Tag Archives: peanut butter

Kids In The Kitchen: Peanut Butter Brownies (Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free)

With the exception of Brandan’s adventures, it seems we’ve fallen into a bit of a dessert-o-rama here in the Kids In The Kitchen series. Just look – there were brownies not long ago, along with chocolate peanut butter fudge and peanut butter cups. Okay, so maybe that’s not just a dessert-o-rama, but rather a chocolate-peanut-butter-o-rama. But the former is a bit easier to say, don’t you think?

Anyway, I digress. I couldn’t deny Matt an opportunity to make brownies as well. Besides, brownies are one of my favorite food groups. And these were slightly different than other brownies, even if only that they included peanut butter. I started with my favorite brownie recipe and made adjustments from there. It’s a relatively simple recipe – and I love that it only uses one pot. It’s almost as if it makes up for all of the dirty dishes that usually accumulate in my kitchen. (Okay, not even close. But let’s just pretend, shall we?)

Verdict? These were lovely. Chewy on the edges, fudgy in the center, with a slight peanut taste. Personally, if it were my choice, I would have opted to swirl in the peanut butter, rather than blending it in completely, but this was Matt’s choice. He wasn’t complaining – and neither was anyone else. Let me just say – it will be hard to keep these around the house for longer than 24 hours.

Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Peanut Butter Brownies

7 T palm shortening

2 oz unsweetened chocolate

1 c sugar

2 eggs, beaten

1/2 t  vanilla extract

1/4 c plus 1 T sweet white rice flour

1/2 t guar gum

1 t unsweetened cocoa powder

1/4 t kosher salt

1/2 c semi-sweet dairy-free chocolate chips

1/2 c creamy all-natural peanut butter

Heat the oven to 325 degrees. Grease an 8 X 8 pan (or line with parchment and grease the parchment) and set aside.

Melt the shortening and chocolate in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Once completely melted, remove from heat and whisk in sugar. Add eggs and vanilla and whisk until incorporated. Add rice flour, guar gum, cocoa powder and salt and whisk to blend completely. Stir in chocolate chips and peanut butter, and pour batter into prepared baking pan.

Bake in the center of the oven for about 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove and allow to cool on a wire rack for 20-30 minutes. Cut and serve unadorned, or you can get fancy and top with peanut butter, ice cream, or frosting.

Enjoy!

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Filed under Baked goods, Dairy-Free, Desserts, Gluten-Free, Quick and Easy

Kids in the Kitchen: Peanut Butter Cups

Peanut butter cups rank pretty high up there in terms of favorite candy, when it comes to our kids. I can’t blame them – I long for those creamy, sweet, delicious treats myself, but because of my dairy “issues”, most store-bought candies are off of the list. So when Matt said he wanted to make these, I was excited. Not only would we be rewarded with delicious candy treats, the process was relatively simple and fun!

This would be a great project if you happen to be home with your kids during the holiday break. Candy molds are relatively inexpensive, and if you use the paint brushes, it’s almost like going back to kindergarten – and who doesn’t love that every once in a while? And when you’re getting to eat your project when you’re finished, then it’s the best kind of project available!

If you are looking to make this dairy-free, be sure you find dairy-free chocolate chips. I used Enjoy Life brand, but I’ve found some other brands also are dairy-free. And of course, if you or someone in your family can’t do peanut butter, then almond butter or even sunbutter would work! You can even try to use a bit of jam (I’ve used raspberry jam in the past) and make fancy bon-bons!

Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Peanut Butter Cups

1 1/2 c dairy-free chocolate chips

about 1/2 c peanut butter (I used creamy)

In a double boiler (or you can use a small saucepan with a bit of water in the bottom, and place a stainless steel bowl on top), bring water to low boil and add chocolate chips in top. Stir slowly until melted. Turn heat down to low.

Using a paint brush (I used a cheap one – no need to get fancy), paint chocolate in the inside of the mold, making sure to coat evenly and thoroughly. Place mold in freezer for a few minutes. Remove from freezer, and scoop small amounts of peanut butter into each mold. Freeze again for about 10 minutes. Remove from freezer, and paint chocolate over the top of the peanut butter, making sure you have enough to “seal” the filling inside the candy. Freeze again for 30 minutes, and remove from freezer. Turn mold over and pop the candies from the mold.

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Filed under Dairy-Free, Desserts, Gluten-Free, Quick and Easy

Peanut Butter and Jelly Ice Cream (Dairy-Free and Vegan)

No joke. I did the unthinkable. Peanut butter and jelly ice cream. I put some of my favorite childfood flavors in another childhood favorite – ice cream. Only I made it friendly for my tummy – it’s dairy-free!

Of course, I can’t take full credit for this idea – Alisa at Go Dairy Free beat me to it. Her version looks delicious as well, but it calls for soymilk. I’m not a fan of soymilk, so I went with my good ol’ dairy-free ice cream standby – coconut milk. Coconut milk makes dairy-free and vegan ice creams rich and decadent. Knowing that I’d be adding a sugary jam to my ice cream, I also opted to use agave nectar instead of Alisa’s brown sugar to keep the glycemic load just a bit lower. (You could keep it totally sugar-free by using a sugar-free jam, or make your own, such as Ali does here or Denise does here.)

The result? Just as awesome as I’d dreamed. One thing I do like about making lower-sugar, dairy-free ice creams is that they tend to be rich. This one was no exception. This is a good thing in my mind. I can eat just a bit, and I’m satisfied. With commercial ice creams, I tend to have a bit of difficulty being happy with the recommended serving size, and my body starts that endless cycle of cravings that can drive a person mad. With these ice creams, there are no cravings, and I feel balanced and comfortable with having these treats in the house. All without sacrificing taste in the least!

It dawned on me just before I clicked “Publish” on this post – this will be my 200th post! Wow. It’s also been nearly 2 years that I’ve had this blog (July 28). So many things have happened, and so much has been shared on here. I’ve grown so much in my cooking expertise during that time, and I’ve gained so many friends and colleagues. Thank you to everyone that reads – you all mean so much!

Peanut Butter and Jelly Ice Cream (Dairy-Free), adapted from Go Dairy Free

1 15-oz can coconut milk, chilled in the refrigerator for a few hours

1/2 c creamy peanut butter (I used homemade)

slightly less than 1/2 c agave nectar

1 T vanilla extract

Pinch of salt

1/3 c jelly or jam (I used some raspberry preserves I found at the farmers’ market)

In a bowl, combine the coconut milk, peanut butter, agave nectar, vanilla extract, and salt. Whisk together until completely combined. Pour into the bowl of your ice cream maker and process according to manufacturer’s instructions. Pour into a freezable container and stir in the jelly. (I opted to not completely stir it in, so that there would be “streaks” of jam throughout.) Place in freezer until firm.

Enjoy! I would highly suggest making these cookies (with almond butter or peanut butter) and turning this into ice cream sandwiches – something I would have totally done myself, if the cookies hadn’t disappeared so quickly!

 

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Filed under Dairy-Free, Desserts, Gluten-Free, Quick and Easy

Daring Cooks: Nut Butters (Chicken with Curried Almond Sauce)

This month’s Daring Cooks challenge was one I really could embrace – making and cooking with nut butters! The July 2010 Daring Cooks’ Challenge was hosted by Margie of More Please and Natashya of Living in the Kitchen with Puppies. They chose to challenge Daring Cooks to make their own nut butter from scratch, and use the nut butter in a recipe. Their sources include Better with Nut Butter by Cooking Light Magazine, Asian Noodles by Nina Simonds, and Food Network online.

I’ve made a nut butter once or twice before, but before this challenge, I never made much effort to make it a regular part of my routine. After this challenge, I am a changed woman. I was so happy with my nut butters (I made almond butter and peanut butter) that I not only made the required recipe for the challenge, but I also made cookies and even ice cream – both recipes I will share soon. Our daughter Brittany even made a special request for more peanut butter, saying that it was better than any of the store brands. Anytime the kids request homemade food over store-bought, that’s one for the “win” column!

I started with almond butter so that I could make one of the required recipes for the challenge – Chicken with Curried Almond Sauce. Instead of simply roasting almonds for 10 minutes in a 350 degree oven (as was suggested), I instead soaked the almonds overnight in a brine and then roasted in a 175 degree oven for nearly 24 hours. (This is the method used in Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon for crispy nuts. The soaking is supposed to make the nuts easier to digest. I found that this roasting method made some of the most flavorful nuts I’ve ever had.) 

To make nut butter, regardless of the type of nut, the process is essentially the same. First, pour the nuts into a bowl of a food processor. Grind the nuts until they form a paste or a butter. At first it will turn powdery or grainy. Keep processing, and it will eventually form a ball and start to “clump” to one side of the bowl. Then, as you continue processing, the nuts will finally start to release oils, and it will begin to really look like nut butter. (The total time required depends on the fat content of the nut you’re using. You have to be patient – stopping early will only result in grainy, not-quite-nut-butter.) If you’re using a “drier” nut, once it begins to turn into nut butter, you can thin it with a bit of neutral oil or an oil from the same type of nut (for example, peanut oil for peanut butter, almond oil for almond butter, etc. ). I used a bit of pecan oil in my nut butter, since I had it on hand. Use some restraint in adding oil though – you don’t want to end up with too much oil! Add a tiny bit at a time. Once this has been incorporated, then you can salt, if desired, and/or sweeten as desired, using a bit of sugar, honey, or agave nectar (what I used).

That’s it – you have nut butter! Of course, this would probably store best in the refrigerator and will likely need stirring before use. If you’re going to use it immediately for a recipe, then of course – get right to it!

This chicken recipe was delicious – something my husband and I both loved (and went back for seconds!). I followed the recipe pretty closely, only substituting olive oil for the butter, and using homemade cashew milk (I found a great recipe at Elana’s Pantry) instead of the milk. The sauce was so creamy, comforting, and satisfying. This will definitely be a repeat dish for us. I also loved that it was something I could make on a weeknight.

I’m so thankful for this challenge – I learned that it’s not hard at all to make nut butters. No more store-bought nut butters for us!

Chicken with Curried Almond Sauce, adapted from Food Network

Recipe notes: Substitute the protein of your choice for the chicken. This is a smooth sauce, so the onion is removed before serving. If you prefer, dice the onion and leave it in the sauce or substitute a bit of onion powder.

Ingredients:

1 Tablespoon (15 ml) olive oil
4 (6 oz / 170 g) boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (I used boneless, skinless chicken thighs)
Salt to taste

Spice Blend:
1.5 tablespoons (20 ml) garam masala seasoning
1 teaspoon (5 ml) ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon (2 ml) ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon (1 ml) black pepper

Sauce:
4 tablespoons (60 ml) butter (I used olive oil)
1 large onion, cut in half pole to pole
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (15-ounce/425 g) can tomato sauce
⅓ cup (80 ml) almond butter
⅓ cup (80 ml) milk (I used cashew milk)
½ to ¾ cup (120 to 180 ml) chicken broth or water, more as needed
1 cup (240 ml) frozen peas (optional)

Hot basmati rice for serving (I served with short-grain brown rice)
Chopped parsley (optional garnish)
Sliced almonds (optional garnish)

Directions:

  1. Cook the chicken. If desired, pound chicken to ¼ inch (6 mm) thickness to promote even cooking. Sprinkle with a bit of salt and pepper to taste. Heat 1 teaspoon (5 ml) olive oil a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add half the chicken; sauté 3 to 5 minutes on each side or until cooked through. Cook the chicken in 2 batches, adding more oil if needed for second batch. Dice chicken into bite-sized pieces; set aside on clean plate and keep warm.
  2. Prepare spice blend. Stir garam masala, ginger, cinnamon, and pepper together in a small bowl. Set aside.
  3. Melt the butter (or add the oil) in large nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Add the onion and cook gently for several minutes to infuse the butter with onion flavor. Keep the heat low to avoid burning the butter; a little color is fine. Add the spice blend and garlic and cook for 1 minute or till fragrant, stirring constantly. Add the tomato sauce, stir well, and bring to boil. Reduce heat to simmer. Whisk in almond butter and milk (or cashew milk) until thoroughly combined with tomato sauce. The almond butter is thick so it takes a while to make a smooth sauce. Return to simmer. Add broth (or water) to sauce to reach desired consistency; return to simmer. Add more broth (or water) as needed to thin sauce as desired.
  4. Remove onion from sauce and discard. Stir frozen peas (if using) into sauce. Transfer sliced chicken to sauce. Simmer gently for a few minutes until peas and chicken are heated through.
  5. Serve chicken and sauce over rice. Garnish with chopped parsley and/or sliced almonds if desired.

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Filed under Chicken, Turkey, and other Poultry, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Healthy Meals, Main Dishes, Quick and Easy