DIY: Fancy Nut Butters

Posted on May 7, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Health, Recipe | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

If there’s one thing I love, it’s a good, flavorful nut butter. And I will happily fork up the cash for it(don’t assume I haven’t paid $10+ for a single jar). But that’s not always the most wallet friendly way to eat, even if the cost per serving is relatively low. And sometimes the flavors you want just aren’t out there. Or maybe they haven’t arrived at a store near you(Justin, I’m looking at you here). That’s when you need to know to make your own. With that, I’m happy to announce the newest additions to my recipe page: nut butters.

Chocolate Nut Butter

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon nut butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon sweetener
  • Vanilla flavoring

In a small dish, combine all ingredients and stir.

Cinnamon Raisin Almond Butter

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon almond butter
  • 1 tablespoon raisins
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon liquid sweetener
  • 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar

In a small dish, combine all ingredients and stir.

Cookie Dough Cashew Butter

Ingredients:

  • 1 and 1/3 tablespoons cashew butter
  • 1 teaspoon agave
  • 1/2 tablespoon chocolate chips
  • Vanilla flavoring

In a small dish, combine all ingredients and stir.

Vanilla Peanut Butter

Ingredients:

  • 1 and 1/3 tablespoon peanut butter
  • 2 teaspoons liquid sweetener
  • Vanilla flavoring

In a small dish, combine all ingredients and stir.

The benefit of all these recipes is that they use pantry-friendly ingredients and require no food processor. Of course, I also have recipes for nut butters that start from scratch. I’ll be sure to add those over the Summer(when my food processor isn’t stashed underneath my bed).

Ginger Green & Black's Chocolate And Dark Chocolate Mint Alter Eco

Ginger Green & Black's Chocolate And Dark Chocolate Mint Alter Eco

Otherwise, I’ve been eating chocolate still. Lots and lots of chocolate. Why choose between Green & Black’s ginger and Alter Eco’s dark chocolate mint when you can have both? Beats me.

Oatmeal With Vanilla Peanut Butter

Oatmeal With Vanilla Peanut Butter

And oatmeal with the aforementioned vanilla peanut butter. I don’t actually measure out the ingredients–I eyeball it based on how hungry I am. But I wanted to give those for a good starting point. Feel free to change it up to fit your taste!

1/2 Honest Foods Apple Ginger Bar

1/2 Honest Foods Apple Ginger Bar

And 1/2 of an Honest Foods apple ginger bar I found in the fridge when I was feeling snackish. This was SO GOOD heated up in the microwave; it became like the topping to an apple crisp–Yum!

This morning, the plan was to go to the gym first thing. But I wasn’t feeling it. New plan? Make cinnamon raisin almond butter.

Oatmeal With Cinnamon Raisin Almond Butter

Oatmeal With Cinnamon Raisin Almond Butter

Vanilla Siggi With Organic Raspberry Conserves

Vanilla Siggi With Organic Raspberry Conserves

If you haven’t tried siggi’s, well I can only tell you what you’re missing then. It is so smooth and creamy in texture, and the speckles of vanilla bean = pure love. But none of their flavors are sweet enough for me on their own 😦 Which might be OK if they had a little added fat to make them richer but they don’t. Fruit jam to the rescue(and a little almond butter snuck in their as well).

I hope you whip up some nut butter for your Cookie Friday. I’m sure a shmear of cinnamon raisin almond butter on this cookie would be perfect. Now I really must start my day! Lot’s of paper writing to do I’m actually looking forward to. What, what?

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It’s A Freaky Friday

Posted on April 23, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

I was enamored by labels.

Gluten-Free, Vegan Baked Mac N Cheese With Broccoli And Mushrooms And Tempeh Bacon

Gluten-Free, Vegan Baked Mac N Cheese With Broccoli And Mushrooms And Tempeh Bacon

Ordering Garden Grille’s vegan, gluten-free macaroni and cheese, I forgot a few important things: I don’t like macaroni all that much, and a meal without a good amount of fat and protein just do nothing for me. Sure, this was kind of tasty with the vegan cheese. But really I just wanted to gnaw my arm of 5 minutes afterwards because it felt like eating air. Cheesy, vegan air.

So Delicious Vanilla Bean Coconut Milk Ice Cream

So Delicious Vanilla Bean Coconut Milk Ice Cream

When I got home, I broke into our fridge and went straight for two things: fat and protein. First up was the (frozen) fat from So Delicious vanilla bean coconut milk ice cream. I swear, even if it’s just ice cream, it filled me up 10 times more than macaroni ever would. It’s also sooo much tastier, wouldn’t you think?

Plain Oikos With Organic Raspberry Jam

Plain Oikos With Organic Raspberry Jam

Onto the protein, I had a plain Oikos with organic raspberry jam swirled in to sweeten. Delicious and 100% organic–how fun! Isn’t it funny when the foods that make us feel best and full are the same ones we eat all along?

Oatmeal With Vanilla Peanut Butter

Oatmeal With Vanilla Peanut Butter

Lastly(finally), I finished off the night in my own bed with some oatmeal. I’m not sure why, but I woke up at 2 freezing with the heat high and under covers; somehow among the shuffling I managed to get sick, apparently 😦 It took a long time to finally feel OK and fall back to sleep, so I slept in and decided not to run, at least first thing.

Oatmeal With Chocolate Cashew Butter And Coconut Milk

Oatmeal With Chocolate Cashew Butter And Coconut Milk

Pomegranate Chobani With Dried Cranberries, Blueberries, And Dark Chocolate

Pomegranate Chobani With Dried Cranberries, Blueberries, And Dark Chocolate

To make a chocolate nut butter, really you just need cocoa powder, sweetener, and some form of vanilla flavor. I made this with Madhava’s vanilla agave. It was good, but Justin could do better. Since no morning’s complete without fruit and chocolate, I broke a chocolate bar filled with dried blueberries and cranberries over my pomegranate Chobani; it has fruit, so it’s healthy, right?

Tonight I am attending an auction at my old high school. While I’m excited, I am a little wary going into it as my first event where I’ll be avoiding gluten. I’m hoping I’ll be able to just enjoy the night, but I’ll also have a pocket full of larabars or something just in case. And in my absence, I have a post prepared on how to shop and save at *drumroll*… Whole Foods! Yes, I do believe it’s possible, and I’ll tell you how.

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How Yellow Gatorade Makes Me A Foodie

Posted on March 2, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

I loved reading your thoughts on rest days on this mornings post. It sounds like there’s a a wide spectrum of loving/hating rest days and how often each person can go without one. Today helped me realize that a) 3 weeks is just too long for me and b) if this is how hungry I am when I “rest”, just put a whole grocery store in my pantry because I’m going to need it. As for the Munch Bar, from what I can tell they’re only available at Walgreens. But they’re really good for an “all-natural candy bar”! They’re probably better nutritionally than most of the bars in Whole Foods.

Forming Grass-Fed Beef Patties

I don’t think my dorm room would have passed state health inspection this morning; something about this didn’t seem right. Don’t worry! I did practice good hand-washing and did my best to keep things sanitary. After doing this a few times, I’ve definitely got it down to an art and know the insides and outs. 85/15 grass-fed beef makes the best burgers with a good dimple in the middle for when it puffs up. I was, however, almost late to class because I put off cooking one too long. Whoops. That’d be a weird excuse to have to make.

Grass-Fed Burger With Ketchup And Onions, Pickles, Sweet Potato Hash

Grass-Fed Burger With Onions And Ketchup

I think I deserve to steal the title “Burger King”, don’t you? This meal was ridiculously good, with ketchup and some white onions for the burger. For a side, I roasted a whole sweet potato, peeled it, and diced it. When the burger was finished cooking, I let the potato cook in the fat drippings for a hash; it’s simple, flavorful, and cleans the pan! What could be better? This meal held me over ridiculously well, which is good since I have 3 hours of class Tuesday afternoons.

Coffee With Vanilla Powder

Getting back to my dorm I unwound with some coffee and vanilla powder catching up on emails and google reader. Did you know that some companies sell a vanilla powder that’s literally just the ground up whole vanilla bean? It’s crazy expensive, but something I need to try some day. After tallying up the homework I have to finish for Wednesday and Thursday I’ve realized it’s going to be a rough couple of days! I might need more rest time if only because reading on the treadmill is tough to do. Bare with me if at any point I get brief.

Chocolate Avocado Pudding With Raspberry Coconut Spread

I made this to slowly enjoy before supper but ended up scarfing it down–it was that good! Just the standard chocolate avocado pudding made with almond milk and vanilla stevia. But for a new-and-nifty “topper” I mixed half Tropical Tradition‘s coconut oil with some Crofter’s Organic raspberry conserve. Raspberry is by far my favorite jam, but this just revolutionized the whole thing. And I’d love to try a “raw” version of this with agave nectar when raspberries are in season!

While I was putting off homework, I gave some thought to a guy I saw walking in to my Greek history class. He was easily 7 feet tall and carrying a milk carton filled with yellow Gatorade, which, on him, looked like a pint sized water bottle. Beyond the thought of all the nasty stuff that must be in yellow Gatorade and what the hell kind of genes he had to make him a giant, it made me think: He’s an athlete. Well, duh, but what I meant was that he really eats and breathes whatever he does. In my hand, am I more likely to carry a treadmill or a camera? Definitely the latter(and not just for the obvious reasons). I’m a foodie. I run, and I like to run, but I looove to cook and eat. My gut reaction to this post from Kelly was “You mean people don’t cook every meal?!” like it was a shock to my system. At that self-realization, I stuck some veggies in the oven and waited for dinner.

Roasted Broccoli, Coconutty Tempeh, And Toasted Coconut With Sea Salt

Roasted Broccoli, Coconutty Tempeh, Toasted Coconut, Sea Salt

Have I gotten over my deep despise for plain tempeh? Nope. Have I worked my way through the whole block I bought? Not quite yet. But I can at least get myself to eat it cooked in a little coconut oil and topped with shredded coconut. Last time I made this [completely vegan] meal, I just steamed the broccoli; normally, for Asian flavors, I’d say that’s the way to go, but I think roasting it instead here helps with the nuttiness of the tempeh and coconut. That and roasted vegetables always taste better 🙂

Here’s a delicious giveaway for some Crofter’s superfruit spreads. And here’s one for some sweet, sweet Zevia!

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But I Just Want A PB&J!

Posted on March 1, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Wow. The comments on this post have been phenomenal. Whether it’s vegan guilt or any other kind, there is something so therapeutic about writing it down. It doesn’t have to be on a public place like I did, but if you have anything inside, consider writing it on a piece of paper, even if that only thing that sees that paper is the inside of a trash can. You’ll feel better.

Celestial Teas

This morning, while running errands, I was sipping on the Bengal Spice Celestial tea and I had to mention it because it’s phenomenal. It’s very earthy with cinnamon and nutmeg, and has a definite Indian spice to it. And I got both of these for $3 total with sales and store coupons at Stop & Shop Sunday–good deal! I managed to pry the cup out of my hand long enough to do laundry and make a trip to the dining hall before a phenomenal lunch.

Garbanzo Bean Salad

Chickpeas, Raw Cheddar Cheese, Hemp Seeds, Hemp Oil, Mulberries, Spinach

Normally, I couldn’t care less for salads, but WOW was this good. The base was just a spinach and greens medley with plenty of hemp oil sweet & sassy from Foods Alive. On top of that was 1/2 a can of chickpeas and a diced cheddar raw & probiotic cheese stick from Next Generation Dairy; I’ve nibbled on this cheese before(so I knew I liked it) but I finally got an accurate review up. If you love cheese, check it out, because this practically redefines cheddar from a flavor and nutrition point. Lastly, I topped it with Bob’s Red Mill‘s hulled hemp seeds and Navitas Natural’s Mulberries. I’ve had the mulberries before and wasn’t a fan, but here there mellow sweetness really worked, almost like golden raisins but duller and more superfoody. This held me over for a good while until my chocolate tooth struck.

Chocolate Avocado Pudding With ChocAlive! Dark Chocolate Crunch Truffles

From raw cheese I went to raw pudding and truffles. I made a batch of chocolate avocado pudding using 1 tablespoon coconut milk and 2 tablespoons water for the liquid. The topping was no question; recently, Chocalive! sent me a couple of samples to review. They’re completely raw, vegan, and endorsed by Alicia Silverstone! I tried the dark chocolate crunch ones first. The inside was to die for–so chocolaty and soft. The cacao nibs were a bit too bitter in contrast for my taste :-/ I’ve never really liked those sucker. Can you imagine that? A part of the cacao pod I don’t enjoy? Go figure.

Cranberry Crunch Perfect Foods Bar Lite

Before dinner, I snacked on a Cranberry Crunch Lite bar from Perfect Foods. There’s nothing particularly “lite” about this bar; it’s just not a full meal replacement bar like their other flavors and filled with brown rice crisps for volume. I liked how, even though they cut the calories from 300 to 180 in here, they kept the same mentality of a bar with a focus on healthy fats, protein, and a whole food blend. And their signature raw honey made this so sweet! It seemed like there was something raw in everything today.

Oatmeal With White Chocolate Raspberry PB, Greek Yogurt With Organic Raspberry Conserves

For dinner, I had an odd craving for me: PB&J. Maybe it’s the fact that it’s National Peanut Butter Lover’s Day? Well, anyway, I don’t keep any bread around; gluten-free breads are usually more expensive, I don’t know of any good brands, and I don’t need bread that much, so what’s the point?(Sidenote: When I told my mom I don’t eat bread over the weekend, you would have thought I shot her in the chest. She loves bread, especially the Italian white stuff.) Sooo I improvised with some PB oats and J on the yogurt.

Oatmeal With White Chocolate Raspberry Peanut Butter

My poison PB of choice was the last of the raspberry white chocolate peanut butter from P.B. Loco(who apparently have fallen off the face of the earth since I did a review for them in the Fall). I just go loco for anything white chocolate and/or raspberry. I’m sure there’ll be more peanut butter celebrating in a little bit but this was definitely a delicious start 🙂 Did you celebrate? How so? And now I’m going to do a little research to figure out what the heck happened to P.B. Loco.

Here’s a giveaway for Tropical Tradition’s coconut oil and here’s another for their coconut creme concentrate–both great products!

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