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Apparently, some of you have made resolutions for the new year. I don’t approve, but I’ll play along.
I’ve gone on for quite a while about how I believe in healthy balance and moderation all year long, and I find January 1st to be quite arbitrary a date to start getting healthy. But hey, who am I to discourage people from being healthier? After all, I’m a fitness junkie. I do barre workouts with religious zeal and fuel up with protein afterward. And this is one of my favorite ways to do it.
Three ingredients: peanut butter, tofu and powdered sugar. Blend. Chill. I’m done! Now can we start talking about the barre again?
Two years ago, I joined the cult of the barre via Physique 57, a super-ritzy program that is nothing short of addictive. If you don’t believe me, head to my basement. You’ll find a healthy assortment of free weights, a so-called “playground ball” that I squeeze between my thighs as I squat and cry, and an actual barre. Yep. I own a barre. Kenny makes endless fun of me for my barre, but I betcha he can’t stand up on the ball of one foot while lifting the other leg in the air and pulsing it endlessly and not falling over.
Last week, Physique 57 was offering a free trial week of their online streaming workouts, so of course, I signed up. I spent my free week grunting and stretching out sore muscles, which is my idea of a good time. But then, my free week ended. And I can’t quite bring myself to pay the $57 monthly fee to online stream the workouts, so I’m back to the land of the DVD. Why does it cost so much? Why, P57?
In the meantime, Kenny has taken up P90X, and his monthly streaming bills are a lot cheaper, so he gets to build his six-pack without guilt. I’m jealous, but not enough to ever leave the barre. Try it sometime! The DVDs are a lot more economically sound than the streaming. But you can stream my videos for free. See?
I’m on YouTube as Just About Baked. Go ahead and subscribe! But don’t be like me. I accidentally hit the “dislike” button on a video I made.
After my long workout (they can go anywhere from 60 to 90 minutes, depending on the barre DVD I’m using any given day), I need protein. Quickly. Because if you have protein within an hour of strength training, those long and lean muscles can pop out even more!
This pudding is almost pure protein, minus the sugar. It’s made of silken tofu, which liquefies very easily, along with creamy peanut butter and the aforementioned powdered sugar. You pulse those three simple ingredients for less than a minute, and there you have it. Well, after the chilling. The pudding must be chilled.
I’m not gonna lie here; you can taste a trace of tofu in this, but if you like the taste of tofu (which isn’t exactly a taste anyway), it works fine. And the peanut butter is a strong enough flavor to be the main focus. Plus, adding garnish makes the experience more fun. I added chocolate chips in the video above, but you can do whatever. Chopped peanuts, a cocoa powder dusting, or for decadence, chopped peanut butter cups or peanut butter chips. Anything will work!
Make the resolutions you want, and be happy. Just be sure that you already love who you are, and that you aim for balance and not deprivation. I might log in a lot of barre time, but that gives me the strength to get through the day and bake brownies, too. And that’s a goal worth striving for!
I fulfill many roles in life: wife, mother, teacher, everlasting learner.
This site is dedicated to one role that expresses my creativity in ways that I find consistently challenging and rewarding: baker.
Inventing new ways to enhance food, especially if that food involves chocolate or peanut butter (or both!), is a passion of mine. I look forward to sharing my ideas with you.
I used to take regular pilgrimages to NYC before the kids came along, and back then, there was a Popcorn, Indiana store in Times Square. I’d go there and order popcorn slathered in chocolate, have them pack it up in a big bag, and eat it on the train ride home.
Like all great stores, that one closed down, but I learned my lesson: always dress up your popcorn as much as you can. This one is covered in chocolate, mixed with Reese’s minis, and finished off with dollops of melted Reese’s chips. No trip to New York necessary for all of this madness!
It all came down to the word “should.” While I crave sweet every morning, I told myself that I should be getting my nutrients. In an effort to keep the sugar down, I’d make eggs or oatmeal and hate every bite. Those foods work great for me later in the day, but I just couldn’t get down with it.
Then I discovered the protein-packed smoothie. It was like a dream come true. Not only could I have my sweet breakfast, but it would also keep me full all morning. Plus, controlling the sugar content was pretty much up to me. As soon as this revelation occurred, I began blending up my favorite flavor combinations. And really, what’s better than peanut butter, chocolate and banana in the morning?
Peanut butter cup lovers, prepare to be very happy. And when I say “happy,” I mean thrilled. Excited beyond the bounds of belief.
You all know that I have a passion for bar cookies, and I have an equally great passion for chocolate and peanut butter. In my world, no snack beats a Reese’s peanut butter cup. In fact, the absence of PB cups in life is a really good reason to never give up on sugar.
These are dense, chewy, peanut buttery, and flourless. That’s right. Why do you need flour when these bar cookies are decked out with enough peanut butter cup goodness to satisfy even the biggest fanatic?