Happy Wednesday to you! How is your week going? I’ve been a busy girl both at work and with blog-related projects, one of which I’ll be sharing with you guys very soon! For now, let’s talk recipes and new things, shall we? See that delicious looking thing in the pic above? Peanut butter lovers, this one’s for you! But let’s make sure we get some dinner before dessert…
1. Recipe of the Week: Oh winter, how I loathe thee. Every year I seem to fool myself into thinking that the end of December marks the half way point and that in another 2 or 3 months, we’ll be in the clear with green grass and flowers. However, being Canadian and having lived in this lovely (but cold) country for 19 years of my life, I should know better. Truth be told, the first day of winter was December 21st and even though spring technically starts on March 19th, I wouldn’t be surprised I’m still wearing my winter jacket and boots to work.
That’s what hearty soups and stews are for.
This Moroccan Chickpea Stew is a far more flavourful and incredibly sexier looking version of a recipe I made in my early blogging days. It uses harissa, which is a paste made of various chili peppers, coriander, garlic, vegetables and olive oil. There are heaps of harissa recipes out there which vary slightly depending on the chef, but I chose to just buy a jar because I wanted this to be a quick and easy stew, not a long and laborious process.
So, what other goodies have we got in here? Well, aside from the obvious chickpeas, there’s carrots and sweet potatoes which both pack a ton of vitamin A in the form of beta carotene. (If you’re really observant, you might have noticed that it’s actually butternut squash in these pics because I ran out of sweet potatoes. Either way, both are delish and contain lots of beta carotene!) This is an antioxidant that protects our bodies from free radicals, and it’s great for your skin. We’ve also got red bell peppers (hello vitamin C!) and ginger, which is a fantastic anti-inflammatory and great healer for any condition from digestive upset to nausea.
All of these ingredients come together to create a great big pot of magic, and if you’ve got the ‘how long till spring?’ blues, I strongly suggest making a batch (or two) for yourself.
2. PB2!! I’ll preface this new thing by saying that I’ve been dying to try it ever since I found out that it existed. For those of you that have never heard of PB2, it’s made by Bell Plantation and is basically just powdered peanut butter. All you need to do is mix a little with water (in a 2 parts water to 1 part PB2 ratio, in case you wondered) and used in the same way that you would any nut butter.
The advantage to this formula? Well, it’s got fewer calories and fewer ingredients than many of the other peanut butters found in your local grocery store. It also doesn’t come with the hydrogenated oils or stabilizers commonly added to keep peanut butter fresh for longer.
Here’s the comparison numbers-wise:
I ordered my jar online, but my local (Kitchener Waterloo-area readers) will be happy to know that I also recently discovered it at Healthy Foods & More! I can’t remember what the price was, but if you’re dying to get your hands on a jar, they’ve got them, as well as the chocolate PB2.
Anyways, back to my first PB2 trial. The Bell Plantation website has lots of awesome sounding recipes, both sweet and savoury, that use PB2. However, because I had a pretty busy day yesterday, there wasn’t a whole lot of time for baking. Although it’s rare that my sweet tooth strikes, I just so happened to have a little craving for something sweet after dinner last night. I made myself a little mixture of the following:
- plain Greek yogurt (about 3/4 cup)
- 1 tbsp of PB2 (no water added)
- 1 tsp raw cacao powder
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extra
- a generous shake of cinnamon
- 1 packet of stevia
The result? Flippin’ mind blowing. Amazing, decadent, creamy and rich, and totally satisfying (not to mention high in protein AND healthy!) Did it taste peanut butter-y? You bet it did! In fact, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have been able to detect a difference if I made the same recipe with real PB.
Although my calorie counting days are long behind me, I know that this method of tracking is useful for people trying to shed a few pounds. After all, it worked for all 70 of the ones I was looking to lose! If you’re trying to kick a sugar addiction, clean up your diet, or reduce your calorie intake, but feel the need to end meals with something sweet, I’d definitely suggest giving this combo a try.
My next application of PB2 is going to be in a more savoury dish (I’m thinking in the form of a Thai peanut sauce) and if it turns out well, you’ll be hearing about it!
Before you go, tell me…
- Have you ever tried PB2? Did you like it?
- Peanut butter or almond butter: What camp are you in?
- Did you try anything new yesterday?