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    THE NIBBLE’s Gourmet News & Views

    Trends, Products & Items Of Note In The World Of Specialty Foods

    This is the blog section of THE NIBBLE. Read all of our content on TheNibble.com,
    the online magazine about gourmet and specialty food.

Archive for Jam/Peanut Butter

TIP OF THE DAY: Make Your Own Peanut Butter

Last month we wrote about Planter’s Peanut Butter, “the creamiest peanut butter ever.”

But what if you don’t like a creamy, homogenized PB paste, writes a reader? Or the amounts of salt and sugar in your PB?

Your dilemma can be solved in minutes, with a bag of peanuts and a food processor.

You can adjust the salt and sugar (or use a low-glycemic sugar substitute) and you’ll end up with a far more aromatic and peanutty-tasting spread. You’ll save a few cents in the process.

PEANUT BUTTER RECIPE

Makes 2 cups. You can split the batch and make some plain, some with honey or low-glycemic agave nectar, for example.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound shelled unsalted roasted peanuts, skinned
  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil or canola oil*
  • Salt
  •  

    Turn these peanuts into peanut butter
    in minutes. Photo by Watcha | IST.

     

  • Optional: sweetener (sugar, brown sugar, honey, agave nectar or non-caloric sweetener)
  • Optional: finely diced peanuts for a “chunky” version
  •  
    *Peanut oil and canola oil are monounsaturated fats: good for you. Vegetable oil is a polyunsaturated fat: less good for you. More on healthy oils.

    Preparation
    1. Combine peanuts and oil in a food processor and grind to a creamy paste. Add more oil if needed for thinning. PB will firm up in the fridge. If it’s too thick for you, just put it back in the food processor with a bit more oil.
    2. Sweeten and salt to taste.
    3. Stir in optional chopped peanuts.
    4. Store in the fridge in an airtight jar. Without preservatives, it will keep for 4-6 months.

    PB FUN

  • Check out the history of peanut butter—it was invented for people who couldn’t chew!
  • Take our peanut butter trivia quiz.
  • See our favorite peanut butters and PB recipes.
  •   

    Comments

    PRODUCT: Planters Peanut Butter

    The creamiest peanut butter ever. Photo
    by Jaclyn Nussbaum | THE NIBBLE.

     

    While some school districts have banned peanut butter to protect highly allergic students, PB consumption is actually on the rise, growing at a rate of five to six percent per year. Adults are responsible for two-thirds of peanut butter consumption in the United States!

    In addition to the protein in peanut butter, here’s a new reason to eat more of it: Planters Creamy Peanut Butter and Planters Crunchy Peanut Butter.

    The famous nut company launched a peanut butter in the 1970s, but then discontinued it. We’re so glad that Mr. Peanut adjusted his monocle and refocused on these new peanut butter formulations.

    We’ve enjoyed many brands of peanut butter, but the new Planters PB has one special quality: It is so silky-smooth that you can spread the thinnest slick of PB on bread to add just a touch (try it with a turkey sandwich) or to save calories.

  • Try this recipe for salted peanut butter brownies, developed for Planters by Chef Marcus Samuelsson.
  • Check out the history of brownies.
  •  

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Almond Butter

    We love peanut butter. But more and more children are being diagnosed with severe peanut allergies. The condition affects some three million Americans. In extreme cases, anaphylactic shock can be fatal within minutes.

    As a result, more and more schools are banning peanut products, eliminating that lunch staple, the peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

    But there’s another kid-pleasing option that is a find for anyone: almond butter. It’s just as delicious; some people may find it even more so.

    Almond butter can be substituted for peanut butter in any recipe. It’s available in smooth and crunchy varieties. And it’s also sold in individual-serving snack packs that are easily portable.

    Nutritionally, almond butter and peanut butter are similar, with 190 calories per two tablespoons.

  • PB has slightly more protein than AB (8 grams vs. 6 grams), and less fiber (2 grams vs. 3 grams).
  • PB has a bit more saturated and polyunsaturated fat. AB has a healthier fat profile, with almost 50% more monounsaturated fat.
  • PB provides about 20% of one’s DV (daily value) of niacin; AB provides 40% DV of vitamin E and 20% DV of manganese. It is also a good source of magnesium, copper and other nutrients.
  •  

    All natural Barney Butter almond butter is
    made in an almond-only facility. Photo
    courtesy Barney Butter.

     

    Give almond butter a try, even if you’re happy with your PB. You just may discover something new to go nuts about.

    Beyond basic almond butter, try the raw, organic and kosher nut butters from Artisana, a NIBBLE Top Pick Of The Week. Get to know their superb almond, cashew, coconut, macadamia, pecan, and walnut butters, and much more.

      

    Comments

    TOP PICK OF THE WEEK: Biscoff Spread

    First there was peanut butter, a creamy spread made from ground peanuts.

    Then there was Nutella, a brand-name spread of chocolate and ground hazelnuts.

    Completing the trio is biscoff spread, relatively new to the U.S. It was invented in 2007 on a Belgian reality tv show. When it was introduced commercially, it sold out in three hours.

    Biscoff spread is made of ground spice cookies called spéculoos in Europe and biscoff in the U.S. If you like ginger and cinnamon, you may find it even more delicious than peanut butter and Nutella.

    Check out our Top Pick Of The Week, biscoff spread from Lotus Bakeries.

    As with PB and Nutella, you can use it on everything from bagels and toast to dips and frosting. The review has plenty of ideas and recipes.

     

    Biscoff and cream cheese frosting on carrot
    cupcakes. Delicious! Photo by Rixipix | IST.

     

    Find more of our favorite spreads.

      

    Comments

    PRODUCTS: Fiordifrutta Sugar-Free Jam

    That spoonful of jelly, jam or preserves can be up to 70% sugar and so sweet that the first thing you taste is table sugar, not fruit.

    If you’re trying to cut back on sugar, switching jam and preserves is one place to start.

    The producers of the Fiordifrutta (“flower of the fruit”) line of no-sugar-added jams (actually fruit spreads*), imported from Italy, say that they “work with nature” to produce their products.

    *Per U.S. Food & Drug Administration definitions, a jam or preserve sweetened with something other than sugar is called a fruit spread.

    The taste is right from nature. It’s as if you picked and cooked the fruit in your own kitchen, modestly sweetened with apple juice.

    The only ingredients in the jar are organic fruit, organic apple juice and apple pectin, resulting in about 30% fewer calories than conventional products.

    The 100% organic line works with nature in a second way: Organic agriculture is sustainable agriculture. By choosing an organic product, you help maintain the environment for your family and for future generations.

     

    Spread more for less: There are less sugar
    and fewer calories in this line of apple-
    sweetened organic fruit spreads. Photo
    courtesy Fiordifrutta.

    You can enjoy Fiordifrutta in apricot, blackberry, cherry, cranberry, lemon, orange, peach, plum, raspberry, strawberry, wild blueberry and wild berries.

    Spread away: on bread, with cheese, as a dessert or pancake topping, in sauces, in smoothies, in plain yogurt.

    The suggested retail price is $5.99 per 9.52-ounce jar. All of the flavors are available online at SelinaNaturally.com. Or, phone the importer at 1.305.470.7583 for a retailer near you.

    One note: Since the fruit spreads are organic and made without sugar, there is no preservative—natural or otherwise. Thus, the shelf life is shorter than other jams in the fridge. Enjoy your Fiordifrutta within 6 to 8 weeks of opening. Most people won’t have to worry about this: The jar will be empty within a week or two.

    Organic Hazelnut Spread
    Apart from the fruit spreads, Nocciolata chocolate and hazelnut spread, an elegant version of Nutella, is a must-try. According to the company, Nocciolata contains 15% more hazelnuts than Nutella.

    Learn more at FiordifruttaUSA.com.

  • See more of our favorite jams, jellies and preserves in our Gourmet Jam Section.
  • What’s the difference between jam, preserves, marmalade and the rest? Check it out.
  • Comments

    GOURMET GIVEAWAY #1: Jif Peanut Butter Gift Basket & Calphalon Gourmet Roaster

    Cook with it, spread it on bread, eat it from
    the jar with a spoon. Photo courtesy Jif.

     

    Do you have a great peanut butter recipe idea that you think is good enough to win a contest? You still have time to enter your original recipe in the Jif Holiday Spread Recipe Contest to win one of two $10,000 kitchen makeovers.

    While your recipe just might be the winner, the odds of winning are much better in THE NIBBLE’s Gourmet Giveaway, which just happens to be a Jif Peanut Butter Gift Basket.

    The gift basket includes:

  • 1 Jar Jif Creamy Peanut Butter
  • 1 Jar Jif Extra Crunchy Peanut Butter
  • Jif Apron
  • Jif Recipe Cards
  • Along with the gift basket, the winner will receive a Calphalon gourmet roaster to add to his/her kitchen cookware collection.

    HURRY! THE NIBBLE’s Gourmet Giveaway ends on January 10, and Jif’s contest ends on January 17.

    Retail Value Of Prize: Approximately $90.00.

  • To learn more about Jif and the Holiday Spread Recipe Contest, visit Jif.com.
  • To Enter This Gourmet Giveaway: Go to the box at the bottom of our Jams, Jellies, Preserves & Peanut Butter Page and click to enter your email address for the prize drawing. This contest closes on Monday, January 10th at noon, Eastern Time. Good luck!

  • Comments

    GOURMET GIVEAWAY #2 ~ House Of Balsamic Vinegar Jellies

    One reader will be the envy of gourmet friends if he or she wins this elegant prize from House of Balsamic.

    The balsamic jellies from House Of Balsamic are quite delicate. This week’s winner will receive three jellies:

  • Fragolina, an ideal topping for fresh cheeses, crackers or fresh fruit
  • Prelibato, delicious paired with hard and salty cheeses
  • Saporina, perfect for breads, cheeses, fruits and meats; as a spread on hors d’oeuvres, tea sandwiches, even for morning toast
  • Retail value: $43.50.

    To see all of the delicious gourmet products from House Of Balsamic, visit HouseOfBalsamic.com.

  • To Enter This Gourmet Giveaway: Go to the box at the bottom of our Jams, Jellies, Preserves & Peanut Butter Page and click to enter your email address for the prize drawing. This contest closes on Monday, December 13th at noon, Eastern Time. Good luck!
  •  

    These sweet spreads are delicious with
    cheese. Photo by Katharine Pollak | THE NIBBLE.

    Comments

    GOURMET GIVEAWAY #2: Smucker’s Orchard’s Finest Preserves

    Do you love trying new fruit-flavored spreads on toast or PB&J sandwiches? Do you like to fill layer cakes with preserves? Do you like adding preserves to your barbecue sauce, or using it to make a pan reduction sauce for meat and poultry?*

    Regardless of how you enjoy your preserves, you’ll be enjoying more flavors of them if you are one of the five lucky winners to win Smucker’s newest preserves, the Orchard’s Finest line.

    Orchard’s Finest preserves are real fruit sweetened with sugar, free of artificial colors and preservatives. Flavors include Coastal Valley Peach Apricot, Fall Harvest Cinnamon Apple, Michigan Red Tart Cherry, Northwest Triple Berry, Northwoods Blueberry and Pacific Mountain Strawberry.

    Retail Value Of Prize: Approximately $24.00.

    *To make a reduction sauce, add 1 cup preserves, 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper to the pan juices. Cook 30 seconds or until preserves are melted, scraping pan to loosen browned bits.

     

    Win the new line of Orchard’s Preserves from
    Smucker’s. Photo by Katharine Pollak | THE NIBBLE.

  • To Enter This Gourmet Giveaway: Go to the box at the bottom of our Jams, Jellies, Preserves & Peanut Butter Section and click to enter your email address for the prize drawing. This contest closes on Monday, November 15th at noon, Eastern Time. Good luck!
  • After you enter the Gourmet Giveaway, head over to Smuckers.com to enter the “Spreading Smucker’s Traditions” recipe contest. You could win $20,000 for a dream family reunion! Submit your recipe by December 10th. See details on the Smucker’s website.
  • Comments

    HALLOWEEN: Pumpkin Jam & Cheese

    Lightly-sweetened jams make delicious
    cheese garnishes. Photo courtesy
    Artisanal Cheese.

     

    What do your foodie friends want for Halloween?

    Portuguese pumpkin jam is a delicate, autumn-spiced cheese condiment. It’s a colorful addition to any cheese platter and pairs especially well with aged sheep’s milk cheeses.

    Artisanal Cheese sells an artisanally-produced pumpkin jam, made in small batches using a generations-old family recipe. The jars are $9.00 each at ArtisanalCheese.com.

  • See more cheese condiments and a pairing guide.
  • Learn all about cheese in our Cheese Section.
  • Comments

    RECIPES: Peanut Recipes

    In the U.S., peanuts are the winner by a long shot when it comes to volume sold: They claim 67% of all nut consumption. The numbers aren’t broken out for whole peanuts vs. peanut butter, but we bet the PB has a large piece of the pie.

    Check out these peanut recipes:

    Savory Peanut Recipes

  • Colonial Peanut Soup
  • Indian Layered Dip
  • Thai Beef Salad
  • Vietnamese Spicy Squid Salad
  •  

    U.S. nut consumption in 2009. Chart
    courtesy USDA Educational Research Service.

    Sweet Peanut Recipes

  • Bacon Peanut Brittle
  • Easy Peanut Butter Fudge
  • Flourless Peanut Butter Chunk Cookies
  • Gourmet Peanut Butter Desserts: PB Panna Cotta, PB&J Dessert Ravioli and PB Cake With Malted PB Ice Cream.
  • Snickers Icebox Pie
  • Peanuts, which originated in South America, actually came to the U.S. with African slaves. They were first brought to West Africa by Portuguese and Spanish traders, where they became a staple crop.

    See who invented peanut butter.

    Comments

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