Next week I’m requiring my kids to eat these. I know what you’re thinking …wait, what?!? What kind of mom requires their kids to eat candy?? Shame on her! Now before you go and call social services on me, we decided (and by “we” I mean the girls) to take on a food challenge…1 full week of vegetarian-only meals. And since I’m the main, and only, cook for this house, the boys are just going to have to come along for the ride. Of course they would never willingly choose to try such a thing, but I let my husband know of my plans and I think he’s ok with it. My son though, he will take a little more coaxing and these will help “sweeten” the deal a bit, don’t you think?
So why are we taking the challenge? Well, for a while now I’ve been fiddling with the idea of switching to organic chicken and grass fed beef, but the price… Basically in order to afford it we would either have to A) make more money; or B) eat less meat. And after reading various articles, blog posts (this one especially inspired me) and listening to personal testimonies from vegetarian friends, I know there are health benefits to limiting our meat consumption, so option B it is! But in order to break out of my “cooking box” and really commit to this, as well as a way to force myself to explore new recipes, I decided to go all or nothing!
I know a main concern for new vegetarians is getting enough protein, so I did my research. One of the non-meat protein sources that kept popping up was peanut butter. It’s nummy and kid-friendly, but honestly, my kids don’t eat it unless it’s in a cookie, cake, or ice cream. So then I thought of peanut butter cups (cause my kids love candy)! This article highlights some of the benefits of dark chocolate, and by sticking with organic ingredients you have yourself a decently good for you treat. Each peanut butter cup supplies approx. 6 grams of protein, 4 grams of fiber as well as a decent amount of omega-3’s, and I know it will make the week just a little less torturous for my son!
p.s. though slightly lower in protein, you can also use almond butter! And to make this vegan, just make sure your dark chocolate is vegan.
Protein boost Peanut Butter Cups – makes 6 large peanut butter cups
- 6 TBLS organic peanut butter
- 3 TBLS organic flax seed
- 3 TBLS organic chia seed
- 3/4 organic dark chocolate
- 6 regular-sized muffin paper liners
1.Line a regular-sized muffin tin with the paper liners and set aside.
2. Place organic chocolate in a double boiler and gently melt. You can also use a microwave, but make sure to heat it at 50% power, and in 30 second increments until just melted, as chocolate BURNS easily!
3. Spoon about 1 TBLS of chocolate into each muffin cup. Using either a pastry brush or a small spoon, spread some of the chocolate about 1/2 an inch up the sides. Place in refrigerator to chill.
4. In a coffee or small grinder combine the flax and chia seed and process for a few seconds. Pour into a small mixing bowl, add in the peanut butter, and mix well.
5. Divide the peanut butter mixture between the 6 muffin cups by “dolloping”, being careful to not touch the sides too much. Gently pat down the tops with the back of a spoon, to level out the peanut butter mixture.
6. Spoon 1 TBLS of chocolate on top of the peanut butter mixture, and using the back of the spoon, gently push the chocolate down the sides and smooth the top out a bit.
7. Chill and eat! These can also be stored in an airtight container or ziploc bag.