Photo: Danijela Unkovich
Peanut Butter Jelly Time!
I was stuck deciding between making chocolate peanut butter cups or raspberry chia jam, when wha-bamn — I had a glorious peanut butter epiphany. Why not take those peanut butter cups and stuff them with the chia jam to make peanut butter jelly cups.
The shell is a simple combination of peanut butter, coconut oil and a little sweetener and the jelly filling is an easy-to-whip-up raspberry chia jam. Preparing the cups are a little fiddly, with a few rounds of setting required for the various layers, but the whole process is very easy.
Coconut oil is made of medium-chain fatty acids, which (along with long-chain and short-chain fatty acids) serve as the building blocks of dietary fats and oils. Medium-chain fatty acids are easy for the body to digest and break down, making them great for those with digestive or malabsorption issues in the small intestines (such as in Crohn's disease).
Fats play an imperative role in our health, with whole food sources offering many health benefits — they're an efficient fuel source, they're satiating, they help us absorb the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K, they're important for making hormones, they're great for our skin and hair, and they help protect our organs.My favourite sources are creamy avocados, nuts and seeds, coconut, olive oil, whole eggs, oily fish, chia seeds, butter and the occasional few pieces of dark chocolate … because chocolate = love.
Peanut Butter Jelly Cups
Makes 6 regular or 10-12 mini cups
- 1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries
- (or any berries you'd like)
- 1 Tbsp. pure maple syrup or honey
- 3 Tbsp. water
- 1 heaped Tbsp. chia seeds
Peanut butter cup Ingredients
- ⅔ cup smooth peanut butter
- ½ cup melted coconut oil
- 2 Tbsp. maple syrup
To Make the Jelly
Add raspberries, maple syrup and water to a small saucepan. Stir continuously over a low heat, until the mixture starts to bubble. Take off the heat and mix together with a potato masher. Add the chia seeds and stir well. Leave for a few minutes as the jam sets (or rather the chia seeds begin to swell up). Place jam into a bowl in the fridge to cool – it will continue to thicken.
To Prepare Peanut Butter Cups
Line a baking tray with mini or normal muffin cups. Mix all ingredients for the peanut butter cup until smooth. Use about half the mixture to fill each muffin cup ⅓ of the way up. Place the tray in the freezer for 10-15 minutes to harden. Spoon a bit of jelly on top of each peanut butter case, leaving a ring of peanut butter around the outside. Flatten the top using the back of a teaspoon. Divide and spoon the rest of the peanut butter mixture on top of the jam, until the jam is completely covered. Place tray in the freezer for 15 minutes or until hard. Enjoy!
- Keep in the freezer as peanut butter and coconut oil will soften at room temperature and turn into a pile of gloop.
- When you want to eat them, remove from freezer and let them sit for five minutes or so to soften slightly.
- These are best with a decent amount of jelly to peanut butter. A thinner peanut butter shell helps balance the rich pb and coconut oil combination. Don’t be shy with the jelly!
Nutrition facts per cup (regular): Calories 366; protein 6.5g; fat 33.3g; carbs 15.9g.
Photo: Alanah Paterson Brown
Peanut Butter Jelly Time!
Although health and wellness is something I am deeply passionate about, I didn’t always walk the talk and was once living off a trio of convenience foods, stress and repeated late nights. Eventually my body rebelled, manifesting in an odd condition known as New Daily Persistent Headache syndrome, characterized by an unremitting tension-type headache. This all happened while I was studying nutrition – the irony!
Although the headaches were often mild, the persistent nature of the condition wore me down to the core and forced me to reevaluate how I was living my life. Here I learned an important lesson, that we only have one body and we must prioritize our health, as it is our most valuable asset. Eventually I picked myself up and started focusing on my health.
I ate better, thought better, moved better, slept more and stopped being as hard on myself. I focused on consuming more whole foods and ditched the convenience sugary foods. Slowly, over time, I started to heal, proving our dietary and lifestyle choices really do have immense power over our health.
— Danijela Unkovich
Danijela Unkovich – Nutritionist and health blogger from New Zealand