Thursday, January 7, 2010

new day for pb&j

Sarai is definitely on to something with her post below! Back in the fall, at the peak of my nauseousness, my Mom visited and cooked up a storm. I think she made about four big pots of soup to freeze. I cannot even tell you how many times we have been grateful for a warm, healthy meal from that stash. Don't even get me started on her defrosted, homemade yeast rolls! :)

Which gets me to thinking... wouldn't it be cool to make some pots of soup like that, some for you and some for a neighbor, friend, or someone who could use one? You never know how it just might bless that person when they need a warm, homemade meal. I think I'm going to make it a goal to make and/or share from what we have to give away. You could even get together with some friends and make an afternoon of it. Please do tell us about it if you do any soup sharing!

So what does that have to do with pb&j, besides for the fact that the old classic goes well with a bowl of delicious soup?

Well now that I'm feeling better, one of my new year's resolutions is to spice up the menu for the kids with healthful and yummy foods. I am hoping to share a few of the ways I'm discovering to do so over the next few weeks in case you too find yourself in a rut. First up? These simple guys:

Flipflops and Applesauce got the inspiration going with homemade uncrustables! This took no time at all and we fed our extra crusts to the birdies and bunnies in our backyard.
Or how about pb&j muffins?

They pack a healthy punch in their muffiny yumness. The secret is the carrot puree, which can be made from steaming 3-4 carrots for about 5-6 minutes and then blending them with a little water until smooth in consistency. This is much like baby food, so you could always grab a jar or two of that stuff and sneak it right in! You won't even taste it.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a big bowl mix 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter, 1/2 cup carrot puree, 2 tbsp. of butter/trans fat free margarine, and 1/2 cup of brown sugar. Stir in 1/2 cup of plain yogurt and 1 egg white. Add 1 cup of whole grain all-purpose flour (or regular), 1/8 tsp. of salt, 1 tsp. of baking powder, and 1 tsp. of baking soda. Mix well and spoon into a greased or paper lined muffin tin. Top each one with a spoonful of jelly and bake for 20-25 minutes. This makes a dozen... double it and make some for now, freeze some for later.
Other ways to make the old standby new:
*Use mini waffles, mini pita pockets, or tortillas as the bread
*Make open faced sandwiches that can be decorated with fruit (think raisins, bananas, strawberries, and big smiley faces)
*Let the kids make shapes out the sandwich with cookie cutters
*Mix up the main characters... try out other nut butters, substitute honey, etc.

That should keep our pb&j's from being so... so... hmm... 2009? :)


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