When it snows and your noon class gets canceled, what else do you do besides cook? Okay well maybe that’s just me, but snow day = kitchen marathon. I’ve already made these pancakes:
And of course added my own twist with cacao nibs, unsweetened coconut, banana rounds and chia seeds.
Now, it’s time to tackle my first ever batch of homemade peanut butter….
So many of the brands you’ll find in stores contain sugar and if you haven’t heard, sugar overload is killing us. I’ve wanted to make my own peanut butter for a while, but it wasn’t until a recent trip to Houston, TX that I picked up some fresh, raw peanuts from Frobergs Farm that I finally got the motivation.
Turns out, it’s super easy if you have a food processor! Give it a try. Warning: you might never go back to the store bought stuff.
Homemade Peanut Butter (Sugar-Free)
Makes 1 pint (or 1 wide mouth, 16 oz mason jar)
For the Peanut Butter –
- 1lb roasted peanuts, shelled
- 1 tsp pink Himalayan sea salt (or slightly more to taste)
- 2 – 2 1/2 Tbs coconut oil, melted
For roasting the peanuts –
- 1lb raw peanuts, shelled
- 1 tsp pink Himalayan sea salt
- 1 Tbs coconut oil, melted
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Place peanuts in a large bowl and toss with the melted coconut oil and salt until well coated.
- Place on 1 non-stick or lined sheet pan, making sure to spread them out into a single layer. Roast in the oven for 30 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through cooking.
- Remove the peanuts from the oven and let them cool before eating/using for Peanut Butter. They will continue to become crunchy as they cool.
- To make peanut butter, remove the skin by rubbing the peanuts together in your hands held over a salad spinner, allowing the peanuts and skins to fall into the bowl. Once the skin has been loosened from all of the peanuts close the salad spinner and spin until all of the skin has been separated from the peanuts. (This step is optional – an idea taken from Alton Brown. I skipped it and had a few skins in the mix that didn’t just naturally fall off in roasting and it still turned out well!).
- In a food processor, combine roasted peanuts, melted coconut oil and sea salt to taste. Pulse until smooth or slightly crunchy – we all have our preference!
Note: you can store this in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a month.
Big batch recipes are where it’s at! Save yourself time, money, and brain space by making a sheet pan full of roasted vegetables, 4-5 servings of a healthy whole grain, and a pot full of beans or lentils at the start of each week to make workweek meals easy peasy. You can think of the recipe below like a formula – swap the veggies out for others you like (brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, etc) and change up your spices (cumin, red pepper flakes, curry, etc). Just be sure to keep an eye as you roast different combinations as some vegetables might not need as long to cook. Look for golden brown bits around the edges and avoid letting your vegetables get black and burnt – no carcinogens please!
Work weeks are hectic and weekends are no longer for rest – at least that’s the way I’m feeling these days. In an effort to fit it all in we have less and less time for essentials like sleep, feeding ourselves and down time. What would happen if we all set aside just a few hours, once a weekend, to stay in, read a book, make some food and just plain relax?
Big batch recipes are a great use of our limited down time – good bang for your (time) buck! With that in mind, I’m launching a new series on my blog “Something for Sundays” to provide big batch recipe ideas that will help you maximize your relaxation time. You may have to hang around the house – dare I suggest, read a book, watch a movie, or listen to a podcast – but you won’t have to be too hands on with these recipes. First up…
Let’s face it, oatmeal can get pretty boring, but oats are so good for you – loaded with heart-healthy fiber and minerals. What to do?! Get baked. Err, get baking!
My baked oatmeal is super easy, cost-effective, and since it’s a big batch recipe you’ll be set for breakfast all week. Convenience – check! Taste – check! Healthy – check!
Even if you don’t typically dig oatmeal, give this method a try. It changes the texture and fuses the flavors so you might just feel like you’re eating dessert, all the while you’re fueling yourself with clean energy for an active day. And best of all, there’s no added sugar so there’s no guilt with this breakfast decadence.
Go on, shake up your morning meal. It’s good to the last bite!
Blueberry Coconut Baked Oatmeal
Prep time: 10 mins Cook time: 40 mins Total time: 50 mins
Serves: 8 servings
- 1/2 cup roasted, unsalted pecan pieces
- 1/2 cup toasted, unweetened coconut flakes
- 1/2 cup hulled hemp seeds
- 1/4 cup chia seeds
- 2 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
- 1 Tbs ground cinnamon
- A pinch of fine-grain sea salt
- 2 cups fresh blueberries (frozen will work too – just defrost and discard any liquid)
- 2 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk
- 2 large eggs
- 2 Tbs melted coconut oil
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Optional toppings for serving: plain yogurt, maple syrup or honey for drizzling, and/or more fresh fruit
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 9×13-inch rectangular baking dish with butter or coconut oil.
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine the oats, nuts, coconut flakes, hemp seeds, chia seeds, cinnamon and salt. Whisk to combine.
- In a smaller mixing bowl, combine the almond milk, eggs, coconut oil and vanilla. Whisk until blended.
- Spread the berries evenly over the bottom of the baking dish then cover the fruit with the dry oat mixture. Drizzle the wet ingredients over the oats. Use a spatula in zig-zagging strokes across the surface of the wetted oats to smooth out the top and push any dry oats down.
- Bake for approximately 45 minutes, or until the top is golden (not burnt!). Remove your baked oatmeal from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes before cutting and serving.
- Serve with yogurt and a drizzle of honey for a more decadent and delicious breakfast experience!
- This recipe will keep well in the refrigerator for up to 7 days.
- Recipe adapted from Cookie & Kate.