Posts Tagged ‘peanut butter’

Peas and Thank You: Spicey African peanut stew

Autumn days seem so right with chickpeas, sweet potato, red lentils and curry spices all in the same bowl.  To me, anyway. So right, in fact, that I just ate a massive portion now (lunchtime) and am wondering what I can eat tonight when everyone else is eating this. It’s just that my hands were so cold, and Isaac was so…asleep, and I just wanted to reward my long walk in a cold wind.

This Spicey African Peanut stew is courtesy of Peas and Thank You so to reciprocate courtesy, if you want to make this, follow the link below for the recipe quantities. However, I will tell you, it’s a throw-it-all-in-the-slow-cooker dish, and it contains the following ingredients:

  • Chickpeas
  • Tinned tomatoes (I used tinned cherry tomatoes, she used “fire roasted tomatoes”)
  • Peanut butter (not that much)
  • Coconut milk (I didn’t have any; I added some coconut oil but you can’t taste it. Oh well…)
  • Curry powder, and a few other common storecupboard spices
  • minced garlic
  • minced fresh ginger
  • vegetable stock
  • red lentils
  • sweet potato

    Better than peanut butter sandwiches.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No salt! Other than a little if you use it in the stock (I just added a little bouillon powder) 

I am proud to be thoroughly enjoying a meal seasoned only with spices, and me a salt-lover.

Here’s the link then:   Peas and Thank You: Spicey African Peanut Stew   (It starts with an anecdote of her children. Read on)

Really, click that link. It is one delicious stew.

As I mentioned at the beginning, autumn days and warm curried stews with pulses are a marriage made in heaven in my opinion.

Perfect. Almost…….I think I will just add a pinch …just a pinch….of sea salt  🙂

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Tips for baking with honey / Amazing Cookies!

Okay, let me get to the point. You have got to make these cookies! They have no sugar in at all and it is almost certain that you have all the ingredients in your cupboard right now! For the recipe itself, I will direct you to the original post on the blog it is from, but let me just say, that it only contains: wholewheat flour, bicarbonate of soda, honey, peanut butter, sunflower oil, and chocolate chips (substitute for raisins for a healthier option).

But first! Baking with Honey 101.

Ask yourself why you want to bake with honey. If it is because you have this feeling “honey is good for you”- you are right, in the sense that unpasteurised honey has a lot of beneficial minerals, amino acids and enzymes which support the immune and digestive system.

However, when you bake with quality unpasteurised honey, the heat destroys quite a bit of that goodness. In terms of blood sugar, your body will treat it as a quick sugar like table sugar. However, “raw” or cooked, it is still a more natural choice than sugar- even the ones that say “unrefined”.  Personally I use unpasteurised honey in unbaked treats and if I am baking with it, I use everyday” honey, (aka cheap!)

Honey burns far more easily than sugar; I had almost written off baking with it until I discovered this website. (I will post the link with the recipe at the end again) She bakes lots of things only with honey, and not so much as a burnt bottom in sight.

So I decided to try again, and please allow me to furnish you with the tips I have discovered. Some may not be necessary for your oven, but here goes.

  • Test with 1/2 quantities, or even 1/4 quantities of a recipe first.
  • Drop the Oven Temperature?  Her recipe calls for 175 C, I dropped mine to as low as 160, as I think my oven is quite fierce.
  • Reduce cooking time? My cookies were ready at 160 C  after 7-8 minutes, seriously!
  • Cook nearer the front of the oven– the back of the oven is always hotter.
  • Check frequently. These are not a cake so feel free to check on them if in doubt. You do not want to stick honey-only cookies in the oven and then go and paint your nails. They are done in under ten minutes in most ovens, so seriously- just hover!
  • The tray. Since everything I had ever baked with honey ended up with a burnt bottom within (it felt like) seconds, I wondered if my tray was causing part of the problem? Different types of trays conduct heat differently (Nil points for that un-scientific explanation!) Which brings me to my next magic, slightly unorthodox cookie-baking tip:
  • Silicone muffin trays! I now spoon my cookie dough into the bottom of muffin cases and gently press into shape. I place them directly on the oven shelf, not onto a tray.  Once they are cool-ish (5-10 minutes after removing from oven) remove from the cases, and with the heel of your hand gently press down so you lose that “cupcake” edge at the bottom. Okay….you may not want to advertise that you do this with your cookies (whoops, I just did!)…..a fish-slice would work too  🙂
  • Do not over-cook! These cookies will harden considerably on cooling. If you leave them in even a little too long, they will turn quickly.  Once the tops of your cookies look ever so slightly dryish and a little cracked, and/or they start to brown slightly at the edges, take them out.

Here are some photos, followed by the magic link. Don’t forget my tips, now. Good luck!

In the muffin cases they look wierd. (Don't put too much dough in....)

 

but the advantages for those of us with issues are....perfectly round cookies!

 
By the way, her cookies look nothing like mine! But she seems to know what she is doing. I just shared some tips that are the fruits of my failures in case it helps anyone. (By the way, these ones are with raisins)
 
And here is the link:
 
 
Just doing my bit for all you cookie lovers out there who want a slightly better option. You’re welcome  🙂

Quirky cookie dough, anyone?

I am still in disbelief as to what I have just made.  Let me just prep you a little. Do not peek below until you have read this. I have not lost it. I know I eat some things that may be considered  wierd  alternative  okay, wierd……  I am alright with that. Honestly. However, this one, quite frankly, takes the biscuit. I mean cookie (dough). And it works, it really does!

I am crediting this to this blog right here but there seem to be plenty of other versions of this recipe flying around.SO! That said….I give you…….drum roll…..

Hummous Cookie Dough Dip (Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chip)

I know!  Read on! This is utterly ridiculous, and delicious. I am all of a flurry, I tell ya!  All you need is a food processor. I used my mini chopper. (I honestly do not have shares in Kenwood, but I cannot live without my little £18 mini chopper.)

Ingredients for your dairy free-gluten-free-refined-sugar-free-egg-free-white-flour-free-fibre-packed-Bvitamin-fullcookie dough dip

  • 2 cups of chickpeas (about one can, well rinsed)
  • 1/4 +  1/8 cup peanut butter (Whole Earth do a version with no added salt or sugar)
  • 1  1/2 Tablespoons almond or soy milk
  • 6 Tablespoons  honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips, 

Instructions:

  • Blend everything except the chocolate chips in your food processor.

It will be easier if you put the honey/milk/peanut butter in first, with about half a cup of the chickpeas. Blend to a smooth paste and then add the rest of the beans in two batches.

  • Add your chocolate chips. Serve with apple wedges, and feel smug joyful for all things plant-ey!  🙂

Notes:

  1. There is a second version to this: With a small tweak, you can bake them as cookies! See below.*
  2. You honestly don’t get the chickpea flavour, because of the sweetness of the honey/syrup, and the earthy peanut butter flavour.
  3. Isaac (2) is at the age of loving to dip things. This a great sweet variation for toddlers to dip into, and you could leave out the chocolate chips. You wouldn’t need to sweeten it as much either. It’s our adulterated adults palates in the West that crave the very sweet flavours in recipes.
  4. I have added dark chocolate chips, even though I normally don’t use regular chocolate or sugars. I just don’t get on with it of late, and I find when I eat it, all my old cravings return, so I am happy to stay away from it. When I found this recipe I decided to make an exception. It is, after all, garbanzo bean cookie dough, and I felt I could cut  some slack 🙂
  5. If you have a Millie’s Cookies love affair, you may not be satisfied with these. Though I suspect that if you have a very sweet tooth, you will be reading other recipe blogs, not this one  🙂  Unless you simply read this because you love me. In which case, thank you, and I (probably) love you too.

Version 2: Cookies!

  • Follow all instructions above, but add 3 tablespoons of a flour of your choice (I used brown rice flour, no reason)  The texture should be like a soft dough like in this photo. Mine was a little runnier, but it still worked fine. Chickpeas are a good binder- no egg required
  • Use a 1/8 cup to scoop dough onto greased parchment paper.
  • Flatten gently
  • Place into a pre-heated oven  180 C  for 10-12 minutes or until the bottoms are golden brown.
  • Leave for a few minutes on tray, then transfer to a rack, leave to cool.
  • An important note: DO NOT use honey if you plan to bake your dough, it will burn underneath, barely in the oven. Use maple syrup or agave nectar….or…if you are thinking “What is her ridiculous obsession with not using a bit of sugar, it’s no worse than syrup?”…well..you may well be right; go ahead and use a dry sugar if you prefer. I just do it my preferred way and make suggestions, ’tis all.

    Sigh...

A horrifying realisation, and Peanut Butter Cups

I was filled with a kind of horror last night when I realised…(I am pretty slow- it has taken me a month)….I have turned into someone who photographs her lunch! And here’s the worst…..I don’t want to stop doing it, either! I used to find it highly irritating to find people doing these “Hey, you want to know what I ate today?” And now I am doing it. Kind of….Though I like to think I put a different slant on it, but you know what? Maybe I am kidding myself.

My “About” section is pretty sketchy. I just started this as a way of waxing lyrical about the food I enjoy, without having to directly irritate people I know by doing so. Thankfully I have two or three people in my life that allow me to get poetical about the things I have discovered, and they happily share in my ardour. But not wanting to overstep the mark, I decided to start this blog.

While I confess that I do look at the stats, and I like to get a comment, I mainly use this is a way to:

  • Express myself. Sometimes I just eat something that I love and feel the need to share it. Albeit with a screen. Sad, I know.
  • Record plant-based recipes that have been successful with all, most, or even just one member of the household. That’s because I am sick of scraps of paper, and this is as good as index cards, and I can put photos in.
  • Pass it on….I would love to think that even once in a while, someone will try some of this stuff, or similar things, instead of some of the junk that is out there, and enjoy it. Or make some changes which help their health and well-being.

So there it is. And here is a quick recipe. A big hit with my peanut butter loving daughter. The chocolate is my version made with honey and coconut oil. Did I mention my peanut-butter-loving daughter “HATES coconut”? She loves this chocolate though, so it can’t taste too overpoweringly of coconut. If you were not into peanuts, fill with raw almond butter or cashew butter. They are mini, like my Bounty Bar Bites. And full of coconut oil goodness, ditto ditto.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mini Peanut Butter Cups (makes 10-12)

  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, room temperature (abt 30g)
  • 1/4 cup cocoa or cacao powder (abt 15-20g)
  • 1/4 cup unpasteurised honey  (abt 50g)

Then, for the filling…..

  • 1/4 cup no added sugar/salt peanut butter (or alternative nut butter)
  • 2 pinches coarse sea salt, slightly crushed
  •  1teaspoon unpasteurised honey (for the filling). Or was it 1Tablespoon? Great. I’ve lost my card. Just taste test. Depends how sweet you like it.

Instructions

  • Melt the coconut oil in a bowl, placed in a pan of hot water
  • Once melted, with the bowl still in the pan to keep it warm, add the cocoa powder and the 1/4 cup of honey, and salt. Stir well, because the honey will sink down to the bottom of the coconut oil
  • Using a teaspoon, cover the bases of 10 mini silicone cases with the chocolate mixture
  • Put in freezer for 10-15 minutes
  • Meanwhile, keep your pan of chocolate mixture covered with a lid so it doesn’t set
  • Mix 1/4 cup of nut butter, with the honey and crushed sea salt.
  • Remove your chocolate bases. They should be firm enough to continue.
  • Take small balls of the filling, and using slightly damp fingers, flatten into a plump little disc shape on top of the bases.
  • When all your mixture is divided up, use the remaining chocolate mixture to cover the nut butter filling.
  • Chill in the fridge…….or freezer, if you are very impatient.

As previously mentioned, coconut oil is hard in the fridge, but pretty soft when left out. Failure to keep refridgerated will result peanut butter cups of a spoonable texture. Just so you know.

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