MaraNatha Nut Butter Giveaway

I recently received a fabulous surprise from MaraNathat Nut Butters, who sent me a package of their nut butters to try…let’s just say I had a wee bit of fun recipe testing with these tasty nut butters…

Macadamia Nut Butter

Sunflower Seed Butter

Honey Almond Butter

Organic Peanut Butter

Cashew Butter

My favorite nut butter? Hmmmm…that’s a tough one; I’d have to say it’s a close tie between the Macadamia Nut Butter and the Honey Almond Butter…they ‘knocked my socks off’ and I created delicious recipes from breakfast pancakes to dinner peanut sauce to decadent desserts…

There’s something special about nut butters…they’re not just for your typical PB&J…they compliment any dish and keep your meals exciting, as well as your taste buds yearning for more!

My favorite MaraNatha creation was born last night in my tiny lil’ kitchen…

I created a Macadamia Nut Butter Cookie that’s Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free

Macadamia Nut Butter Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup MaraNatha Macadamia Nut Butter
  • 1 Tbsp. unsweetened coconut flakes
  • Egg substitute for 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp. ground flax seeds
  • Pinch of cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup stevia

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350.
  • In a large bowl, combine all ingredients.  Using hands, mix well.
  • Form into small balls and place onto a baking sheet.
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Remove from oven and transfer to wire racks for cooling.
  • Enjoy!

And, now for the giveaway….Drumroll, please….

The nice folks over at MaraNatha have offered two sets of two coupons to 2 very lucky winners.

Here are 3 ways you can enter to win:

  • Leave me a comment on this post telling me your favorite nut butter recipe.
  • Link back to this contest on your blog.
  • Tweet: @Thehealthyapple is hosting a Maranatha giveaway.

I will pick 2 random winners on Wednesday, March the 17th at 5:00 PM EST.

Good Luck!

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Tu-Lu’s Gluten-Free Bakery, NYC and My Secret Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Cookie Recipe

I recently had the pleasure to sit down with Tully, the proud owner of the fabulous Tu-Lu’s Bakery here in Manhattan.  Like me, Tully is gluten-intolerant, as well.  Tully graduated from Le Courdon Bleu school in Texas and enjoys creating her own mix of gluten free baked goods. I love Tully’s treats because she offers a vast array of gluten-free and vegan treats that are incredibly tasty.

Me and Tully at Tu-Lu’s Gluten-Free Bakery, NYC

How did you come up with the idea for Tu-Lu’s Bakery?

I had been cooking professionally for about 4 years at catering companies in NYC. I left my job and enrolled in NYU’s Food Studies masters program. While taking a food entrepreneur class, I came up with my business plan to start a wholesale gluten-free company. After being 3 months in business, I quickly decided that I wanted to open a retail shop to sell my baked goods fresh and be able to interact with my customers.

Tell me about your typical day at Tu-Lu’s Bakery.

I think people have the misconception that my day is spent in the bakery. I actually spend most of my time in the office! Placing orders, emailing, dealing with payroll, paying bills, etc. take up most of my time. The best moments are playing with new recipes and talking to customers.

What is your favorite gluten-free dessert?

A Chocolate soufflé.

What is your favorite gluten-free meal to cook?

Parmesan polenta with roasted chicken and oyster mushrooms.

What is your favorite New York City restaurant?

It’s so hard to choose one! From fancy to casual, my picks are Eleven Madison Park, Little Owl, and Caracas Arepa Bar.

What is one kitchen tool that you couldn’t live without?

A microplane.

What do you see in the future for Tu-Lu’s Bakery?

I would love to expand the online ordering to include many of our other treats and perhaps cupcakes.

Describe your kitchen at home.

TINY! It’s crammed with all sort of cooking ingredients and gadgets. I’m thankful I have a dishwasher though.

Even though you are a famous baker, do you consider yourself to be more of a cook or a baker at home?

Well…I wouldn’t call myself famous! I am definitely a cook. I did not go to culinary school to specialize in pastry, but when I went gluten-free all I wanted was baked goods. That’s how it all started.

What is your best kitchen advice?

Prep all your ingredients (chopping, grating, etc.) before you being so you complete the recipe quickly and correctly.

What inspires your baking?

I try to think of what people miss eating the most. We just came up with a delicious peppermint chocolate cookie that resemble another cookie whose name I won’t mention. I hope that people will be thrilled to find treats in my bakery that they used to love!

Did you always have a passion for food growing up as a child and throughout your adolescence?

Growing up I loved being in the kitchen with my mom and taking cooking lessons. I’ve always read cookbooks like novels.

What is always in your pantry?

Olive oil, aged balsamic vinegar, apple cider vinegar, agave, sliced almonds, dried cherries, polenta, brown rice pasta…and so much more. Remember? I have a small kitchen that is about to burst!

Desert island cookbook?

Any of the Barefoot Contessa books. I love the simplicity of her cooking.


The next time you find yourself in the East Village of Manhattan, stop into Tu-Lu’s Bakery and taste Tully’s delicious baked goods…my favorite are the chocolate chip cookies and dark chocolate brownies..they’re quite delish and by far the best freshly baked gluten-free treats I’ve come across here in Manhattan.

And, to go along with the ‘Gluten-Free Bakery’ theme of today’s post, I thought I’d share my secret Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Cookie recipe with all of you…Enjoy!

The Healthy Apple’s Secret Gluten Free Peanut Butter Nibbles

Ingredients

  • 1 large egg
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. gluten-free vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp. almond extract
  • 1/4 tsp. ground flax seeds
  • Pinch of Salt
  • Optional: Pinch of Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. organic smooth peanut butter

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Beat egg, sugar, baking soda, almond extract, vanilla extract, salt and cinnamon on medium-low speed with an electric mixer.
  • Slowly add in peanut butter.
  • Spoon teaspoon sized amounts onto a baking sheet lined with wax paper.
  • Bake 8-10 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Remove from oven and transfer to wire rack for cooling.
  • Enjoy!

Get Those Kids Cookin’…

Ever wonder how to get your kids involved in the kitchen? Here are a few tips that I offer to my clients…whether you have young children, nieces, nephews, neighbors, family or friends…these tips are sure to get your little ones active and entertained in the kitchen.


  • Cucumber Caterpillar: Slices of cucumber held together with natural peanut butter. Place the Caterpillar on ‘greens’ to look like grass.
  • Taco or Burrito Bar: Serve brown rice, black beans, onions, hot peppers, sprouted grain or gluten free tortillas, broccoli, arugula, cauliflower, guacamole and  salsa.  Add nuts, seeds and spices in tiny serving dishes to jazz up the flavors!
  • Salad Bar: Spin your greens in a salad spinner, then dress dry greens with a lime dressings made by combining sesame oil, fresh lime juice, low-sodium tamari, cayenne pepper, agave nectar, balsamic vinegar and water.
  • Mashed Potato Parfaits- Sweet Potatoes, Parsnips and carrots mixed together…topped with raisins, cinnamon, shredded coconut and agave nectar
  • Individual Pizzas: Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.  Choose gluten free or sprouted whole grain tortillas, caramelized onions, spinach, red onion, mushrooms, kalamata olives, artichokes, fresh basil, olive oil and balsamic vinegar.  Add each ingredient atop each tortilla and bake for 20 minutes.
  • Panini Party: Gluten Free or sprouted whole grain bread, SoyaKaas Gluten Free/Dairy Free cheese, tomato slices, eggplant slices, fresh basil leaves, balsamic vinegar, avocado, zucchini and squash slices.  Add all ingredients to 2 slices of bread.  Place onto a panini maker (sprayed with cooking spray); cook until cheese is melted and veggies are warm and cooked.  Dip into marinara (red) sauce.
  • Stir-Fry: Switch up your usual recipe with unique grains such as millet, quinoa or buckwheat.
  • Fruit Salad: Add exotic fruits to spice up the flavors.  Use a melon baller and serve in a wine glass to add to the allure of this meal.  Add a dollop of plain Greek yogurt atop each fruit salad serving and sprinkle with cinnamon and stevia.
  • Slaw Wraps: Cabbage, celery, carrots, bok choy, mushrooms, peppers, snap peas, bean sprouts, snow peas, green beans and Napa Slaw can easily be combined and wrapped in rice paper.  Liven up this dish by pairing it with a special sauce of grapefruit juice, ginger, balsamic vinegar, lemonade and seeds such as pumpkin and sunflower.  Toss with fresh apples or cumin roasted chick peas.  Adding berries such as blackberries, raspberries and cherries add a nice antioxidant punch to these wraps.
  • Peanut Butter Chicken Fajitas: The best way to make a good peanut sauce is by combining organic peanut butter, fresh ginger, cayenne pepper, agave nectar and low-sodium tamari/soy sauce.
  • Frozen Basil and Banana Pops: Blend together 2 cups ice, 2 cups fresh basil leaves, 1 ripe banana, 1 cup fresh mint leaves, 1 1/2 cups water, 1/2 cup agave nectar in a blender.  Blend well and pour into glasses! This is a wonderful treat for a healthy dessert!

Have fun and experiment with some of my ideas above…Getting the kids active in the kitchen is fun…and who knows, your kids may just start to ‘enjoy’ their veggies!!!

Overnight Oats

A delicious way to enjoy your morning oatmeal- keep in the fridge overnight and wake up to a surprise! This recipe is wonderful if you are short on time in the mornings since you can prepare it the evening before.

Ingredients (Prepare the night before, combine in a bowl and set in fridge overnight)

  • 1/2 cup oatmeal
  • 1/2 cup (raw milk, soy milk, rice milk, hemp milk, etc.)
  • Cinnamon (to taste)

Directions (Prepare in the Morning)

Microwave for 3 minutes and add your desired toppings:

  • Dry Nuts/ Seeds
  • Organic Nut Butter (Cashew, Peanut, Almond, etc)
  • Dried Fruits
  • Fresh fruit
  • Agave Nectar
  • Honey
  • Ground Flax Seed
  • Wheat Germ
  • Coconut
  • Stevia
  • Mashed Sweet Potato
  • Canned Pumpkin
  • Greek Yogurt
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Nutmeg
  • Wheat Berries
  • Granola
  • Wheat Bran

Quick and Easy Oats.  It’s simply breakfast in a flash! What are your favorite quick go-to breakfast recipes?

 

Peanut Butter Giveaway Winner!

Congrats to Hallie who is the winner of my PB Giveaway. 

Hallie wrote, ” Well my favorite way is probably peanut-butter balls that we make every Christmas. But as far as a healthy way, I’d have to say apples and PB or plain old wheat toast with PB and maybe honey on top .” 

This sounds delicious Hallie, congrats and enjoy your 2 jars of Peanut Butter!

Peanut Butter Giveaway and PB Bar Recipe!

Enter your chance to win 2 jars of PB2 Peanut Butter. 

The winner will receive a jar of Plain Peanut Butter as well as Chocolate Peanut Butter.  To enter, send me a comment with your favorite way to use peanut butter and I will pick a winner on Friday, May the 1st!  Good Luck.

And here’s a delicious Peanut Butter recipe for quick No-Bake Peanut Butter Bars. 

No-Bake Peanut Butter Bars

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Ingredients

  • 1 cup Peanut Butter
  • 1/4 cup Oats
  • 1 Tbsp. Sesame Seeds
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 2 Tbsp. Organic honey
  • 1 Tsp. Cinnamon

Directions

  • In a large bowl, mix peanut butter, sesame seeds, oats, cinnamon and cranberries until it forms a nice textured consistency.
  • Add honey and mix well.
  • Press mixture into a square shape about 3/4 inch thick in a square pan or on a plate. 
  • Refrigerate for 2 hours.
  • Cut into bars.
  • Enjoy!

Don’t forget to enter the PB Giveaway for your chance to win 2 delicious jars!

Omega What?

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Omega 3 Fatty Acids

These healthy fats help prevent a wide range of medical problems such as depression, asthma, rheumatoid arthritis and cardiovascular disease.  Unlike the saturated fats found in butter and lard, Omega 3 fatty acids are polyunsaturated.

  • Eat fish at least 2 times a week.  Cold water and fatty fish such as mackerel, lake trout, herring, sturgeon, anchovies, sardines, albacore tuna and salmon are high in Omega 3 fatty acids.
  • Experiment with eating tofu and other forms of soybeans, canola, walnuts and flax seeds, and their oils.  These contain alpha-linolenic acid which can become Omega 3 fatty acid in the body.

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Omega 3 not only plays a vital role in the health of the membrane of every cell in our body, it also helps protect us from numerous health threats.  The benefits of Omega 3’s include reducing the risk of stroke and heart disease while helping to reduce symptoms of joint pain, rheumatoid problems, certain skin ailments, hypertension, ADHD, and depression.  Moreover, some research has shown that Omega 3’s can boost the immune system and help protect us from illnesses such as Alzheimer’s disease. 

So, why is Omega 3 so amazing? Experts say these fatty acids encourage the production of body chemicals that help control inflammation in the tissues, bloodstream, and joints.  Moreover, these Omega 3’s reduce the negative impact of Omega 6 fatty acids, which are found in poultry, cereals, baked goods, margarine, vegetable oils and eggs.  These fatty acids support skin health, lower cholesterol and help make our blood “sticky” therefore allowing it to clot.   However, when Omega 6’s are not balanced with enough Omega 3’s in our bodies, problems can arise.  For instance, too much Omega 6 leads to clot formation, which can increase the risk of stroke and heart attach. 

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Sadly enough, the typical American diet has a ratio of approximately 20: 1 Omega 6’s to Omega 3’s respectively. Experts say we need to move that ratio to look more like a 4:1.  Keep in mind that we don’t have to get a daily supply of Omega 3’s, as long as we maintain a weekly intake of 6-8 grams, your body will have what it needs.

Along with the cold water fish listed above, we need to incorporate foods such as flax seed, canola oil, broccoli, cantaloupe, kidney beans, grape leaves, spinach, Chinese cabbage, cauliflower and walnuts.

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Here is a great Heart-Healthy Omega 3 recipe for you to try.

Bake-Less Peanut Butter Bars

Makes 8 Bars

Ingredients

  • Olive Oil cooking spray
  • 1 Tbsp. Organic Dairy Free Margarine
  • 3/4 cup Organic Peanut Butter
  • 1 cup Nature’s Path Hemp Plus Omega 3 Granola
  • 1/4 cup Dried Cherries
  • 2 Tbsp. Organic Honey
  • 1/3 cup Ground Flax seed
  • 1/2 cup Organic Brown Rice Cereal
  • Handful of crushed Walnuts

Directions

  • Spray an 8 x 8 baking pan with cooking spray. 
  • Microwave margarine, peanut butter, and honey in a small bowl until melted.  Mix well.
  • Add granola, brown rice cereal, walnuts, dried cherries and flax seed.
  • Spread the mixture into the baking pan and flatten with a sheet of wax paper.
  • Let cool in the refrigerator.

What Omega-3 rich foods to you incorporate into your meals?