Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Coloring Easter Eggs with Natural Dyes

It is that time of year again... getting ready to color Easter eggs for The Captain. They are hard boiled and have cooled nicely so getting ready to dye them all kinds of lovely colors.


If your are a newbie at coloring eggs, you can read about how to get started with hardboiling them and using food coloring for dying them here...  and you can read about coloring the insides of the eggs here.

As for me, I am doing something a bit different again this year.

Instead of using the little dye tablets that you can pick up in coloring kits, or even food coloring, I am going to use some natural dyes... and I am going to be dying our eggs with foodstuffs that I have on hand in my kitchen.

I recently received some fun and intriguing information about just how to do go about doing this and want to share it with you so that you can join in and dye your own eggs with natural dyes, too.

For example, did you know that using frozen blueberries color dye your eggs a lovely blue-purple? Or that using paprika will color your eggs a sunny golden-orange?

Have a look at this pretty infograpic, and if you are interested, click on it to see the full how-to article.


Natural Egg Dyes



Do you color eggs for Easter?

Have you tried any of these natural egg dyes yourself?



Sunday, April 09, 2017

Simple Vanilla PB Mug Cake

I have been really enjoying my Simple Chocolate Mug Cake quite often lately. I love that I can quickly make up a cake in order to enjoy a bit of sweetness with only a few carbs or fat and lots and lots of protein.

I have also been sharing my precious cakes with The Captain, but when I offered to make him one last night for a snack, he sorta turned up his nose. He said he didn't want that much.  I was quite taken aback.

Okay then, if a whole cake was too much, I suggested we share one and then he told me that he really didn't feel like chocolate... and that the cake is a bit too dry for his liking.   Hmmmm.

Well, I have vanilla whey powder as well as chocolate, so I offered to make him a slightly smaller cake... vanilla with peanut butter, with a moister texture,  and he quickly agreed.

I used vanilla whey, with PB2, almonds milk, and a bit of baking powder.  And, in order to make the outcome a bit moister, I used less than a whole scoop of the vanilla whey protein powder.  That made the batter wetter, and the cooked cake definitely moister.  Clever, right?

Of course you could use any peanut flour you like, and even unflavored whey... just add a bit of vanilla extract when you mix.

I do think it is a nice change from the chocolate... and it really is a better batter!  The PB2 gives it just a hint of peanut butter flavor... very subtle... so it is still good with any kind of fruit or toppings you might like.

Here is the recipe.  Hope you like it.

Simple Vanilla PB Mug Cake by @WeCanBegin2Feed



Simple Vanilla PB Mug Cake
makes 1 serving

Ingredients:
  • 2/3 scoop (about 21g) vanilla whey protein powder
  • 2 Tbs PB2
  • 1/4 cup nut milk
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
Instructions:
  1. Coat the inside of a microwave safe cooking dish with non-stick spray.
  2. Place the dry ingredients in a small mixing bowl and stir to combine.
  3. Add the nut milk and stir.  You want a brownie batter consistency so if it is a bit thick, add more nut milk a couple of drops at a time.
  4. Spoon batter into prepared baking dish.
  5. Cook in microwave oven for 1 minute on HIGH. Time may vary slightly.
  6. Remove cooked cake from microwave and allow to cool about 30 seconds before removing cake to serving dish.
  7. Top as desired or eat plain.
Per serving, without toppings.
Weight Watchers Smart Points = 2.
Calories 132;
Fat 3g;
Saturated Fat 1g;
Carbohydrates 7g;
Sugar 2g;
Protein 22g



What about you? Chocolate or Vanilla PB?

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

Homemade Roasted Almond Butter

For the past couple of weeks I have been spending way too much time with my dentist... Oh, don't misunderstand me.  I really like my dentist. He seems to be a very nice man.  But I had a loose filling one one of  my upper left molars which, when removed, revealed a cavity, and also a crack in one of my upper right molars...  all of which led to needing 2 crowns.  The prep work was killer and now I feel like a princess with the price I had to pay for these lovely crowns!

But the real downside here is that I can no longer eat whole almonds.  I love, love, love almonds... raw almonds mostly, but I also enjoy them roasted, plain or salted, and even hickory smoked... you present them to me, and I will eat them.  Happily.  But no longer... apparently that is likely what cracked my tooth and I was informed by the dental assistant that none of us with large fillings should really eat hard nuts of any kind or size.  Come to think of it I had a cracked tooth a few years back and it was likely from the same thing. Drat.

So, what to do with this huge stash of raw almonds I now have in my pantry thanks to a great sale at Costco last month?  Why, make almond butter, of course!  And it was actually easier than I thought it would be.  Way easier!

I decided to make small batches of almond butter and store it in a glass container in the refrigerator. So I started with 2 cups of nuts, and roasted them in the oven and put them into my food processor while still very warm from the oven... turned it on and waited to see what would happen.  At first I thought my food processor was not adequate. I could see that the nuts were ground into almond meal, but then all of a sudden it happened... creamy, almond butter!  I had to taste it right away of course.

And it is delicious. And it is thick and creamy. I am hooked!

Now I know you can add flavors if you like... cocoa, cinnamon, maple syrup, coconut... you name it.  And I just may try that. But to store it, I am leaving it plain, and then can add other goodies to it once I get over the novelty of having it at all.  I actually quit buying almond butter a couple of years ago when the price went past the point of what I call affordable. 

So here it is... plain old almond butter.  And I love it!  Hope you will too.

Homemade Roasted Almond Butter by @WeCanBegin2Feed


Homemade Roasted Almond Butter
makes about 1-1/2 cups

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups raw almonds

Instructions:
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 F.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Place the almonds on the baking sheet and spread them out so they are in a single layer.
  4. Rosat the almonds in the oven for 10 minutes.
  5. While the almonds are roasting, set up your food processor with the S shaped cutting blade.
  6. Remove the almonds from the oven and put them into the food processor immediately. You want them to be hot when they are being processed.
  7. Puree on HIGH for a couple of minutes at a time, stopping to scrape and push the ground nuts down into the center.
  8. It will take about 10 minutes for the almonds to become a creamy butter texture.
  9. Remove to storage jar and store in fridge for up to a couple of weeks.
Per 1 Tbs serving.
Weight Watchers Smart Points =3.
Calories 95;
Fat 8g;
Saturated Fat .75g;
Carbohydrate 3g;
Sugar 1g;
Protein 3.5g

These values are meant to be used as a guideline.

Printable Recipe


Homemade Roasted Almond Butter by @WeCanBegin2Feed
Puree the roasted, still hot almonds in the food processor till a creamy butter appears!

How about you?  Are you an almond butter fan?

Have you made your own nut butters?