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peanut butter pumpkin spice granola bars

Peanut Butter Pumpkin Spice Granola Bars

In the spirit of the Peanut Butter for Breakfast campaign, I thought it would be fun to share some breakfast recipes using peanut butter.  What better place to find inspiration than the National Peanut Board’s website.  I found so many delicious ideas, including these super healthy granola bars.  It is amazing how easy and inexpensive it is to make granola bars right at home.  And they’re good too!

These granola bars have a perfect balance of flavors and a nice texture that is not too chewy, not too crispy.  They are naturally sweetened with dried fruit and a touch of molasses.  The peanut butter is present, but subtle, and acts as a binder with the egg whites.  Add a little spice, some oats and seeds, and you have a healthy, high-protein, high-fiber granola bar that is perfect for an on-the-go breakfast, a mid-morning pick me up, or any time the mood strikes.

Peanut Butter Pumpkin Spice Granola Bars
 
Yields: 8 bars
Ingredients
  • Cooking spray
  • 2 tablespoons natural peanut butter (chunky or creamy)
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 1½ cup rolled oats
  • ¼ cup dried fruit, such as dates, raisins, prunes, chopped (I used dates)
  • 2 tablespoon flaxseed meal
  • 2 tablespoons pepitas (green pumpkin seeds) or sunflower seeds
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 8-inch square baking pan with foil and spray foil with cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the peanut butter, egg whites and molasses until combined.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together the oats, dried fruit, flaxseed, pepitas, sesame seeds and pumpkin pie spice.
  4. Add the oat mixture to the peanut butter mixture, and stir until combined.
  5. Pour into prepared baking dish and use a silicone spatula (or the back of a spoon sprayed with cooking spray) to spread the mixture into the pan and bake for 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool completely in the pan. Remove from pan by lifting out the foil and then cut into 8 bars.

Adapted from the National Peanut Board

healthy easy chocolate peanut butter pretzel truffles with flax gluten free

Peanut Butter Pretzel Truffles

I have never been one to do much for Valentine’s Day, but I am happy to have any reason to cook or bake something special.  Or in the case of these truffles, to mix, roll, and chill something special.  These tasty truffles are not only easy and a healthier option, but are made using a few simple ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry.

We all know that chocolate and peanut butter are wonderful together.  Add pretzels, and you have the ultimate salty-sweet combination.  Toss in a little flaxseed for good measure, and voila!   Delicious little Peanut Butter Pretzel Truffles.  These are the perfect little treat for your sweetie this Valentine’s Day, or for yourself any day simply because you are worth it!

Peanut Butter Pretzel Truffles
 
Yields: 16 truffles
Ingredients
  • ½ cup chunky natural peanut butter
  • ½ cup pretzels, crushed (this yields approx. ¼ cup once crushed)
  • 2 tablespoons flaxseed meal
  • ½ cup chocolate chips, melted
  • sprinkles (optional, for topping)
  • chopped peanuts (optional, for topping)
Instructions
  1. In a medium bowl, mix peanut butter, crushed pretzels and flaxseed until combined. Put in the freezer for 45 minutes to 1 hour (until mixture is solid).
  2. Roll a small rounded teaspoonful of peanut butter mixture in your hands to form a ball. Place ball on small tray (or plate) lined with parchment or waxed paper. Repeat until all mixture is used. Put tray in freezer until firm, at least 1 hour (I often do this overnight).
  3. Working quickly, dip the frozen balls in melted chocolate and place back on parchment-lined tray. (Note: using 2 forks to dip and pass the balls in the chocolate works well). Top with sprinkles or chopped peanuts, if desired. Refrigerate until chocolate is set, at least 30 minutes. Store in an airtight container in refrigerator.
Notes
1) When working with natural peanut butter, I recommend microwaving it in the jar (as long as the jar is glass) for about 30 seconds. All natural, easily stirred peanut butter.
2) When melting chocolate chips in the microwave, always remember less is more. Cook it on low power in 30-second intervals until chips just start to melt. Then stir to finish melting. Work quickly to dip the truffles.

Adapted from Eating Well

healthy chocolate peanut butter oat coconut bites

Healthy Peanut Butter Balls

 

Healthy Peanut Butter Balls are an addictive, no-bake snack, made from simple ingredients found in your pantry.  

It is no secret that I love peanut butter.  So you can imagine my excitement when I was selected to participate in the Foodbuzz Tastemaker program with the National Peanut Board.  The task was to create a snack recipe using peanut butter and incorporating other ingredients found in most homes. Easy enough!

I wanted to make something healthy, convenient and easy.  I also wanted to make something with oats.  It was time to roll up my sleeves, grab ingredients from the pantry and experiment.

After adding a little here, a touch there,…voila! I finally got the results I was looking for, using simple wholesome ingredients found in my pantry.

This healthy snack could not be any easier to make. The recipe requires no baking; simply measure, mix, roll and chill. The mixture may seem a little dry at first, but as you continue to mix it comes together (or add a little more honey or peanut butter to moisten the mixture to a consistency that works for you). Rolling the balls in a coating as optional. It makes the balls a little less sticky on the fingers, and also is a fun way to vary the flavors, but it is not necessary.

Healthy Peanut Butter Balls are a healthy and delicious snack, or even a quick breakfast on-the-go, featuring one of my favorite foods of all time…peanut butter!

Healthy Peanut Butter Balls
 
Yields: 16-18 balls
Ingredients
  • 1 cup peanut butter, natural is preferred (chunky or creamy)
  • 2 tablespoons honey (or agave nectar)
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed or wheat germ
  • 2 tablespoons sweetened flaked coconut
  • cocoa powder, wheat germ, powdered sugar, chopped peanuts, (optional) – for coating
Instructions
  1. Heat peanut butter and honey in the microwave until easily mixed, about 15-20 seconds. Stir until blended.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix oats, flaxseed and coconut (if using) until combined.
  3. Add peanut butter mixture to oat mixture and stir until incorporated. (Mixture may seem a little dry at first…just keep mixing).
  4. Form a rounded tablespoonful of the combined mixture into a ball and place on a plate. Repeat until all mixture is used. Now, if you do not want to coat the balls, skip to step 6.
  5. Roll each ball in whatever coating suits your preference. Cocoa powder, powdered sugar, wheat germ, cinnamon sugar and chopped peanuts are some ideas.

Disclaimer: As part of the Foodbuzz Tastemaker program, I was provided with 2 jars of Planters peanut butter, from the National Peanut Board, for free.  The details of my experience are exclusively my opinion, and I was not otherwise influenced or compensated.

Zucchini, Banana, and Flaxseed Muffins | alidaskitchen.com

Zucchini, Banana, and Flaxseed Muffins

Zucchini, Banana, and Flaxseed Muffins | alidaskitchen.com

Zucchini, Banana, and Flaxseed Muffins are a healthy muffin that tastes good too!  They are made without any butter or oil, yet the are moist and delicious due to the zucchini and banana. 

 New magazine day is one of my favorites days of the month.  Since I subscribe to several magazines, this translates into several favorite days a month!   Actually, I think Mike might like new magazine day more than I do.  Especially when after just one quick perusal, it looks like this…

10 flags after just a quick glance.  Not bad, eh?   Just wait until I get a chance to be more thorough!

It was hard to choose what to make first, but there was clearly no better way to kick off zucchini week here than Zucchini, Banana, and Flaxseed Muffins!  Good thing too, because these might be the tastiest muffins ever!  I know, I know, I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again.  But this time I mean it!

After one bite, you will never guess that these are healthy and low fat!  Sure there is zucchini and banana, but I’m sure you’ve noticed a lot of times muffins find some way to become glorified cupcakes.  Not these.  There is no butter and no oil added to these muffins, yet they are incredibly moist and delicious.  For an additional nutrition boost, I subbed in some whole wheat flour.  I also replaced whole milk with buttermilk since it seems everything is made better with buttermilk.

This week I will be featuring several zucchini recipes throughout the week.  I hope you will all enjoy them as much as we have!

Zucchini, Banana, and Flaxseed Muffins
 
Yields: 12 muffins
Ingredients
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • ½ cup ground flaxseed (flaxseed meal)
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1½ cups coarsely grated zucchini (I used 1½ zucchinis)
  • 1 mashed ripe banana (approx ⅓ cup)
  • ¾ cup buttermilk
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • nonstick cooking spray
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly coat 12 standard muffin cups with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flours, flaxseed, brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder and cinnamon.
  3. In a small bowl, stir zucchini and mashed banana together. Add to flour mixture and stir to combine.
  4. In medium bowl, whisk together milk, egg and vanilla. Add milk mixture to flour mixture and stir gently until combined (do not overmix).
  5. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes in pan and then transfer to wire rack to cool completely (about 30 minutes).
Notes
Adapted from Everyday Food, September, 2011