Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Breadless Butter Snacks Part 2

Here is another great way I've found to get more butter in my diet without involving bread or grains.

Some of you might remember my old nostalgic snack from childhood; basically a banana based "ants on the log". Well, it occurred to me about a year ago that I could try eating a banana with regular butter instead of peanut butter . . . I'm not entirely sure how it all came into my head, but I'm thinking it has something to do with banana cream pie, and also, coconut cream pie.  Back when I used to eat regular pies, like at Thanksgiving, those two flavors were my absolute faves. Especially the coconut cream one. So one day I decided to try putting (non-sweetened) coconut on a buttered banana.

It was so tasty! Quite a different experience from the peanut butter banana, but really good . . . possibly better!

I do still like the peanut butter version, but most of the time I will choose a coconut banana over the former recipe because it really does remind me of coconut cream pie! I usually like to sprinkle just a touch of sea salt on top to enhance the coconut flavor and also because the banana is already so sweet and the butter so mild, it's nice to add a bit of contrast.

 My husband and kids all approve of this snack too, so if you miss coconut cream pie (or banana cream); or if you are just looking for a new way to add some more butter to your diet, I would highly recommend this snack!

Totally delicious! Light, sweet, and creamy and with nothing but benefits!

I recently also bought some clean toasted coconut flakes from Thrive Market and the lightly toasted flavor really added to the experience!

For more great butter snacks check out my other post here.

Strawberry Season Snack! (Plus, PB'n'J . . . Salad!)

I love strawberry season!  There is no fruit that makes me quite so happy as a fresh springtime strawberry! This fruit is so versatile in recipes as well as fantastic all on it's own!

We were able to get 2 lbs of fresh strawberries over the weekend from Costco and I am greatly enjoying them!

My absolute favorite way to enjoy strawberries is to stuff them/make them into little 'sammies.'
We like to use softened cream cheese sweetened with a little local raw honey. Sooooo, good!

These snacks feel like an luxurious indulgence, yet they are so healthful and easy that there's really no reason why they couldn't become a regular thing! At least during strawberry season.

Another way that I enjoyed them this past weekend was on a salad. Now I have been eating strawberry spinach salad for over a decade, but this time I decided to try a little experiment based on my Peanut Butter and Honey Salad.

Since I had strawberries available, I figured it was about time I tried out my favorite sweet salad with a strawberry "jam" twist! I didn't actually make jam though . . . All I did was crush some of the berries in a bowl with my potato masher and stirred in a bit of honey (which proved to be unnecessary because the berries were already plenty sweet.) and then I drizzled this raw strawberry goodness over my salad along with my usual peanut butter dressing and some sliced strawberries.
It was lovely!

 If you love strawberries as much as I do, and/or if you miss having a good ol' PB'n'J sandwich because you cannot digest bread anymore; I recommend you try this salad! It's superbly refreshing!

Friday, April 15, 2016

Peanut Butter & Honey . . . Salad?

One of the most useful things I've learned about food since I cut out grains and cane sugar is that anything that makes a good sandwich can make a better salad!

Yes! It's true! Just think of your favorite sandwich combo, and then replace the bread with a bed of greens. Some of the possibilities here seem obvious . . . BLT, Philly Steak & Cheese, Meatball,  Tuna salad, BBQ chicken, Taco, etc . . . What wasn't so obvious to me was that this truth is not limited to savory sandwiches.

One of my favorites from my childhood was Peanut Butter and Honey. Especially if the peanut butter was crunchy. I liked smooth peanut butter with jam/jelly combos, but for some reason the combo of honey with nut chunks has always been extra yummy to me.

Since I've been married, yet before I discovered my digestive issues with bread, my family would often make peanut butter honey sandwiches for lunch. We discovered adding a layer of regular butter to the bread was key to making it extra good---Not too dry, and it kept the honey from soaking into the bread. (And Elvis: PB and Banana was also a family fave.)

After discovering that I couldn't eat bread anymore I gave up on the idea of enjoying this flavor combo for a few years. it was sad though, and hard. Then last Summer after watching my husband and kids still enjoying their PBHs I suddenly had the inspiration to try it out with my sandwich to salad theory. I had already been eating things like chili, stir-fry, stroganoff, bbq meat, and other such dinner menu items over salad. (It's also true that anything you can eat over pasta or rice is great on salad.)

Anyway, I tried it, and . . .  Surprise!!!!!
It was AMAZING!!! The nostalgic flavor I had missed was there in full force! It was even richer and more satisfying than a sandwich because I didn't have the flavor of bread competing with the PB and honey. Spinach is especially good and disappearing into the background and allowing other flavors to shine.  After enjoying this discovery for a few months I finally managed to take some photos to give some of you some inspiration of all the many possibilities this salad combo offers.

 Start with a bed of salad greens . . . in this case organic baby spinach, and organic Spring Mix from Costco.
 Put about a tablespoon each of peanut butter and butter into a small dish and place in the oven on warm until the butter is melty.
 Stir until you have a smooth peanut butter dressing.
 Top your salad with the dressing . . .
 Drizzle on some local raw honey . . .
 Here are some other optional toppings that you might enjoy to bulk things up: Nuts (almonds are shown because that it what I had at the time, but I think pecans are best because they are softer.), shredded unsweetened coconut, and organic dried fruit such as raisins (or chopped dates), organic fresh fruit such as bananas (remember the Elvis Presley?) or an organic apple. (Organic us recommend for these fruits because they are on the dirty dozen list.)
 If you are adding nuts, especially almonds, be sure to crush them so they are easier to eat over your salad.
 Slice you bananas . . .
 Add sliced apples if desired (I usually don't do the apples, I prefer the bananas by themselves. But you know, you can use what you have.)
 I always put salt and pepper on my salads, even my sweet ones because I like the way it enhances all the different flavors.
 Another possible seasoning that works well with PB and Honey is cinnamon. (If you can get real, fresh cinnamon, that will of course be a plus.)
 Mix it all together and enjoy!
Mmm, the taste of nostalgia blended with high nutrition and success are so very sweet!