? Not only is it easier, just requiring whatever nuts you desire plus the food processor, but also very healthy without all the extra added oils and sugars, and cheaper than store bought!

Yesterday, I even took it a step further and split it up into two containers, making a chocolate caramel almond butter, and a coconut vanilla one. Talk about delicious creations. I was eating it by the spoonful!

But first, let me take you step by step as to how to make it!

Step 1: Toast almonds (or whatever nut you are using) in oven on broil, watching very closely until they are slightly browned. I emphasize watching closely, because I have burnt many batches of good nuts myself by taking my eyes off of them for just a quick minute!

photo 1

Step 2: Place toasted nuts into food processor.

photo 2

Step 3: Turn food processor on, and let those babies grind and grind and grind!

photo 3

First it’ll just look like chopped nuts, like above. Then, it’ll become finely processed like an almond flour type consistency.

photo 4

After a couple more minutes of food processing, it’ll finally begin to look like butter! You may have to stop a couple times to scrape down the butter from the sides, and then proceed to process again.

photo 1

Finally, you will be done! And you will have an excellent, creamy, homemade butter!

photo 1

This is when you can get creative and add in your own flavors of liking:) I split my batch up this time, and put a tablespoon of cocoa powder and a teaspoon of caramel extract.

photo 2

And the other half, I put vanilla and coconut extract in, with just a little bit of unsweetened shredded coconut! So delicious:)

photo 1

Hope you can now go and make your very own nut butter!:)

Almond Joy Butter

18 Mar

Wait, an almond joy in a spreadable form? Yep, I believe I created it. And I even added a little extra ingredient to make it healthier:)

Are you a peanut butter or almond butter lover like I am? Sometimes people rule it off as a “bad” food, because of the fat in it..but surprise! Our bodies actually need healthy fat to function to it’s fullest potential :) So instead of ruling it out of your diet, let it count for those grams of healthy fat that your body wants and needs!

Nut butters are so healthy, especially when getting the all natural kind that don’t have all the preservatives and sugars in it. And guess what? This one has none of that. All freshly grounded and food processed right here in my own kitchen. Here are some of the benefits!

Benefits of Almonds
-Reduces risk of heart attack
-Lowers bad cholesterol
-Helps build strong bones and teeth
-Provides healthy fats and aid in weight loss
-Lowers the rise in insulin after meals
-Provides good brain function
-Alkalizes the body
Benefits of Coconut (too many to list all!)
-Helps prevent obesity
-Improves heart health
-High in dietary fiber
-Low glycemic index
-Reduces sweet cravings
-Improves digestion
-Gives energy boost

Okay so you’re probably thinking by now, I don’t care about all of this, I heard the word almond joy and just want the recipe! Haha, well here you go :)

IMG_5365

Almond Joy Butter
-1 cup of freshly ground almond butter (or about two cups of raw almonds)
-1/2 of one big, very ripe banana
-1/2 cup unsweetened coconut or 1/4 cup coconut butter
-1/4 cup almond milk
-agave or stevia to sweeten as desired

Directions for making your own almond butter: Toast the two cups of almonds in the oven (about 5 to 10 minutes). Place almonds in food processor and turn it on. This will take awhile depending on the strength of your food processor. Be patient! It will grind down to small bits, then a powder, then begin to slowly clump up. You will have to knock the almond puree down from the sides several times (like i said, making your own nut butter requires patience). Keep blending until almond butter texture is achieved (about 10 minutes of processing).

Directions for rest of recipe: Place coconut in food processor and blend until butter form. Add banana and almond butter (if you used store bought almond butter, you can blend all three together in any kind of blender). Add almond milk to achieve desired consistency (more for a thinner texture). Sweeten to your liking with agave or stevia. Enjoy!