Meridian Pistachio, Cocoa-PB and Cocoa-Hazelnut Butters…

IMG_20170506_071355_428Several weeks ago now (okay, bordering on months) I was sent three amazing new nut butters from Meridian. I planned to create recipes with all of them- however you’ll only be seeing recipes for the last two any time soon. Because I ate all of the pistachio jar. However, one empty jar and two half-empty jars does mean I feel qualified to give a pretty accurate review, before we get down to the recipes. Keep your eyes peeled for those in the next few days …

 

Pistachio

I was fairly hesitant to open this one, mainly because I felt like it would be my least favourite. Turned out to be my favourite. It’s a greenish hue, finely ground, and with some oil separation before you stir it (all good nut butters do this, due to the absence of stabilisers, and more nuts in place of them- nuts of course containing oil, which separates out etc etc ). How did I use a whole jar so fast? Mainly by eating it straight off of the spoon, but also dolloped onto porridge or shredded wheat, or mixed with thick Greek yoghurt, frozen raspberries, and honey or maple syrup (that last one is phenomenal). Pistachio butter has a slightly sweet, subtly nutty flavour, with a little saltiness- which you wouldn’t expect from the smell (it doesn’t really smell of anything). Its fairly runny in consistency, and so I feel like it would also work well in marinades for meats such as lamb, or made into a dressing for a couscous salad with pomegranate seeds, orange, and dried fruit in it. I plan on buying another jar very very soon, because I had a lot of recipe plans for this one.

 

Cocoa-Peanut Butter

Possibly my least favourite, not because its bad in any way, but simply because the other two are so amazing. If you love your classic peanut butter, and don’t like to veer too far from this, then a chocolate-flavoured peanut butter is right up your alley. It very thick, making it great straight off of the spoon, and on cereal or porridge, but it also makes it ideal spread onto toast, or a bagel, blended into a smoothie, or used in baking. I’d add it to muffins for sure. Think a grown-up-reeces-cup. Not sickly in any way shape or form, but instead a rich cocoa flavour, with a naturally nutty undertone.

Chocolate-Hazelnut Butter

This came a VERY close second to the pistachio butter. It does taste Ferrero roche-esque too (Instagram followers: you really wanted to know that). This nut butter can be used in all of the ways the cocoa-peanut butter can, but is slightly runnier in texture, and tends to separate out a bit more due to the higher oil content of hazelnuts. This also means it drizzles onto ice cream (and nice cream) really well. The texture is of very finely ground hazelnuts, so its closer to smooth than crunchy. Its also slightly thicker than the straight up hazelnut butter Meridian make, which I liked. Again, really rich cocoa flavour to it. Meridian definitely do chocolate and nuts well.

 

There you have it, my review of the three newest Meridian nut butters. I’d recommend each and every one of them, but as I think the cocoa-hazelnut will generally have the most appeal to people (the pistachio one isn’t as sweet, and is probably more of a love/hate flavour), then I’d say try and get your hands on that one first…

 

Meridian PB & Coconut and PB & Pumpkin bars review

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If you’re a regular to this blog, then you’ll probably remember- way back- me reviewing the Meridian Peanut, Cashew, and Almond butter bars. And then the Peanut and Cocoa/ Banana/ Berry bars. Well now I’m reviewing the Peanut and Coconut/ Pumpkin Seed bars, because the others have proven so popular than Meridian have decided to expand their collection even further. My favourite before digging into these bars was probably the Peanut & Cocoa, so be sure to try that one as its already stocked in several health food shops, including Holland & Barratt’s. Out of these two newbies I think that the Peanut & Pumpkin Seed has won me over. The coconut one was equally delicious, but the pumpkin seeds just really did it for me. Both are great ideas for a pre/post gym snack on the go, a study snack, or heated up as a dessert with either some of Meridian’s sugar free jam on top, or (personally) I love the Jim Jam’s chocolate hazelnut spread on top…

 

Taste

PB & Coconut- Subtle coconut taste emerges once you’ve chewed it a couple of times, and you get a good coconut aftertaste. Not artificial coconut, just natural coconut flavour. The base is definitely peanut though, and the more savoury taste of this works really well with the sweeter coconut.

PB & Pumpkin- Mainly peanut, but the bits of pumpkin seed add in some earthier flavour. Seeds have a very specific taste that I’m not so great at describing; I feel like pumpkin seeds have a mild, sweetly nutty taste…slightly similar to a pistachio, but not as sweet, perhaps. Again, works really well with the slightly more savoury peanut.

 

Texture

PB & Coconut- The bar has a slightly looser, chunkier texture than the traditional PB bars, which are chewier. Chunks of desiccated coconut, and pieces of peanut throughout are what causes this, and I personally really liked it.

PB & Pumpkin- Much closer to the traditional PB bars. This bar is chewier, with pieces of peanut and whole pumpkin seeds throughout. As this was my preferred texture this was a huge thumbs up from me.

 

Ingredients & Nutritionals

Again, what makes these bars so great for post- workout is the combination of carbs and protein. If you have one of these with a regular skimmed latte or cappuccino then you’re hitting around 14-15g protein with the coconut bar, and 16-17g with the pumpkin seed bar, from just that combination. Your average protein bar/shake is around 20g of protein per serving, and so although this is fractionally lower, its an ideal alternative for anyone wanting an alternative to using protein powders (I know this is my preference, as I’m fussy with protein powders, and they can also be very expensive- though bear in mind the majority of your protein should be coming from a well balanced diet containing whole foods, not a powder or bar). The coconut bar is obviously higher in saturated fat than the pumpkin seed bar, as coconut does contain higher levels of fats, however considering that 20g is the maximum amount per day recommended for a woman I don’t particularly see this as an issue. If you are watching the sat-fat though, then the pumpkin seed bar only has 1.84g of saturated fat. Fats in total though are an asset of these bars, contributing to satiety value and so how full they’ll keep you (don’t shirk fats people).

PB & Coconut- Peanuts (41%), Brown Rice Malt, Coconut (20%), Rice Bran, Rice Protein, Concentrated Fruit Juice (Grape), Rice Starch, Emulsifier: Sunflower Lecithin

kcal- 207.6kcal

fat- 13.44g

sat fat- 5.64g

carbs- 14.28g

sugars- 9.12g

fibre- 1.96g

protein – 6.76g

salt- 0.04g

 

PB & Pumpkin- Peanuts (52%), Brown Rice Malt, Pumpkin Seeds (10%), Rice Bran, Concentrated Fruit Juice (Grape), Rice Starch, Emulsifier: Sunflower Lecithin

kcal- 202kcal

fat- 12.68g

sat fat- 1.84g

carbs- 12.12g

sugars- 7.6g

fibre- 3.6g

protein – 8.04g

salt- 0.04g

 

There you go, my review of the new bars. Massive thumbs up from me, and I cant wait to get some more pumpkin seed bars. As with everything peanut butter (aka. the elixir of life), I encourage you to get your mitts on these if you can. At the moment they’re only stocked online, but hopefully will be coming to stores in the future.

Once you’ve tried them, then let me know: Team Coconut, or Team Pumpkin Seed?

 

 

 

 

 

Meridian Peanut Butter with Pumpkin, Sunflower & Sesame Seeds?!

wp-1486237507849.jpgToday I am bringing you a long overdue nut butter review- because I feel like I haven’t reviewed a nut butter in a really really long time (who wants an updated nut butter collection post by the way?!)

Meridian sent me this in a beautiful little box about a month ago, and I was more than a little bit intrigued by this nutty combination.  Though they sent me a recipe card with a nutty carrot-y porridge on it, my first thought was actually : well I can’t put this on my porridge- it sounds so savoury! 

Oh how wrong I was. I do love it when a nut butter proves me wrong… Continue reading “Meridian Peanut Butter with Pumpkin, Sunflower & Sesame Seeds?!”

Peanut Butter Chocolate Bars (no bake!)

wp-1479643937314.jpgYou probably saw my PB & J Crumble Topped Flapjacks last week, and now I bring you another classic PB combo…chocolate peanut butter. I promise I will make some non- peanut butter recipes soon. But if you’re into chocolate without peanut butter, then you can check out my recipes over on Discover Chocolate’s blog, where I’m currently freelancing.

Anyway, these bars are just as easy as the first, and they’re another great snack to carry about with you. No bake, a handful of ingredients,  a whole lot of flavour- and these ones are also suitable for dipping in tea, because I know we all like that…

Ingredients

  • 3 cups of oats
  • 1 cup chunky peanut butter (I used Meridian)
  • 3tbsp cacao
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 8 tbsp. unsweetened almond milk
  • Pinch of each: salt, cinnamon (just a little)

Method

  • In a large mixing bowl combine the oats, salt, cinnamon, and cacao
  • In a microwavable bowl melt together the honey and peanut butter
  • Pour the honey and peanut butter into the oats, and add the milk. Stir to combine, and then use your hands to bring everything together.
  • Press firmly into a tray lined with greaseproof paper, and refrigerate overnight. In the morning cut into bars, and store in an air tight tub in the fridge for up to 4-5 days.

 

TIP! – Top a bar with nutella. You won’t regret it…

PB & J Crumble Top Flapjacks (no bake!)

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There seems to be a little bit of a theme emerging on this blog right now. That’s right: peanut butter & jelly. Well, jam, because we’re in the UK and I like jam because it has seeds in it. If you haven’t checked out my last PB & J recipe then take a look at these easy PB & Jelly Cups, as I’m assuming you’re a fan of this particular food paring.

Today though, we’re looking at something that, yes, you can eat as a dessert- but is great as a transportable snack. The reason I actually made these is so I don’t have to keep buying snack bars post-gym. Now I can pack one of these up, and get my carbs, healthy fats, and protein fix with my favourite ingredients: oats, peanut butter, and jam (and almond milk and honey). That’s right, just FIVE ingredients, no baking, and they’ll keep in the fridge for around 3-4 days. The ingredients are all relatively cheap as well, making these an ideal student staple- other than my PB and jam, I could buy everything at Tesco. If you do really feel the need to add in more protein then throw in some protein powder of choice, but you will need to add in more almond milk to combat the dry texture.

You’re best letting these bars set overnight, and they firm up more the longer they’re in the fridge, but if you really can’t wait you can dig in after they’ve been in the freezer for 15 minutes. Though  I warn you they will be more difficult to pick up…

Continue reading “PB & J Crumble Top Flapjacks (no bake!)”

PB & Jelly Cups

wp-1478092469384.jpgI don’t trust people who don’t like peanut butter. I’ll put that out there now.

Yet, for a good while, I had never had a PB & J sandwich. Banana, PB and cinnamon with a little bit of honey was THE way to go.

And though I plan on making a fudge featuring these flavours, I thought that PB & J would be a good place to start, because it seems to be a firm favourite with everyone on IG.

So, for today we’re making and eating some PB & J cups- they have a texture somewhere close to fudge, but more melt-in-the-mouth. And they only take a couple of minutes prep, plus 30 minutes in the freezer…

Ingredients (makes 8-10)

  • ½ cup peanut butter, I used Proper Nutty’s Smunchy Peanut Butter
  • 1tsp agave nectar
  • 2tbsp strawberry (or raspberry) jam
  • 2tbsp coconut oil

Continue reading “PB & Jelly Cups”