Matcha Protein Bars

This one is for all those gym devotees perpetually in the search for more protein (especially all you vegetarians out there!). This recipe is choc-a-bloc full of all the healthy alternatives to the usual culprits in other health bars. So go on, make this one post-workout snack you’ll never regret!

Serves: 10 pieces Prep Time: 30 mins

Ingredients

Line an 8-inch brownie pan with parchment paper both ways.

In a bowl, add the almond butter, milk, stevia and lemon flavor. Beat on low speed.In another bowl, whisk together the protein powder, oat flour and matcha powder. Slowly add this to the almond butter-milk mixture.

Mix until everything is well-combined and has the texture of cookie dough, scraping down the sides of the bowl if necessary.

Scoop the mixture into the prepared pan and flatten the surface. Tightly cover the pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

The next day, slice the protein bars and drizzle them liberally with chocolate! (More the better we say!)

To store, place the protein bars on a plate and wrap tightly.

Almond Butter Chocolate Fudge ‘Nice’-Cream

This ice-cream is so healthy yet so tasty – all of the yum without any of the guilt! An easy no-churn recipe, with simple everyday ingredients most of which we bet you already have on your kitchen. Perfect for the summer months, for a decadent yet cool dessert.  It’s almost too good to be true, which is why this is no ordinary ice-cream – it’s a ‘nice’-cream!

Ingredients

For the ice-cream

  • 2 medium size bananas, ripe but not overripe
  • 3 cups creamy almond butter
  • 1 cup almond milk (or regular milk)
  • 5 tbsp maple syrup (or honey)

2 tsp vanilla extract

For the fudge

  • 25 cups creamy almond butter
  • 5 cups dark chocolate, chopped
  • 5 tsp vanilla extract

Blend the bananas and almond butter on high until smooth. Add the milk, maple syrup, vanilla and blend again until just combined, but not too long. Pour the mixture into a butter paper lined 8×4 inch loaf pan and set aside (do not freeze yet!).

To make the fudge, heat the chocolate in a microwave in intervals of 15-20 seconds until melted, stirring well between each interval. Add the almond butter and vanilla and combine into a thick smooth mixture.

With a spoon, take dollops of the fudge mixture and drop it into the unset ice-cream in the loaf pan. Take some plastic cling wrap and tightly wrap the ice-cream, pressing down lightly on the liquid surface to eliminate as much air as it freezes. Freeze for at least 6 hours, or even over night.

Scoop into a bowl and serve! When storing be sure to re-cover with plastic wrap and re-freeze.

*Foodstree Pro-Tip: Don’t over blend the ice-cream mixture! This may cause air pockets and crystalline in no-churn ice-cream

Grilled Almond Butter, Dark Chocolate & Fruit Sandwich

This is no ordinary PB&J! It takes all the essential elements of one – bread, nut butter & fruit jelly, and gives it a mouth-watering gourmet twist. This is the PB&J for adults – a healthy, delicious, quality snack or even dessert. Once you have this, you’ll never go back!

Ingredients

  • 4 slices whole grain crusty bread
  • 2 tbsp butter or olive oil
  • 4 tbsp roasted salted almond butter
  • 4 squares dark chocolate (don’t exceed 70% cacao)
  • 2-3 tbsp fruit – pomegranate, banana, mango, peach, the choice is yours!

Gently butter (or oil) the outsides of the all the 4 slices of bread.

Slather the inside of 2 slices with almond butter.

Top the almond buttered sides with 2 squares of dark chocolate each, and your fruit (chopped as required).

Top with the other slice of bread, buttered slice up and place in a heated pan or skillet.

Push down with a heavy spatula to compress. Gently flip when the bottom is browned and crusty – about 2-3 minutes. Cook on the other side for another 2-3 minutes & serve immediately!

*Foodstree Pro Tip: The choice of fruit is completely dependent on your mood and your taste! Bananas for a creamy texture, pomegranates for a sweet pop, peaches and mango for a tangy addition – the possibilities are endless.

Ultimate Asian Almond Butter Sauce

When most people think of nut butters, savoury is not what generally comes to mind. However, they can lend a beautiful creamy, earthy note to many recipes. This is one in particular is your ultimate Asian sauce – light, refreshing and smooth. It’ll complement any salad, bowl of noodles, rice or even quinoa!

Ingredients

  • 5 cup almond butter
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 25 cup water
  • 25 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tsp fresh grated ginger
  • 25 cup lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 25 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
  • 5 tsp sea salt

Add everything to a bowl. Whisk well will fully combined.

Drizzle over salad, noodles, rice – the choice is yours.

*Foodstree Pro Tip:

For a salad, we’d suggest a combination of –

  • argula
  • roasted asparagus
  • cherry tomatoes
  • roasted cauliflower
  • roasted mushroom
  • some almonds thrown in for extra crunch
  • hard-boiled eggs or chicken for the protein (optional)

For a noodle or rice dish, you can add some chilli to the sauce to give it an extra kick! Pair with the following ingredients –

  • udon noodles or sticky jasmine rice
  • peas
  • broccoli
  • bell peppers
  • chives

Sweet Breakfast Quesadilla with Nut Butter

This month, our aim is to bring to you unusual recipes that use nut butters in innovative ways, not the regular spreads on bread. For today, we’ve got some fusion food coming your way, in the form of sweet quesadillas with fresh fruit in them – perfect for everyday breakfasts! This recipe gives you a full serving of fruit, as well as healthy fats and proteins.

Ingredients

  • 4 wholewheat flour tortillas (or rotis)
  • butter for frying
  • almond butter or peanut butter, to taste
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 apple cored and sliced thin
  • cinnamon
  • yogurt for serving (optional)

Spread as much nut butter as you like on each of your tortillas.

Add a layer of apples to two of the tortillas, half an apple per tortilla.

Sprinkle on a little cinnamon & honey for extra flavor.

Top with the other tortilla to make a sandwich.

In a pan, over medium heat, fry each side of the quesadilla until golden. Set aside and repeat with the second quesadilla.

Allow the quesadillas to rest about 2 to 3 minutes before cutting in half.

Serve with yogurt or creme fraiche!

*Foodstree Pro Tip: You can add bananas, Nutella, maple syrup and other toppings to this quesadilla as per your taste!

Going Nuts Over Butter?

We’re sure you’ve heard of peanut butter, but recently nut butters have become all the rage. As a snack, and a creamer, as a dip – you name it. So, let’s break them down for you here.

What is a nut butter?

To put it simply, it’s a mixture made of finely ground nuts. Due to its high fat content, it spreads like natural dairy-based butter, but is otherwise unrelated. Nut butters can be made from any of a number of nuts such as almonds, cashews, hazelnut, macadamia, pecan, pistachio, walnut and the humble peanut of course, among others. Even some seeds can be used to make similar butters, including pumpkin, sesame, flax and sunflower.

How is nut butter made?

While different nut butters have different flavouring agents and oils added, the essential method for all remains the same. Your favourite nuts and/or seeds are poured into a food processor and ground away. Depending on the strength of the processor and the nuts being used, this generally takes a while.

Initially the nuts will grind into a finer and finer flour, but show no signs of becoming creamy. But this is when the magic is about to happen! Eventually, the nut particles will begin exuding their natural oils, turning the flour-y mixture into a creamy rich butter.

Many variations yield slightly different results – some add a bit of oil to speed up the process, others quickly roast the nuts beforehand to give a better flavour. We’re of the opinion that these additional tweaks completely vary from nut to nut, so it’s relative. However, one thing that is never added is water-based liquids such as milk, juice, or liquid flavour extracts – that’s a sure shot recipe for a clumpy, congealed mess!

Which one is the best?

So, which butter should you go for? The answer to this question completely depends on you! Different butters have different tastes and textures, and can be used for different purposes. The Foodstree Team personally loves almond butter as their standout favourite, due to its versatility and because various flavourings can be added to it with ease.

However, there’s not much to differentiate them in terms of nutrition. Here’s approximately what you get in about 2 tbsp. of these butters:

Nut/Seed Calories Fat Carbohydrates Fiber Protein Calcium
Almond 190 16g 6g 4g 7g 80mg
Cashew 190 15g 10g 2g 6g 40mg
Peanut 190 17g 7g 3g 8g 20mg
Hazelnut 180 17g 5g 3g 4g 40mg
Macadamia 230 24g 4g 3g 2g 20mg
Soynut 190 15g 10g 5g 9g 60mg
Sunflower 180 12g 8g 4g 9g 0mg

 

Don’t be put off by their fat content – these are healthy fats that boost your heart health, reduce bad cholesterol, and decrease your risk of diabetes among other benefits. (For more on this stay tuned for our Mythbuster 2.0)

So, I think we can all agree, nut butters are an excellent addition to your staples! They are super versatile, as you’ll be able to tell with the recipes we’ve got coming up for you this month. You can head over to our shop page to get them ready made, or if you’re feeling adventurous get the ingredients to make them yourself.

Chocolate Goji Berry Truffle

This recipe is the ultimate guilt-free dessert! Completely sugar-free, it still packs a sweet punch with its various superfood ingredients. Bite sized and perfect for any time of the day.

Prep: 20 mins | Serves: Approx 16-20 truffles

  • 2 tbsp goji berries
  • 4 tbsp pumpkin seeds
  • 3 tbsp chia seeds
  • 6 tbsp almonds
  • 1 tbsp cacao nibs
  • 2 tbsp raw cacao powder
  • 8 pitted Medjool dates
  • 2 tbsp almond butter
  • Pinch of salt
  • Optional: desiccated coconut, melted dark chocolate

Grind the goji berries, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds and almonds in a food processor until you have a coarse mixture. The coarseness depends on the texture you want your truffles to be.

Add the remaining ingredients – cacao nibs, cacao powder, dates, almond butter and salt to the grinder. Pulse again till the mixture comes together. It should stick together easily when you squeeze it in your hand. Add a spoon or two of water, only if necessary (is contingent on the moisture in the dates).

Take dollops of the mixture and roll into balls. Store in the refrigerator for upto two weeks in an airtight container.

Optional: You can roll your truffles in dessicated coconut, or dip them in melted chocolate (or dip and roll!) before refrigerating.  More flavour the better!