a nutty kind of day

My oats have been pretty spot on lately.  However, today was a major dud.  It looks okay in the photo, but there were a few things majorly off about this bowl.

In the mix:

  • 3T rolled oats
  • 3T oat bran
  • 2T wheat germ
  • water/almond milk mix
  • 1 banana
  • 1t cinnamon


Problem #1 – I decided to cook the whole banana in the mix today, which is not uncommon.  However, this banana was too ripe and didn’t cream like it normally does.  Instead it was way too strong and sort of banana-slimy.  The texture was all wrong.

Problem #2 – The cacao nibs tasted stale.  Blegh.

These 2 minor things made breakfast pretty terrible.  However, the whole bowl was completely consumed. :)

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I redeemed myself at lunchtime and made another delicious veggie samich.

Veggie Samich To Go

  • 2 slices Ezekial bread
  • 1-2T hummus
  • 1T nutritional yeast
  • 1T tomato paste
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1/2 carrot, sliced thinly
  • pinch of salt

I don’t really measure out these ingredients but know that’s about how much of each item was used.

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I was leaving to run errands right around lunch.  I knew they would take a few hours, so I packed lunch to go.  It worked perfectly and curbed my hunger for about 2hrs.  Then I scarfed a Kid’s Clif S’mores bar [so good!] and an apple + yogurt once I got home.

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My oatmeal fail was long forgotten by the time my sandwich was gone and it was put even further out of my memory after the following things happened in the kitchen.

Time to butterize some nuts!!!!!

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First.  Peanut butter.  We go through quite a bit of this.  Chris typically takes a PB + jelly sandwich for breakfast, almost every day.  I typically eat between 1-2T nut butter a day, but sometimes more.  While I love nut butter, I never have the urge to just go at the jar with a spoon.  These are the most common things I add it to: bread, oats, apples, carrots  

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Remember, roasted pnuts are the key for perfect flavor!  Still not sure how to dry roast them at home though.  I’ve read things about roasting at a really low temp and a really high temp.  I can get organic, dry roasted pnuts at WF for pretty cheap, which totally works for me!

Super drippy, but never oily.  Perrrrrrrfecto.

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Then, I got creative…Mocha Java Pnut Butter!!!!!!!!! However, don’t get too excited.  I’m only about 80% happy with this recipe so far.  I used organic instant coffee and organic cocoa powder.  The coffee dissolved perfectly, however the combo of the coffee + unsweetened cocoa powder left this quite bland.  I had to add a good 1-2T cane sugar [for about 1c of nut butter] to sweeten.  The coffee flavor was not pronounced enough, despite adding about 1.5T of the grounds [which makes 4c of coffee].  As more coffee went in, the result was a bitter flavor.

I have some ideas for next time.  I’m thinking that instant espresso powder would work better.  You wouldn’t need as much of it, which might help with the bitterness, and the coffee flavor would be stronger.  Or, possibly an even better idea, would be to use coffee extract [like vanilla extract].  I have seen this before, but never thought to buy it. 

However, I’m sure this will be eaten. :)

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Okay, NOW you can get excited.

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If you thought my roasted maple cinnamon almond butter was delicious, just wait until you try this one!

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I was so happy with it, I thought about keeping the recipe to myself….I have to have some secrets, right??

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I present you with….

da da da daaaaaaaaa

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Pumpkin Spiced Almond Butter!!!!!! 

I’ve been planning this recipe for awhile now, but just got around to making it today.  Almond butter takes a little more lovin’ than the peanut butter.  However, it is 100% worth the effort.

This nut butter is thick + creamy with a slight crunchy almond texture.  It’s very spreadable but not drippy like the peanut butter.  While there is no actual pumpkin in it, it definitely has that pumpkin spice flavor.  You know, just like the pumpkin pie seasoning.  mmmmm

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Now with this nut butter…there is no holding me back.  Grab a spoon + get in line.

There is just so much delicious flavor packed into each little smear.  This is dangerous. 

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I got a silly but exciting package in the mail from my parents today!  Yes, my mom sent me dawn dish wand refills in the mail.  This is the ONLY dish wand that I have ever used, that actually works.  By that I mean, it doesn’t leak soap everywhere and the sponge doesn’t fall apart after 5 scrubs.  The only problem is, is that you can’t find the refills anywhere!  My mom knows where the secret stash is in Cleveland, [Marc’s!] so she keeps me well stocked.  :)

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Also in the package was PB2 Chocolate!  I have never tried this or been able to find it anywhere.  I’ve heard good things from Emily but never felt the urge to seek it out.  The ingredient list meets my approval, although it goes through additional processing to reach it’s powdered form.  I don’t like that it is not organic [same with the TJ’s peanut flour] because peanuts are sprayed heavily with chemicals.  However, it’s not something I’m going to consume a ton of, so I’m not worried about it.

Can’t wait to try this out!  Didn’t even know they made a chocolate version.  Still haven’t broken into the TJ’s peanut flour either.

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Okay okay okay…here is the recipeeeee ;)

Pumpkin Spiced Almond Butter

  • 2c raw almonds
  • 2T maple syrup
  • 1T maple syrup
  • 1.5T molasses
  • 2t cinnamon
  • 1/4t ginger
  • 1/8t nutmeg
  • 1/2t salt
  • 1 1/2T canola oil
  1. Preheat your oven to 300*
  2. Spread the almonds on parchment, on a baking sheet.
  3. Pour on 2T maple syrup + 1T molasses.  Stir.
  4. Roast for 30min, stirring once every 10min.
  5. Take out of the oven and let cool for about 30min.
  6. Dump into your food processor and turn on.
  7. Process + scrape down bowl as needed, until it butterizes. ~15min.  [Past the stage where it has formed a large ball of dough]
  8. Add in 1/2T molasses, 1T maple syrup, 1 1/2T oil, all spices and salt.
  9. Process again until smooth consistency is met.  ~5-8min.  [If you want it even smoother, add another 1/2-1T oil]

Don’t say I didn’t warn you about this one!!!  Not sure how long this jar is going to last. :)

<3 Ashley