Posts Tagged With: peanut butter

flourless chocolate peanut butter oatmeal muffins

It’s been a while since my last muffins for Monday recipe (which included chocolate chunks, pecans, and bacon), not so much because I haven’t been making muffins, but because I haven’t been doing much blogging.

That said, today’s muffin recipe is brand new and so yummy that I just had to share!

breakfast is gonna be really good this week.....

breakfast is gonna be really good this week…..

Despite my love of all things chocolate and peanut butter, I have never combined these two ingredients in a muffin recipe before, probably because I don’t like eating dessert for breakfast.

(If you’ve tried any of my muffin recipes before, you know that they are all very lightly sweetened and a far cry from the cake-disguised-as-breakfast muffins that lots of people make. And I do enjoy eating a sweet ‘n’ fluffy muffin every now and again–just not first thing in the morning!)

This recipe is rich and flavorful, but not overly sweet, which makes it a perfect little muffin to start your day off in a hearty and (mostly) healthy direction.

I should disclose that this recipe was kind of inspired by those no-bake peanut butter chocolate oatmeal cookies that our cafeteria always used to serve for dessert when I was a kid. (Though not quite as good for you as my muffins, those cookies are darn tasty and super easy to make–here’s a recipe!)

I should also disclose that this recipe is flourless not because of any recent developments in our ability to tolerate wheat or gluten….

I just happened to be out of whole wheat flour…

So why not experiment? 🙂

What’s in it:

  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 3/4 cup fat free Greek yogurt
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Step by step:

  • Preheat your oven to 400°F and prepare a 12-cup muffin pan.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the oats, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  • In a larger bowl, beat together the peanut butter, yogurt, eggs, and vanilla.
  • Stir the dry ingredients into the wet stuff just until everything’s incorporated.
  • Divide your batter among your 12 muffin cups. Unless you’re scared of raw eggs (I’m not), feel free to lick your spoon clean of all those deliciously chocolate-y, peanut butter-y batter remnants.
  • Bake the muffins for 15-18 minutes or until they’ve risen nicely and are firm enough to spring back a little when you press the tops.
  • Let the muffins cool in the pan for a few minutes, then remove from the pan and cool to room temperature.

I ate one of these babies as soon as it left the pan, and it was pretty special. The cocoa flavor is dark and rich, and the nuttiness of the oats nicely complements the peanut butter flavor.

I was a little worried about how the texture would turn out since I had used all oats and no flour, fearing my muffins might end up a bit fragile and crumbly, but I think the eggs and the stickiness of the peanut butter gave them enough body and structure.

Now that I’ve made tried my hand at flourless muffins, I’m excited to try some more variations, and of course I’ll try to squeeze in a blog post here and there when I do. 🙂

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supper tonight – 4.18.12 – carrots & green beans with lo mein noodles

Today was one of those days.

The steady patter of pouring rain on our bedroom window’s metal awning at 6:00am made getting out of bed hard. A headache–not agonizing, but just enough to notice–made it a little harder.

(Even without rain or pains, our bed is much too comfy-cozy to tear away from, especially when it’s still dark out.)

Trudging to school through downpour and puddles didn’t help (though at least I had my umbrella and galoshes).

Forgetting to take Tylenol before I went to school kind of stunk, too. Especially when I discovered I didn’t have a travel-sized bottle of meds in my bag after all.

The 3:00-4:00 meeting after school that lasted until 5:10? Icing on the cake.

An hour-long trip to Best Buy (still in the rain) for a type of camcorder-to-computer adapter cable that apparently doesn’t exist? Sprinkles, I suppose.

So when I got home after 6:00 and we still had to cook dinner, what I really wanted to do was call in for pizza. Or Chinese takeout. Or pretty much anything that would require no effort.

But, of course, there were the green beans.

When I made all that Ethiopian food last week, I had one recipe that called for 3/4 of a cup of fresh green beans. The only packages at Earth Fare contained well over twice that. I was left with a bunch of leftover green beans, and fresh ones don’t keep for very long. These were really starting to get past their prime a day or two ago, but last night we decided to use the also-almost-too-far-gone mushrooms instead. And the green beans waited another day. So tonight…well, it was time.

Also in our refrigerator was a zip-top baggie of fresh lo mein noodles. No, we didn’t make these. We got them from a pretty damn awesome Asian Grocery called Fook’s Foods. Why does this place rock our socks off? Well, for starters, they sell delicious one-pound blocks of nice, firm bulk tofu for 89¢. Plus spicy, tangy kimchi by the pound. And really good ramen noodles (not an oxymoron). And sometimes, freshly caught shrimp or crabs from the Georgia coast. And, as evidenced by our supper tonight, deliciously fresh lo mein noodles that cook up in about 5 minutes.

Chopping a few veggies and whisking together a quick sauce yielded a pretty tasty noodle bowl that brightened our rainy day:

And in the background, chopsticks. Why not?

What’s in it:

  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 large carrot, cut into matchsticks
  • about 1/2 pound fresh green beans, ends trimmed
  • 2 cups stock or broth, divided into 1-1/2 and 1/2 cup measures (we had beef in the fridge, but use your favorite)
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • juice from one lime
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon sriracha (spicy chili paste)
  • 1 pound fresh lo mein (or use your favorite packaged Asian noodles)
  • fresh cilantro for garnish

Step-by-step:

  • Heat the sesame oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  • Add the garlic, ginger, and onion, and saute until translucent.
  • Add the carrots, green beans, and 1-1/2 cups of stock.
  • Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cover for 10 minutes or until your carrots and green beans are nice and tender.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the peanut butter, soy sauce, lime juice, sriracha, and remaining 1/2 cup of stock.
  • While the vegetables cook, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil for your lo mein. Fresh will cook to in 4-5 minutes, but if you used packaged noodles, just follow the instructions on the box.
  • When the vegetables are finished, add the sauce mixture and stir to incorporate. If it seems thin, turn your heat back up to medium for a few minutes to reduce it a bit.
  • When the noodles are finished, drain them in a colander and run cool water over them to stop the cooking and keep them from sticking.
  • Add the noodles to your skillet of vegetables and sauce; then, toss it all together and cook for about one more minute to reheat the noodles.
  • Serve into four bowls. (In our case, two were portable containers with lids for lunch tomorrow.) Top with fresh cilantro.

We’ve made better stir-fry dishes before (usually involving cubes of Fook’s Foods tofu, pan-fried in the style of our local vegetarian mecca, The Grit). But for how easy this was to prepare, it was pretty darn tasty, and just the kind of warm, hearty comfort-food pick-me-up I needed after a long, soggy day.

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muffins for Monday – 4.2.12 – peanut butter banana

Bananas. I’ll buy a big bunch of five or seven when they’re nice and green around the edges, and I always think I might eat them all before they turn on me.

I’m always wrong.

I never mean for this to happen. But I’m really picky about my bananas. A perfect specimen has a bright, golden peel with a splash of lime green still at both ends and firm, light-colored flesh. The problem is, if a bunch of bananas is at this stage on Monday morning, they’ll be well past it by Tuesday at lunch. That makes for a pretty short window of enjoyment.

You might like bananas best when they get to the freckled, super-sweet stage. I have several friends who will only eat them once they’re brown and spotty. But for me, these mushy, sugary fruits are well past their prime.

And that, my friends, is when it’s time to make muffins.

(Yes, my muffins tend to all look alike...but at least the backgrounds are ever-changing.)

For this week’s batch, I’m continuing my Childhood Lunchbox series, a poignant exploration of the food memories that evoke bittersweet nostalgia for younger days gone by. We all must grow old, we all must die, but these muffins might recapture, just for a moment, the joy of forgotten youth.

Sorry. That was a bit much.

(I do seem to like making muffins based on 80’s breakfast cereal commercials and kiddie sandwiches from my childhood…)

What I really meant to say (instead of that driveling psychobabble) was that this week’s muffins were inspired by a time-honored combination that I’ve loved since I was a wee lass, the classic peanut butter and banana.

What’s in it:

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup oats
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 super-ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 3/4 cup fat-free Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup milk

Step-by-step:

  • Preheat your oven to 400°F and get 12 muffin cups ready.
  • In one bowl, mix the flour, oats, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  • In another bowl, mix the eggs, bananas, peanut butter, yogurt, and milk.
  • Combine the wet and dry ingredients, scoop into muffin cups, and bake for 15-20 minutes.
  • Cool and enjoy!

These muffins turned out super moist, almost gooey, and they were a little hard to get out of the pan. Before I tasted one, I was afraid they were a little bit too soft and mushy. But Micah and I sampled them for breakfast this morning, and I’m pleased to tell you that they were delicious!

Besides having a slightly squishier texture than I had planned, these also didn’t have quite as much peanut butter power as I was hoping. The peanut butter flavor is overpowered just a bit by the banana. So, if you make these, try adding extra peanut butter and let me know how it turns out!

What are some of your favorite childhood foods? Maybe they’ll inspire a muffins for Monday post one day soon…:)

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muffins for Monday – 3.18.12 – pb&j

Today’s muffin experiment: capturing the magic of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich–but in a muffin!

(No, my green cutting board isn't the most pristine background--but I sure do like the color.)

 

I love peanut butter. Probably more than I should. I can eat it by the spoonful straight from the jar, and often do. I love peanut butter sandwiches, peanut butter cookies…even peanut butter and bacon burgers, which I first got the guts to try a few years ago at Clocked here in Athens. (It sounds weird, I know, but they’re amazing!)

I could eat peanut butter every day, maybe at every meal, and be perfectly happy…

…so why on earth have I never thought to make peanut butter muffins?

Well, now I have, and let me tell you, these things are delicious, and despite the whole wheat and oats, they don’t taste healthy at all. They’re almost like dessert. (Actually, I did eat one for dessert tonight.)

What’s in it:

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 3/4 cup fat-free Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup of your favorite jam or jelly

Step-by-step:

  • Preheat your oven to 400°F.
  • Prepare 12 muffin cups. (You might want to make a point to use paper liners or a little extra cooking spray/butter for these because they’re a tad stickier than my normal recipe.)
  • Mix the oats, flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and brown sugar in one bowl.
  • In another bowl, beat the eggs. Whisk in the peanut butter, then the yogurt, then the milk.
  • Combine the wet and dry ingredients, then divide the batter into your 12 muffin cups.
  • Top each muffin with a spoonful of jelly. Then, use a toothpick to swirl your jelly around in the batter.
  • Bake for about 15-20 minutes.
  • Let the muffins cool (at least a little), and then enjoy (preferably with a tall glass of milk).

About the jelly: I didn’t swirl mine enough, and it kinda sunk from the tops of my muffins down to the bottoms, making for some pretty gooey, messy undersides. They were still delicious, but the jelly wasn’t really dispersed throughout the muffin like I wanted it to be, and my fingers did get a little sticky.

Again, about the jelly: I used FROG jam. It isn’t made of frogs, I promise!–just fig, raspberry, orange, and ginger. These would be delicious with regular old grape or strawberry, though, or any other jam or jelly.

I’m really looking forward to breakfast this week. 🙂

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