Sunday, February 28, 2010

Peanut Butter and Jelly - The Healthy Way

My husband and I both work full times jobs. Therefore our two girls, ages 2 and 4 1/2 are both in daycare 5 days a week. I struggle to put together healthy lunches that they will both enjoy. Both girls loves peanut butter and jelly. Here is a much healthier take on this old classic.

Let's first start with the bread. A typical peanut butter and jelly sandwich is put on white bread. Let's use the nutrition info for Wonder White Bread. If you use white bread you automatically start off with 140 calories, 2 grams of fat, 28 grams of carbs, 1 grams of fiber, 4 grams of sugar and 4 grams of protein. Also don't forget that sugar is the second or third ingredient. I would love to give you the full ingredient list of Wonder White Bread but it is not on their website.

Now let's take a look at a much healthier option. Sprouted Multi-Grain Bread.

In two slices Sprouted Multi-Grain Bread has 180 calories, 1 gram of fat, 30 grams of carbs, 4 grams of fiber, 4 grams of sugar and 10 grams of protein. You need on average 30 grams of fiber and 30 grams of protein on a daily basis. Protein and fiber help you feel fuller longer. Also in this particular brand of brand honey is the first type of sugar and it is fourth on the list.

Now, let's talk about the peanut butter. To me peanut butter should only have peanuts in it. Let's first look at Jiff, the "brand moms love" right. Not this mom. In 1 tbs Jiff has 90 calories,
7 grams of fat, 5 grams of carbs, 1 gram of fiber, 3 grams of sugar, and 3 grams of protein. For the ingredient list first is "made from peanut butter" which is made from roasted peanuts and sugar, then comes, molasses, fully hydrogenated vegetable oils, some stuff I do not know how to say and finally more sugar. Why do you need so much sugar?

Ok, now let's look at a much healthier option. Adams Natural Peanut Butter. In 1 tbs there is 100 calories, 8 grams of fat, 3 carbs, 1 gram of fiber, ZERO sugar, and 3.5 grams of protein.
1tbs. The ingredient list - peanuts. That is it folks, peanuts.

In regard to Jelly. They are all about the same, fruit and sugar.

Here is the nutritional info for a typical PB&J:
Calories: 280
Fat: 9g
Carbs: 46g
Sugar: 20g
Fiber: 2g
Protein: 7g

The healthier version:
Calories: 330
Fat: 9g
Carbs: 46g
Sugar: - 17g
Fiber: 5g
Protein: 13.5g

As you can see the typical PB&J has less calories, less fiber, less protein and more sugar than the healthier version. The healthier version does have more calories but this sandwich will keep you feeling full much longer than the original version.

The healthy stuff does take awhile to get use to but you will get use to it. Start by switching to wheat bread, then after a few weeks switch to the hearty kinds. My kids only get white bread on a rare occasion or at a friends house and this is also what I serve my kids friends when they are over. So far, no one has said no they won't eat it. The may not love it but they will eat in. In regards to the peanut butter, try the salted kind before you go straight to peanuts only.

To turn this peanut butter and jelly sandwich into a meal for your kids lunch, or your lunch add some yogurt, carrots and some fruit and you are all set.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Roast Chicken Recipe

I love cooking a chicken. It is super easy and it tastes and if you have been working hard all day when the oven did most of the work! Another thing I love about this is the price. The chicken is only $3 to $4 then you add veggies and rice. You also get many meals out of one bird (unless you have a big family).

1 Chicken
3 big ones or a one to two handfuls of the baby carrots
1 onion (chopped into large pieces)
1 small lemon (chopped into 8 slices or so)
5 cloves of garlic
2 Tbs olive oil
Salt and Pepper
Rosemary and Thyme (fresh works best but you can use the stuff from the spice aisle as well.

Pre-heat the oven to 350. Wash the chicken and remove the "guts" (heart, liver, etc...). Dry the chicken off. In a large pan place the washed celery, carrots and chopped onions on the bottom of the pan.

Put a little bit of water in the bottom on the pan (about 1/2 inch deep). Place the chicken in the pre-heated oven for about 2 hours. The internal temperature of the chicken should reach around 180.

Remember to baste the chicken every 15 to 30 minutes.
When you take the chicken out make sure to remove the garlic and lemons from inside the bird.

Gravy:Strain off all of the extra veggies pieces, fat, spices, etc... Place the remanding liquid into a sauce pan and add about 1 to 2 TBS of flour. Whisk this constantly until the mixture thickens and now you have a wonderful, yummy gravy. Serve brown rice or mashed potatoes along with your favorite veggie and now you have a wonderful meal.