Seriously...I'm not joking.
My mother packed me a peanut butter and jelly sandwich every day for lunch for. years.
We joke about it now, but the truth is I didn't really mind. I mean who can complain about the delicious combination of peanut butter and jelly. It is the perfect marriage of tastes for a reason. It is salty and sweet, crunchy and creamy, and it comes embedded between two perfectly baked pieces of bread. What could possibly be wrong with eating that every day?!
(Mom, don't take offense, I love you so much. You were the best mom I could have ever asked for, and you are perfect for me in every way. I am just picking on you!) :)
So after devouring our last batch of homemade peanut butter, I decided to make another batch. Except this time, I made it extra special by adding in a few of my favorite ingredients: honey, cinnamon, and good-quality vanilla extract. This peanut butter is like cinnamon honey grahams in nut butter form!
(Homemade) Honey-Cinnamon Peanut Butter
Makes a Scant 2 Cups
2 C roasted, salted peanuts
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1-2 T honey (I used 1 1/2 T)
1-1 1/2 T grapeseed oil (or other subtle oil), if necessary
- Process peanuts for 10-15 minutes until buttery and smooth. Note: You will probably need to scrape down the sides every 2-3 minutes to make sure all of the nuts fully process.
- Add in all of the remaining ingredients, except for the oil, and process 1-3 minutes.
- If the peanut butter is still not smooth, add in the grapeseed 1/2 T at a time until it reaches your desired consistency.
- I have spread it onto perfectly toasted English Muffin Bread from Sun Harvest.
- I have slathered it onto Jonathan apple slices.
- Perhaps my favorite variation thus far, I have dolloped it onto my overnight oats.
So what are overnight oats, you might ask?! Well, it is only my favorite way of all time to prepare oatmeal. By half-baking the oats, and then letting them soak overnight to absorb the remainder of the liquid, the oats become soft, fluffy, voluminous, and far easier to digest. Here is a scientific explanation of the benefits of soaking your oats:
All grains contain phytic acid...in the outer layer or bran. Untreated phytic acid can combine with calcium, magnesium, copper, iron especially zinc in the intestinal track and block their absorption. This is why a diet high in unfermented whole grains may led to serious mineral deficiencies and bone loss...Soaking allows enzyme, lactobacilli and other helpful organisms to break down and neutralize phytic acid. As little as seven hours of soaking in warm acidulated water will neutralize a large portion of phytic acid in grains. The simple practice of soaking cracked or rolled cereal grains overnight will vastly improve their nutritional benefits. (source)Ok, so enough of the fancy scientific jargon. The point is, soaking your oats is both good and yummy (which, let's be honest, is what we really care about)!
Overnight PB & J Oats
1/2 C oats
1 1/2 C liquid (I use water, but you can use milk)
2-3 stevia packets (or 2-3 tsp sugar/honey/agave, etc.)
pinch of salt
1/4 tsp almond extract, optional
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
splash of milk, as garnish
1 T (homemade) honey-cinnamon peanut butter, as garnish
1 T jelly, as garnish
- Add oats, salt, and liquid to a medium saucepan and heat over medium-high heat for 2-3 minutes until beginning to bubble.
- Turn down heat to low.
- Add stevia and almond and/or vanilla extracts. Stir until smooth.
- Pour into a Tupperware, or other container, and store in refrigerator overnight.
- Note: The oats will not be fully cooked at this point. Overnight, the oats will absorb the remaining liquid, continue to cook, and become voluminous and fluffy. YUM!
- In the morning, stir in a splash of milk to loosen the oats.
- Note: I prefer my oats cold. Weird, I know, but I like what I like! If you prefer warm oats, at this point you may choose to heat them up either via stove top or microwave.
- Dollop the jelly and peanut butter onto the top of the oats. You may swirl them in if you prefer. :)
- Enjoy! This is comfort food at its best AND its healthiest!
I must eat a variation-on-a-theme of these oats at least four times a week. I love my overnight oats!
So, what are you waiting for?!
Pull out that food processor and get to whirlin' that homemade honey-cinnamon peanut butter. And while your at it, pre-make your oats tonight so that you can start your Thursday off right with a bowl of these delicious oats!
I promise you, you will thank me :)
Coming up: potentially a yoga post (assuming my photographer is available), and on Friday, a HUGE post about my trip to the midnight showing of Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 1. GET EXCITED!
Question of the Day:
Do you like PB& J? If so, are you a creamy or a crunchy PB fan? And as for jelly, are you a strawberry, grape, or other fruit fan?
Ally and Bo