Monthly Archives: August 2012

Peanut Butter No Bake Cookies (with Chocolate variation)

In this picture, half of the cookies are peanut butter and half are flavored with carob powder(looks like chocolate/cocoa). You could also use cocoa powder.

My first memory of ‘no bake cookies’ was when I was  about 10 years old. I was visiting my 20-year-old sister who lived across the country in Georgia at the time. She wanted to make no bake cookies so I followed her lead and we put them together and then stuck them in the fridge! No baking in the oven! I was a little wary at first, but once they’d chilled for awhile and I tried my first cookie, I was amazed! They were so good! I clearly remember going back to the fridge over and over again and pulling out one and popping it in my mouth.  I’ve made some conversions so it’s more of a whole food recipe, using things like natural peanut butter and raw unrefined sugar, so you can have a couple without feeling guilty, but just a couple :).

Start out by putting your oats in a large mixing bowl and setting them aside. Combine the sucanat (sugar), butter and milk in a medium saucepan. Cook it over medium heat until the butter melts and it begins to boil. Remove it from the heat and stir in the natural peanut butter and vanilla(and optional cocoa powder). Pour the peanut butter mix over the oats and stir together.

You can use a cookie scoop or a large spoon to scoop cookies onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Stick them in the fridge and let them chill for a couple of hours until they are firm. That’s it! Oh, and if you want you can do this recipe half plain with peanut butter and half with chocolate powder. If I’m doing it this way, I’ll mix it up in two medium saucepans and then just stir the 1 1/2 cup oats right into each of the pans(for a total of 3 c) rather than dirtying extra mixing bowls.

Peanut Butter No Bake Cookies(with chocolate/carob variation)

1 c Sucanat or other whole can sugar like maple sugar

1 stick unsalted butter

1/2 c whole milk(or rice/almond milk)

1/2 c natural peanut butter

1 Tbsp vanilla extract

3 c rolled oats

optional: 3 Tbsp cocoa powder or carob powder

Place the sucanat, optional cocoa powder, butter and milk in a medium sauce pan over medium heat. Cook until butter is melted and mixture begins to boil, stirring frequently. Don’t let it boil for more than a minute. Remove from heat and whisk in peanut butter and vanilla. Place oats in a large mixing bowl. Pour peanut butter mixture over and stir until combined. Using a cookie scoop or Tablespoon sized spoon, scoop cookies onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Chill in fridge 2 hours until firm.

*Sometimes I’ll do this recipe half plain with peanut butter and half with chocolate powder. If I’m doing it this way, I’ll mix it up in two medium saucepans and then just stir the 1 1/2 cup oats right into each of the pans(for a total of 3 c) rather than dirtying extra mixing bowls.

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Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie

I’m sorry it’s been so long since my last post. The end of our summer is here and we’ve been traveling the past two weeks, first to Yellowstone for a couple of days and then to Washington to visit my family. I’m not gonna lie, when I’m visiting with my family, the last thing I want to do is spend time on the computer, and so I don’t. But, we did make and eat lots of good food during my visit and now that my two oldest are back in school full-time and we’re back to a routine, I should be able to handle my weekly posts again and share some of these recipes.

One afternoon on our trip, we took a ferry to an island. There was this cute ‘green’ cafe on the island that stopped at(i’m sure we overwhelmed this little cafe with our party of 12, and 7 of which were children). We got smoothies for all the kids. There was this one called Nuts and Nanas that I loved! So when we got home later that evening, I  did some experimenting and came up with a pretty good copy cat. Here are the ingredients:  milk(rice, almond, soy or cow are all good), natural peanut butter, ground flax, vanilla and frozen or fresh bananas(with ice).

I freeze my bananas by breaking them into thirds, placing them on a cookie sheet and sticking them in the freezer for an hour or more. Once they’re frozen I go ahead and transfer them to a ziploc bag for longer storage and write the date on the bag with a sharpie. I don’t just dump them all in a ziploc from the beginning because then they really clump and stick together and it’s hard and time consuming to get them unstuck. Whenever stores have the marked down really ripe bananas, I’ll get four or five bunches and freeze them. Now that your banana is cut into thirds, when you make this smoothie, you can just pull out 4-6 chunks(1-2 bananas), depending how sweet you want it.

Typically I use about 12 oz almond milk, 2 bananas(6 frozen chunks), 1/4 c natural peanut butter, 2 Tbsp ground flax and 1 tsp vanilla. When I’m making it for my husband, I’ll  also add a scoop or two of vanilla or chocolate protein powder. If you’re using fresh bananas, you’ll also want to add about a cup of ice.  Just stick all your ingredients in a high power blender and blend until smooth.  I’ve had this for lunch the past couple of days. I love smoothies as meal replacements, especially in the heat of the summer; so light and refreshing!

THE RECIPE:

Nuts and Nanas Smoothie

12 oz  milk (almond, rice, soy, cow etc)
2 fresh or frozen bananas (freeze in thirds)
1/4 c natural peanut butter (can increase to 1/2 c for a thicker, creamier consistency)
2 Tbsp ground flax
1 tsp vanilla extract
optional: 1 scoop vanilla or chocolate protein powder
*1 cup ice if you’re using fresh bananas

Place ingredients in blender in order listed and blend until smooth.

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Filed under Breakfast, Lunch, Smoothies, Snacks/Sides/Appetizers, vegan

Almond Blonde Brownies

I have a sweet tooth. I always have. Blonde brownies was a favorite as a child. These almond blonde brownies don’t have any sugars, just honey and some chips to sweeten things up, and are made with whole white wheat flour and ground flaxseed. Don’t get scared, I promise they are good! In fact, I like these so much that it’s not really a good thing. Why? Because it means this 9×13 pan is gone super fast. As I was eating my perhaps third, maybe fourth brownie the other day my husband reminded me that eating that many sort of defeats the ‘healthy eating’ purpose. I knew that, I just forget sometimes :). You really shouldn’t eat so many in a day so if you’re having a hard time keeping your hands off of them, you can share these brownies, or if you don’t want to share, you can freeze them(like I did!) and save them for another day. I put as many as will fit laying flat in a quart or gallon sized freezer ziploc bag. Then when you want one, pull it out and stick it on a small plate and allow it to thaw at room temperature for about 15 minutes.

Here are the ingredients. I buy raw, local honey in bulk and then keep it in large tupperware containers, so that’s what you’re seeing in the upper left corner of this picture. Almond butter can be pricey, but it’s not as bad if you get it from Costco. I buy whole flax seeds at Winco or health food stores in the bulk section. I used golden flax for these blondies. I grind my own flax in my Blendtec(high power blender) for a few seconds and it turns into a beautiful soft flour. I grind for a second or two, then stop and shake, then grind again for a couple of seconds and it’s done. You don’t want to grind for much longer than that because flax seeds are oily and will get damp and clump together. Also, always try and use organic, free range eggs.

Sometimes when I make these blondies I’ll do half the pan with one kind of chip and the other half with another one that my kids request. This pan is half butterscotch and half grain sweetened carob chips. When I do it this way, I don’t mix the chips in with the batter. Instead I just pour the batter into the pan plain, and then I’ll sprinkle some chips on top and give it a little stir with a spoon. Oh, and don’t forget to grease your pan. I spray mine with Pam.

THE RECIPE:

Almond Blonde Brownies– lightly adapted from jillian michaels

1 c almond butter

2/3 c honey (preferably raw)

1/4 c rice milk(can use another type of milk like cow, almond, coconut)

3 large eggs

2 tsp vanilla

3/4 c whole white wheat flour

3/4 c ground flaxseed

3/4 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp baking soda

2/3 c carob chips (can substitute with other chips like chocolate, butterscotch  etc)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9×13 glass baking dish. In a large bowl, place the almond butter, honey, milk, eggs, and vanilla. Whisk together until well blended. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, flaxseed, baking powder and baking soda.  Add the dry ingredients to the almond butter mixture and stir until blended. Then stir in the carob/chocolate chips. Spread the batter into the prepared dish and bake until browned around the edges and a toothpick comes out with moist crumbs clinging to it, about 15-20 minutes. Transfer the baking pan to a cooling rack and let cool for about 15 minutes before cutting. Cut into 20 squares and serve. Can be stored in airtight container at room temp for 3 days. Can also freeze individual bars in freezer ziploc bags(I freeze five or six at a time in one quart sized bag but I lay them all out flat so they don’t stick to one another).

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