Ultimate Chunky Peanut Butter

ChunkyNutBotterThis is one of my go-to snacks each day. I love chunky peanut butter, but I want to get more than just peanuts into my daily diet, so I’ve been creating my own chunky nut butter. I make a large batch of this, and then I put a big dollop of it in a jelly mason jar. It is then ready for me to take (along with a spoon) for an easy snack on a busy day. You can use any variety of nuts and seeds and spices.

  • 2 cups of organic peanut butter

  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds

  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts

  • 1/4 cup hemp seeds

  • 1/4 cup chia seeds

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

Method 1:  Place all the ingredients into a food processor and pulse until the nuts and seeds are mixed.

Method 2: Place peanut butter into a large glass bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds and stir. Microwave another 30 seconds and add all the remaining ingredients and stir until mixed.

Store the chunky nut butter in a air-tight container in the refrigerator.


Banana Ice Cream – 3 Ingredients

Banana Ice Cream

  • Frozen banana chunks (about 7-8 bananas)

  • 2 tablespoons liquid (water or milk)

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • Melted peanut butter and chocolate chips (optional)

Place the frozen bananas, liquid and vanilla in a food processor. Blend several minutes until the bananas are completely whipped and creamy. We like to serve ours in mugs with melted peanut butter drizzled over the top and a sprinkling of mini chocolate chips. This makes about 4-5 servings.

This is Joel from 4 years ago enjoying banana ice cream. It has been a long-standing “sweet” staple in our home, and it is still asked for.



Some of our other favorite cool treats:

  1. “Slurpees”

  2. “Frostys”

  3. Mango Pineapple Smoothie

  4. Mocha Almond Smoothie

Mediterranean Vinaigrette

This vinaigrette is a light and refreshing dressing for any assortment of greens, over freshly roasted vegetables, or as part of a grain-based salad. It’s quick and easy, so there is no excuse for store-bought dressings that contain preservatives and unhealthy oils like canola, soybean, corn and the like.

Mediterranean Vinaigrette

  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 lemon, juiced

  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar

  • 3-4 garlic cloves, minced

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons dijon mustard

  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano

  • Salt and pepper to taste

Add all ingredients into a glass jar. Screw on the lid and shake before each use. Store in the the refrigerator for 1 week.

Slow Cooker Brown Rice – Serve or Freeze!

slow cooker brown rice 
I shared this super simple recipe on my Whole to the Core Facebook page, and I’ve had to search for it on there several times because I always want to make sure I have the ratio of rice to water correct (even though I should remember!). It is much more difficult to find that way, so I finally decided to make it a post. I will be heading home soon and starting this. It will go into our soup for tomorrow, and I will be freezing the rest for other meals like fried rice  or to accompany chicken teriyaki.

Slow Cooker Brown Rice

  • 2 cups rice
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • Oil the crockpot, place the rice in, pour in water, and cook on high for 2 hours. Season/flavor for use immediately or freeze in batches for future dishes. If freezing, pour into a large, glass baking pan to allow rice to cool quickly and then portion the rice and freeze in batches.

Warm Beet and Avocado Salad 



This tower of tastiness was inspired by a dish I had in NYC.  The restaurant where I ordered this served it cold, but I knew that it would be better with warm beets to melt the avocado, making it extra creamy. With that said, here is my twist on their idea. 

Warm Beet and Avocado Salad 

  • 2 medium beets, peeled and sliced into circles

  • 1 avocado, sliced

  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic

  • Olive oil

  • Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400. Lay beets on a baking sheet and spray with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with chopped garlic. Roast for 20-25 minutes in the oven or until fork tender. 

As the beets become close to being done, slice the avocado. When beets are finished,  begin layering the salad with a beet slice followed by 2-3 avocado slices on top of the beet. Repeat this layering until it’s 5-6 layers high. I sometimes garnish with crunched up kale chips when I have them made. Makes 3-4 servings.

*Beets and avocados are high in Folate (great for women in their child-bearing years!) Beets are also a great liver cleanser and avocados are great for eye and bone health.

Grilled Caesar Broccoli Steaks 

When I took my oldest, Aleyah, to Season’s 52 a few weeks ago, I ordered this side dish simply because I saw it on someone else’s plate as we walked by to be seated. They gave be two large “steaks”, and I was kind enough to save one to share with my mom.

I love to try to recreate favorite dishes from the restaurants I visit, so I grilled these up over the weekend, and 2 out of 3 of my kids love them. (The non-lover of the grilled broccoli will eat raw and steamed broccoli so I’m not complaining that she didn’t like this as much. Just leaves more for me!) I also grilled up some onion and tomato slices to accompany this.IMG_2571

  Grilled Caesar Broccoli Steaks 

Slice broccoli lengthwise into 4-5 “steaks”. Spray with olive oil and lightly season with salt and pepper. Place on a medium high grill. Grill 7-8 minutes on the first side, flip, and grill an additional 7-8 minutes or until desired tenderness is reached. Place on a serving platter and brush with dressing. Serve warm.

Other recipes you may enjoy:

Homemade Honey Mustard Pretzels


If you buy store bought honey mustard pretzels (or any flavored pretzels), you’ll find MSG, modified starches, hydrogenated oils, and other dirty ingredients. We made our own recipe with pretzels and 6 other real ingredients, and they won the approval of the whole household.

 Honey Mustard Pretzels

  • 7 cups organic bite size pretzels

  • 3 tablespoons honey

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 2 tablespoons yellow mustard

  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard

  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

    In a large bowl, whisk all ingredients together except the pretzels. In a large baking pan, pour half the sauce into the pan. Place pretzels on top of the mixture and then pour the rest of the mixture on top of the pretzels. Mix well until all pretzels are coated and spread out pretzels in a single layer. Bake in a 325 degree oven for about 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. Allow to cool completely before enjoying. Store in an airtight container.

You will also enjoy:

Avocado and Sweet Potato Hash

Meet my new addiction: Warm and crispy sweet potatoes tossed with cool and creamy avocado. I could eat this for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack, or dessert!

  • 1 medium sweet potato, cooked
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon purple onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • Fresh parsley, chopped

Heat oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Add in onion and garlic. Cut sweet potato into bite-sized pieces and place them into the skillet. Fry for about 5-7 minutes, flipping potatoes a couple of times. Cook until potato is browned and slightly crispy. Immediately add into chopped avocado and gently fold together. Garnish with parsley.

Spanish Quinoa Bowl

After making my cilantro tabbouleh, I had enough quiona to make another dish. While rummaging through the fridge, I found some mini peppers and decided to create a spanish style quinoa bowl. I did make a mental note to make my smoked almonds next time rather than using just raw almonds. The smoky flavor of my roasted almonds would be perfect for this!

Spanish Quinoa 

  • 1 cup quiona, cooked

  • 1 cup assorted bell peppers, chopped

  • 1/2 cup celery stalk and leaves, chopped

  • 1/2 cup black and greens olives, chopped

  • 1/4 cup onion, chopped

  • 3 garlic cloves, minced

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1/2 lemon, juiced

  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • Chopped almonds for garnish

Place oil, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, and garlic into a mixing bowl. Whisk. Add in quinoa and remaining ingredients except almonds. Stir, cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 30 min. Serve with almonds scattered on top.

Peanut Butter Energy Balls

We made these peanut butter balls after having something similar given to us by some friends. You can vary the size depending on how hungry your partakers usually are. My crew seems to be bottomless pits, so we make our balls a bit bigger. I treated my Pilates ballerinas to these after my 4 days with them. They worked hard and deserved a reward, and it was the perfect fuel for them as they faced another 3 hours of dance after my class. 

Peanut Butter Energy Balls

  • 1 1/4 cup of all natural peanut butter

  • 2 Teaspoons of honey

  • 1/3 a cup of oats (gluten-free if necessary)  

  • 1/3 a cup of unsweetened coconut flakes

  • 1/3 a cup of ground flax

  • Chopped nuts, oats, coconut flakes, or raw quinoa 

Place peanut butter, honey, oats, coconut, and flax into a mixing bowl. Stir until well combined. Using your hands, roll dough into balls. Roll balls into the garnish of choice. These are pictured here with a mix of chopped peanuts and oats, but we’ve also used raw quinoa too. Be creative- even some orgainc cocoa powder with a dash of cinnamon would be delicious! Store in airtight container in refrigerator until ready to eat.