Yes, I am still excited about the new school year.
Listen – I am not a mean mom. I do sympathize with the kids for having to sit through class all day and I hate homework as much as anyone else but what I do love is the routine and structure of the school day.
Big News: Guess who is now the Nutrition, Health and Environment PTA representative for my son’s elementary school?
Uh huh. That’s right.
I get to attend the district wide meeting today and report to our PTA tomorrow.
Please do not tell my son – he will absolutely hold me responsible for the “super side salads” and “veggie dippers” that are currently on the lunch menu even though I had no part in the cafeteria menu decision-making process.
Now, on to the fun food part of today’s post.
As if my pantry was lacking in the peanut butter department, I finally made it a point to buy a jar of PB2.
If you aren’t familiar with PB2, it is peanut butter in a powder form. Basically the company, Bell Plantation, reduces the calories and fat in peanut butter (BY 85%) and creates PB2 using a chemical free process. With no artificial preservatives or sweeteners, we have ourselves a low cal, peanuttty delicious alternative to full fat peanut butter.
Please understand that I will NEVER give up regular peanut butter. But, PB2 does come in handy.
PB2 comes in regular peanut butter flavor as well as chocolate. It is great to have on hand for mixing into oatmeal, pancakes, shakes, baking and especially when you have super hungry days and don’t want to eat an entire jar of Crunch Time.
To make the powder into peanut butter, you simply measure out your amount and mix with water:
Voila. Peanut Butter!
So what have I been doing with my bottle of PB2?
THREE YUMMY WAYS TO ADD PB2 TO YOUR MEALS:
I am back to my morning bowl of oats. I have been mixing a tablespoon of PB2 directly into the oatmeal while it cooks and then a tablespoon to top it all off.
Delicious and satisfying. I am once again thrilled with breakfast.
2. APPLE AND PEANUT BUTTER:
I love my apple and peanut butter nightly dessert with a true passion.
Now, while I like the PB2, I have found that at night I need my dessert to be a bit more decadent so I have been mixing my regular peanut butters with the PB2 to creature a richer flavor and texture.
I have also experimented with mixing chocolate chips into just PB2 to put on top of my apple slices – totally recommend. And I totally ate it all before I could even get you a picture.
Make this now.
OK, you can’t make it now if you don’t have all of the ingredients, but, since it is such a simple ingredients list, it is quite possible that you can listen to me and MAKE THIS NOW!
I like simple. I like tasty. And I like healthy.
Good. I am glad we agree.
I call these beauties Peanut Butter Pumpkin Things because you can bake them in any form – as a cookie, a brownie or in a loaf pan as slices of yummy goodness.
If you don’t have a can of pumpkin, you need one. Or two. Or three.
I don’t just buy pumpkin in the fall. I keep it year round because it is super tasty and filling when added to bowls of oatmeal or when making oatmeal pancakes. Or regular pancakes. Or just about anything.
It serves as a nice thickener, mild taste (half the time you wouldn’t know it was there) and it gives you a serving of vegetables without really trying plus your daily dose of Vitamin A/Beta Carotene.
I first decided to use this recipe but of course ended up tweaking it. I left out all of the granulated sugar and reduced the brown sugar significantly. I think you can even leave it out all together – totally up to you and how sweet you like your treats.
Peanut Butter Pumpkin Things
- 2 cups Old Fashioned Oats
- 1 cup pumpkin
- half ripe banana (can easily use a whole banana)
- 1/4 cup peanut butter of choice
- 4 tablespoons PB2
- tablespoon of water
- scant 1/4 brown sugar (can totally leave out if you want, just add a bit more banana for sweetness)
- pinch or two of cinnamon
- tsp vanilla
- *raisins (amount to be determined by you, can leave out if you wish)
- *chocolate chips (the more the better if you ask me)
**If you do not have PB2, add in an additional 1/4 cup of peanut butter of your choice
Preheat oven 350 degrees. Dump all ingredients in a bowl and mix.
This looks good enough to eat without even mixing and baking, don’t you think?
Dump into a foiled lined greased 8 x 8 brownie pan or do what I did – dump into a loaf pan.
Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a fork comes out clean.
Bars/slices (whichever way you choose to bake this recipe) will still come out a bit mushy when you remove from oven, but don’t worry, they will set quick.
Eat it plain. Eat it warm. Eat it cold. Eat it out of the pan.
Top it with some more peanut butter and you will have an issue keeping up with your will power. I am being totally serious here. Best thing I have baked in a while.
I love that this is a healthy indulgence and I like the addition of the PB2 in place of half of the regular peanut butter in the recipe.
I definitely recommend you get yourself a jar or two of the PB2 – only issue: It is a bit pricey if you are going to use it regularly.
The cheapest I have found it for is $4.99 so if you buy it, I give you permission to be selfish like me and don’t share it with others.
I NEED TO KNOW:
Have you tried PB2 – what do you think?
Are you a peanut butter eater or almond butter eater? I am allergic to almonds so I am peanut butter all the way.
What are your routine oatmeal mix-ins?