Peanut butter is a major part of my life. I eat it daily, usually on an apple. Sometimes on a slice of toast with (as of late) some homemade pumpkin butter. Do I ever get sick of it? Hecks no! There are so many great peanut butter companies out there that I can say with certainty that there will always be a different type of peanut butter to taste. Recently, I've been tasting from two jars sent to me from one such peanut butter company called, well...Peanut Butter & Company!
It's a classic story: one young entrepreneur had a dream, quit his job to pursue said dream, dream comes to fruition and success develops. In other words, what started out as one person's love of peanut butter grew into a peanut butter sandwich shop in New York City, which then grew into an entire line of peanut butter products. And here I am today, reviewing two of these products for you! So let's get to it.
Dark Chocolate Dreams. Peanut butter blended with rich dark chocolate. HELLO, how yum. And it is. It's also gluten-free, certified vegan and certified kosher. But it isn't full of cholesterol, trans fats, hydrogenated oils or high-fructose corn syrup. High fives all around for that, right? Peanut Butter & Company recommends spreading some on a sandwich, or maybe drizzling it over some ice cream (naughty but nice). They also recommend spreading it on a banana, which brings me to today's breakfast: one piece of whole wheat toast with Dark Chocolate Dreams and a sliced banana. A truly excellent combination of carbs and protein. Much like the snack I had over the weekend:
You also can't go wrong with Crunch Time, which is Peanut Butter & Company's version of an all-natural chunky peanut butter (minus the stir factor). Now, let it be known that I'm usually a creamy girl, but this stuff was good. In fact, I already had a fresh jar of peanut butter in the 'fridge, so I decided to make something of this sampler.
I found a recipe for Peanut Crunch Bars in my Gourmet Nutrition cookbook. Easy ingredients found in almost any kitchen, plus a great number of nutritional benefits makes for one really good pre- or post-workout snack. A tasty one, too.
(Can you tell I took that picture at night without any natural light? Ugh and ugh. I need a light box.)
Let's make note that I tweaked the recipe a bit because, well...why not. The original calls for 125 grams of vanilla protein powder. I, for one, don't keep much protein powder in the house so I knew immediately that it would need to be replaced. And I hardly ever measure in grams, so I employed some math (translation: a conversion website I found on the Internet) to replace the powder with oats and ground flaxseed. The following recipe resulted:
1 tbsp honey
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup low-fat cottage cheese
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup water
1 cup Crunch Time peanut butter
1 cup oats
1/4 cup ground flaxseeds
1/2 cup oat flour
1/4 cup sliced almonds
(NOTE: Remember that oat flour can be made by grounding 1/2 cup of oats in a food processor. It's so easy!)
Combine the honey, vanilla extract, cottage cheese, cinnamon and water in your food processor and process until smooth. Set aside, then measure out your peanut butter.
Line a 9-inch square baking pan with plastic wrap, doubling the length so that the wrap can serve as a cover as well. Fill the pan with the mixture, then press it down into the pan. Cover it with the rest of the plastic, then finish pressing it into the pan until the mixture is evenly distributed. Uncover, then sprinkle sliced almonds over the top. Replace the cover and press the almonds into the mixture.
Chill in a refrigerator for at least two hours before cutting into 12 bars. And finally, enjoy. (That's the best part, right?) These bars are super moist and ooey-gooey delicious, and I'm fairly certain the peanut butter fan within you will love them. Probably best to keep them in the refrigerator, though. At least until you need to pack one to go.
And with that, I leave you with what is hopefully a craving for some Peanut Butter & Company. I think you can find it in most grocery stores, however they have a variety of peanut butter flavors on their website that I've yet to see in my grocery stores. Check 'em out! (I am intensely curious about The Heat Is On, Cinnamon Raisin Swirl and White Chocolate Wonderful.) (Although that last one sounds a bit sinful...)
Question: Do you have a favorite Peanut Butter & Company flavor? Which one leaves your taste buds tingling? And if you happen to live in New York City, have you ever been to the Peanut Butter & Company sandwich shop? Tell me about it! I want to go.