Childhood Classic Meets Sunday Morning Brunch: Peanut Butter & Jam Waffles

So I started working on a non-food post. I have been running a mile a minute lately, and it sort of hit me. And I wanted to talk about how we all sort of do it. But I mean it has been a delicious couple of weeks here at the Dignard house (who would have thought a new stove would prompt such genius) and it feels unfair that I keep posting photos on Instagram and not sharing the recipes. And these waffles man. So good.

Lately I have been all about comfort food with a twist – brownies loaded with protein and other healthy stuff, butternut squash mac n cheese, zoodles (not the delicious canned pasta of my childhood, zucchini noodle-fied with my new veggie spiralizer, but more on that later) with avocado cream sauce, and now these peanut butter and jam in waffle form.

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Yes. These are a thing. On Amazon. If you live in the United States they are both cheaper and there are more varieties (including cookie dough. I am working on my US Visa now.). I am annoyed that these only come in 22 packs when everywhere else operates with 12 or 24 packs, but still delish.

There is something so wonderfully comforting about a peanut butter and jam sandwich. As an adult I am now expected to be a little more sophisticated in my dining choices. So I find sneaky ways to be a child. Like putting sprinkles in everything (David’s Tea sells tea with sprinkles. I know all the tricks.). And these totally fantastic peanut butter and jelly sandwich coffee kcups I found on Amazon. And, of course, these waffles. I mean they required effort, that’s adult-y…right?

A lot of people find Belgian waffles to be a little intimidating, but these are incredibly easy. I promise. It is practically a requirement for any recipe I share. If I am not convinced my mom could make without me around, I don’t share. So yes, you must be able to whisk things without getting those things on the ceiling, but if you have any sort of coordination (which I don’t), you’ll be fine. I prefer to whisk by hand because it is so liquid-y at the beginning and I don’t have a strong desire to scrape peanut butter off the ceiling, but I have used mixers, it works too. The difference you will notice, which is something I enjoyed, is that by hand mixing, you will still have some small pockets of peanut butter in the batter. This translates to little nuggets of peanut butter and jam throughout the waffles. Yum much? The beaters would probably mix so thoroughly that those chunks would be gone. Just be careful when you’re mixing the flour in that those chunks are peanut butter not flour chunks. Lumpy waffles are not good waffles.

As an added bonus – waffles can be easily frozen and reheated later for a quick breakfast – just turn the waffle iron down a bit so the waffles are just slightly undercooked, separate them and freeze in baggies. When you are ready to eat them simply pop them in the freezer like an Eggo. I told you – I am lazy in the morning. And with some effort on the weekend when “morning” can start at noon, you can be lazy Monday morning too!

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Ingredients:

  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter (or more if you want it)
  • 2 cups milk (I used skim because that’s all we have, but buttermilk would also be amazing!)
  • 2 tbsp sugar (brown sugar works well too)
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted (or oil)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup jam
  • 1/2 cup chopped peanuts

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Directions:

  1. Preheat your waffle iron. If using a Cuisinart Breakfast Station (waffles on top omelettes/pancakes on the bottom!) set it to 3 1/2, 3 if you plan on making these and freezing them (which is what we usually do with half the waffles).
  2. Combine dry ingredients in a bowl and set aside.
  3. Combine milk, peanut butter, sugar, and melted butter until smooth. Add in the eggs and beat in.
  4. Mix in the flour mixture, being careful to not over-mix. Fold in the peanuts and jam to get the swirl.
  5. Pour scoops into waffle iron and follow your iron’s instructions. IMG_20150308_102325

Enjoy! And remember…

men don't grow up

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Sugar Free Protein Brownies (a.k.a. What Happens When I Get Desperate and Bake in the Ancient Stove)

Guys this kitchen is killing me.

When my boyfriend walked into this kitchen he promptly informed me “I’ve seen ghettos with nicer kitchens.”

We recently moved, and let’s just say a kitchen reno was top of the to do list. Except we’ve been here almost 2 months and still haven’t ordered anything other than the stove. Which my mother has called a gift for me, and even though I won’t get to take it with me, it really is a gift for me. She knows how I feel about our circa 1960’s stove.

At the same time, grad apps have been very busy/stressful. Which since it’s been too cold to run (I missed easing myself into the cold and now I am a lazy runner) means I really have been itching to bake.

Alas. My recently fool-proofed scone recipe (coming very soon!) was not match for this stove.

My Apple Skor Cheesecake tragically fell prey too. The delicious cookie crust topped with apples and a rich skor cheesecake layer never stood a chance.

At this point I was ready to throw in the spatula and resign myself to frigid winter runs. And then came along the Oh She Glows cookbook! Hallelujah for no-bake recipes.  The cookbook includes 2 recipes for Glo Bars, I took the Classic recipe (exclusive to the cookbook from what I can tell – but I am not vegan and am in love with it! Go buy it. I will wait.), since I couldn’t find brown rice syrup I used a combo of maple syrup (1/4c), agave syrup (2T), and water (1.5T) per the internet’s recommendations. I also have a serious hate on for coconut so I used 1/4 cup cashews and I didn’t read so I ended up adding a quarter cup of cranberries (instead of the 2T sesame seeds. Me and sesame seeds don’t get along either).
My grandparents even liked them! Like asked to take some home level liked them. They find most of what I eat strange (for the record they find a lot of the new food trends like avocado and sweet potatoes odd). So you know they’re good.

Glo Bars a la city villager

Glo Bars a la city villager

As delicious as they were though, they were almost too easy. I needed to bake. Actually bake. With my crappy oven and newly purchased healthy ingredients. (I love sweets, but I have been trying to find healthy but still yummy baked goods recipes).

I am incredibly lazy in the mornings. Which means that I usually sleep as late as possible. Which means that I end up rushing around trying to get out the door on the time. So breakfast lately have been a sea of protein shakes and apples. I am starting to get tired of having shakes every morning. I contemplated smoothies but they felt like the same thing. Fortunately my boyfriend branched into the culinary world, with protein bars (with the exact same motivations) and has been patiently perfecting them for months.

Aaraf's "protocol" for his protein brownies

Aaraf’s “protocol” for his protein brownies

I took his recipe and tweeked it to the flavour and consistency I wanted but man are these bars are delicious and nutritious. Dates, bananas, and maple syrup give moisture and sweetness without fat and sugar. Carob chips and dried banana chips add a sweet surprise! I used carob chips because it seemed to be the buzz word and they are lower in calories and higher in protein. This was my first time using them and It is definitely a unique taste, feel free to use chocolate chips if that is more your style, just be aware that it alters the protein and calorie content. At first I wasn’t really sure how I felt about them, but they have really grown on me! With peanut butter, Greek yogurt, chia seeds, and protein powder, these are sure to keep you full all morning (29.5g of protein)! And I promise – they are beyond easy!IMG_20150222_155902

I used whey powder in these, which may surprise you because it is prone to making things dense and chewy but I promise you these bars are neither of those! The key is in your leavening agent – it is very important to use powder not soda. When cooking with dutch processed cocoa (such as the Fry’s cocoa used in this recipe), it is best to use powder, otherwise, use soda!

omnomnom protein. Chocolate-y cake-y delicious protein.

omnomnom protein. Chocolate-y cake-y delicious protein.

So hallelujah between the Glo Bars and these sweet treats – my mornings have been saved. (As an added bonus the new stove came in yesterday!!! It is beautiful.)

Please ignore my gross kitchen. It is pretty awful.

Please ignore my gross kitchen. It is pretty awful. 

Ingredients:

  • 6 scoops protein powder (I used chocolate flavoured whey)
  • 1/3 cup quick cooking oats
  • 1/2 cup cocao powder (Dutch press like Fry’s)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 8 dates (pitted, soak in water to rehydrate)
  • 2 large bananas, very ripe, mashed (about 1 c.)
  • 1/2 cup nut butter (I used peanut butter, all natural)
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 3/4 cup plain greek yogurt (I used 0%)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • 1/4 cup carob chips
  • 1/4 cup banana chips, crumbled

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. Combine the protein powder, oats, cocoa powder, salt, and baking powder in a bowl.
  3. Puree the dates and bananas together. Add peanut butter and maple syrup and blend until combined. Add milk and Greek yogurt and beat well. Add eggs and beat for a minute.
  4. Fold in chia seeds and then add the dry mixture. Mix until just combined, being careful to not over-mix. Gently fold in banana and carob chips.
  5. Pour mixture in a lined or lightly greased pan and bake for 35-45 minutes.

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“Nutty Canadian” Banana Muffins

A decadent muffin with peanut butter, bananas, and maple syrup. Yes. Maple Syrup. Heaven.

Johnny Depp Freaking outSo it’s that time of year folks – midterms are in full swing, and students everywhere are entering panic mode. As a fourth year, with a bad case of senioritus even my panic is a little half-assed and indifferent, but it’s showing up in the same stereotypical form as always.Not sure if I'm calm because Baked goods. I bought bananas about two weeks ago, with the intent of waiting for them to go brown so I could bake with them. This kind of procrastination takes a lot of planning folks. So I patiently waited every day for them to get just brown enough. Then I patiently waited to have five minutes to do something with them. Midterms are finally done, and while I had at least 10 other things awaiting my attention last night when I got home, these bananas were my first priority.

I needed to break the breakfast rut I’ve been in as of late, so muffins were top of my list of what to do with these very ugly looking but very delicious bananas. I  published a muffin recipe back in the fall, but I wanted something more decadent this time. Sneakily decadent. So sneaky that they ended up being healthy again. So I thought back to late summer, when to say thank you to my grandparents for coming down and helping with the taming of my backyard, I made them the most delicious peanut butter banana loaf. Now we’re getting really good. But there was still a certain, je ne sais quoi, missing. Standing with the fridge door open, it dawned on me – I AM CANADIAN! And out came the maple syrup. Perfect.

nutty canadian muffin two plateThe resulting muffin is sweet and rich, thanks to the peanut butter and maple syrup,  and still very healthy thanks to the oats, bananas, and yogurt. The peanut butter gives a hefty dose of protein, the milk and yogurt give a nice dose of calcium, the bananas are chock full of potassium, and oats have been shown to lower “bad” cholesterol. So yeah, I found a way to have my cake and eat it too.

As an added bonus, I took this chance to break out my beautiful new Ninja Mega Kitchen System. Using a food processor instead of a hand mixer made this easier than normal and ensured that there would be no batter flung into strange corners of my kitchen. Score one for me. You do need to make sure you don’t over mix once you’ve added the wet ingredients as you will end up with a tough, dense muffin, but it definitely saves time and effort.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 egg
  • 2 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 3 bananas, mashed
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 cups oats (quick cooking, not instant)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425F and grease 12 muffin tins.
  2. Mix egg, vanilla, and brown sugar in a medium bowl.
  3. Add peanut butter, milk, and bananas and combine until smooth.

    You'll get something like this!

    You’ll get something like this!

  4. Combine dry ingredients, except the chocolate chips, in the food processor and pulse a few times to get it all mixed together.nutty canadian dry
  5. Add the wet mixture to the food processor and mix until just combined. Remove the blade and fold in chocolate chips.nutty canadian batter from top
  6. Spoon into muffin tins, filling right to the top and bake for 5 minutes at 425F, then 15 minutes at 350F, or until toothpick comes out clean.

nutty canadian singler nutty canadian stackBon Appetit!