Food Of The Month: Peanuts

July, my favorite month of the year! Not only do I get to celebrate my birthday, I also love summer and the hot temperatures, enjoying the outdoors and making frozen desserts. So to celebrate the month of July, I am sharing one of my favorite desserts — a dessert combo with chocolate and peanut butter. There’s just something about the bitter, sweetness of chocolate, combined with rich, creamy peanut butter that makes the perfect dessert.

Peanuts have been eaten for over 7,600 years. They originated in Peru and spread throughout the world by Spanish explorers. Peanuts are actually a legume, which means they are high in protein. They are an excellent source of resveratrol, an antioxidant that has been shown to help protect against cancers, heart disease, degenerative nerve disease, Alzheimer’s disease, viral and fungal infections, and reduces stroke risk. If that is not enough, these little power packed legumes are also high in pantothenic acid, B vitamins, iron, manganese and Vitamin E.

There is also a known natural remedy for weakened kidneys — boiled peanuts. If you have ever been down in the southern states you know they eat boiled peanuts in abundance. They have stands on the side of the road selling them. They have big cast iron pots with a fire underneath boiling the peanuts. Seasoned with salt, they taste very good.

Peanut butter is probably the most widely used form of peanuts in our diets. When buying peanut butter it is always best to find organic. But natural peanut butter is a good choice also. Most commercial peanut butter has added sugar and hydrogenated oils. The natural peanut butter will separate in the jar, so you will have to stir it once you get it home.

In the following recipe I use a soy frozen dessert, ice cream. You can choose your favorite frozen ice cream to use in the recipe. I use Sunspire grain sweetened chocolate chips. They are sweetened with malted barley and corn. Grain sweeteners will not spike your blood sugar levels and are the healthiest sweeteners you can use.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Frozen Pie

Crust:
1 1/2 cups cookie crumbs
3 T. brown rice syrup
3 T. rice milk
3/4 cups peanut butter

Filling:
1 pint frozen vanilla soy ice cream
1 cup Sunspire grain sweetened chocolate chips

Topping:
1/3 cup peanut butter
1/3 cup Sunspire grain sweetened chocolate chips

To make crust, mix together all ingredients until you get a thick batter. Using wet hands, press into an oiled pie shell. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Let cool completely before filling. To make filling, put chocolate chops in a food processor. Chop the chips up until they are in little pieces. Let frozen soy ice cream sit out on counter to get soft. Add to the processor, puree until smooth. Pour into pie crust. To prepare topping, put peanut butter and chocolate chips in a sauce pan. On a low heat, slowly heat on stove. Keep an eye on it and mix it as it melts. It is easy to scorch. Once melted, pour over pie. Put pie in freezer. Serve frozen.

Valerie Wilson

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About the writer: Valerie Wilson

Valerie Wilson is a chef, author, counselor, and host of "Healthy Cooking with Macro Val" on BMSRadio. She teaches macrobiotic, vegan cooking classes in Westland, Mi.

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