nuts for nut butter

Justin's Almond Butter---Journey for JessiOh, one of my weaknesses!  Nuts, or in this case specifically—nut butter. Jessi and I had this in common; we both went nuts for nut butter!  I remember she used to keep a jar of peanut butter in her cabinet and eat a spoonful as a treat.  I know we are all guilty of this.  I mean who hasn’t eaten a jar of peanut butter without it ever touching anything but a spoon?  I know my family is guilty as charged.  Even my sister’s dog had his own jar of peanut butter for a while, that is, until he was denounced as overweight by the vet…

I feel for him though, although delicious and filled with “healthy” fats and oils, nut butters are not void of calories.  Just two tablespoons puts on average 190 calories…yeesh!  To top it off, I recently came out of denial that the oil from peanuts did something unhappy to my stomach.  I have never been allergic per say, but something about their tremendous oil content did not sit well with my body.  It was a sad day when I had to give my precious peanut butter up (and raw peanuts too).  That is, until I walked the aisles of the grocery store to find a realm of nut butters much greater than peanut butter! Almond butter, sunflower butter, cashew butter, pistachio butter, etc.  I am a huge fan of almond butter now.  I would argue that it is much tastier than peanut butter, but that just may be what my tummy says because almonds do not upset it like peanuts do.  

Maybe I am biased because I go to school in Colorado, but I like Justin’s Almond Butter.  It does not have any added sugars or preservatives, and it is very natural without separation occurring.

On nights after dinner when I am craving something chocolatey (this has been a little too frequent lately), I like to whip up a batch of my Almond Butter Emmy Cups.  They are rich and satisfying and do not have a bunch of artificial junk loaded in them like the “other leading brand.”

Dark Chocolate Almond Butter Cups--- Journey for Jessi

Ingredients:

♦ ½ bag of dark chocolate chips

♦ ¾ cup of Justin’s Classic Almond Butter (or any preferred brand)

♦ ¼ cup of maple syrup (or just use Justin’s Maple Almond Butter)

Melt the chocolate chips either with the double boiler method, or in the microwave for 1 minute and 30 seconds, stirring every 30 seconds to prevent burning/clumping.  Fill mini baking cups with a thin layer of the melted chocolate and let them sit in the freezer until firm.  *I made my chocolate too thick in the pictures, but yours should be much thinner than mine.*

Dark Chocolate Almond Butter Cups---Journey for Jessi

While they are firming up (it should not take very long), mix the almond butter and maple syrup together in a bowl.  After the chocolate has hardened and cooled, take the cups out of the freezer and place dollops (about 1 teaspoonful) of the almond butter mixture in the center.  Flatten the butter out a bit, but be sure to not flatten it out all the way to the edge of the baking cup.  Top off the almond butter with another thin layer of melted chocolate.

Dark Chocolate Almond Butter Cups---Journey for Jessi

Let the cups harden in the freezer.  It should take longer than the base layer because there is more substance to firm up.  After firming up, the cups should be easy to unwrap.

Dark Chocolate Almond Butter Cups---Journey for Jessi

Yum, yum!  You can store these in the refrigerator or the freezer (sometimes the freezer makes them too hard to eat).  Like I said above, I made mine too thick, but they were just as delicious, if not more decadent! 

Dark Chocolate Almond Butter Cups---Journey for Jessi

E N J O Y

On to the next one—recipe that is!  I told you that I have been having a sweet tooth/teeth lately.  Yesterday after my workout, I decided to make a healthy chocolate shake.  The result was this PB&B Chocolate Shake.  It really did taste like an ice cream treat packed with artificial sugars, fat, and calories, but my shake only had 135 calories per serving and less than 2 grams of fat!  

Chocolate PB&B Shake---Journey for Jessi

All you need to do is blend together 1 ½ medium frozen bananas, 1/3 scoop of Vega One Chocolate Shake mix, 2 tbsp of PB2, and 1 cup of water.  Just blend, pour, and…

E N J O Y

I topped mine with a sprinkle of chia seeds.  I loved this shake!  Anything with chocolate and nut butter count me in!  I love PB2 because it has the peanut flavor without all of the peanut’s oil that seems to burden my digestive system.  Thank goodness for powdered peanut butter and all other nut butters!

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