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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: Peanut Butter Makes Great Desserts

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Peanut butter cake with malted PB ice cream….and some caramelized peanuts, candied bacon and white beer foam. You can do it! Photo courtesy PB&+Co.

 

If you love peanut butter, enjoy it in more than sandwiches, satay and PB cookies. Challenge culinary school students to create gourmet desserts with it.

That’s what Peanut Butter & Company did. Celebrate National Peanut Month by making one (or all) of these award-winning peanut butter desserts:

  • Like panna cotta? Try Peanut Butter Panna Cotta With Caramel Mousse.
  • If you like to make ravioli, try this Toasted Peanut Butter & Jelly Ravioli With Cinnamon Ice Cream. We’re proud that the creator, Marissa Goldberg was a student at the Institute for Culinary Education and an intern at THE NIBBLE at the time she developed the recipe.
  • Like to create complex masterpieces? Try this Peanut Butter Milk Confit Cake with Molasses, Malted Peanut Ice Cream, Maple Candied Bacon & White Beer Foam.
  • Find more peanut butter dessert recipes in our Desserts Section.

    Comments

    PRODUCT: Polaner Sugar-Free Preserves With Fiber

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    Apricot and Raspberry, two of the six flavors
    of Polaner’s Sugar-Free Preserves with Fiber.
    Photo by Hannah Kaminsky | THE NIBBLE.

     

    Why add fiber to sugar-free preserves?

    According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, most of us don’t get enough fiber in our diet. On average, American women get 12 grams per day; American men get 18.

    Experts say we should get from 25 to 40 grams of fiber daily to help support a healthy digestive system, reduce the risk of heart disease and manage our weight (fiber is more filling). That’s why when you have a choice of eating foods with more fiber or less, you’re better off choosing more (most fruits and vegetables are high on the fiber list).

    If you’re on a sugar-free or reduced-sugar diet, chances are that you’re already eating lots of good fruits and veggies. But now it’s sweeter to get an extra 3 grams of fiber (about 12% of your daily requirement), with every tablespoon of Polaner Sugar-Free Preserves with Fiber. They’re sweetened with Splenda.

    We’ve been enjoying these jams—yes, they’re actually jam, not preserves (more about that in a minute)—since their debut, around the beginning of November 2009 (sorry we’re late in sharing the news).

    We use the Raspberry and Strawberry to glam up our nonfat plain Greek yogurt (Chobani, FAGE Total and Oikos—we love ‘em all)—to delightful results. Similarly, we use it to top our Breyer’s Extra Creamy No Sugar Added Vanilla Ice Cream.

    Polaner recommends it on toast and muffins, of course; as an addition to smoothies or cookie dough, or whisked into oil and a bit of vinegar for a marinade.

    The line is certified kosher. It’s just 10 calories per tablespoon, and for you carb counters:

    - Sugar Free Apricot Preserves with Fiber: 4g carbs – 3g fiber = 1g net carb
    - Sugar Free Blackberry with fiber: 5g carbs – 3g fiber = 2g net carbs
    - Sugar Free Grape with Fiber: 4g carbs – 3g fiber = 1g net carb
    - Sugar Free Orange Marmalade: 5 carbs – 3g fiber = 2g net carbs
    - Sugar Free Raspberry with Fiber: 5g carbs – 3g fiber = 2g net carbs
    - Sugar Free Strawberry with Fiber: 5g carbs – 3g fiber = 2g net carbs

    COUPON: You can get a $1.00 coupon here. If you don’t have the Java aplet for printing coupons, start at the Polaner home page.

  • Now about the difference between jam and preserves: Jam can be a purée of fruit or have a soft pulp, but it does not contain chunks of fruit. The two Polaner flavors we had were purées, without chunks of fruit. Preserves differs from jam in that large or whole pieces of fruit are suspended in a syrup base. The texture of preserves is not smooth like jelly or jam.
  • See the differences among all the spreads—jelly, curd, marmalade, etc.—in our Jam & Jelly Glossary.
  • Find more of our favorite sugar-free foods in our Diet Nibbles Section.
  • Comments (2)

    TIP OF THE DAY: Everyday Yummies As Holiday Gifts

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    Spread joy with Paumanok Preserves
    savory chutney, conserve, jelly and jam.
    Photo by Hannah Kaminsky | THE NIBBLE.

     

    While many people search high and low for that Very Special Gift, there’s often nothing better to give food-lovers than the most delicious versions of everyday products they really enjoy. 

    The best gourmet peanut butters, jams, chocolate bars, maple syrups, teas or mustards, for example, are treats that recipients can appreciate every day of the year—and they’ll think of you with every delicious bite or sip.

    Put together a selection of the finest in a gift box. In addition to the food themselves, your gift will be the joy of discovery.

  • Check out Paumanok Preserves (at left), a NIBBLE Top Pick Of The Week.
  • Visit the main index of NIBBLE food reviews to find great products in every category.
  • Comments

    TOP PICK OF THE WEEK: Spread Peanut Butter & Almond Butter

    Some people are specialists who do what they do better than anyone else. Like Spread.

    Spread’s specialty is luxury peanut butter and almond butter. How luxurious? One variety has edible gold flakes. But most are slightly less ornately-embellished PB and AB.

    Four ounces of nut butter cost $12.00 or $13.00, the PB/AB equivalent, ounce-per-ounce, of a box of luxury chocolates. And there are quite a few luxury chocolate PB and AB flavors to choose from in Spread’s repertoire of 170 or so.

    It you’re still looking for that special gift, this could be it. You can buy Spread in individual jars or in a variety of themed gift boxes, including “gentlemen’s,” holiday and Latin flavors, plus two collections just for canines.

    If you’re looking for a new gourmet food addiction, you’ve come to the right place. Once you start, you can’t stop—and why should you? Each of the 47 or so flavors currently listed on the website sounds equally tempting, unless you have something against butterscotch, cherry, chile, cinnamon, cookies and cream, lavender, pretzels or the myriad of other inclusions.

     

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    Peanut butter so gourmet, it can be
    turned into fancy desserts. Photo
    by Evan Dempsey | THE NIBBLE.

    One thing we guarantee: Just look at the list of flavors and you’ll never look at peanut butter/almond butter the same way again. Join us as we visit Spread’s spreads—strictly for adults, except for child gourmets and pampered pooches. Read the full review.

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: The Right Fluff


     

    Today is National Fluffernutter Day, which honors the classic peanut butter and marshmallow creme sandwich. The original Marshmallow Fluff was introduced more than 75 years ago and is still made by Durkee-Mower Inc. But gourmet marshmallow cremes can be had. Our favorite, Tiny Trapeze Marshmallow Creme from Whole Foods Markets, is a must! For a special fluffernutter sandwich, cut thick slices of challah, spread with crunchy peanut butter and marshmallow creme and toast in a panini press. For a fancier fluffernutter, use slices of banana bread, or plain bread with P.B. Loco’s Jungle Banana peanut butter. For sheer opulence, use chocolate pound cake as the bread.

  • Read our review of P.B. Loco gourmet peanut butter.
  • Check out our favorite gourmet peanut butters.

  • Comments

    Product: Dove Peanut Butter Milk Chocolate



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    The peanut butter flavor in Dove’s new candy dominates over the chocolate.

     

    “A special moment deserves a special chocolate,” states the PROMISES candy wrapper we’ve just plucked from the bag of Dove’s new Peanut Butter Milk Chocolate bite-sized candies. That special moment is now. There were also two special moments a few minutes ago, and we have a feeling we’ll be looking for excuses to have special moments all day—or as long as our bag of peanut butter chocolates lasts. (There is also a 3.5-ounce chocolate bar, and both are available in dark chocolate as well as milk chocolate. PB follows Dove Caramel PROMISES, with a creamy caramel center)

    We’ve always been a fan of Dove chocolates, and especially love nibbling on their dark chocolate bites as a light, yet oh-so-satisfying dessert after dinner. It’s also the perfect accompaniment to a coffee break, or a low-calorie sweet treat whenever you need one (55 calories for two pieces).

    So it was no surprise that there was a mad dash in THE NIBBLE offices to try the new flavor. The candies have just enough smooth chocolate to encase the creamy, peanut butter middle, which makes them different from that other popular brand of chocolate-covered PB candy. There, you taste more chocolate than PB. Here, the PB flavor soars.

    Each individual piece and bar also comes with an encouraging PROMISE message inside the wrapper, urging us to feel good about ourselves, expand our horizons or just plain enjoy life. We, however, need no inspiration beyond spying a piece of orange-foil-wrapped chocolate still in the bag.

    By the way, if you have an upcoming special occasion—birthday party, shower or anything where the attendees like to eat chocolate—Dove will personalize the message inside the wrapper for you. Visit MyDoveChocolate.com.

  • See the Gourmet Chocolate Section of TheNibble.com for other chocolate favorites.

  • Dove will be giving away several bags of these tasty treats in The Nibble Gourmet Giveaway in a few weeks. But while you wait, check out this week’s Gourmet Giveaway.

  • Comments

    PRODUCT: Earth Balance PB & Almond Butter



    With the 2007 government proclamation that “trans fat is bad for you,” some people switched to smaller, natural peanut butter brands while big manufacturers reformulated their products. And some people who switched stayed there, because to the refined palate, natural peanut butter tastes better. It’s also made without preservatives, and with less (or no) sugar and salt.

    We’re big fans of Earth Balance Peanut Butter, made in creamy and crunchy varieties. The company also makes an equally delicious Almond Butter which we like even more. The products are certified OU kosher, and are gluten-free and vegan. Read more about them in the full review. You’ll also discover in detail the differences between traditional and natural PB.

  • Read reviews of more of our favorite PBs—and jams and jellies to go with them.
  •  

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    A healthy snack: PB on a flaxseed cracker from Yaya’s Raw Rah. Photo by Emily Chang | THE NIBBLE.


    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Double Fruit Dessert

    It’s easy to create a special dessert in minutes. Sauté seasonal fruit (now, stone fruit like peaches, plums and nectarines; in the fall, apples, pears and quince) in unsalted butter until soft; then place in a shallow bowl. In a small saucepan or microwave, heat a cup of your favorite jam or jelly (not preserves), splash with a tablespoon of rum or brandy and pour over the fruit. It’s easy enough to make every day, and special enough for company. The better the jam, the better the sauce—less expensive jams are mostly sugar. You can garnish with whipped cream and/or serve with a shortbread cookie.

    Comments

    TOP PICK OF THE WEEK: Paumanok Preserves



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    These four are must-trys. Photo by Hannah Kaminsky | THE NIBBLE.

     

    Joan Bernstein’s family has been farming on Long Island—the native word is Paumanok—for more than 100 years. Working with the fruits of the land is in her DNA. When life gives you lemons, make lemonade, goes the adage. If they were Meyer lemons—or blood oranges, or bing cherries—Joan would make marmalade. Her jams, jellies and preserves take at least two days of preparation, including cooking over low heat, stirring nearly continuously (with time off to sleep) as the fruit cooks down to lush, dense preserved fruit. (What’s the difference between marmalade and preserves? We’re glad you asked.)

    There are jams of every description: blackcurrant, blackberry, black raspberry, boysenberry, gooseberry, Damson plum, fig, pluot, red currant, sour cherry, strawberry rhubarb, white peach…and if that doesn’t keep you busy, there are many more.

    But it is the savories that are so spectacular, you’ll want to lay them in by the case. Gracious Garlic Gelée, Haughty Horseradish Gelée, Incredible Onion Conserve; the chutneys, the salsas…and as a nod to the sweet side, the Pindar Merlot Wine Jelly, a grape jelly from Bacchus, is worthy of all the gods on Mount Olympus.

    Fortunately, these memories don’t need to be preserved. You can order as much as you want online, with the caveat that when seasonal fruits sell out, they’re gone until next year.

  • Read more about these treasures in the full review.
  • See more of our favorite jams, jellies and preserves.
  • What’s the difference between a jam, jelly, conserve, preserve and marmalade? Find out in our Jam & Jelly Glossary.

  • Comments

    TOP PICK OF THE WEEK: Curdelicious Fruit Curd



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    Tartlets with four different flavors of
    Curdelicious fruit curd: An easy and very
    satisfying dessert. Guests will clamor for
    more! Photo by Hannah Kaminsky | THE
    NIBBLE.

     

    Do you use fruit curd? Lemon curd is perhaps the most familiar variety, a creamy spread made with sugar, eggs and butter (in the richer recipes), flavored with lemon juice and often the zest (Curdelicious uses the oil from the peel fruit instead of the zest). Then, there are siblings lime curd and orange curd. Apart from the citrus family, you can find raspberry curd, strawberry curd, cranberry curd and others. We expect to stumble upon pomegranate curd any day now.

    Fruit curd is refreshingly tart, as opposed to more sugary jams and preserves. The butter creates a smoother and creamier texture than jam. But if you only use fruit curd as an alternative to jam on toast, scones and croissants, you’re missing out.

    Curd can be used to fill tart shells and meringues for easy, elegant desserts; and as a garnish for other desserts (pound cake, for example). You can make parfaits with curd, fill crêpes, top pancakes and waffles, make cookie sandwiches and substitute for custard. (Unlike lemon custard, for example, lemon curd contains more lemon juice and zest, which gives it a more piquant flavor as a cake filling.) There are many more uses, which we’ll explore in the full review.

    Curdelicious makes everything more delicious, with fruit curds in lemon, orange, lime and raspberry. Read the full review below, and share your favorite fruit curd recipes with us. We may add them to this article!

  • Read the full review.
  • What’s the difference between fruit curd and fruit butter, jam and preserves? See our Jam & Jelly Glossary.
  • See other Top Pick Of The Week jams and jellies.
  • Comments

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