I was visiting a girlfriend on her bachelorette weekend last fall. Late one night we needed a snack and she brought out heaven in a packaged container. It was whipped peanut butter and chocolate. We got out some graham crackers and went to town. Mind you, we both have master's degrees in nutrition. That did not matter in the wee hours (or maybe 10pm) of the evening.
I was, however, curious to see what the ingredients were and if it was something I could make. Besides all the additives and preservatives and what not, at its heart (and mine) was peanut butter, chocolate, and some sugar. I knew I could make it at home and although I hesitate to say I made a healthier version, it definitely has better ingredients.
It is so good, you can just eat it straight.
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted
1 teaspoon honey
~ 3 tablespoons chocolate chips
Place all the ingredients in a food processor or Nutribullet. Blend until all the chips have disintegrated and all the ingredients are mixed nicely. The color should be a dark brown and the consistency should be runny. You could totally pour this over some ice cream at this point and it would be awesome.
Take the mixture and place in the fridge for at least an hour or more. You will have a pretty hard chocolate peanut butter spread. Although you can stop here, if you take it one more step it will be worth it.
Scrape the hardened mixture into a bowl (I used a KitchenAid mixer for this part so I put it in that bowl). With a mixer on high, whip the mixture until it about doubles in size and becomes a nice medium light brown. It only takes about 2 minutes.
Now take a graham cracker just grab the spoon and enjoy.
Yes, organic coffee is definitely more expensive. But if you are having a cup (or 4) every morning, organic is the way to go. It is an easy change that will decrease your pesticide exposure.
I have found 2 brands that I love!
Kicking Horse Coffee
Black Knight Dark Roast
Want to learn more about why coffee is a Real Food?
|Real Food ABCs - J for Java|
This week's Real Food Tip was about hormones in poultry. Keeping with the poultry theme, I put together a small collection of some chicken recipes from suzyhomemaker. Let me know if you have made any of these. (even the last one)
You might see this on a label, but then if you look closely there will be a disclaimer that tells you the FDA does not allow hormones. So it really is just a marketing tool. If you want healthier chicken, try to look for some that are pasture-raised.
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And yes it is only $5.00. Well technically $5.43 (at time of posting). So what is it? Before I tell you, or you scroll down and see it (NO CHEATING). Let me give you some scenarios I have dealt with.
Roasted veggies that burn very easily
Cookie bars with crispy, dark brown edges and undone dough in the middle
Have you guessed yet?
These white chocolate macadamia nut cookies are some of the best cookies I have made. I got the recipe from a friend who had made a chocolate chip version. Despite the fact that are huge, I really wanted to eat like five of them.
I made these for #1's birthday as a special treat. They are not made with the most perfect ingredients. I did not have time to research and order better, organic, less processed ingredients. But these are once in a while treats, so I am not going to worry about it and neither should you! I did however include links to products that might be a better option.
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tbs vanilla extract
1 egg yolk
6 oz macadamia nuts, finely chopped
2 cups white chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, sift the flour, baking soda and salt and set aside. Although its an extra step, you want to make sure that the baking soda will be well mixed into the cookies to help give the most rise.
Cream together the butter, brown sugar and white sugar until well combined. Beat in vanilla extract, egg and egg yolk. Add the flour mixture and stir until just combined. Finally, add in the nuts and chips.
Since these are going to be jumbo cookies, you are going to scoop out quite a bit of dough. Bigger than a golf ball, smaller than a tennis ball :) About a quarter cup of dough. Place the dough ball on the cookie sheet and slightly press down so it somewhat resembles a disk. Place on a cookie sheet with at least an inch between cookies. I was only able to get about 6 on my baking sheet because of their size.
Bake cookies for about 15 minutes.
Try not to burn your tongue when you take a bite out of them right out of the oven.
This homemade molasses balsamic BBQ sauce is so much different than what you find in bottles. It is very tangy and not too sweet. Making homemade barbecue sauce is actually quite simple. Plus you can control what ingredients are used and how much go into it.
If you like sweet, you may have to add more sweetener. I have used both molasses and brown sugar. The molasses version here is actually a bit sweeter, but brown sugar works very well.
Adapted from Giada De Laurentiis Everyday Italian
Ingredients1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 cup tomato paste
3 Tbsp molasses
1 Tbsp patis (or Worcestershire)
1 clove garlic - minced
DirectionsI followed her directions pretty much as is. I put all the ingredients in a sauce pan and cooked on med-low heat. I only simmered for about 5-10 minutes because I was using this on some slow cooker ribs. So I knew it would cook some more.
I am so glad I know how easy homemade barbecue sauce is now so that I don't have to scour the grocery aisle looking for some that is not made with high fructose corn syrup.
It used to be that in a grocery store, the perimeter would have the fresh, less processed foods - meat, dairy, produce. However, that is not the case anymore. Now stores will cross-merchandise and put packaged, processed foods on the outskirts. Think bottled salad dressing near the lettuce or condiments near the meat.
Every once in a while you will still hear advice about shopping the perimeter, but it is a tip that is outdated and not helpful anymore. A bottle of dressing near produce will not be healthier than one in the middle aisles.