Saturday, 9 July 2011

Gotta Be PB

I love peanut butter and with all the peanut butter foods out there, a lot of people must agree with me. 

You've got sandwiches, sauces, desserts, popcorn, ice cream, and everything else --- even dogs love the creamy stuff. 

Although... Maybe I am not the best person to talk about dog food. Olli gets "toppers" of steak, chicken, cheese, and veggies on her kibble every day and sometimes even sweet treats. 

No chocolate though -- we do have a line. 

Peanut butter was first created by the the Incas in South America over 3000 years ago, but it didn't have the sweetness found in peanut butter today because it was mostly just crushed peanuts. 

What we know as peanut butter was created as a health food in 1890 as a paste for people with bad teeth to get protein easily. 

In the 1920s, the nuts were roasted, the product was made smoother, and the peanut butter began to taste even better. 

Today peanut butter is so popular that that average person in North America consumes about 3.3 pounds of the stuff in a year. 

And I bet most of the population is only making peanut butter sandwiches with it. 

So here are a couple recipes that make cooking with peanut butter fun and delicious. 

Breakfast --  Peanut Butter Granola

This is so much more filling than my regular granola. It does take a little longer to cake, but I think it's worth it! 

1/2 cup peanut butter 
3 cups quick oats
1/2 cup table syrup
Pinch of salt 
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup raisins 
1 cup peanuts 

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

2. Combine oats, peanut butter, syrup, and salt on a cookie sheet. Mix until oats form big chunky clusters. 

And if it all sticks together, that's ok too. You can break it up once it comes out of the oven. 

3. Bake for about 15 - 20 minutes or until it starts to brown. It will look and smell almost like cookies when done!

4. Remove from the oven. Let cool and add raisins, cranberries, and peanuts. 

5. Enjoy with yogurt for breakfast! 

Lunch -- Peanut Butter Sandwich

You don't need a recipe for this, do you?

Dinner -- Scallop and Veggie Stir Fry with Peanut Butter-Apple Sauce

1 lb of scallops, any size
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 carrots, cut on the bias
3 stalks of celery, chopped
1 1/2 cups of sugar snap peas
1/2 package of rice noodles
1/2 cup apple sauce 
1/4 cup peanut butter 
1 tablespoon fish sauce 
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce 
2 tablespoons sesame oil 

1. Warm olive oil on medium heat in a large pan on the stove. Add onions and garlic and let them begin to cook. 

2. Add carrots and celery and cook for another 5 minutes. 

3. Cook rice noodles in boiling water for about 2 - 5 minutes, depending on thickness. 

4. Combine apple sauce, peanut butter, fish sauce, hoisin sauce, and sesame oil in a microwavable bowl and cook for about 3 minutes or until warm. 

5. Add scallops to the veggies on the stove and cook until opaque. 

6. Add sugar snap peas to the scallops and veggies on the stove and warm. 

7. Place rice noodles on your plate, top with scallops and veggies, and drizzle sauce on top. Enjoy!

Dessert -- Peanut Butter and Jam Squares 

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup brown sugar 
1/2 butter or margarine 
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla 
3/4 cup blackberry jam (or whatever your favourite is)
2/3 cup chopped peanuts 

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

2. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl. 

3. In a large bowl, combine peanut butter, butter, and sugar until smooth. Add in the egg and vanilla and mix to combine. 

4. Add in flour mixture and stir. 

5. Take one third of the mixture and place it into the freezer to cool. Transfer the other two third of the mixture to a spring form pan and pat down evenly.

6. Cover this layer with jam and then take the remaining one third of the peanut butter mixture and crumble it on top of the jam layer with two teaspoons.

7. Top with peanuts and bake for 30 minutes or until the top layer of the bars turns brown and crispy. 

8. Enjoy with a cold glass of milk. 

I also made a short video about my average day, starring peanut butter. Take a look if you wish :) 

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