Lately at our house we have been going a little stir crazy due to the fact that the kiddos have been sick (all of them, in turns). So while stuck at home, I’ve beent taking advantage of my time and stocking up on my pantry staples. Yes, I’ve been freezing my beans. While it may sound mundane, it is really quite exciting. 😛 But seriously, it is nice to have a supply of go-to beans that I know don’t contain any additives or chemicals…just beans!!
Most beans need to be soaked overnight, then drained and rinsed in the morning. You then place the beans in a large stockpot, cover with 2 inches of water, bring to a boil, then reduce and simmer for 1 to 1 1/2 hours. For a list of how long to soak/cook each different kind of bean you may come across, click here. I am currently torn between freezing in glass jars and freezing in plastic freezer-baggies (they stack so nicely into the freezer!). A current hot-topic of debate is whether plastic commonly used in the kitchen leaches into our food. Regardless of how you freeze, make sure beans are COMPLETELY cooled down before transferring to the freezer. (Mine like to hang out in the refrigerator for a couple of hours to await their transfer to the freezer.)
In other news, my hubby gave me a cast iron skillet for our 6 year wedding anniversary, and I am in love!! (With my hubby, of course…what, you thought I was talking about the cast iron?) Ok, so I am kind of talking about the cast iron as well. I have been on a cast iron cooking spree. Taliyah (my oldest) has picked out a cast-iron big cookie recipe that we will be trying out on Valentine’s Day (“healthifying” it a bit, of course), so you MAY see a post on that in the future…
Also, my latest recipe, adapted from Averie Cooks (I know, I can’t seem to leave recipes alone!!)
BANANA-PB-CHIP BLENDER MUFFINS (no oil! no refined sugar!)
- 1 large, ripe banana
- 1 large egg (I’ve become a little crazed about buying local and/or organic, but your call) 🙂
- heaping 1/2 cup natural peanut butter (I love the Kirkland brand available at Costco)
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1 cup plain yogurt (regular or greek)
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- heaping 1/2 cup mini-chocolate chips (I prefer Life is Good brand-no soy lecithin) *Note; This is NOT an affiliate link (I wish) because I have no affiliates 😛
- Place all the ingredients (minus the chocolate chips) in the blender and blend until a smooth consistency is reached.
- Removed the blender blade and mix in the chips by hand.
- Put blender cover back on and pour batter into paper-lined muffins cups (I got 12).
- Bake at 400 degrees F for 15 minutes (or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean).
These muffins were AMAZING, so dense and moist (I like a thick muffin-who doesn’t?). I enjoyed one right out of the oven with a cup of coconut coffee:
- 1-2 cups fresh-brewed coffee (I use my big mug, which allows me to put in 2 cups and milk, etc.)
- 1 tsp coconut oil
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp 100% percent pure maple syrup
- Fill to top with whole milk (I never measure this, but if I had to guess, I would say slightly less than 1/4 cup)
I am drooling just thinking about this. Seriously. You don’t want to see. If you don’t have coconut oil, you can substitute 1/4 tbsp. butter. (Butter in coffee? Sounds weird, I know. Actually, quite delicious.)
I’ve had to get creative with my coffee as I have quit using commercial coffee “creamers” since finding out what is actually in them. For those of you not aware, they actually contain NO cream. Which begs the question, why the name “creamer” when there is no actual cream or dairy of any kind involved in the making of these admittedly delicious, but very unhealthy, non-dairy ‘creamers’?
FYI: the main ingredients in Coffee-Mate: WATER, CORN SYRUP SOLIDS, PARTIALLY HYDROGENATED SOYBEAN AND/OR COTTONSEED OIL. (For a complete listing of ingredients, visit their site and click the Nutrition Info tab.) Umm, think I’ll stick with the actual cream, but thanks for the run, Coffee-Mate. It’s been real.
I thought giving up creamer would be hard, as creamer and I used to be best buds-but it really hasn’t been as hard as I thought. Definitely not going back. Sorry ‘creamer’, it’s over…for good.