Here’s a common scene at the grocery store: I walk down the nut butter aisle, excited to find what’s new and interesting. Something catching my eye. And inevitably, it’s the most expensive thing on the shelf. Sigh… I allow myself these purchases once in a while, but if I were to indulge every time I wanted to, I’d be broke.The funny thing is, a lot of these “specialty” spreads are made of relatively inexpensive ingredients. I recently found Naturally Nutty’s Pepita Sun Seed butter - an irresistible combination of pepitas, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, hemp seeds, and some lovely warming spices. Pepitas and sunflower seeds are some of the cheapest items I can find in the bulk bins at my local market, so I quickly decided that since I’d already spent ten dollars on the first jar, I’d save a bit of money and make my own!…
Some flavors are just meant to be together. You know what I’m talking about: Hummus and pita, apples and cinnamon, (almond) milk and cereal, chocolate and peanut butter. Let’s stop there. With the chocolate and peanut butter. The classic flavor combination that it’s nearly impossible not to love. Think about the creamy peanut butter and the melty chocolate mingling together. It’s the definition of synergy. While I’ll never say “no” to chocolate or peanut butter on their own, they’re just that much better when eaten together.
No matter how many times it’s been done, I never get tired of it. Whether it’s peanut butter straight from the jar followed by chocolate chips right out of the bag, oatmeal with peanut butter and cocoa powder stirred right in, or the ever popular peanut butter cup, you can’t go wrong. Chocolate and peanut butter are quite possibly magical in their ability to taste good together, no matter their form….
This month’s Recipe ReDux theme was “adding merriment to mixes,” which left the doors wide open for ideas. How many things can you possibly make into a shelf stable mix? Well I’ll tell you. The possibilities are seemingly endless. Which is probably why I wound up going with a staple we always have in stock here: oatmeal. A bit fancied up, with chocolate and coconut stirred right into the mix, this oatmeal makes every breakfast special.
While it would be lovely if every morning could be like the traditional Sunday morning: lazy, relaxed, with sun beaming in the windows and the cats lounging on your lap, and the smell of fresh pancakes wafting through the house, they are, unfortunately, not. Most mornings are the exact opposite of this: rushed, stressful, cold, and dark, with the cats meowing lest you make them wait a second longer for breakfast. On mornings like this, where there’s not a pancake in sight, it’s useful to have a “convenience” breakfast of sorts. While many people turn to pre-mixed oatmeal packets, (which are positively packed with sugar and other scary sounding ingredients), I choose to make my own, completely customizable oatmeal mixture. I simply portion it out in the morning (or the night before, if I’m making overnight oats) and breakfast is ready in 5 minutes or less….