Friday, March 2, 2012

Cinnamon Raisin

So I've been slightly obsessed with two very simple, very classic ingredients:

It's a completely predictable combination, but one that's so delicious. At least in my opinion. In one single day, I made three different treats using said ingredients:

Don't ask me to pick a favorite. Impossible, I say to you. They're all tasty in their own, unique way—despite the similar ingredients, of course. Let's take a closer look at each one. First up, cinnamon raisin peanut almond butter.

The first batch I made, I added the raisins to the processor once the nuts went smooth on me. Big mistake, as it killed the smoothness and left me with a crumbly mess. However all was not lost, as this crumbly mess makes for a great oat topper. So the second time around, I simply stirred in the raisins by hand at the very end which proved to be a much better approach.

Inspiration: Peanut Butter & Company's Cinnamon Raisin Swirl

• 1 cup almonds
• 1/2 cup peanuts
• 1/2 tsp cinnamon
• 1/2 cup raisins

1) Preheat your oven to 350F. Place nuts on a cookie sheet and roast for five minutes once oven is hot enough. Remove and let cool another 5 minutes before adding them to your food processor.

2) Swirl nuts in your food processor until they begin to come together, like with a play-dough like consistency. This, of course, takes patience.

3) Add the cinnamon, continue to process until the concoction reaches a creamy state—or the state that makes you happiest.

4) Spoon into a bowl, then add the raisins and mix by hand. Store in an airtight container in your 'fridge.

What I love the most about the above is the mildness of the cinnamon and raisin flavors. They complement, rather than overpower, the flavor of the nut butter itself. 'Course, if you think it needs more flavor, you can absolutely add more cinnamon. Or raisins, actually.

Or you can make these cinnamon raisin peanut balls.

I like to pop two before I hit the gym for a pre-workout carb/protein snack. Although, I really want to pop about five of them because they're so dang good. While I left out the protein powder, feel free to add some in if that's your thing. I imagine anything vanilla-flavored would work nice with the cinnamon and raisin flavors.

Inspiration: Whole Foods' Chocolate Earth Balls

• 1 cup peanut butter
• 2 tbsp honey
• 2 tbsp maple syrup
• 1/2 cup raisins
• 3/4 cup oats
• 2 tbsp almonds, chopped

1) Combine all the dry ingredients in a bowl. Make a well in the center of the ingredients and add the wet ingredients. Mix thoroughly.

2) Refrigerate for at least an hour, then use a cookie scoop to form balls. Store on a plate, covered in the refrigerator.

I mean, does it get any easier to make such a tasty (and healthy) treat? This recipe will always and forever be one of my favorites, mostly because you can adapt it to just about any craving. Chocolate chips? Add 'em. Cranberries? Add 'em. Almond butter? Use it instead of the peanut butter.

Are you running to your kitchen yet? If not, these should do it:

Cinnamon raisin granola bars, which I cannot stop eating. Now, they're not the crunchy type so if that's your thing you might be disappointed. These are dense and super chewy. I think they're delish.

Inspiration: Food and Whine's Fruity Granola Bars

• 1-1/2 cup oats
• 1/4 cup buckwheat groats, oven roasted
• 1/4 cup flaxseed, ground
• 1 tsp cinnamon
• 1 cup whole wheat flour
• 1 cup raisins
• 1/2 cup honey
• 1 egg, beaten
• 1 banana, mashed
• 2 tbsp canola oil
• 2 tsp vanilla 

1) Preheat oven to 350F. Spray a 9x13" baking pan or dish with non-stick cooking spray, or line it with parchment paper.

2) Mix together dry ingredients. Create a hole in the middle of the mix, then add the wet ingredients and stir to combine. Pour the mix into the pan and pat it down evenly.

3) Bake for 30 minutes, cool until almost cold, then slice into bars.

No, seriously. I can't stop eating them.

Hooray for Friday, eh? Got any major plans? I mean, besides making a bunch of cinnamon raisin goodies (you know you want to). Us, nothing. Nothing going on! We love weekends like that.

Question: Are you obsessing over any specific ingredients as of late? Got a cinnamon raisin recipe I need to know about?! Link me up below.


Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers said...

I love everything here! I've made cinnamon raisin peanut butter and it is so amazing tasting! I'm going to make your granola bars this weekend! What agreat and healthy treat!!

Julie said...

Not much planned. The best thing would be if you made the recipes for me and delivered to my house! Have a great weekend...

TARA said...

@jennifer:I apologize in advance if you can't stop eating the bars!!!

TARA said...

@julie: wouldn't that be fun!

FitandFab365 said...

These all look delicious. I am going to try the recipes. Thanks for sharing.

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