Great Dates

One day closer to the weekend…one day closer to ponyville! I’m not excited or anything, hmm? ๐Ÿ˜‰

This morning, day off in mind, I lolly-gagged out of bed at the late hour of 6:20. I do what I can.

…and in the kitchen went through a life-changing event. It was a little thing called Mighty Maple that triggered it. I finally broke into the PB & Co mighty Mapes that’s been hiding in my cupboard to replaced my beloved cinnamon raisin. I had high expectations, being the maple head I am. I mean, not just any maple is mapley enough to meet my expectations. Take Justin’s Maple…I could hardly even detect maple!

The only way to induct such a nut butter would be through figgy apple oats. And so, the base for this morning consisted of:

  • 2 T. Bob’s Grains & Nuts, 3 T. Peppy Kernels, 1 T. Wheat Bran
  • 1/2 c. water, 1/2 c. PureAlmond
  • 3/4s of a small gala apple
  • 1.5 dried chopped Turkish figs
  • drizzle maple syrup
  • cinnamon
  • 1 T. chia seeds

and then topped with:

  • chia-flax icing
  • honey roasted peanuts
  • PB & Co Mighty Maple
  • and a chutney of the rest of the apple and figs, simmered in some almond milk, cinnamon, and maple syrup.

So, what did I think? Oh, I think I died and went to heaven. I don’t think PB & Co has disappointed me yet. And they’re pretty inexpensive. And I can buy them locally. I should just stick to PB & Co! What’s your favorite brand?

It was so perfect that it reminded me immediately of my childhood days, when we would go out for ice cream, and share cones of homemadeย maple walnut ice cream. Yes, I realize that doesn’t make much sense considering the fact that we’re talking about peanut butter and not walnut butter – but just work with me here.

I enjoyed the beauty of this bowl while contributing to Heifer International, by sipping on some Green Mountain Heifer Hope. Don’t get that twisted, though – I don’t hope to be a heifer.

I comically watched an infomercial for the same blender I have (my blender/processor is really bad, guys – this infomercial makes it look like it’s a miracle, sent from heaven even) before getting my groove on. And by “groove” I mean getting groceries and an oil change for Gertrude. The groceries happened, Gertrude didn’t. First, though, I had to find my shoes.

Not staged. Am I the only one laughing? Probably.

My mom didn’t even let me take my shoes off when I walked in the door last night, and apparantly just walked right out of them in the most random of places.

Finally found them, though. And why no oil change? Well, the sun was shining…it was beautiful…who wants to get an oil change? I’d rather do some yoga if you ask me. Jenny warned me – but that vid kicked my booty. I loved it. I was hangry after, though, and feulage in the form of cottage cheese, greek yoga, strawberries, and honey roasted almonds was a necessary. Drizzled with some irish cream agave and a boatload of cinnamon, to boot.

I used up the last of my chickpeas to make some chickpea cutlets for dinner for le madre and I. I used balsamic rather than soy sauce, eliminated the thyme and sage but used fresh basil, and added some scallions. And made my own homemade breadcrumbs. I’m going to go ahead and give myself a pat on the back for ending up not wasting any of my homemade loaf of bread. I thought for sure I would, but – no wastage after all!

Anyways – I took the opportunity of the oven being on to roast an eggplant, red pepper, and a sweet potato, too. Does anyone else feel the need to go on a roasting rampage once the oven gets turned on? I hope so. Eggplants and peppers would find use another day, however – and I went the route of a goat cheese, apple, spinach, and tempeh panini on multiseed whole grain bread for the lunch-age.

Low and slow sweet potatoes joined me in my voyage. The first time I had these, I thought they were life changing. Same goes for the second. and third. This time and the last time, however – they sort of reminded me of baby food. I’m not saying it’s a bad thing. Yet. I don’t think. Just sorta…weird.

Of course, that’s probably okay because I’m just sorta weird, too. Case in point? I can’t sit down to eat until everything is just so. I can’t eat and leave the kitchen a mess. And if I have any thoughts, I need to do them and get them out of the way so I can just enjoy the food. After I made this and photographed it, I notice the horses begging to be put out on grass. Sigh. Let horses out. Come back in. Realize the kitchen is messy. Organize kitchen. Wonder if mail came. Get mail. Realize lunch is cold. Microwave lunch. Eat.

The reading material for the lunch?

Oh, yes – so glad I checked the mail because look what I found getting melty! Nicole noticed I was eyeballing the Boomi and Prana Bars and sent me a bunch to try! And, amazing flavors, might I add. I am sure I will have no trouble enjoying these, and I cannot wait to try one tomorrow! The ingreds in these puppies are nothing short of stellar, and I love the unique, new flavors!!

I grabbed a homemade laraball for dessert and sat out on the porch with Kaia browsing through random Hannafords magazines. They put together a pretty mean magazine, you know. But – I desperately need to sit down and read a book this summer. First on my list? In Defense of Food, or something along those lines. Any suggestions?

I browsed tack catalogs, moseyed outside, and did relatively useless things including nomming…

Dr. Kracker, Sunflower Seed Butter

…until my Mom got home from work, and we went for a ride. I grabbed a banana to share…

It was pretty warm today – at least in relation to how it has been recently – so we didn’t go too far, but it was aย reallyย great ride! Jiggy was one tuckered puppy (uh, appy) afterwards though. We gave them a nice hose-down and he was incredibly greatful – I felt it in the way he sipped water straight from the hose ๐Ÿ˜‰

Dinner tonight was new in all sorts of ways. First time trying spaghetti squash! First time eating/making chickpea cutlets! And it was a major success – both in my eyes and mi madre’s. I took hint from Nicole once again – sheesh, I think everything I make lately is either Veganomicon or Making Good Choices! Anyways – I remember her posting a bit back about a spaghetti squash primavera. Yes, Please.

  • spaghetti squash
  • canned diced tomatoes – basil, garlic, and oregano flavor
  • zuchhini
  • roasted eggplant
  • roasted red pepper
  • artichoke hearts
  • garlic
  • scallions

It was fantasmic. Seriously. I wasn’t sure I’d care for the spaghetti squash, hence why it’s taken so long to try it. I thought for sure it’d be too squash-y. I’m not much of a squash kinda gal. I mean, it even sounds funky. Squash? sqqqwaaassshhh. But it definitely surprised me and was incredibly reminiscent of real spaghetti. I even just microwaved it for speed and to eliminate turning on the oven.

mmm- Loved all those veggies! This was definitlely my kinda meal. The cutlets were great too – though I think next time I’d love to make them with some fresh basil, sundried tomatoes, and more garlic – and yes, there will be a next time.

____________________________

What’s So Great about a Date?

Jenny’s ode to maple syrup this morning got me thinking – what else do I eat on a daily basis that I don’t necessarily eat with benefits in mind, but moreso because it’s a great, tasty snack – and of course, also better than it’s mass-processed counterparts? I was shocked to read all of the goodies in real maple syrup – I honestly just thought it was a great alternative to refined sugar! Now, I’ll be strong like maple tree. Definitely give it a read!

Anyways – ย The first thing that came to mind was: dried fruits and nuts. Now, we all know these foods are beneficial, but to be honest, I never really stopped to see how beneficial. Maybe I didn’t much care – I mean, I’ll keep eating them either way, right? My first order of business, though-ย What’s so great about a date?

Dates are, most likely, the most common of the dried fruits I’ll have. I mean – how many are in a Larabar alone? They are also perfect stirred into oats or used for baking – they tend to get this delicious, sweet meltiness to them when heated. And though I’m not a huge “sweets” fan by common terminology – I do love the natural sweetness that just popping a plain ol’ dried date brings about. That being said – dates are a great form of natural sweetener. There are date sugars and date syrups, but for some reason, I don’t find these to be as widely available or known about as stevia or sucanat.

But aside from being a great sweetener and just plain great snack, the health benefits of dates are a mile long! Want a quick peek?

  • Low in fat and cholesterol, and due to the high fiber content actually help to reduce cholesterol levels in the blood. Round of applause for cardiovascular health!
  • good amounts of potassium, which is known to help to maintain a normal blood pressure level
  • high in iron
  • good source of magnesium, which studies have shown helps to relax muscles and thus relieve fatigue
  • good source of copper, which reduces your risk for developing an inflammatory disease, such as arthritis, working to maintain the elasticity of your muscles and joints
  • B-group vitamins are found in large quantities in dates, which helps your body to get all of the energy production out of the foods you give it
  • dates are also a great source of dietary fiber (which – doesn’t it seem like everything is nowadays? but that’s another post, another time.) promoting satiety and regulating blood glucose. Annnd, you know that “beans, beans” song? Well, I guess it could also go “dates, dates, the magical fruit…the more you eat…”

So, lets hear it for dates as a great, high-energy, nutritious snack. What’s you’re favorite way to enjoy them? Here are some of my faves:

  • chopped and mixed into savory-sweet salads
  • whole dates stuffed with some nut butter (and I need to follow Nora’s footsteps and microwave them like this!)
  • in a hot applesauce mess – i swear they just get all melty and sweet in the most beautiful and delicious of ways
  • homemade laraballs
  • real Larabars
  • mixed in to baked goods and oatmeal – once again, helloooo sweet melty deliciousness!


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24 Comments

Filed under breakfast, cooking, dinner, foodblog, health, health food, healthy living, lunch, oatmeal, recipe, Uncategorized

24 responses to “Great Dates

  1. Michelle

    I absolutely loved In Defense of Food. I didn’t think that I would enjoy it, but I couldn’t put it down.

  2. PB & Co is my favorite peanut butter company too! Well, they’re tied with Naturally Nutty taste wise but much easier to find ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Gah I am so jealous of your mighty maple consumption. Although this post is fab in itself, I just can’t get over the mighty maple!! I haven’t ever been able to find it ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

  4. I loved In Defense of Food, I just bought Thrive, but haven’t even picked it up yet. You will love In Defense of Food. I love the pic of the bars, I wish I was half as talented as you with your photography! My husband got really excited you put the card in there haha. How good was the spaghetti squash? I need to get another one…and more dates too your reminded me! ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. I am soooo jealous of your dinner. I have been wanting to try making spaghetti squash and yours looks amazing with all of the mix-ins. Way to go!

  6. I REALLY need to try mighty maple from PB&Co. I have tried a ton of PB, AB, etc but I really think PB&Co is the tops! And one of the cheapest! Double awesome!!

  7. SO glad you’re loving the Mighty Maple! Welcome to the dark side… that stuff is seriously AMAZING. I agree with you, PB & Co. is simply the best. No question there..
    And girl, i’m THE SAME WAY with having to have everything I need done, done before I can sit down and eat. I thought I was the only one…
    I want to read In Defense of Food too. And don’t kill me for this but you need to read the Skinny Bitch. Hear me out… I HATE the “diet” the book advocates but they have some amazing chapters on the FDA and the U.S. Food Industry that will open your eyes. Honestly, it’s scary.
    I’ve been wanting to try spaghetti squash myself but I’ve been afraid too. It sounds good!
    I’ve only had a date one time and I was not a fan but I looove them in LaraBars!
    Love you girl!

  8. Mo

    I love PB&co but I’m the type of person who eats peanut butter out of the jar several spoonfuls at a time if it’s sweetened, so I stick with the type of PB that’s just made out of peanuts and salt so it’s not as appetizing to eat by itself. ๐Ÿ˜›
    I leave my shoes like that quite often, actually. It’s part laziness and part… more laziness. And this is totally random but your carpet is the exact same carpet my old house had and I got kind of nostalgic looking at it. =|
    I definitely want to read In Defense of Food! I haven’t found it in any libraries though and I’m way too cheap to actually buy a copy. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    I tried spaghetti squash a while ago and it was still too squashy for me. It wasn’t covered it anything though so maybe I should try dressing it up!

    I kind of got in late on the date action BUT my best friend lives in Cairo, where she gets dates by climbing the trees and picking them while her mom stands under her with a plastic bag catching all of them (!!) and she promised to bring me back loads of them this summer since they’re so cheap. I’m a wee bit excited. ๐Ÿ˜€

  9. Oh boy, I love the taste of maple! My school even has their own maple-hut for making maple syrup out of the trees on our campus. It doesn’t get any better than that (especially because Canada is only an hour away if I get a craving for that stuff). Have you ever noticed that warmed up dates taste like maple syrup? Maybe that’s just me. Heaveeeeeen. As are chickpea cutlets. I have the Veganomicon recipe committed to memory, though I usually just use it as a base for what ever bean and spice I’m craving. That yoga flow sounds wonderful. Yoga is my favorite activity. Period.

    Have a lovely day!
    xox

  10. PONYVILLE<3 you are so compassionate towards horses and i love it so much!
    cant wait for the weekend too!!
    im always so crazy for ur chia oats btw.. so amazing!

  11. spaghetti squash, I need to try it again I made it once and killed ya literlly killed the poor thing…you kill me with your pb…chickpea cutlets..oh man yummo

    sweetlife

  12. I liked Might Maple and I must say that I’m obsessed with dates!! I only let myself buy them every few months because they’re kind of pricey and I tend to eat them all the time if I have them around! They’re such a perfect addition to pretty much everything!

  13. I’m 1/4 of the way through In Defense of Food – I keep starting it, then get side tracked ๐Ÿ˜ฆ hmph! Vegan Freak: Being Vegan in a non-Vegan World (the 2nd version) totally changed my life though!
    :O DATES!! I’m glad you’ve written about how wonderful they are ๐Ÿ˜€ I ALWAYS have dates. They go with everything ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. Mighty Maple is the bomb, I agree. My only issue with it is that the maple stands out less and less the more you add to it, which I guess should be expected!! It’s awesome on some whipped banana oats with nothing else, or in a PB sammie.

    Love all the date info!! I always enjoy finding out good reasons to feed my sugar addiction ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. Thanks for all the date info! Now I feel even better about popping one of the laraballs I made with your recipe. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I’m surprised how easy they were to make!

    I love spaghetti squash! My aunt makes the best recipe ever that looks pretty similar to the one you made. She uses tons of mozarella and feta in it. Omg it is to die for!

  16. Ah, so jealous of the mighty maple! That’s one flavor I can’t find here!!! It sounds amazing.

  17. Ok now I am even more determined to find mighty maple. I see pb&co everything else but not the maple! And I got justin’s which is delicious but you’re right, not anyway near mapley enough. I just got “intuitive eating” and “the omnivore’s dilemma” and will let you know how those are! good luck with getting your pony!!

  18. Woohoo…one day closer to pony day! I have yet to try the mighty maple. I am so cheap…I make my own flavored nut butters. I made a maple walnut one the other day from a stash of walnuts my father-in-law shelled…um let’s just say he is not so good at cleaning them…there were shells in my nut butter. I had to throw it away. I LOVE spaghetti squash! It is so good! I love dates too…I need to get more now! Have a great Friday Jess!

  19. i haven’t had the mighty maple and so far the cinnamon raisin swirl is my favorite. i do NOT like the white chocolate or the bee’s knees. ICK!

  20. Great blog!
    All your eats look so good- I can’t even pick a favorite!

  21. I need me some mighty maple, one pb&co I have yet to try. I love how we don’t usually take note of nutrition facts of things not often talked about in media/news. And it is awesome that maple is so good for you and dates, they are not just sugar! I will post soon summer classes…suck arse<3

  22. teenagehealthfreak

    I’m the same way with eating…everything has to be done before I can relax and enjoy my food!…and I hate a messy kitchen!!! That’s so annoying!!

  23. My neighbor upstairs was making pancakes last night…and the smell of maple syrup kept me from falling asleep! I’m going to have to get a jar of this peanut butter to satiate my sweet cravings!
    I’m happy to hear you enjoyed spaghetti squash. It is by far one of my favorite veggies. We love to make a lentil tomato sauce to serve with the roasted squash. Just delicious. I’m excited for your weekend! I hope you enjoy every minute of it. Much love!

  24. Highly recommend In Defense of Food. It’s such a great book and formed a lot of my own opinions. ๐Ÿ˜€

    Also, I have never tried PB & Co. peanut butter…sad, but true. I’m also a huge maple fan, so this may be the first flavor I try of theirs. ๐Ÿ˜€

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