Today I’m going to share a great product, the reasons I highly recommend it, and a recipe to use it creatively rather than just guzzling it by the spoonful out of the jar! I have not been paid or in any way incentivized to write this review, I just really love this product. Said product, in case you haven’t guessed from the title, is Barney Butter Smooth Almond Butter.
Almond butter is a healthier alternative to peanut butter, providing healthy fats without so much saturated fat. It also naturally packs more Vitamin E and magnesium. Vitamin E can help raise immunity and reduce risk of disease from high cholesterol, according to Newsmax.com. As for magnesium, Medical News Today explains that it aids in metabolizing food and synthesizing proteins and fatty acids, and so it is a necessary nutrient. Magnesium deficiency can lead to diseases.
Are you ready to try replacing your peanut butter with almond butter? To some hard-core peanut butter fans, this may sound dire. But really, the first time I tried Barney Butter Smooth Almond Butter I was kind of surprised it wasn’t peanut butter. That isn’t to say it tastes exactly like peanut butter. It is delicious in its own right: rich and creamy like the best aspects of peanut butter, but with its own nutty flavor that blends well with a variety of different ingredients. The texture is incredibly smooth (as can be expected, given the name) and it is easy to spread.
I like to support the company of Barney Butter because it hopes to move to 100% sustainable palm oil soon, according to the Assistant to the CEO. If you read this blog post, you know how Barney Butter is working to help save the orangutans! I hope to see a label soon on Barney Butter products advertising the amazing achievement this would be.
I have been using Barney butter in sandwiches and swirled into yogurt parfaits. Today, I tried a different use that was a bit more unique. It’s a sweet breakfast burrito, made with almond butter, fresh fruit, and jam. Feel free to switch up the type(s) of fruit and flavor of jam used. I hope you enjoy!
The ABJ Wrap – Featuring Barney Butter Smooth Almond Butter
- one whole wheat tortilla
- 0.6 oz Barney Butter Smooth Almond Butter (about a generous spoonful)
- one extra large banana
- a spoonful of your favorite flavor jam (I used cherry)
Warm the tortilla slightly in the microwave. Spread Barney Butter Smooth Almond Butter across the center. Add banana slices mostly to the middle of the tortilla, on top of the almond butter. Spoon jam on top. Roll up wrap. Bon appetit!
Almond images from Wikipedia
I have never tried a conventional, ice cream shop banana split. However, I was once attracted to a certain recipe in a kids’ recipe book I had years ago, claiming it held the key to discovering “Breakfast Banana Splits.” However, upon reading over the ingredients, I was disgusted to find that this recipe claiming to be a dessert-like breakfast, was full of gross “health food” such as cottage cheese in place of ice cream. Really, who would be satisfied with lumpy regurgitated yogurt instead of a creamy vanilla frozen concoction? So I never made that recipe.
Still, the idea of a banana split that was healthy enough for breakfast was tempting. While this one I made recently strives to include only healthy ingredients that one might eat for breakfast (pudding being the only questionable one here) there is no cottage cheese to be found. In other words, it strikes the proper balance between great taste and texture, and great nutrition packed with protein and calcium. The banana is “fried” in pure, organic honey for a cheater’s “caramelization” method that’s easier and less fat than the traditional butter and sugar.
I found the flavor of this dish to be classically delicious, however to vary things up a little I might suggest adding crunchy cereal as a topping, trying pineapple chunks instead of/as well as strawberries, and maybe trying chocolate yogurt instead of pudding for a possible sugar reduction.
This recipe makes a lot, so I might suggest sharing with some friends!
Breakfast Banana Split with “Caramelized” Banana
- one medium-large banana
- 1 tbs honey
- 1 container Greek vanilla yogurt (I used Dannon Light & Fit Toasted Coconut Vanilla yogurt)
- 1 single serve container chocolate pudding
- 8 fresh strawberries
- 1 tbs chocolate nut butter of choice
- 1 tbs cherry jam
- 1 tbs sweetened flaked coconut
- 1 tbs dried cranberries
Freeze the yogurt and pudding for 30-60 minutes.
Once yogurt and pudding are frozen, but still somewhat soft, prepare all ingredients: wash strawberries and remove stems and leaves, then cut them into small pieces; peel banana and cut in half lengthwise, then cut each piece in half if desired; measure out/prepare all other toppings.
Spray a pan with nonstick cooking spray. Place banana on pan. Heat to medium. Spread some honey on one side of each banana piece. Rotate and spread honey on the other side. Rotate again after cooking a few minutes. When both sides of each banana piece have browned, remove from heat.
Place bananas in bowl/bowls. Scoop frozen yogurt and pudding on top. Add strawberry pieces. Top with a drizzle of honey, a swirl of chocolate nut butter, a spoonful of cherry jam in lieu of maraschino cherries, and a sprinkling each of coconut and cranberries. (Note: imaginative topping or yogurt/pudding flavor variations welcomed!)
Grab your family for a satisfying and balanced dessert/breakfast/hot day refreshment!
When a toucan finds that special someone during mating season, he scours the rainforest for the choicest berries, which he brings in his beak to his mate. The two lovebirds will toss a berry back and forth between one another, enjoying the antioxidant-packed projectiles as part of this flirtatious sport. With such healthy and active courtship habits, it’s no wonder the toucan can live twenty adventurous years in the rainforests of Costa Rica!
Unfortunately, humans have much different customs when it comes to the romantic exchange of food. Many women, regardless of their general intention to avoid excessive sugar and calories, expect and demand a heart-shaped box of chocolates from their significant other on Valentine’s Day. It’s not unheard of for couples to “eat light” during the day to “save room” for a binge meal on a special night. And even those for whose lives romance is not currently a part have been known to indulge in unhealthy quantities of comfort foods on February 14th, as if this can make up for the emptiness they feel in their hearts. Which is physiologically impossible, since food travels down the esophagus into the stomach, where it is liquified by acids and then goes… long story short, it never reaches the heart.
Why can’t humans come up with a healthier way to celebrate love on Valentine’s Day? Rather than shoveling buttery pasta and pharmacy candy down one another’s throats to prove our true love, it might be wise to start a new tradition: how about enjoying some homemade, healthy treats made by hand for that special someone with simple ingredients and a pinch of love? With these Chocolate Covered Cherry Fro-Yo Cups, you can do just that this year.
Let your sweetie cook a romantic dinner (with less butter, if you please) and pop these in the freezer ahead of time for dessert. After freezing for just over an hour, they have the texture of soft frozen yogurt; after several hours overnight they harden delightfully. Masquerading in the shape of a candy cup, they are actually a wonderfully tart, chocolatey frozen treat filled with luscious fruit preserve (use your lover’s favorite flavor.) These would make a great treat after a romantic dinner or a sweaty afternoon of berry-tossing! Alternately, if you’re lonely and craving chocolate, make Chocolate Covered Cherry Fro-Yo Cups before your eyes start drifting to the chocolates in a pink box in the grocery store or the pint of emotional-eating ice cream… these give you the best of both worlds, without the guilt following either!
Whatever your plans are for this Valentine’s Day, I hope you will give these delicious frozen snacks a try. And feel free to change up the fruit preserve flavor! Make them for any occasion, for those you love, hate, etc… click here for the full recipe: Chocolate Covered Cherry Fro-Yo Cups!
Toucan Info Sources:
Digestive System Info Source:
Pineapple. The ultimate fruit of summer. Just the thought of a pineapple brings the image of blue skies and a turquoise ocean to my mind. Preferably with a beach hammock in some shade and very durable sunscreen to resist many hours in the sun and dips in the water without letting me cook like a casserole in the oven of someone extremely forgetful and scattered. (I get sunburned after about two seconds in the sun.)
As soon as I saw some pineapples for sale at my grocery store, I knew I had to get one. I’d never tried carving one before, and for a moment I wavered and considered the alternative to a whole pineapple: one of those little boxes of ready-to-eat pineapple chunks. But that fruit is not as fresh, and I have a feeling the plastic boxes are not environmentally friendly. The whole, unadulterated, juicy fresh pineapple fruit looked much more appealing, and no plastic was involved. So I went ahead and bought it.
It sat in out fruit basket for a few days. Every time I glanced at it I would wonder if it was ripe, or when I would get a chance to try carving it. It was so appealing…yet so daunting. Finally today I decided to try it. With some extra muscle power from my mom, the goal was accomplished and the golden, sweet fruit was on the table, ready for use. Whenever I think of making something with pineapple, my mind automatically drifts to the pineapple+coconut+cherry combo.
I have never had a real piña colada, but when I was in elementary school I used to eat a Yoplait low fat yogurt with my lunch every day. One of my favorite flavors was “Piña Colada,” even though I had no idea what a piña colada actually was at the time. No, it isn’t a dessert, but the flavors of pineapple and coconut go together so well and so sweetly I thought I’d combine them in a pancake, slather some cherry jam on top, and call that dessert for breakfast. Is it really a dessert? It’s good enough to be. Trust me, this pancake tastes so delicious you could pass it off as a dessert.
The batter is made with whole wheat flour, and only sweetened by agave with no refined sugar. I included a whole cup of pineapple in the recipe, which provides a good chunk of the daily value of Vitamin C and 2 grams of dietary fiber. Pineapple is also a good food to eat often because it is a good source of manganese. This mineral helps the body’s formation of connective tissue and bones. Research also suggests manganese aids the body’s metabolism of carbohydrates and fats. It also helps the cells absorb other nutrients, such as calcium. So make sure to eat your pineapple!
Shredded coconut is only good in small amounts, which is why only one tablespoon is included in this recipe. In large quantities, shredded coconut is high in saturated fat. But a small amount is a good fiber boost. Plus, it definitely contributes to the flavor of this recipe!
I have recently started using Crofter’s brand Morello Cherry fruit spread. Not only does it taste amazing, it is organic, sweetened with only natural cane sugar, and one tablespoon of the cherry jam provides 15% daily value of vitamin C. Finally! A jam with health benefits. Spread it on this pineapple coconut pancake for optimal summery taste.
Piña Colada Pancake for One
- 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1 tsp organic raw agave syrup
- 1 tsp egg (I used Egg Beaters egg substitute)
- 1/4 cup Silk brand original coconut milk
- 1 cup pineapple chunks
- 1 tbl shredded coconut (I used sweetened)
- 1 tbl Crofter’s brand Morello Cherry Premium Fruit Spread (for topping)
Spray a small pan with nonstick spray.
In a small bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, agave, egg, and coconut milk. Mix until combined. Add about 1/3 of the pineapple chunks and 1/2 the coconut and stir.
Over medium heat, drop the batter onto the prepared pan. Allow to cook for a few minutes. Slide spatula underneath pancake and flip to cook the other side for just a couple of minutes.
When done cooking the pancake, remove from heat. Place pancake on a plate and top with the remaining pineapple chunks, the jam, and remaining coconut flakes.
Now you’re ready for a refreshing piña colada – in family-friendly pancake form!
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