The other kind of peanut butter [+ Frozen Crunchy Peanut Protein Bites]

By now all of you know I have a slight full-blown addiction to any nut butter.  The infamous white almond butter? A staple. Peanut butter often takes a seat on the back burner – a pity! – but lately my cravings for it have outdone the almond admiration.  So it’s the perfect time to [finally] talk about a new-to-me product: Powdered Peanut Butter.

PPB_powdered peanut butter

Any US readers will likely be familiar with its equivalent – PB2 – but over here it’s not a commonly known food yet. Here’s a short low-down on Powdered Peanut Butter:

  • it comes in three flavours: Original, Chocolate  (both contain sugar) and a stevia – sweetened kind.
  • the ingredients are: Peanut Flour (Nuts), Palm Oil Powder, Sugar, Salt [for the Original flavour]
  • low in fat and high in protein  [ 42.8 g per 100 g/3.5 oz for the Original flavour]
  • naturally gluten-free
  • approved by The Vegetarian Society as well as vegan

While I’m generally skeptical towards refined low-fat foods I was excited to try the samples the friendly people at HaleNaturals generously sent me.

The ways I tried it were mixed up plain as a dip, in savoury sauces and in oatmeal. I often added it to my usual zucchini oats. The advantage I found towards adding real peanut butter was that the flavour was distributed throughout the bowl a lot better. I don’t know about you but I find the peanut flavour gets lost when I add actual nut butter as opposed to peanut flour or powdered peanut butter. I still topped my breakfast with almond butter.  Double nut action? Any day.

oat bran_zucchini_peanut flour

Pros:

Powdered Peanut Butter is a great add-in for oatmeal or dips. if you’re looking for a lower-calorie alternative, are already a peanut flour or smoothie fan [blends well] this might be right up your alley. I might follow up with a few more recipes using the PPB once I find a little time for experimenting. Mug cakes or brownies? All the possibilites …

Cons:

On its own I didn’t find the flavour to be rich enough so for me it’s not a peanut butter alternative when eaten straight up [my favourite way with nut butters]

It was a bit sweet – all kinds either contain sugar [12.4 per 3.5 oz] or stevia – for my palate. That might be because I  grew up eating natural unsweetened peanut butter so it could be different if you are used to the kind with added sugar.

Another negative point for me is the added palm oil. While not being super strict it’s an ingredient I try to avoid where I can.

PPB_peanut butter_original

Overall, I still liked it and can see a lot of potential for future recipe experimentation. For now, let’s go with an impromtu snack I came up with when I found half a tub of cream cheese leftover from another recipe. Fresh out of peanut butter [I know – how did I let it go that far??] I went with the PPB and just got mixing.  The result is a delicious frozen snack for when you want a little something-something with a protein kick.

Crunchy Peanut Protein Bites

2Peanut butter cheesecake bite_PPB

1 1/2 oz (42 g) cream cheese
1 heaped tbsp PPB (7 g) – I used the original flavour
1 tsp honey
Salt to taste
1/8 cup puffed amaranth  (8 g)

Mix PPB with 1 tbsp of water to reach a smooth consistency. Add salt.
Add cream cheese and honey. Stir to combine. Mix in puffed amaranth.
Let sit for a moment – at best in the fridge.
Drop teaspoonfuls of the mixture on aluminium foil and put into the freezer to firm. Depending on how long you let them sit in the freezer you might want to let them thaw for a bit before eating. No damaging your teeth here!

Peanut butter cheesecake bite_PPB

Eat ALL cheesecake bites. No sharing.

Disclaimer: HaleNaturals sent me these products free of charge for review purposes. The company didn’t compensate me for this post and all the opinions expressed are my own.

If you feel like trying another peanut butter-y frozen treat – shhh, I still do despite complaining about the cold! – this Healthy PB & J Frozen Yogurt might be the perfect fit.

faux_froyo

 

Happiness inducing today: Talking to one of my best friends on the phone. I really needed to talk and we discovered yet another similarity we share. Friends are true blessings.

Stay in touch!

Twitter: @MissPolkadot21
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Are you still craving frozen snacks during the colder months, too? Tell me I’m not the only one!

Have you tried PPB or another kind of powdered peanut butter before?

What are your favourite ways to use it?

It’s all [edama]me to me

Yesterday was all about me and spilling the beans. Today’s What I ate Wednday is about edamame – the one and only bean of the day. Tomorrow’s Thinking out loud will be about me and you and no beans – it’s a post dear to me so I hope you’ll chime in. But one day at a time so here’s to another volume of What I ate Wednesday and Vegan Wednesday partying.

WIAWbutton_1

Obsessions. We all have them. Those foods you [re]discover and then can’t get enough of anymore. By now you likely know I have a soft spot for a certain legume. But that actually applies to most beans. You name it – I’ll tell you my favourite ways to eat it.* The star of this post came back into the spotlight unexpectedly. My freezer might just be a shoe box-sized compartment of my fridge but it’s still surprisingly good at swallowing foods in its back. That’s where I found a half pound-bag of edamame lurking and how it all got started.

Edamame_potatoes

*unless the variety’s not available which is the downside of living in Germany.

First up was the inclusion in my go-to kind of meal: a stew. More specifically an edamame and carrot stew in a curry-infused tomato [soy] yogurt sauce. Alongside roasted potatoes which I finally (!) tried after seeing them in Amanda’s WIAW posts several times before. So simple, so good. Did I mention the dipping action going on?!

Edamame_dip

But today’s about edamame. The best part of this magical bean is – as opposed to other legumes – its slightly higher fat content. Read: it’s even creamier and more delicious. Following a recipe from a cookbook – yes, it happens once in a while though you know my usual source of recipes –  I tried Appetite for Reduction‘s Edamame Pesto. Actually, this was one of my savoury breakfasts and involved Slim Pasta which I’d gotten for review a while back. After my previous trials with shirataki pasta I was skeptical what to expect. Each package contains 200 g [7 oz] of pasta and is supposed to serve two yet I expected to need the whole bag to get satisfied given the low carb content compared to my standard breakfast.

Slim pasta_shirataki2

Which surprisingly was not the case and that’s to say something from somebody who usually needs huge servings. My verdict?  It’s better than regular shirataki yet the texture is definitely chewier than ‘normal’ pasta. The positives are that – made from konjak flour – it’s suitable for many diets like gluten-free, low carb or vegan. However, the price is rather steep so on a budget it’d be more of an occasional treat than a regular. Mock pasta with mock pesto? For breakfast. Sounds strange but good to me. If you’re curious about the pesto recipe: there you go! It’s not your average pesto but really good nonetheless.

Disclaimer: Slim Pasta sent me a bag of their product free of charge. However, I was not compensated for this post. All opinions expressed are my own.

Slim Pasta_shirataki

Edamame, however, is clearly in my budget. I’ve been snacking on it like it’s going out of style. Or at least like it won’t be available for long anymore. Which might very well be true because it’s very hard to find over here. I’d better fuel the addiction while I still can. Plus I’ve been eyeing a certain salad recipe… Can you guess what’s on my shopping list for today?

 
Ending on a sweet note once more: ice cream. Free ice cream. My boss generously paid for this when our team met up a while ago and I somehow never posted it but found the picture on my phone again today. It actually was a little challenge because despite the heat on that day I was the only one craving ice cream. Usually reason enough for me to pass on it, too, as it feels weird to be the only one eating. Long story short: I got my ice cream, others saw it and joined in sponatenously and those who didn’t missed out. Big time. Mango sorbet made solely from organic mangoes and agave? Win.

DasEis_Mango ice cream

 

Happiness inducing today: Chatting with a neighbour I had yet to really talk to for long while he let me use his printer after mine refused to work. Double happiness?!

Stay in touch!

Twitter: @MissPolkadot21
Pinterest: MissPolkadot21
Bloglovin’: Let’s get living

 

What’s your favourite way to prepare edamame?

Do you have any current food obsessions?

Does anybody want to teach me phone photography? I’m clearly well off not using Instagram…

 

Raw-king my [chocolate] socks

If you’ve read my blog for any time you’ll know I’m an all-out chocolate fiend. Not a single day passes by without me getting my hands and face covered in chocolate – or, to keep it clean here: chocolate is part of my daily diet. A marvelous part indeed.

MiMM_new

While I enjoy trying new brands and flavours something I had yet to be convinced by was raw chocolate. Even though I’d tried a few bites of raw chocolate in the past none could live up to my high demands J. The flavours were good for the most part but the texture didn’t please me too much. Granted, I’m seriously picky when it comes to chocolate: No filled bars, not too cloyingly sweet, dark but not too bitter or acidic in taste and – most importantly – they need to be smooth, melt-in-my-mouth goodness.

All together_Om

Back to the raw facts chocolate. During my visit a Veganz a while back I had the chance to sample some OmBar flavours which were totally different from any other raw chocolate bars I’d had to date. Not only were the flavours interesting but the texture wasn’t nearly as gritty as the one of those bars I’d tried before. Needless to say I was super happy when Ombar offered to send me a few of their chocolates to review.

Ombar Coco Mylk

 

The first one I tried was Coco Mylk which – as the name gives away –is the one resembling milk chocolate the closest. It is very smooth, has a creamy and what I’d describe as a slighty fruity and very pleasant sweetness from the coconut sugar Ombar uses in all of their bars. Unlike real dairy milk chocolate which leaves me craving for more this one was satisfying and didn’t leave me wanting to eat the whole bar in one sitting. [Okay, maybe I wanted to but I was able to practice moderation more easily than with dairy milk chocolate ;).] Coco Mylk is the flavor I’d be likeliest to buy again [soon] but unfortunately the only of these not available in Germany.

Ombar Strawberry

Strawberries & Cream: Not usually a huge fan of fruit-infused chocolate I was positively surprised by this one. According to the ingredient list and information on the inside of the wrapping paper the strawberry flavor comes from 100% natural dried fruit powder. It therefore doesn’t have the artificial taste I’ve found in other (non-raw) fruit-flavoured chocolates and blends in very well.

Ombar dark

Dark 72%: As opposed to the other two flavours which both had a cocoa percentage of 60 % this one’s decidedly richer in cocoa taste. It’s the least smoothest of the flavours but still nowhere near as gritty as some of the other brands of raw chocolate I’d tried previously. If you enjoy dark chocolate in general I’d recommend trying this bar which also isn’t as sweet as the other bars and therefore yet more satisfying.

What really enjoyed about Ombar chocolates was their short ingredient list containing nothing artificial or overly processed. Raw cacao, coconut sugar and cacao butter as well as added probiotics are the main ingredients found in all of the above-mentioned bars. The “milkier” flavours contain some other – yet still natural – ingredients like coconut butter. Ombar provides extensive information about all ingredients used as well as the benefits of raw chocolate on their website if you’d like to find out more.

Ombar CocoMylk II

Another aspect I like about Ombar is that they’re a small company founded by three health-interested friends on their pursuit to find the perfect raw chocolate bar. Not being willing to give up on chocolate while living a healthy [and in their case raw] life is something I can fully sympathize with – who would want that? Supporting smaller businesses is something I really like doing even if their products are a bit pricier than those by larger ones. Good quality is worth paying a little extra in my opinion.

All in all I was pleasantly surprised by the Ombar chocolates and would definitely buy them again. Especially as there are several other interesting flavours – Coconut! Blueberry Acai! – I definitely want to try. Why not satisfy my chocolate cravings in a healthier way and more natural way every now and then?  As given away in the title Ombars definitely rocked raw-ked my chocolate socks :). That being said I’m off to om on another piece [or two] while having a look at everybody else’s marvelous happenings over at Katie’s.

 

Happiness inducing today: Waking up to a kind text by my sister.

 

Do you like raw chocolate?

Which are your favourite brands and flavours?