peanut butter power bites

Even a kitchen fail can produce beautiful results. I mean, just take a look at these…

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I am certainly no stranger when it comes to the occasional kitchen “mess up”. There are things, simple things, really…I just can never seem to get it right! My favorite example of this is brown rice – I don’t know what it is, but I have a tendency to either undercook/overcook the rice, or add slightly too much salt when preparing it. White rice, cous cous, or any other grain is no problem for me, but that darn brown rice and I just don’t get along!

But I digress. Back to today’s recipe.

I was making a batch of my homemade peanut butter and I accidentally over-processed the mixture. While still delicious, the end product was far too grainy and chunky to really be called spreadable. It was so thick I could barely get it out of the food processor, let alone into a Mason Jar for storing it! But I sucked it up and saved it anyways; I hate throwing out food, and I knew that if I gave it a day or two to roll around in my foodie brain, I’d eventually come up with something.

And boy oh boy did I; the end product is so wonderfully delicious {and nutritious!}. I was snooping around my pantry and my eyes danced over the rolled outs near the top shelf. So of course I thought of peanut butter cookies, but then I started pondering a no-bake, freezer-style version. Thin the peanut butter out with some honey and add in oats for binding, and you’ve got the perfect power snack! I was giddy with excitement, practically dancing into the kitchen to pull out my trust food processor yet again.

Y’all, the process doesn’t get much simpler than this. Everything goes into the bowl, a few quick pulses, and you’re there. I scooped them into greased mini muffin tins, popped them in the freezer, and fell in love. Truly. These are the perfect bites for between meals; great healthy snacking for outdoor activities, or a tasty little treat before bed. I even offered up a few suggestions for add-ins, should you feel so creative : ) These have become a staple in our house; I hope they will become the same for you!

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Peanut Butter Power Bites

Perfect for snacking on the go, and just comprised of three ingredients, there’s no reason to not whip up a batch right now. You’ll be glad you did! 

Ingredients:

2 cups peanut butter {here’s my homemade version!}

1 cup rolled oats

1/4 cup honey

optional: dried fruit bits, chopped nuts, mini chocolate chips

To Prepare:

Place all ingredients {except the optional ingredients} into the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until combined; it won’t take long!

Fold in the optional ingredients by hand.

To assemble:

1.  Bites can be rolled into balls and placed on a greased sheet tray.

2. Using a greased mini muffin tray, balls can be formed and molded into rounds.

3. Spread evenly into a greased 9″ x 9″ baking dish.

Freeze until solid, about 3-4 hours. Store tightly covered.

“snickerdoodle” cookie dough dip

I’m a woman obsessed. Obsessed with making and eating cookie dough.

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Many of you may remember way back to this post, when I finally put to the test the oh-so-popular “cookie dough” dip. I wasn’t really one to doubt the idea, as I am all about making indulgent treats healthier, but I knew that a certain someone in my household might not be so keen. After all, beans are the main ingredient! Am I crazy?!

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Well, fast forward about 15 minutes later, and both the hubs and I are going all at the batch of dip that I whipped up. It was a total, 100% success! Not that I had any reason to believe otherwise. heh.

It’s been quite some time since that day, and many a batch have been whipped up since then. I’ve experimented with a few different flavor combinations to see what else I could come up with, but none shone as bright as the one we’re making today. It’s snickerdoodle style, y’all. And wow, is it incredible. I have to thank the hubs for this one, because not only is this his favorite type of cookie, but it incorporates a childhood favorite as well; cinnamon toast cereal is acting as the “grain” of the cookie, resulting in the most glorious cinnamon-sugar flavor punch imaginable. It’s fantastic, delicious, and…well….delightful.

Of course, any brand of cinnamon-sugar cereal can be used, but I had those crazy squares on hand. You could use a gluten-free option, or go the more organic route, too! It comes together in a matter of minutes, and probably won’t last much longer than that.

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Sneaky Cookie Dough Dip {a twist on this recipe!}

The best way to indulge in all the goodness of cookie dough, but without the guilt! This dip will fool even the pickiest of eaters; they’ll be going back for seconds, and then thirds!

Ingredients:

1-1/2 cups chickpeas or white beans, drained and rinsed very well

1/8 tsp. salt

1/8 tsp. baking soda

2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

1/4 cup nut butter of choice {my homemade peanut butter works excellent here!}

up to 1/4 cup of milk {I used my favorite sweet cream coffee creamer}, only if needed

1/2 cup cinnamon-sugar cereal, plus additional for garnish

To Prepare:

Add all ingredients into the body of a good food processor, and process until very smooth. This will take anywhere from 3 to 5 minutes. Add in the liquid, a tablespoon or so at a time, until your desired consistency is reached.

Scoop into a dish and sprinkle with additional cinnamon-toast cereal pieces. Garnish with graham crackers, sliced fruit, or cinnamon-sugar toast points. Enjoy!

peanut butter & jelly bread

Serving up nostalgia, one slice at a time.

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I happened across this idea not too long ago. In fact, you may remember the last trip that the hubs and I took – our Bourbon Trail tour of Kentucky, that is. We mixed it up this time; a bit of hotel time and a bit of tent camping time, all interwoven in one weekend. It’s easy to plan your first meal of the day when staying in a hotel, but what’s a cook to do when she knows they will only have campfire heat {if that} on one of the other mornings?

Enter: peanut butter and jelly bread.

I couldn’t tell you what made me think of this. I know that the hubs loves a good, ol’ fashioned PB&J sandwich…I mean, who doesn’t?…but the thought of making it into one cohesive loaf? Has this gal lost her mind? Once I set upon the idea, I knew that I needed a little bit of research and credibility on my side; something to back me up, if you will. And when I found the recipe below, my guideline, I knew that I had struck gold.

It truly doesn’t get much simpler than this, y’all. We’re talking easy as pie, a one-bowl wonder breakfast bread. It comes together in know time and, from personal experience, is rib-sticking-you’ll-stay-warm-and-full-all-morning kind of good. Whole wheat flour packs a nutritious punch, and heightens the nutty taste of the peanut butter that’s folded in. With no added sugar, the fruit preserves and dried cranberries are able to shine their brightest. Greek yogurt brings protein into the mix, helping you power right through your morning.

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And the best part? You can slice this ahead of time, freeze it individually, and simply warm up as needed for breakfast on the go. Winning!

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Peanut Butter & Jelly Bread {recipe adapted from Whole Foods Market}

A fun twist on a classic sandwich, this bread is sure to bring a smile to everyone’s faces! You get all of the flavors of a standard PB & J, but in one easy-to-hold slice of bread. Wonderful warmed in the oven once sliced, too!

Ingredients:

1 cup all-purpose flour

3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour

3 tbsp. ground flaxseed meal {optional}

1 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. sea salt

3/4 cup low-fat buttermilk

2/3 cup peanut butter

1/2 cup fat-free vanilla Greek yogurt

2 large eggs

1/2 to 3/4 cup fruit preserves of your choice

optional: cinnamon-sugar to sprinkle on top of the loaf 

optional: dried cranberries or other dried fruit to layer in with the preserves 

To Prepare:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Generously spray a loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray, and set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together both flours, {optional} flaxseed meal, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the milk, peanut butter, yogurt, and eggs. Gradually stir the peanut butter mixture into the flour mixture until just combined. Do not overmix!

Spoon half of the batter into the bottom of the loaf pan, making sure to get it into all of the corners. Spread the fruit preserves evenly over that first layer of batter, and top with the optional dried  fruit. Top with remaining batter, and smooth out to seal in the jam. If desired, sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar mixture.

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Bake for 55-65 minutes {your oven may vary slightly}, or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for about 5 minutes, then turn out onto a rack and allow to cool completely. Cut into slices and serve!

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