Peanut Butter Balls

I made these yummy High Protein Energy Balls from Maryea at Happy Healthy Mama this week. I put them in the freezer while I got the boys dressed and put a few in our cooler on the way to meet the cousins at the park. The boys and I each enjoyed them for a quick playground snack.

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What could be better for a fun-filled, energy-packed morning of activity than peanut butter and protein? Yum!

WEEK 35: Labor Day Weekend

Well, we had a completely fun-filled, outdoor weekend for sure! The boys got to stay with their favorite babysitter, while we went canoeing with some friends. Then, we spent a day off with extended family… outside, of course! This week, I also embarked on a new adventure to make some soaked-grain breads for the freezer. The boys got to enjoy them for a snack and seemed to like them quite well. I still love making things for the freezer as they make life so much easier and a fun, holiday weekend more enjoyable without having to constantly eat out or eat packaged food.

Food Description

Soaking really isn’t difficult at all. It is just an extra step to remember the day before you to plan to bake. I actually find that it makes the process easier by breaking up the time needed for preparation. I made blueberry muffins and banana bread this week. Both used whole grain flours soaked overnight.

Process

You don’t see any grains or liquids in these pictures, because those are actually in the white bowls in the background with plates on top since they were soaked overnight.

Soaked Whole Grain Banana Bread

INGREDIENTS
2 cups flour or more, depending on consistency, (I use spelt, kamut, or whole wheat) and dash of salt
½ cup extra virgin coconut oil
½ cup sour milk (you can use regular milk just add a few drops of vinegar to sour it)
½ cup warm water (only for soaking)
¾ cup raw honey
2 eggs
3 ripe bananas, mashed
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup walnuts (optional)

SOAKING
The night before baking, combine the flour, oil, milk, and warm water.
Cover and leave at room temperature 12-24 hours.

DIRECTIONS
Preheat oven to 350.
Add honey and eggs and mix thoroughly.
Fold in the mashed bananas.
Quickly mix in the salt and baking soda.
Pour mixture into a buttered loaf pan.
Bake for 45-60 minutes. Cool on a rack.

Soaked Whole Grain Blueberry Muffins

INGREDIENTS
1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
2/3 cup coconut oil, melted
2 TBS kefir or buttermilk (for soaking)
water (for soaking)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
3/4  cup rapadura or sucanat
1 1/2 cups blueberries, frozen
2 eggs, well beaten

SOAKING
The night before baking, combine the flour, oil, kefir or buttermilk, and just enough water to get all the flour wet.
Cover and leave at room temperature 12-24 hours.

DIRECTIONS
Preheat oven to 400.
Add remaining ingredients to soaked flour and mix well.
Pour mixture into 12 muffin cups.
Bake for 15-20 minutes. Cool.

What I Learned

Freezing is a great option for breads. Based on your needs, freeze in slices or in half loaves. Preheat the oven to 350 and reheat for 10-12 minutes. If you do loaves or half loaves, you will need to take them out of the freezer the night before.

Reaction

The boys loved these, but they love anything in bread form.

Summary

I love, love, love bread. I am officially a carb lover and soaking the grains and using healthy ingredients like coconut oil makes me feel better about mine and my family’s grain consumption.

WEEK 33: 18 Months, Oh My!

Well, I officially have 18 month old boys. I know everyone says it, but time really does fly! And, these boys really are on the move. They are getting faster and faster every day. We had well-visit checkups this week and they are 1″ different in height and 4lb 10oz different in weight. They also couldn’t be more different in every area of personality, looks, demeanor, and development. They really do everything different and have a different means to the same end for almost every task, except for one. They climb the stairs the exact same way: right hand, right knee, then left foot, left hand. It really is in perfect synchronization as we go up for naps or baths each day.

Food Description

We didn’t do too much knew on the food front this week, but I did enjoy a few hours of mommy time as I left the boys home with dad to head out for a haircut. Anyway, we did introduce almond butter and the boys, of course, loved it!

Process

Almond Butter

We buy organic, raw, creamy almond butter from Trader Joe’s, but I think you can find various kinds at various stores.

  • The obvious choice is to spread almond butter on bread or toast.
  • For some added taste, include some slices of banana and honey. Local honey is best…try your farmer’s market.
  • Almond butter is also yummy on vegetable sticks. My boys don’t eat raw vegetables yet as I’m not sure they would be able to chew them well enough, but this is a good lunch or snack for me!

What I Learned

I didn’t learn much except that neither of my boys is allergic to almonds…phew. I will soon have to introduce the dreaded peanut.

Reaction

The boys love almond butter and seem to enjoy the stickiness of it all!

Summary

This is a great way to get some healthy fats into a quick and easy snack or lunch. I love, love, love having this new alternative for meals. Spreading a healthy nut butter on bread makes prep and cleanup super fast!