Tag Archives: snack

Powdered Peanut Butter & Banana Protein Shake

For those of you who follow me on instagram(elisa_realfoodsmom), you’ll recognize this recipe from a post I did last week.

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I found this powdered peanut butter on sale at Sprouts and picked it up when I saw there were only three ingredients and no refined sugar (peanuts, salt and coconut sugar, which is unrefined).

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Since then we’ve made multiple batches of peanut butter and banana protein shakes! You could also sub the powdered stuff for all natural peanut butter, 1:1 ratio (if you’re watching calories though, the powdered is the way to go).

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THE RECIPE:

Powdered Peanut Butter and Banana Protein Shake
*Makes about 14 oz

10oz unsweetened almond milk
2 tbsp powdered peanut butter
1 scoop vanilla protein powder (I like sunwarrior vegan mix)
1/2 frozen banana
4 ice cubes

Blend until smooth. Makes about 14 oz!

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

Almond Flax Protein Balls

We love protein bars and balls (I’ve posted recipes for both in the past), and I have a new one for you today which I’m super excited about because it is delicious! You guys, I hide these from my kids, they’re that good. I make them when they’re at school so they don’t even know, and then I put them in our fridge in the garage, behind something big :). I only make 16 at a time which will last me a couple of weeks, or at least a week! But with 5 kids snacking on them,  and begging for more, they wouldn’t last a day in our house. I suppose I could double the recipe….maybe someday I will, and then maybe I will share. Maybe.

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At the very end of this post I will have the macro numbers since my hubby and I are doing an 8 week macro counting challenge…which is hard but kinda fun, like playing a game, and since my husband and I are doing it together we can motivate one another. He’s raising his macros trying to gain a few pounds, and I’m doing the opposite. He’ll text me a couple of times a day with “i’m stuffed” or “I’m so full”, and I text back with some encouraging emoji like a thumbs up for “you got this!”, but inside i’m thinking, “I wish that were my problem, being too full.” Instead I’m mostly not ever full, but I’m not starving either. It’s all good and we only have 6 1/2 weeks to go! :). I’m hoping this whole process will teach me to be more aware of my foods and their caloric content and it’s a good reminder for me that I don’t need to be, nor should I be, snacking all throughout the day and that it’s okay to be hungry, probably good actually, because it means I’m allowing time for my food to digest fully, not overloading my system, and it makes me appreciate the flavor of foods more; everything tastes amazing these days!  Alright, enough of that, let’s get on with the recipe!

In a medium mixing bowl add almond butter, syrup, flax, protein powder and vanilla and stir together. Add almond flour and mix well.

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Place on an ungreased cookie sheet using a cookie scoop to measure. They can be very close together as they will not change in size. Cover with plastic and put in the fridge to chill for half hour or more. Feel free to then transfer them to a smaller tupperware container.

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You can store these in the fridge or freezer. Enjoy!

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Almond Flax Protein Balls- lightly adapted from Clean Simple Eats
*makes 16 balls; 1 ball is 1 serving

1/2 c almond butter
1/4 c pure maple syrup
2 Tbsp ground flax
1 scoop vanilla protein powder (I like Sunwarrior’s vegan vanilla powder)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 c raw almonds, ground to almond flour in high power blender (or 1 c almond flour)

In a medium mixing bowl add almond butter, syrup, flax, protein powder and vanilla and stir together. Add almond flour and mix well. Place on a cookie sheet using a cookie scoop to measure. Cover with plastic and put in the fridge to chill for half hour or more. Transfer them to a smaller tupperware container.Store in the fridge or freezer.

111 calories;  7.8 g fat, 6.7 g carbs, 4.1 g protein

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Filed under gluten-free, Snacks/Sides/Appetizers, vegan

Whole Wheat Peanut Butter Banana Muffins

Muffins are a nice grab-and-go food to throw in lunches, take on the road or have as an after school snack. And I LOVE when we find an awesome one that the whole family loves and it’s whole grain AND it doesn’t have any refined sugar, which is what you’re getting here! These peanut butter and banana muffins were a huge hit in our house. These muffins are fast(about 10 min of prep time, then 18 minutes to bake) and easy to whip up so give them a try!

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THE RECIPE:

Whole Wheat Peanut Butter Banana Muffins lightly adapted from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe
*makes about 18 muffins

1 1/2 c mashed banana (3 large bananas)
1/3 c honey
1/4 c applesauce (or melted coconut oil)
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 c creamy natural peanut butter
1/3 c milk (almond, cows, they all work)
2 c whole white wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place 18 silicone liners (or paper liners or just grease with spray/oil) in a muffin tin. In your Bosch (or with a handmixer and large mixing bowl), combine the bananas, honey, applesauce, egg, vanilla, peanut butter and milk and mix together on low speed. Add the flour, powder, soda, salt and cinnamon. Mix again and then using an ice cream scoop, scoop batter into each muffin cup (about 2 Tbsp; filled about 3/4 full). Bake about 18 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. Store in a tupperware.

*These can be frozen either in a tupperware or ziploc bag. We pull one out of the freezer in the morning, stick it in a sandwich bag to bring with us, and it’s thawed by lunch.

 

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Gwyneth Paltrow’s Bummer Bars

We made these Bummer Bars from Gwyneth Paltrow’s cook book, which are more like a granola bar than a dessert, even though the recipe is featured in her ‘sweets’ section of the book. But either way, they are good! I modified the recipe a little, mostly because I didn’t have some of her ingredients like quinoa flakes and dried apricots, but I’ve written the recipe as is from her book and then put my substitutions in parenthesis, so feel free to experiment :).

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Start out by preheating your oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9×11 inch dish with parchment paper, or you can use a lined, 12 cup muffin tin. Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl and pour the mixture into the pan or divide among muffin cups.

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Pack the mixture down with a rubber spatula (or hands). Bake for about 30 minutes, or until bars have firmed up and are golden brown (check after 25). Let cool before removing from the pan, using parchment paper to lift out of the pan, and cut into rectangles.

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You can eat these right away or store them in an airtight container and enjoy all week :).

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Gwyneth Paltrow’s Bummer Bars– Vegan, GF; lightly adapted from her book, It’s All Good
*makes about 12 bars, or more, depending on how you cut them

1 1/2 c quinoa flakes (I used oats that I pulsed in a blender until they were chopped up into much smaller flakes)
1/4 c ground flaxseeds
1/8 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 c extra virgin olive oil
1/4 c pure maple syrup
2 Tbsp brown rice syrup
1/2 c chopped prunes or apricots (I chopped up dates and they were great!)
1/2 c chopped pecans or walnuts

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9×11 inch dish with parchment paper (or you can use a lined, 12 cup muffin tin). Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl and pour the mixture into the pan or divide among muffin cups. Pack the mixture down with a rubber spatula (or hands). Bake for about 30 minutes, or until bars have firmed up and are golden brown (check after 25). Let cool before removing from the pan, using parchment paper to lift out of the pan, and cut into rectangles. Serve right away or store in an airtight container.

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Apple Peanut Butter Sandwich

If you’re feeling like having something a little different for lunch, or mixing things up for your kids school lunch, these apple sandwiches are perfect! I love the idea of having a simple and easy sandwich, but I don’t love eating that much bread every day, so I particularly love these. They are also one of my kids favorite after school snacks, but they don’t like to wait for food to get ‘fixed’ so I try to have them ready before they walk in the door.

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To make these you take an eating apple (dimpled kind, not the all round and fat kind, like Granny’s that are for baking) like Fuji, Breaburn, Gala etc and slice it horizontally. Cut out the core from the slices (or core, then slice; I just always have problems doing it that way :)). On one apple slice, spread with 1 Tbsp peanut butter, then top with another apple slice. Use remaining apple slices to make a second sandwich.

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THE RECIPE:

Apple Peanut Butter Sandwich
*makes 2 sandwiches

1 large eating apple (we love gala, fuji and braeburn)
2 Tbsp peanut butter (or almond butter)

Core 1 apple and slice it horizontally, into circular slices (Or slice, then core). Top with 1 tbsp peanut or almond butter and a second apple slice. Enjoy!

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Filed under Lunch, Snacks/Sides/Appetizers, vegan

Crock Pot Yogurt

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Plain yogurt is one of those foods that are cool because it has good bacteria for your digestive tract; probiotics with live and active cultures. Before being given this recipe last month, I had made yogurt once before and it didn’t turn out very well and, if I remember correctly, it was quite a bit of work. But when my friend told me that this recipe was simple and easy and that she makes it regularly, I had to give it a try. And I’m so glad I did, because it really is very simple and easy and my family loves the yogurt. We’ve made it several times since.

This is all you’ll need for this recipe: a crock pot, 8 cups of milk (organic if possible), and 1 cup of PLAIN yogurt (do not use flavored; they are filled with sugars and corn syrups ).

The first time I made my own yogurt, I used the Fage plain greek yogurt from costco. After that first time, I stored a cup of the yogurt I made in a covered glass dish to use in my next batch. This makes about 9 cups of yogurt and my family of 7 goes through about a batch a week in our house; granted, we don’t all eat it every day.

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Pour 8 cups of milk in your crock pot. Cover with the lid and cook on low for 2 1/2 hours. I start this process sometime between 3-4 in the afternoon so that when it’s done sterilizing and cooling and it’s ready to ferment, that part can be done over night.

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Once the timer is up, turn off the crock pot and let the warm milk sit for three hours, undisturbed, allowing it to slowly cool. Then whisk in one cup of your starter yogurt/live culture. Put the lid back on the crock pot and wrap it completely with a bath towel. Allow this to sit and ferment over night, or 8 hours.

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Once it’s done with that fermentation process, take the yogurt out and store it in covered containers (I like glass) in your fridge until it’s chilled. If you want it more thick and creamy, like greek yogurt, I found this website that has instructions.

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2015-02-06 07.24.39Be sure you save a cup in a separate container so that you have a starter for your next batch.

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We love to eat our yogurt over granola, with a little honey drizzled over top and some fresh berries. You could also sweeten it with stevia or agave.

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My girls love to have a granola and yogurt parfait for an afternoon snack. Enjoy!

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THE RECIPE:

Crock Pot Yogurt
*Makes about 9 cups

8 c whole milk (organic if you can afford it)
1 c plain yogurt (I started my first batch using Fage Plain Greek yogurt; after my first batch, I always set a cup aside to start my next batch)

Cook milk in a crock pot on low heat for 2 1/2 hours. Turn off the crock pot and leave it sitting for 3 hours. Do not disturb during this period. Whisk in the one cup of plain yogurt. Put the lid back on. Wrap the entire crock pot in a bath towel and leave it for 8 hours. After 8 hours, set one cup aside for your next batch, and enjoy!

Tips:
* I like to put store mine in glass jars and refrigerate at least an hour before serving.
* We love to sweeten our yogurt with honey and it goes great with granola and berries.
*Because the yogurt has to sit for 8 hours, I  usually  start my batch sometime between 3-4 in the afternoon, that way, come 8-9pm, it’s ready to have the yogurt stirred in and then to sit overnight.

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Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread

I love making pumpkin bread during this time of year. It makes our home smell wonderful and it makes it feel more like Fall, even if it is still 70 degrees outside in November.

Though I have a good agave pumpkin bread recipe, this pumpkin bread version contains sugar;  granted it’s evaporated cane juice and coconut sugar, but still. There are quite a few ingredients in this recipe, which you’ll see pictured below. This pumpkin bread is so moist and wonderful, and is still good a couple of days after baking. You can also freeze a loaf in a gallon freezer ziploc bag if you don’t want to have both out at once and it tastes fantastic once thawed.

You can make this bread using all whole white wheat flour, but for optimal yumminess, I use one cup of brown rice flour which I grind in my nutrimill, or you can grind it up in a high power blender; this makes the bread a little lighter in texture.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Take out your loaf pans (I use 2, 9-inch pans but you could use several mini pans too, which would make great gifts! Or you could use muffin tins) and spray them with Pam. Take a napkin and wipe around the top 1/2 inch of the pan. This will allow your bread to bake flatter, rather than with a mound in the middle because instead of the bread rising up and then the edges slipping down the sides, the ungreased top part of the pan will keep the bread from slipping back down.

In a medium sized mixing bowl, whisk together your flours and other dry ingredients(spices, baking soda, powder and salt); At this time, also set aside your chocolate chips in a bowl and mix in a teaspoon of flour to help the chips stay suspended during baking rather than falling to the bottom.

In a larger mixing bowl combine your sugar, oil, pumpkin, yogurt, eggs and vanilla. If your coconut oil is solidified, spoon 1/2 cup into your measuring cup and then put it in the microwave for about 30 seconds, until melted and then add it to your bowl. Whisk all your wet ingredients together and then add the dry ingredients, mixing until just combined. Add the chocolate chips, leaving about a Tbsp in the bowl that you can sprinkle on once it’s in the pan. Stir together.

Pour your batter into your greased baking loaf pans, sprinkle with the remaining chocolate chips and place in your preheated oven for about 45-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out pretty clean, with a few crumbs clinging.

Allow to cool in pan for about 10 minutes.

Slide a knife around the edge and then flip onto a cooling rack and allow it to cool completely before serving. Or if you’re like me and my kids, cut it while it’s still hot, blow on it for a few seconds and then put a slice in your mouth and use your hand as a fan to help cool your mouth down :).

Sweet breads are one of my older kids favorite after school snacks. When they walk in the door and can smell this bread, I love seeing smiles spread across their faces in realization! My young children that stay home with me all day enjoy ‘helping’ in the kitchen when we bake breads and they of course love this too. Happy baking!

 

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread
Recipe adapted from Our Best Bites

2 cups whole white wheat flour
1 cup brown rice flour
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoons nutmeg
1/4 teaspoons ground cloves
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon table salt
1/2 cup coconut sugar or sucanat
1 1/2 cup evaporated cane juice or other granulated sugar
6 ounces(3/4c) greek yogurt
3 eggs, slightly beaten
15 ounce can pumpkin puree
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup carob chips or sunspire chocolate chips, or  white choc chips (save a few, about a Tbsp, to sprinkle on the top of loaves just before you put in oven)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease two, 9-inch loaf pans with nonstick spray and set aside. Can also use mini loaf pans or muffin tins, but will need to shorten cooking times so watch the oven.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine flours  (put a teaspoon in a smaller bowl with the chocolate chips), cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.  Whisk gently to combine and set aside. In a larger mixing bowl combine sugars, yogurt, eggs, pumpkin, oil, and vanilla extract and whisk until smooth.

Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix together, being careful to not over mix.  Gently stir in chocolate chips.   Divide batter between loaf pans and sprinkle a few extra chocolate chips on top.  Bake for 45-55 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean with a few moist crumbs clinging. Let cool for 10 minutes in the pan and then run a sharp knife around edge of pan and remove loaves from pan and onto a cooling rack.

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Lunch Boxes, Trays and Snack Ideas

I don’t know about you, but I have a few kids that don’t want their food mixed together or touching other foods in any way. So when I found these 3 partitioned lunch trays at Walmart for $1(in the kitchen/utensils area), I picked up 5, one for each of our children. Here is Jane eating some home-made mac and cheese, grapes and carrots. I especially appreciate these trays when we have mexican foods(which we have a couple times a week) with things like salsa and sour cream on the side…those run and get messy if they’re not in their own little space, so these are perfect. Also, pasta with a bread stick and some veggies…yeah they definitely don’t like when those mix.

Another thing I LOVE are our Goodbyn lunch boxes. My cousin Rachel had these on her blog about a year ago and so I picked up a couple then. I bought two different sizes, a large and a small. The large has 6 different compartments. The smaller one has three. The smaller one is just the right size for my kids who take school lunches. The big one I mostly use when we go on a family picnic or take lunch to the park for playgroup because it’s really big. But it doesn’t look like they carry the large size anymore.

When I bought these lunch boxes, they came with a drink bottle. Now they’re sold separately but the price of the lunch box has also gone down significantly, about $10(was $20 when I bought it and now it’s $9.) You can buy the drink bottle for $5 but I rarely use mine because my kids always take a different water bottle with them anyway since the lids are a little hard to open on these. The nice thing about the bottles is that you can freeze water inside and use it as an ice pack for a cold lunch because it fits perfectly in one of the compartments. So it would have been nice if they’d had this ‘sold separate’ option back when I bought mine, because I would have just bought one bottle that we could share for when someone needs an icepack in their lunch(like for  hard boiled eggs).

Here’s a sampling of some things we put in lunches. This is what we brought for lunch last week at playgroup: pasta salad and a home-made crescent roll for me, half a pb and honey sandwich for Jane, 2 hard boiled eggs for Annabelle and grapes and a home-made trailmix (raisins and peanuts) for everyone to share.

The edges of each compartment come all the way up to the top so you don’t have things leaking into another area. Elisabeth, our third grader, always brings some plain yogurt with a little honey in one of her compartments and throws a spoon in there. The smaller lunch box won’t fit an adult sized spoon, so if they need a utensil I usually throw one of the toddler sized spoons or forks inside, or you could just throw one in their back pack and remind them to take it to lunch.

We took this for lunch at the park another week: 2 pb and honey sandwiches(stacked on top of each other), pistachios, rice crackers, carrots, strawberries and hummus.

 

I bought mine online here. You can also purchase it on amazon.com. Like I mentioned above, I bought mine for $20(small) and $25(large) last year, but now they just sell the smaller ones and they’re only $8.99! Since the price is so good, I’m going to buy a couple more of these small lunch boxes for my other kids. Think of all the money you’ll save from not buying and using so many sandwich bags and/or juice boxes! And of course they’re dishwasher safe, BPA free, recyclable and all that good stuff!

And just for fun, here are a few real food ideas for snacks, many of which you could put in your kids lunch boxes. These are all things we snack on pretty regularly at our house:

  1. string cheese or sliced cheese

  2. cooked black, pinto or great northern beans (annabelle is a HUGE fan of cooked, whole beans)

  3. trail mix (I like to mix raw almonds, raisins and salted cashews)

  4. banana and natural peanut butter

  5. apples and natural peanut butter

  6. apple

  7. peach

  8. strawberries

  9. blueberries

  10. celery, peanut butter and raisins (ants on a log)

  11. air popped popcorn

  12. whole wheat zucchini bread

  13. whole wheat toast with natural peanut butter

  14. hard boiled egg

  15. carrots and hummus

  16. plain yogurt with fruit and honey

  17. salsa and tortilla chips

  18. rice crackers and hummus

  19. guacamole and rice crackers or tortilla chips

  20. almonds

  21. banana

  22. raisins

  23. cashews

  24. peanuts

  25. pistachios

  26. lara bar

  27. grapes

  28. frozen grapes (neighbor kids always ask me for these in the summer when they’re out playing)

  29. dried apple chips

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Crunchy Peanut Butter Granola

Before we took off on our road trip a couple of weeks ago, I made a few healthy-ish snacks for us to bring along the road. One thing I hate about road trips is all the junk food and packaged food you end up eating because you don’t have a fridge or oven. I feel so nasty all day. We usually will stop and eat out one meal. In the past on our annual trips to WA we’d stop in Boise for breakfast at a McDonalds with a playland…yuck!  Did I mention we start our long roadtrips around 3am? This time we didn’t ever eat at McDonalds; we stopped at Subway instead and I got a veggie sub which was really good and made me not feel so nasty.  Everything else we eat on that 14 hour drive is in the van. I brought apples(bananas do not travel well and turn brown quickly and get really soft), green smoothies we drank before we stopped for breakfast, whole wheat bread and natural peanut butter to make sandwiches for lunch, veggies sticks to go along with the sandwiches, mini carrots, honey oat muffins, A Clif Bar for each person which we ate while in Yellowstone(Lara bars would have been better but me and Jane are the only ones in the family that like those), a trail mix and cashew cluster bag from Costco, and this home-made crunchy peanut butter granola. We’ve made this granola in the past and love it!  I don’t make it regularly because there is quite a bit of sugar, or in this case Sucanant(unrefined dehydrated sugar), plus there’s another sweetener. So I make it for special occasions, like this road trip, or if Scott(the hubby) requests it which he does sometimes. I still make my everyday granola recipe about every 10 days which is how long it takes my family to get through it. That granola recipe is very healthy and it’s softer than this one and is best eaten with milk(in the opinion of me and my children). This granola is also good with milk but it’s also fantastic just by itself, which is why I made it for our road trip. It was the first snack item we finished, which shows how good it is. We brought some disposable cups and wrote our names on them, and then we used those as snack cups so we could fill them with this crunchy granola or other snacks, and eat it from the cup so the van would be less messy….and it did help, but a road trip with a family of seven means there is going to be mess just with the amount of stuff you have to bring a long.

Here are the ingredients you’ll need for this granola(picture below). The bag on the right is the Puffed Brown Rice Cereal. I buy mine at Walmart for $1, but you can also find it at health food stores, though sometimes it’s a little more. Coconut oil I buy at health food stores and only when it’s on sale because it’s expensive! Did you know that coconut oil is also fantastic for your skin(if you’re not allergic to coconut of course). I got rid of the vaseline and started using this because my kids got eczema with the really dry climate here in Utah. Also, for this recipe you could substitute another favorite oil if you don’t have coconut oil. The sucanant(the brown grainy stuff in the white container) I get from health food stores, the vanilla, natural peanut butter and maple syrup come from Costco(I usually get my salt there too, but the one pictured is not from costco), and oats I buy in bulk(50 lbs because we make lots of the other granola) when stores are having case lot sales, though I’m not sure that would work outside of Utah. Or I buy it from the LDS food storage cannery building. The peanuts we buy in a bag in their shells because Scott and the kids like to shell them and eat them as a snack, so that’s what we used for this. Sorry all the detail on the ingredients but when people are just getting started with whole foods, a lot of times it’s helpful to know where to go to get the food and for the best price.

Preaheat your oven to 325 degrees. Take out a rimmed baking sheet and line it with with parchment paper. In a large mixing bowl, measure the oats and rice cereal and set it aside.

Melt the coconut oil with the maple syrup in a 2c or larger glass measuring dish. Why? Because coconut oil will solidify if it’s under 76 degrees so when you mix it in with pure maple syrup that’s cold from being in your fridge, you’ll get some solid chunks. In the summer at my house, our coconut oil is liquid, but the rest of the year it firms up. Add the peanut butter, salt and sucanat to the glass measuring dish and whisk together.

Pour this wet mix over the oats and rice cereal and stir well to combine. You’re not going to add the peanuts until after you’ve cooked this for a little while.

Spread the mixture out on your cookie sheet and cook it for about 15 minutes. Take it out, stir in the peanuts and put it back in the oven to cook for another 10-15 minutes. You want to cook it until it’s golden brown color and is crispy, but don’t let it go for long after it gets to this point because it’ll start to burn so keep an eye on it when you get close to the ten minute mark.

I like to cut my parchment paper so it’s a little big for the pan and the edge is hanging over a tiny bit so that it makes it easy for me to pick up the granola in the paper and slide it at an angle into an airtight container.

THE RECIPE:

Crunchy Peanut Butter Granola

2 cups rolled oats
1 cup puffed brown rice cereal
1/3c smooth or crunchy all-natural peanut butter
1 Tbsp coconut oil
1/4 c Sucanat (or granulated sugar)
1/4 c pure maple syrup (you could also use agave, honey, or brown rice syrup)
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup unsalted raw or dry-roasted peanuts, chopped

Preheat oven to 325°F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Measure the oats and rice cereal into a large bowl, set aside.Warm up the coconut oil and syrup in a glass measuring dish. Add in the peanut butter, sugar/sucanat, vanilla extract, and salt. Whisk together and pour wet ingredients over cereal and stir until evenly coated. Spread mixture on the prepared cookie sheet in an even layer. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove sheet from the oven, stir the peanuts into the granola, and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until the granola is golden brown and crisp. Remove granola from the oven and cool completely. Store in an airtight container. You can easily double this recipe.

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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