Vegan Versions: PB2, Cranberry-Fruit Sauce and Other Tasty Odds and Ends

by Maria Theresa Maggi on January 7, 2015

PB2, Cranberry Sauce, Sourdough Spelt 2

Since I moved about a mile or more northeast, the shortest distance to a grocery store puts me at a market that has surprised me with its abundance of great organic produce and a section called “Huckleberries” within it that duplicates much of what I can get at the co-op. On icy days or second walks in the early almost dark of winter, it’s often the destination Romeo and I choose to stretch our legs, warm up for a few minutes and pick up some extra greens or sweet potatoes. It’s bigger than the co-op, so I’ve made it my new “job” to try and discover new things in it each time I go.

I’ve had some very pleasant surprises.The first one was a full line of Walden Farms Salad Dressings, a brand I first heard of as “safe” food from a McDougall book. Fat Chance I’ll ever see those in Idaho, I had thought to myself. Evidently the chance is “fat (free)” indeed and I had a good laugh on myself to discover they have arrived, or possibly been here all along. They are not sodium free, but I’ve never been one to use a lot of salad dressing, and right now I’m having a ball with an occasional tablespoon of dairy free gluten free “blue cheese” dressing on my salad or my potatoes and greens. (Back in my 20’s my favorite out-at-lunch meal was a huge salad with blue cheese dressing and croutons.)

But the subject of this post came about when I discovered another product I’d read about in McDougall territory–the low fat peanut butter powder called PB2. Always the skeptic, I could not imagine why it would be worth it to buy this if I just wanted to use a little bit of peanut butter. But the new year is a good time to try new things, so when I saw it on the shelf in the Huckleberries part of the market, I decided to try it out. And it is, to my taste, delicious. And without the saturated fat, much easier for me to digest and handle. Better yet, it allowed me to try out another idea I’d read about on this Engine 2 blog post about Cranberry Love. There’s a recipe for sugar free cranberry sauce on that blog post, with a suggestion to have it with oatmeal (not likely since I’m into the simplicity of my fig and twig tea oatmeal these days), and another to try it with nut butters for a different kind of PB and J experience. That caught my attention. I did do a little tweaking to the basic cranberry sauce recipe given on the E2 blog, and I’ll share that with you here.

A word of caution: these salad dressings and PB2 products, though they have been recommended by the McDougalls (but not by Jeff Novick), are processed foods. I use them in small amounts. A little does not make me want to dump the whole jar or bottle into a recipe and eat it all. They do not contain oil, or dairy or gluten or high fructose corn syrup. The salad dressings contain no sugar, the PB2 has a little. They aren’t terribly salty either. But if you are a person who has trouble using small amounts of processed condiments, or if your particular health condition flares with even a little processed food, then these products might not be right for you. If you can handle a little, though, it’s nice sometimes, as my son said in support of my use of these products, “not to have to make everything.” Amen.

Maria (moonwatcher)


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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Louise January 8, 2015 at 10:25 am

I have been using one called Just Great Stuff which has an organic variety. I buy them by the case and use it in oatmeal, in cookies, sauces, etc. Love that I can have PB again!!


2 moonwatcher January 8, 2015 at 11:34 am

Welcome Louise, and thanks for the suggestion! Sounds great. I will look into it when this jar is gone. 🙂


3 Nicole O'Shea January 8, 2015 at 2:08 pm

Here’s to not always having to make EVERYTHING! lol

Have a special day – I saw you got some sun, yay!




4 moonwatcher January 8, 2015 at 6:30 pm

Thanks Nicole 🙂 Yes, and yes! xo


5 Veronica January 12, 2015 at 11:26 am

Wow – I had never heard of those two brands! I’ll have to look for them next time I pick up some groceries. I like how you made the cranberry sauce sugar free, too; I will try that. My husband loves cranberry sauce! However, I hate licorice, so the anise will have to stay out of ours… 🙂


6 moonwatcher January 12, 2015 at 12:04 pm

Hi Veronica–happy to pass on the finds! 🙂 I think this cranberry sauce would be just fine with only cinnamon, too.


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