1. ‘Tis the season for holiday baking! I’ve been going through quite a bit of almond butter to create some new grain-free goodies, and this time I decided to take the easy route– by resorting to Trader Joe’s store-bought brand.
Unfortunately, that didn’t work out so well.
Trader Joe’s raw almond butter has always had a gritty texture, but it also seems to be loaded with small chunks of rock-hard shell lately, making it downright inedible to me. While taste-testing my baked goods, I nearly broke a tooth biting into those tough shards!
From now on, I’m sticking to the homemade stuff.
2. There’s also a new nut-like butter in my life.
I tried Trader Joe’s brand of Sunflower Seed butter years ago, but it tasted like a jar of frosting to me– they added way too much sugar! After that, I thought I’d never try sunflower seed butter again. Luckily, Marlena mentioned enjoying this organic brand, so when I saw it at my local Whole Foods, I decided to pick up a jar. It’s much better! Still slightly sweetened, but it only has one extra gram of sugar when compared to unsweetened almond butter or peanut butter.
Sunflower butter is a great alternative for those of you who’d like to transition away from peanut butter, or for those who have nut allergies. I’ve started sneaking it into Austin’s “Peanut Butter” Banana Milkshakes, and he hasn’t even noticed the difference!
3. Not only is peanut butter being replaced in our house, but so is coffee.
I suffered from a brief bout of food poisoning a few weeks ago, and as a result I couldn’t drink coffee for a week– so I decided to just stay off of it, even after I felt better. Austin joined me a couple weeks later, opting for black and green teas as a transition tool. It’s funny how I’ve dreaded giving up coffee for years, and it really wasn’t all that hard when it came down to it. I’ve been coffee-free for nearly a month already!
Thank goodness for my partner in crime–> it’s much easier when your spouse or roommate isn’t brewing coffee each morning, either.
4. Instead of coffee, I’ve simply been enjoying my green juices a little earlier each day.
I took advantage of a Groupon deal from Earthbar, and have had fresh juices delivered to my door all month long. Perfect timing for the holidays! I’ve been so busy this month, having my juices ready to go has been pretty handy.
All of Earthbar’s juices are made with organic produce and aren’t as sweet as some other juice bars that I’ve tried, which is nice. Plus, trying these new flavors has given me some new ideas for making my own juice combinations at home! If you’re in the LA area, it’s a great option to try!
5. With the holidays in full swing, I love having holiday-scented home.
So, instead of burning potentially toxic scented candles, I’ve started using a mini-food warmer to heat up a bowl of water filled with a couple cinnamon sticks. In just 30 minutes, my house smells like cinnamon! Sometimes, I add a splash of vanilla, too.
Even when the holidays are over, I think this would be a great way to freshen up your home– maybe a few lemon slices or oranges with cloves would smell good? I’m excited to try some different scent combinations!
Reader Feedback: Have you tried anything new lately? Any new holiday baked goods that I should try? I’ve already got quite a few lined up for the next few weeks!