If you have a child with food allergies, or have them yourself, you know it can be tough. You have to monitor everything that goes into your or your child’s mouth. Reading labels becomes second nature, as does inquiring about ingredients at potlucks, family gatherings, parties, etc. It’s a full time job.
Now that my son is older (he will be seven soon!) *Side note: I started this blog when he was TWO! I can’t believe I’ve been doing it this long! He is very good about asking people “does it have nuts?” or asking me or his teacher if he can eat something. However, also now that he’s older, he realizes that he is different and that he can not participate in everything that goes on at school or eat everything the other kids eat. When a situation like that arises, he says “I wish I wasn’t allergic, and was like everyone else.” *Cue breaking heart* No mom wants her child to feel that way.
I hadn’t planned on getting into all that, I was just going to post these recipes! I’ve had this stewing in the back of my mind since his class did an activity that involved smearing peanut butter all over a pine cone and sticking birdseed to it, and my son had to leave the room! He felt so left out, but of course, I would rather he be out of harms way, but he was so sad about it. It was a parent who came in and did it, not the teachers, and I know the other parent was just trying to do something fun with the kids, but I really wanted to punch her in the face. (Just kidding. sorta.) If I had been made aware ahead of time, I could have made this quick and easy Sunflower Butter so that everyone could participate! Making it yourself is much cheaper than buying the SunButter Brand in the store.
We used the sunflower seed butter to make traditional Muddy Buddies, just subbing out peanut butter with the sunflower butter. It worked great, and tasted like “regular” Muddy Buddies…my oldest daughter thought I made them using less peanut butter, but didn’t realize they were peanut free. The sunflower seed butter has a milder flavor than peanut, but when used in recipes, it’s hard to tell the difference.
Homemade Sunflower Butter
2-4 cups roasted sunflower seeds (recipe will yield about half this amount once processed)
1/4-1/2 teaspoon salt (only if seeds are unsalted; add to taste. Start with a small amount, grind seeds, then add more as needed)
oil – as needed to thin to desired consistency, we used coconut oil, but you can use any you like. I didn’t add quite enough, so my butter is a little thicker than I would like. If spreading on bread, it would need to be a little thinner.
(optional) sweetener: this can be sugar, honey, agave, whatever you choose. We used about a teaspoon of honey.
- Add ingredients to bowl of food processor and blend until smooth!
Nut-Free Muddy Buddies
9 cups Chex Cereal (we used a combo of Rice, Corn and Wheat Chex)
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup Sunflower Butter (*see above; can also use peanut butter or any other peanut butter replacement.)
1/4 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- Place cereal in a large bowl
- In a 1-quart microwavable bowl, heat chocolate chips, sunflower butter, and butter in microwave on High for 1 minute; stir. Microwave about 30 seconds more or until mixture can be stirred smooth. Add vanilla, stir to incorporate.
- Pour chocolate mixture over cereal, and stir until cereal is coated.
- Add 1/2 the powdered sugar to a gallon size baggie, and add to it half the cereal mixture. Shake until cereal is coated in powdered sugar. Pour contents of baggie onto a waxed line cookie sheet to completely cool. Repeat step with remaining sugar and cereal.
- You can also add in sprinkles, candy, etc if desired. We made this for Valentine’s so we used some Red Velvet MM’s, leftover from these cookies!
(recipe from back of Chex Party Mix Variety Pack box)
Any allergy moms out there? My son is allergic to peanuts and tree nuts. He outgrew his egg allergy when he was four…that was a happy day!
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