How I started using peanut butter in my diet….

Peanut butter has been my first product, ever since I started retailing i2cook products. You will be surprised that I hadn’t even tasted peanut butter (PB) until, then. I’ve noticed that a lot of you detest peanut butter or rather are not used it. I was one amongst you.

I was never brought up on PB and it took me some time to get used to it. I realized that PB is a MUST in my diet.Ā  I started looking up on the net and found that there are some thousand recipes to gawk at ( I LOVE food porn, especially – food gawker). I took it up as a challenge to come up with some recipes that will not only make me like PB, but also give me variety for my everyday use.

Here is what I came up with

– Banana and peanut butter smoothie

– No bake peanut butter and oat cookies

The result – an instant win šŸ™‚

Ingredients for Banana & PB Smoothie

1 banana, peeled, chopped roughly

2tbs natural peanut butter

1tsp cocoa powder

raw sugar or honey to your liking

1/2 cup milk, yogurt or soy milk

ice (optional)

peanuts for garnish (optional)

Combine all the ingredients in a blender with some ice until smooth. Drink chilled. Serves one.

You can carry your PB smoothie in cute little bottles to work.

Ingredients for No bake PB & Oats cookies

1 cup rolled oats, lightly toasted

1tbs butter

1 1/2 tbs sugar

200gms natural peanut butter

1/2tbs raisins

Heat butter and sugar in a pan, on medium flame. Heat until the sugar has melted and bring it to a light boil.Turn off the stove and mix peanut butter and oats. Allow it to cool enough for you to shape them into desired shape. Lay them on a tray to dry and refrigerate for atleast two hours or overnight. Store them in an air tight container, refrigerated. They (can) last for about two weeks.Ā  I got 16-20 small cookies.

Yum!

Why PB is good for you

  • Ā Peanut butter is considered as the “real food” and is stated has the best sport food.
  • Ā Peanut butter is perfect for dieters. It can satisfy you sooner and won’t keep you hungry for too long. Small amount can quell hunger faster.
  • It is packed with nutrients, which help you build and repair muscles.
  • Fat is good for you – the monounsaturated fat is good for your heart.
  • Peanut butter sandwich is healthier and better than a fast food burger.
  • Natural peanut butter (with oil formation on top) is healthier than the commercial ones, in which the oils get converted into harder and saturated (trans-fat).

Useful links

Harvard Health Publications

CNN Health

Home Cooking

About.com

Livestrong.com

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Food Gifts for this Diwali

Diwali is all about food, food & only foodĀ  for me!Ā  It is the time of the year to let go of your calorie count and indulge šŸ™‚

Every Diwali I receiveĀ Ā  3 very common gifts – mithai (Indian sweets), assorted chocolates or just plain dry fruits. It’s not that I don’t like any of the above. But Diwali is special and requires some thought while gifting your close friends and family members. Don’t you agree?

I’ve divided the gifting options into two categories:

  • Homemade/Handmade by you
  • Create your own Food Baskets – assortment of some hand made and some store bought

Homemade/Handmade

I love the idea of doing it yourself for simple reasons –Ā  it’s different, made by you with love and your gift becomes the talk of the town šŸ˜‰

Orangettescandied orange peel dipped in dark chocolate

It’s the most delicious thing to be nibbling on. I’ve made these and they are really easy and you really can’t go wrong with them even if you are an amateur cook. You can negate the chocolateĀ  and gift them as plain ones too. They go great as a topping in salads or even on some of our Indian sweets – try using just the candied orange as a topping on gulab jamuns…..sounds yum right :).

Sesame Balls in ChocolateĀ  – til ke laddoo dipped in chocolate

These will really surprise anybody. The combination is different and sure is a hit – don’t worry I’ve tried and tested this recipe at the Farmer’s Market and it was a hit!

Herb or Spice InfusedĀ  oilsuse your favorite spice or herb to flavor your oils

Recently I spotted them at a dinner during the Food Bloggers Meet. I love, love and love them!

Pickles – every house has it’s own special variety

We Indians love our spicy, tangy pickle with our food. You can bottleĀ  them up in fancy bottles and proudly gift your in-house specialty, North – South doesn’t matter just add some spice this Diwali!

You can explore a wide ranging of gifting ideas depending on your personality. But remember whatever you gift, it sure does reflect your personality…….. So go ahead and put on your creative hats!


Few points to consider for your gifts:

  • If using glass jars, make sure you wash them properly and sterilize them.
  • You might want to include a card with instructions or ideas about how to use your fabulous gift. It might be completely new to the person whom you are gifting.
  • If using plastic bags, it’s advisable to use the food grade ones.
  • It’s always better to use biodegradable material for a safe and sound environment.

Create your own food baskets:

There are hundreds of combination that you can try while creating your own baskets. All you need is a good cane basket andĀ  some attractive colored papers. Again put on your creative hats and lets begin to create some interesting combos šŸ™‚

 


This was a basket created by me (all Organic) – a vanilla pod, homemade cinnamon salad dressing, homemade Indian fudge along with a recipe card for the dressing.

 

This is what I’m gifting this Diwali – i2cook’s Natural Peanut Butter & Mustard with colorful coasters from Freedom Tree.

Hope this post has given youĀ  ideas/inspirations to start with your own food gifts. I’m sure you will do a good job!

I would love to hear your gifting ideas too šŸ™‚