If you could see inside my refrigerator right now, you might think I was running a nut butter store. I literally have an entire door bin full of nut butters. I can't seem to finish any of them because I'm constantly toggling between all of them. So when Sunland offered to send me some of their peanut butter to taste, I decided it would be the perfect opportunity for me to try out some peanut butter recipes I've had bookmarked. If you ask me, peanut butter makes everything better.
Here's what they sent me:
Natural peanut butter with the addition of creamy caramel, and organic peanut butter made out of Valencia peanuts. My first thought: Oh, yes...caramel is lovely. My second thought: What's the big deal about Valencia peanuts? I see talk of them everywhere.
Sunland claims that Valencia peanuts are "smaller, sweeter and have more intense flavor than other varieties of peanuts." They seem to have some great health benefits, too. Think good plant proteins, unsaturated fats and low glycemic levels. Wikipedia agrees with all of this and goes on to state that Valencia peanuts aren't widely grown. Whenever something is in short supply, it's obviously a hot commodity. To me, peanuts are still just peanuts and it all boils down to what you do with them. Lemme tell ya—Sunland sure can make a nut butter! Let's just say I'm fighting a seriously huge urge to grab a spoonful of the above.
Must. Distract. Myself.
So let's talk about recipes that use nut butters (as if that's going to distract me). I have two of them to share with you. The first one uses the caramel goodness shown above. Now, I have to say, I'm super stoked about the caramel infusion but at the same time...it does diminish the health value ever so slightly. I look at the ingredients label and see things like "caramel compound" and "cane sugar" and cringe a little. But, it could be worse. I've seen worse, for sure.
NO-BAKE CHOCOLATE CARAMEL OAT BARS
Inspiration: Microwave Chocolate Peanut Butter & Oat Snack Bars, Love Veggies and Yoga
• 1/4 cup chocolate chips
• 1/4 cup Sunland Natural Peanut Butter, Creamy Caramel Spread
• 1/4 cup milk
• 1 cup + 1/4 cup oats
• 1/4 cup almonds, chopped
• 2 tbsp ground flaxseed
1) Combine chocolate, peanut butter and milk in a bowl. Melt in your microwave until combined.
2) Add oats, almonds and flaxseed. Stir...it'll be dry, which is good.
3) Line an 8x8 glass baking dish with parchment or wax paper. Pour mix into the dish and press until flattened out to all four sides of the dish.
4) Refrigerate for at least 20 minutes before slicing into individual bars.
These guys do best when stored in the refrigerator, although you can wrap them for the freezer and save some of them for later if you wish. Just be sure to use freezer wrap and suitable plastic bags to preserve freshness.
If they go bad, you can always make these:
You can find the original recipe on have cake, will travel. I didn't change much, except I did use honey instead of agave and I went the dried cherry route instead of apricots, dates and raisins. I don't know, cherries and chickpeas sounded better. Literally and figuratively.
Moral of the story? Sunland nut butters are great. However you choose to use them. And it isn't hard to use them as they're widely found across the country. Use the locator on the Sunland site to find Sunland in your area. If you live in my area, you can find select varieties at Meijer. (Otherwise known as Fred's, as my husband likes to call it.)
Just a quick word about official product reviews posted on Daily Dose: I don't support just any product, so whenever I do talk about one, you can rest assured that you're getting my honest opinion. I'm no food expert, but I do love food and I try my hardest to eat healthy. Don't think that I'm pushing products on you...it's not about that at all. I just want you to know about the things that I love just in case you might love them, too!
How many times have you seen a jar of Sunland nut butter on the shelf and wondered whether or not it tasted any good? Now you know.
It tastes real good.
Oh, and that whole "spoonful of the above" thing...epic fail.
Question: What's your favorite use for nut butters? And if you had a caramel-infused nut butter, what would you do with it?