Peanut Butter Jelly Time!

I don’t know too many people who don’t enjoy a good PB&J sandwich. For a lot of us this squishy sammy was a childhood staple, making it one of those comfort foods we crave from time to time! Its rare I actually eat a traditional sandwich these days, so I have been experimenting with a peanut butter and jelly protein bar recipe to satisfy my kiddie cravings!


While I admit they’re a little bit messy, since you get the jelly on your fingers if you’re not careful, I still consider this to be grab and go. At less than 175 calories each, these pb&j protein bars are perfect as a sweet start to your day or a delicious dessert that won’t break the caloric bank!

You’ll need: 1/4 c. whole wheat flour, 1/4 c. old fashioned oats, 1/2 tsp. baking powder, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1 egg white, 1/4 cup apple sauce, 2 tbsp almond milk, 1 scoop vanilla protein powder, 2 tbsp peanut butter, 2 tbsp creme fraiche, 3 tbsp jam or jelly, 6 tablespoons water.

Combine dry ingredients, combine wet ingredients (put protein powder in with egg white, apple sauce and almond milk). Blend wet and dry and pour base into a greased baking tin and bake @ 400 for 10-15 minutes.

While baking the base, combine peanut butter and creme fraiche in a bowl and put the jam/jelly with water into a sauce pan under low heat. Mix the jelly and water until well incorporated and allow to simmer lightly…stirring often. After the 10-15 minutes are up take a peak and make sure the sides are starting to slightly brown but it doesn’t quite look ‘done.’ Pull from the oven and carefully cover the top with the peanut butter mixture (which will be easier to spread as it heats).

Pop back into the oven for another 5-7 minutes and turn off the jelly on the stove. Keep stirring the jelly so it doesn’t clump or stick. Once done, pull from oven, pour jelly mixture over top and put into refrigerator to set.

While these are a little more work (literally 5 minutes) than other recipes I’ve come up with for protein bars, they’re well worth it and lets be honest, who doesn’t love Peanut butter and jelly!

Satisfy your kiddie cravings with a pb&j protein bar…enjoy!


Nature or Medicine?

If you were told you could live until a ripe old age by living healthier OR you could take a pill everyday and achieve the same, which would you pick?

While America has taken steps to increase nutritional awareness over the past few years, the majority would still rather consume packaged, processed foods that are literally killing them and ingest chemicals to cure illnesses instead of make healthier choices.

So many ailments people suffer from: headaches, insomnia, hypertension, depression, obesity, etc… could be prevented through dietary and lifestyle changes.

Would you rather pop a pillĀ  OR incorporate more fruits/vegetables into your diet and physical activity into your day? I know not ALL ailments can be cured by improving one’s lifestyle and I do find value in modern medicine, but I fear our thought process as a society is backwards.

Instead of “what can I take to feel better?” perhaps the question should be “what can I eat or what am I lacking in my diet that could make me feel better?”

Urban herbs

One of the best ways to season food and make it more flavorful is with fresh herbs! I have an affinity for adding them to everything and admittedly going overboard at times!

My parents have always had fresh herbs growing in the backyard, so I frequently ‘borrow’ heaps of rosemary, basil, cilantro and parsley. While my mother keeps a lovely array of options in the yard, I’ve had the itch to plant my own. The only trouble with starting my own herbal paradise is the fact I live in a tiny one bedroom apartment in the heart of Philadelphia.

With my nutrition program starting, I knew I would be kicking up my culinary game and needed a variety of fresh herbs on hand. Inspired and determined, I enlisted the help of my constantly supportive mother and took to the home and garden store.

Brilliant in all things horticultural, my mother helped me select the perfect vessels for my space and budget. “You want to have a deep container for the roots to grow and something with enough room to give each plant space to expand,” she said.

After a messy 30 minutes, we successfully planted my cilantro, parsley, dill, oregano, basil, mint, rosemary and lavender in the window box inserts we selected. Per the recommendation of the on hand horticulturalist, we built up the base around each plant, packed in the soil as best as possible and gave each container a HEALTHY drink of water.

In a few weeks, with some love and hopefully not over-watering, I will have hardy herb plants to create healthy culinary delights a plenty!

No matter what your space, you can create an herb garden with minimal effort! Get some dirt, a vessel, baby herb plants from your local farm stand or nursery and see what culinary creations you can come up with!