Powdered peanut butter, or sometimes referred to by the common brand PB2, has gained widespread popularity within the last few years because of it’s crazy similarity to actual peanut butter while containing about only 12% of the fat. It sounds to good to be true, and in my opinion, it really was but it is true! PB2 is insanely tasty and while not as good as actual peanut butter, it is pretty much almost there. If I can get peanut nutrients without the oil.. count me in!
While playing around with a bottle of PB2 I purchased from TJ Maxx, I found that it works great in baking and making food items taste like peanut butter, but is actually not great for when you want to actually taste the texture of peanut butter. For example, I made a PBJ with peanut butter and was not a fan because it was too dry for my liking. However, smoothies, frozen yogurt, and baked goods are great ways to used PB2.
I’ve been trying to eat low-carb to hopefully improve GI comfort, so I experimented with a low-carbohydrate chocolate cake with the recipe adapted from SkinnyTaste.
Low Carb Chocolate Walnut Cake (Gluten-Free)
yield: 12 (4×3 bars)
- 1 c. powdered peanut butter
- 1/2 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1/8 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1/3 c. + 2 tbsp. honey or agave
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 c. water
- 1/2 c. dark chocolate chips
- 1/3 c. chopped walnuts
- Preheat oven to 325 F.
- Spray a 9×9 baking pan with non-stick spray or line the pan with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, combine peanut powder, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk eggs, water, vanilla, honey/agave, and water. Add dry to wet ingredients and whisk until smooth. Stir in dark chocolate chips and walnuts and pour into baking pan.
- Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until fully cooked.
- Cool on a cooling rack for about 10 minutes and then serve!
The cake is best served hot and is packed with protein! I take one or two bars to work to munch on when I am need of a snack.
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This is a recipe taken from Big Man’s World that is absolutely simple, foolproof, and healthy! I have made these for breakfast multiple times and they never disappoint. The great thing about this recipe is that it is low-cost, vegan, and gluten-free so it’s an ideal bread alternative for someone with Celiac’s disease. All the ingredients used are natural and are a great source of fiber from rolled oats and alpha-linoleic acid from the chia seeds. I ended up making an eggs benedict-type of breakfast with the English muffin, it goes great with almond butter (check out how to make homemade almond butter!), jam (check out how to make homemade chia jam!), honey, ricotta… really whatever you have on hand would serve as a great topping for the muffins.
Microwave English Muffin (Vegan + GF)
yield: 1 large English muffin
- 1/3 cup rolled oats (gluten free, if necessary)
- 1 tbsp chia seeds or flax meal
- ½ tsp baking powder
- 2 tbsp unsweetened applesauce (I used a quick homemade apple sauce where I microwaved apple slices and placed in a food processor)
- 1 tbsp non-dairy milk
- In a blender or food processor, process the oats, chia/flax seeds, and baking powder until a fine and evenly mixed powder forms
- Transfer to a small cup, bowl, or ramekin, and add the applesauce and nondairy milk, and mix until dough forms. Flatten the top of the dough.
- Microwave for 2 minutes on high.
- Let it cool for 2 minutes and then slice, toast (optional), and enjoy with your toppings of choice!
On a side note, I made my English muffin breakfast a tad crazy as I loaded on the toppings, but I am all for creativity so top as you please! I included caramelized onions, tomatoes, goat cheese, cucumber slices, and turkey bacon.
a close up on the goodness
Chia jam used on my nut and seeds bread
Jam and peanut butter make the quintessential combination, and although peanut butter provides health benefits such as protein and Vitamin E, jam is often straight up added sugars, packed with preservatives. Thus, I wasn’t too big of a fan of jam ever because the flavors felt all too sweet and artificial for me.
Luckily, health enthusiasts have been genius enough to conceive up a recipe called “Chia Jam” which I think is pure genius. By using chia’s nature to form a gel to make the jam without having to use any added corn syrup or sticky starches cuts calories drastically and actually makes the jam healthy! I attempted a strawberry chia jam recipe and it was an absolute success, and better yet, you are able to control the sweetness of your jam. Since I don’t have too big of a sweet tooth, I think that mine was perfectly sweet enough to my liking.
Strawberry Chia Jam
yield: 1/2 c. jam
- 9 medium-sized strawberries
- 1 tsp. honey (use agave or maple syrup if vegan); this part is totally up to your tastebuds, so keep adding sweetener to your liking
- 4 tbsp. chia seeds
- Place the strawberries and sweetener in a food processor and pulse for about 20 seconds, or until the jam has become a puree.
- Place the puree in an airtight container and add the chia seeds. Combine the mixture and place in the fridge for at least 10 minutes.
- The jam should be a thick, spreadable texture.
I am still extremely amazed at how genius this recipe is and I enjoyed it on toast, in a peanut butter sandwich, and even made thumbprint cookies using the jam!
pulse the strawberries in a food processor
Chia seed and fruit puree
chia and puree before the fridge
Eating Raw was something I always chose to steer clear of, like if you give me zucchini noodles, please cook them…
Because of this, I didn’t like to try raw recipes because I would always prefer the cooked version. However, I recently made raw vegan brownies and they’re superbly delicious along with many other adjectives: vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, you name it! The natural sweetness comes from dates, which is a key ingredient in healthy and vegan cooking and baking. Then, the base is ground almonds (almond flour), which is gluten-free, and contains monounsaturated fat which helps to prevent cardiovascular diseases. This swap makes the brownies raw because you can eat almond flour, but you must heat all-purpose flour before it can be eaten. Lastly, the chocolate-y goodness comes from cocoa powder, which is low in fat and calories as compared to actual chocolate. I then topped the brownies with an almond butter ganache, and I’m just like, “What’s not to love about this dessert?”
3 Ingredient Raw Vegan Brownies w/ almond chocolate ganache (yields 6 large brownies)
- 1 c. almond flour
- 10 pitted dates (I used medjool but any type works)
- 1/3 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 tbsp almond milk or water to make batter stick together better (optional)
- 2 tbsp. almond milk
- 1/4 c. dark chocolate chips
- 1 tbsp almond butter + more for drizzle
- Throw dates into a blender and blend until the mixture resembles caramel.
- Combine almond flour and cocoa together in a large bowl.
- Add all the date mixture in and combine/kneed with your hand. Add some type of liquid (I used almond milk) if the batter is not coming together enough or if you like gooier brownies. (The reason I added a liquid was because the dates acts as the binding agent, but during my first try, I used enough dates to bind the brownies together and they were too sweet. So I cut back on the dates and simply used a different binding agent.
- Place the mixture into a square pan lined with parchment paper and press down until brownies are about 1 in. thick. Place in the fridge for about 5 min.
- In a small bowl, microwave almond milk for 30 seconds.
- Add the chocolate chips and almond butter and let the bowl sit for about a minute. After a minute, stir with a spoon until a ganache is formed.
- Take the brownies out of the fridge and pour ganache on. Place brownies in the fridge for about 10 min. or until ganache is cooled.
- Take the brownies out and drizzle with microwaved (makes it easier to drizzle) almond butter.
Seriously, these brownies are too good. TRY THEM. You won’t regret it.
My intention for going to Target was to purchase party supplies for my friend’s birthday, but damn does Target know how to do business. I immediately walked and saw to my left their extremely aesthetic dollar section filled with pastel colors, gold calligraphy words, and vintage looking items, all for $5 or less. I always ignore the snacks or little toys, but there was a section of mason jars and glass spice containers that caught my attention, and they were only $3. How do I even pass on such a deal? Deciding that mason jars are too large for my food portions, I selected the pack of 4 small spice jars for $3 with the idea of testing overnight oats. Several years ago I made overnight oats and thought it was the grossest thing ever, until after self-reflection I realized I made “48 hour oats” rather than “overnight oats”. I despised the mushiness of the oats as I wondered why overnight oats were even a thing, like do people like eating mush? But that was my mistake. Do NOT soak your oats for over 7-9 hours, it’ll be disgusting.
Eagerly ripping over the package of 4 glass jars, I improv’d with a simple dorm-friendly, 4 ingredient overnight oats recipe. I am not certain what the measurement are since I eyeball’ed so all measurements are estimates.
4 Ingredient overnight oats (yields 1 jar):
- 1/2 c. microwaveable instant oats
- 1 tbsp. nut butter, I used peanut butter in 2 jars and almond butter in the other 2
- 1 tsp. chia seeds
- 4 tbsp. almond/soy milk
- add all ingredients into a jar and mix
- place in the fridge for 7-9 hours and enjoy
Tip: since I bought 4 jars, I prepped each jar with the recipe above except the addition of the milk. I recommend to add the dry ingredients and add milk only if you will be eating the oats 7-9 hours after to prevent oversoaking and mushiness.
Note: Do not eat if it hasn’t soaked for 6 hours. I tasted my first jar after only 3 hours and I got a major stomachache.
It looks rather offputting, like a colony of fish eggs, but I swear that it’s completely animal friendly. Chia seeds are a new product to me, so I simply sprinkle some on top of my oatmeal, cereal, and wraps, where I barely noticed eating it. All I knew was that I was getting some sort of health benefit without the taste of it. However, I recently browsed the web and discovered that chia pudding is a thing! It looks extremely unappetizing, but it’s a great breakfast staple-a great swap for oatmeal/ cereal on certain days. The more jaw-dropping part was that I actually had all the ingredients sitting in my teeny tiny dorm room! How so? Because my “Broke College Student” version requires only 3 ingredients: chia seeds, almond/soy milk, and honey. If you have 30 seconds to spare, I recommend you make chia seed pudding, by pouring milk into the chia seeds along with a dash of honey.
- 1/4 c. chia seeds
- 1 c. vegan milk (I used unsweetened almond)
- 1 tbsp. honey
- combine all three ingredients together and mix thoroughly to incorporate
- Place in the fridge for a minimum of 1 hr. and make sure all chia seeds are submersed the the milk
- Top with your favorite toppings! I used banana, pumpkin flax granola, and pumpkin seeds.
There are multiple variations of chia pudding recipes online, many which require 6 + ingredients such as cinnamon or vanilla extract, but I find that honey adds enough flavor and sweetness to the pudding. The pudding is packed with flavor, fiber, protein, and antioxidants on its own, but additional toppings is recommended for a more flavorful and filling meal. You probably have some nuts, raisins, or chocolates lying around your dorm, so toss them on and enjoy the gooey, crunchy pudding in your mouth.
I found a can of black beans in my pantry, and I wondered to myself, what am I supposed to do with this? I rarely eat black beans, and the only recipe I could think of was making a veggie burger. Here is the recipe that I came up with, and I have to tell you, it tastes so meaty and flavorful that its really difficult to tell that it isn’t meat. Now, if I feel like having a burger, I’ll definitely have a veggie burger. It is so many times healthier and not greasy at all.
Black Bean Burger:
1 can (16. oz) black beans
2 large carrots (peeled and cut into pieces)
3 cloves of garlic
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tbs. cumin
bbq sauce- I used about 1/3 cup
breadcrumbs- I used panko
1. Drain the beans really well so you don’t have a soggy burger
2. Onions, garlic, and carrots into the food processor. Pulse until you have small chunks of onions and carrots.
3. In a bowl, mash the black beans until pasty.
4. Combine onion mixture into the beans. Add cumin, cayenne pepper, egg, breadcrumbs, and bbq sauce. Form into patties and either grill or pan fry.