Posts tagged peanuts
I tried to solve a couple problems with our family’s version of banana pops: first, cutting a banana in half and then dipping the whole thing in chocolate means that once you bite into the iced pop all the chocolate starts to crack. Gone goes the chocolate and your last few bites of banana are chocolate-less. Not cool. But if you cut up the bananas into pieces it’s easier for kiddos to help with the dipping and (equally importantly, really) you get plenty of chocolate in each bite. Second problem, as much as I like the combo of bananas and chocolate, there’s no crunch. Crush a few peanuts, problem solved.
Note: I’d recommend using popsicle sticks, not plastic knives and toothpicks (pictured). My middle daughter fessed up that my 500-count wooden popsicle stick stash had disappeared. Not to worry, they’re now houses for her Littlest Pet Shop family.
Servings: about 30 pops
Prep time: 15 minutes + 20 minutes freezing (twice)
3 large bananas
1 cup chocolate chips
3/4 cups chopped peanuts
Wooden popsicle sticks
- Cut each banana into 8-10 slices, then insert a popsicle stick into each slice.
- Place the slices onto a baking pan covered with waxed paper and freeze for 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, melt the chocolate in the microwave until smooth. (With my microwave I set it at half power then cook the chips for 2 minutes; stir.)
- Dip each banana slice into the melted chocolate and then into the chopped peanuts. Return to the pan and freeze again for 20 minutes.
They loved these mini banana pops that were drenched in chocolate and peanuts. My middle child–who normally avoids all things peanuts–even had one peanut-coated pop. She did prefer those that were peanutless, she said. What I liked about these easy treats is that my kids could do every part of this recipe on their own.
I’ve been traveling this week with my kids so I loaded up the car with all sorts of snacks for our trip. On my past adventures, my stash pile has either been too many sweets (which leads to tummy aches) or too many salty snacks (which leads to extra water and extra potty breaks).
This time I wanted to get the mix just right–sweet, salty, satisfying. Here are three we brought along–and so far, my crew has enjoyed each one!
4 cups multigrain Cheerios
1 cup blueberry-infused cranberries
1 cup cashews
4 cups stick pretzels
1 cup Raisnets
1 cup peanuts
4 cups corn Chex
1 cup dried cherries
3/4 cup pecans
So far our mixes have kept us happy between meals while venturing from one side of Washington D.C. to
the other–seriously, I think we walked about 10.5 miles today. (Hubby is checking the map right now to make sure I’m not exaggerating. Wow–2.3 miles one way just between the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and the Jefferson Memorial and that was our last walk. No wonder my feet hurt.)
These mixes work well for vacation, hiking–and especially for your kiddos to take with them to sports practices and games. For more tips on getting kids sports ready (and that’s just what will be going on once we’re back from our vacation) check out this round up of Spring Safety Tips at Motherboard.
Now it’s your turn–what are some of your favorite pick-me-up mixes for your kids?
1.5 million pounds. That’s how much peanut butter, and peanut butter products, we consume here in the U.S. each year. And I couldn’t be happier about it. I heart peanut butter. Seriously, I was one of those kids who had a daily dose of PB sandwiches (forget the jelly!). Since March is National Peanut Month, I couldn’t let the month go by without highlighting an all-natural peanut butter company.
Grand Rapids, Michigan based Koeze has been making peanut butter the same way since 1925. Their Cream-Nut brand, which lists just two ingredients—Virginia peanuts and sea salt—has been featured in a variety of popular publications, from Oprah’s O Magazine to Everyday with Rachael Ray to Esquire.
And just how did a company that was founded in 1910 by Netherlands immigrant, Sibbele Koeze, go on to sell over half a million jars of peanut butter each year? According to Koeze’s Creative Director Martin J. Andree, it’s all about quality ingredients. Along with explaining more about Cream-Nut, Andree gave me a few more insights into one of my favorite things during our recent interview.
What makes Cream-Nut peanut butter so unique?
What draws people to our peanut butter is that it tastes really traditional. It’s wholesome and old-fashioned. Part of that is our company’s story: We’ve been making our peanut butter the same way with the same ingredients that we have been since the 1930s. It’s the kind of food that takes you back. If you compare ours to commercial peanut butters you’ll see that on theirs the second ingredient is molasses or sugar or something like that. The peanut butter tastes sweet, but ours really tastes like peanuts.
Can you tell me more about the peanuts in Cream-Nut?
There are four types of peanuts in the U.S—Runner, Valencia, Spanish and Virginia. We use Virginia in Cream-Nut. With Virginia peanuts the flavor tastes like a handful of fresh roasted peanuts you might get at a baseball game. Even though the name is Virginia, these peanuts are grown throughout the Southeast in Georgia, Florida and the Carolinas.
With our organic peanut butter, Sweet Ella’s, we use organic Spanish peanuts. It’s really tough to get organic peanuts. They grow in more arid places like New Mexico and Texas, dry ground. With the wet, humid environment in the South they have to do more to keep the weeds away. But with the Spanish peanuts, they grow in different areas and taste entirely different. They’re naturally sweet. And to crush them to use in peanut butter—well it’s a little like we’re making hamburger out of a filet.
What’s more popular smooth or creamy?
For us, it’s a 60/40 split in favor of creamy. But even our creamy peanut butter is more chunky. We use vintage WWII machinery to crush the peanuts and because of that process it still has some chunks in it. That’s why we work in small batches. With commercial varieties they put the peanuts in some like a big, high-speed blender so that the peanut butter almost has more of a yogurt consistency. Ours just isn’t like that.
And your personal favorite—smooth or crunchy?
I’m a smooth guy. I like the Sweet Ella’s organic smooth, but I also like the Cream-Nut smooth too, of course.
Check back in Wednesday for Andree’s favorite peanut butter cookie recipe.