peanut butter

Secret Ingredient Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars

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Apparently yesterday was national peanut butter and jelly day. How could I miss such a holiday?! Well, since I eat peanut butter and jelly every day (in one way or another) I wasn’t too surprised when I found myself making these PB&J bars anyways.

20140402-214330.jpgWhat I actually did was use up ALL the ‘leftover’ ingredients I could find. This includes: half a frozen pear from this recipe, the rest of the blueberry muesli from this recipe, and some blueberry jam that’s been sitting in our pantry untouched.

Here’s the whole bar fresh from the oven:

20140402-214416.jpgBe sure to read the substitution notes. As I said, I was trying to use up old ingredients but you can use more generic pantry staples.

And now cut into bite size pieces:

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1 1/2 cups Trader Joes Blueberry Muesli*

1/4 cup pear sauce**

1/3 cup jam

1 egg

2.5 tbsp peanut butter

>> Preheat oven to 350F. Add peanut butter, pear sauce, and beaten egg to the muesli. Line a 8×4 loaf pan with tin foil for easy removal. Press about 3/4 of mixture into the pan firmly. Spread jam on top. Firmly press remaining mixture bits on top. Bake for about 20 minutes. Let cool before cutting into 8 bars.

*Alt. use 1 1/2 cups oats + 1/4 cup dried blueberries or raisins

**I made this by placing 1/2 chopped frozen pear in a pan with some water, cinnamon, nutmeg, ground cloves and letting simmer until soft. Then I blended into a puree. Alt. use 1/4 cup applesauce or other fruit butter.

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‘Cheezy’ Complete Lunch

20140324-154859.jpg Based on the survey I sent out last week, a couple of readers showed interest in getting ideas for balanced meals and not just individual recipes.

Please comment your opinions if this is helpful for you, otherwise I plan on discontinuing this.

1 Almond Butter Toast [1.5 fat, 1 fruit, 1 grain, 2 protein]

1 Sweet Potato Quinoa with ‘Cheezy’ Broccolini [2 fats, 3 grains, 1 protein, 1 vegetable]

1 Apple [1 fruit]

1 cup Milk [1 milk]

Peanut Butter and Jelly …. and Cottage Cheese Toast

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I love peanut butter and jelly, and I love cottage cheese. Once I started making my toast like this, I was hooked. As I showed you with this nut butter banana toast, revamping kids meals is my favorite. Here is the before:

 

Replace the simple carbs, high sugars, and high sodium levels to get:
20140327-204557.jpg1 slice bread (I used this Ezekiel bread)

1/4 cup cottage cheese

1 tbsp nut butter (I used almond butter)

1/2 tbsp your favorite jam

>>Toast the bread. Top with nut butter. Mix jam into cottage cheese, or add them in separate layers.

 

Healthy Snack Swaps: Review on Peanut Butter Cereals

This is the first post to a new blog series: Healthy Snack Swaps. Each post will have a category (e.g. Peanut Butter Cereals) that will compare and feature a healthier alternative to competitor products. At the end I will post a review of the “healthiest” product, as well as the exchanges it provides per serving. SnackSwap_1

NUTRITION:

From the nutrition facts, the five cereals don’t differ much. All are fortified with vitamins and minerals. Not surprisingly, Reese’s Puffs are the sweetest with 10g of sugar, while Puffins PB have almost half, with 6g.

Serving Size Calories Fat Carb Protein
Reese’s Puffs 3/4 cup 120 3g 22g 2g
Peanut Butter Cheerios 3/4 cup 110 1.5g 23g 2g
Peanut Butter Toast Crunch 3/4 cup 130 3g 24g 2g
Peanut Butter Capn Crunch 3/4 cup 110 2.5g 21g 2g
Puffins Peanut Butter 3/4 cup 110 2g 23g 3g

However, I’m here to tell you to ALWAYS look beyond the nutrition facts. From the bare bones you wouldn’t see that PB Toast Crunch is made with partially hydrogenated oils. Partially hydrogenated oils, another term for trans fats, directly increase bad cholesterol (LDL) and lower good cholesterol (HDL). They are often used to increase shelf life but are very bad for our health.

The top four cereals are made with more than 15 ingredients. Big no-no. Most of these come from chemicals and additives used to preserve products or give them unnatural flavors/colors.

Barbara’s Puffins Peanut Butter Cereal is non-gmo, made with only 8 ingredients, and is low in sugar. It is also vegan and wheat-free. 

COST:

I can buy Puffins at my local grocery store for around $4 a box, and the others for about $3 a box. For 10 cents more per serving, I think it’s worth the nutritional benefits alone.

REVIEW: Barbara’s Puffins Peanut Butter

20140228-184622.jpgIf you’re expecting a bowl of candy like when you eat Reese’s Puffs, you’re not going to get it. However, the texture of these crunchy corn puffs are delicious. They have a sweet hint of peanut butter and don’t leave you with a bowl of sugar milk at the end. Unlike Cheerios, they won’t put you in a race to beat the soggy timer. I always find myself going back for seconds or thirds.

I wishthese had a more intense peanut butter flavor. I. love. peanut butter.

Recommendations? I prefer eating Puffins with soy milk over regular milk because of the sweet accent it gives. Usually I just grab a handful and eat them plain, or on top of my yogurt like granola. For an extra delicious combination, try this cereal with some Chunky Monkey Chocolate Milk. SO. GOOD.20140228-184704.jpg

 1/2 cup= [1 grain]
1 1/2 cups= [3 grain, 1 fat, 1 protein]

What’s your favorite Peanut Butter Cereal?

Share your PB Cereal recipes, reviews, comments, questions below!