I was really late to the peanut butter game because it just wasn't a thing in Ireland, which is where I was born and lived for a short time until my family emigrated to Canada and then later to the U.S. I could be mistaken but chocolate and peanut butter still don't seem to be a thing on the Emerald Isle and I'm pretty good at scoping out chocolate on each my trips (my last one was late 2017). I don't remember exactly when the good old Reese's Peanut Butter cup first graced my lips but I do know that I'm thankful for it because wow. Those things are dangerous.
It turns out that peanut butter packs some great health benefits, as long as you look for a brand that has minimal ingredients and no hidden preservatives or filler oils. I actually have been a Vitamix owner for years and loooove that blender, but I only made peanut butter from dry roasted peanuts for the first time very recently. I had this idea in my head that it was going to be a madly messy process so I just didn't do it. I was wrong- it wasn't! It took me all of 3 minutes to go from a jar of dry roasted peanuts to a jar of creamy peanut butter and clean up was a snap!
With Valentine's Day around the corner, these dark chocolate bites filled with coconut and peanut butter would make a nice homemade treat. They're rich, decadent and clean eating with no refined sugar or filler ingredients.
Here's what you'll need:
(makes approximately 15-20 chocolates)
-3/4 cup unsweetened coconut (flaked or shredded)
-12 pitted dates
-1/3 cup unsweetened baking cocoa
-1/2 cup peanut butter
-2 TBS maple syrup
-1 x 10 oz package of dark chocolate chips (use a vegan dark chocolate if you want the entire recipe to be plant based)
Place the dates, peanut butter, baking cocoa and coconut into the bowl of a food processor and pulse/process until it begins to come into a crumbly mixture. Then slowly drizzle in the maple syrup while you run the food processor on low until the mixture begins to come together and clean from the sides of the bowl.
Line a cookie tray with parchment paper. Using your hands, roll the mixture into balls approximately 1 TBS in size. Once all of the mixture is rolled, place the tray in the freezer to set for approximately 30 minutes (it's fine if you leave them in longer- you can break up the steps here). Start to melt the dark chocolate in a double boiler about 5 minutes before you plan to take the prepared mixture from the freezer. Roll each ball into the melted chocolate and return to the parchment paper lined cookie tray. Drizzle the extra melted chocolate across the tops and then return the tray to the freezer to set for 30-60 minutes. Store the finished chocolates in the fridge in an air tight container.
I've done it again and been MIA on the recipe front. I've got a good reason for it this time though...I promise! Bundle #3 arrived at the end of September and we've been in the blur and beauty of newborn care since then and I was simply cooked and over tired in the weeks leading up to his birth and I hit pause on recipe creation and food photography. Although I have two other littles, it's amazing how quickly I forgot just how much sleep deprivation is involved in those first weeks of life. Somewhere in the hours of 11PM-3AM I think I will never sleep again and then sometime around 6AM I hit a second wind of energy and think "I've got this..." but then the cycle starts again soon thereafter. And this is why God makes babies cute.
Even though this recipe is finished and pictures edited, I'll be amazed if I finish this post in one sitting, but here goes! This recipe is a healthy, refined sugar free cookie recipe to support new mamas in their newborn weeks. They are loaded with healthy ingredients that support lactation, but I prefer to call these new mama cookies as these ingredients are nutrient dense and are healthy bites of nourishment to grab and go no matter how you choose to or need to feed your little one. Momming is hard enough as it is...can we please just support moms to do the best they can regardless of feeding choices or needs (can you sense a little sensitivity in my tone? Feeding has been a little trying in these first weeks around here and I'm trying to stop beating myself up).
The key ingredients in these cookies include oatmeal, flax seed and brewer's yeast. All of these ingredients are easily found online if needed. What did parents do before the invention of Amazon Prime? There are some complaints that Brewer's Yeast has a very bitter taste, but this is a particular rock star ingredient for boosting milk supply if needed. I ordered this bag from Oat Mama and I don't notice the taste in the cookies (nope, not sponsored...I just found and like the product). Instead of oil/butter and sugar, the cookies are moistened and sweetened by ripe bananas and truvia. These throw together quickly and easily, which is a necessity for mamas of wee ones or an easy little gift to throw together for an expecting friend or family member. Throw them in the freezer before baby arrives- you'll be glad you did!
New Mama Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies
(makes approximately 2 dozen cookies)
-2 ripe bananas
-2 tbs ground flax seed
-2 tbs brewer's yeast
-2 tbs + 1 tsp truvia
-1 tsp vanilla extract
-1 cup spelt flour
-1 1/2 cups rolled oats
-1 tsp baking powder
-1/2 tsp salt
-1 cup chocolate chips
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Mash bananas in a large bowl. Add eggs, vanilla, flax seed, brewer's yeast and truvia. Mix together. Add spelt flour, oats, salt and baking powder. Stir together. Fold in chocolate chips.
Prep a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Scoop out cookies using a small cookie scoop and space approximately 2 inches apart. Bake for approximately 11 minutes. Allow to cool on the pan for a few minutes before transferring to a wire baking rack to finish cooling. Enjoy at 3PM or 3AM...whenever baby is up for a feeding!
I'm very motivated to create chocolate recipes that can double as quality nutrition and I think I'm onto a little something with this recipe. This recipe packs the nutrition power house of sweet potatoes along with some peanut butter for a soft, rich brownie that could double as a cake dessert too as it isn't overly dense and fudgy. Although I enjoyed my brownie plain this weekend, I think it would be to die for layered and topped with a coconut whipped cream and banana slices. Instead of conventional sugar, this recipe only uses maple syrup to keep the refined sugar count to a minimum too so I may even grab one of these for breakfast one morning this week. Annnddd....to top it all off, I made these super quick in my Vitamix. Blender Brownies for the win!
I hope that the weather is more spring like wherever you are because we. are. still. getting. snow. here. Enough. Seriously.
I hope you enjoy the brownies!
Grain Free Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownies
(makes approximately 12 small brownies)
-1 cup mashed, baked sweet potato
-1/3 cup maple syrup
-1/2 cup peanut butter
-1/3 cup organic raw cacao powder
-1/4 cup coconut flour
-1 tsp baking powder
-1/2 tsp salt
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Place all ingredients in a high powered blender with the wet ingredients first. Blend until a thick batter forms. Line an 8x8 inch square baking dish with parchment paper. Pour the batter onto the parchment paper and use a rubber spatula to smooth and spread the batter evenly around the pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes until a toothpick inserted to the middle of the pan comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before lifting the parchment paper out of the dish and slicing the brownies.
New England wife and mom. Faith, fitness, yoga, baking and constantly cleaning my kitchen.