Easy Homemade Sunflower Butter & Nut-free Muddy Buddies

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.

You read food labels like others read trashy novels. | 14 Things That Prove You Are A Peanut Allergy Mom

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)
If you like Muddy Buddies, you may also like this Brownie Biscoff version!
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!

I may be linking up at any of the following – (Monday) The Tumbleweed ContessaThe Dedicated HouseSkip to my LouI Should Be MoMypping the FloorHuckleberry Love (Tuesday) Mandy’s Recipe BoxSowdering About in SeattleNaptime Creations, Memories By the MileVMG206Anyonita Nibbles (Wednesday) The Newlyweds PilgrimageFluster BusterGinger Snap CraftsNaptime is My TimeTessa the Domestic Diva (Thursday) Joyful HomemakingMiz Helen’s Country CottageLamberts Lately (Friday) Project InspireJust Us FourDiana RamblesThe Better Baker,Close to HomeWalking on SunshineVintage ChicDaily Dish, The Diary of a Real Housewife

Egg & Nut Free Holiday Treats – Round Up

The holidays are a little tough when you or someone in your family has food allergies. My son was diagnosed with egg, peanut and tree nut allergies at a very young age. He is now 5 and has outgrown the egg allergy, so things have gotten easier. However, this time of year, with food pretty much everywhere, I have to be diligent in monitoring what my son eats.

Here is a collection of things I have made in the past that are egg and nut free, and make tasty treats for everyone, food allergic or not! (Just click on the title and it will take you to the recipe) First up –

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies
These were really good, and I don’t think anyone would realize they are egg free. You could also add some colorful sprinkles or candies on top to make them more festive.


Reindeer Mix, affectionately known by some as ‘White Trash’ Mix, is a sweet and salty combo that is always a hit. Whatever you call it, I call it good!


Oreo Truffles  Oreos, cream cheese and chocolate are all that makes up these delicious little treats.


Egg free gingerbread men Fun to decorate and have a good flavor too!


Faux Toffee‘ Sorry for the blurry pic, I will try to update this one very soon. The treat however…there is a reason it’s called Christmas Crack. So good, so addictive!


DIY Twix Bars with Biscoff  Ohmigosh…I absolutely love these tihings!


Egg free Sugar Cookies  This is a good egg free cookie recipe for cut out cookies. They are great for decorating with the kids and hold up well to cutting out and frosting.

Pretzel Turtles Super easy and yummy treat. You can tell we like the sweet and salty thing.


Old Fashioned Fudge  Fudge is my all time favorite Christmas treat. I only make it at Christmas, and you do need a candy thermometer for this one, but it is ohhhh so worth it! This one has nuts, but it is delicious without. I usually make a batch of both. This is the only “real” fudge in my book!


Rolo Brownies  An easy brownie recipe starting with a mix and using yogurt instead of eggs.


Monster Magic Bars  These are another holiday favorite, and no eggs or nuts needed to have one fabulous treat. OR this version –

Not Your Mama’s Magic Bars (just leave off the nuts)


No Peanut Butter Blossoms These are a delicious version of a Christmas classic using a peanut butter substitute. SunButter is my favorite, but SoyNut Butter is cheaper and easier to find around here. I’d like to try these using Biscoff one day too. Hmmm, sounds like a plan for later in the week!

NOTE: It is very important to always check your labels on all ingredients used when baking for someone with food allergies (even if you have checked them before, b/c sometimes manufacturers change things without warning!) You would be surprised how many “hidden” allergens can be in foods. Also, my advice is that if you are baking for someone else, and trying to be allergy friendly, it is still best to let that person or parent look at the labels of the products used. I have been really touched by the extra efforts some people have made to accommodate my son’s allergies, even though I always say – do whatever you have planned and I will make accommodations for him. Of course, I’ve also gotten pretty pissed off irritated at some people’s insensitivity or deliberate ignorance. But that’s a story for another day. Right now, let’s go
EAT DRINK AND BE MERRY 🙂 Safely!

I may be linking up at any of the following – (Monday) The Tumbleweed ContessaThe Dedicated HouseSkip to my LouMaking the World CuterI Should Be Mopping the FloorThis Gal CooksWatch Out, Martha!Huckleberry LoveThe Newlyweds PilgrimageSowdering About in SeattleCraft and Repeat (Tuesday) Naptime CreationsMandy’s Recipe BoxLove in the Kitchen, Memories By the Mile,Inside BruCrew LifeSarah Lynn’s SweetsBeBetsy and VMG206Twinkling Trees , Anyonita Nibbles (Wednesday) Fluster BusterMostly Homemade MomAdorned from AboveLady Behind the CurtainGinger Snap CraftsNaptime is My TimeThe Real Thing with The Coake FamilyTessa the Domestic Diva  (Thursday) Project Inspire ,Joyful HomemakingDesigned DecorMiz Helen’s Country CottageThe Mandatory Mooch,   Lamberts Lately (Friday) Not Your Ordinary Recipes,  Simple Living and EatingJust Us FourBacon Time with the Hungry Hungry HypoDiana RamblesThe Better Baker,CraftionaryOne Artsy MamaThe Best Blog RecipesOne Creative Mommy, Michelle’s Tasty CreationsClose to Home30 Handmade DaysA Peek Into My Paradise,The Jenny Evolution Walking on SunshineVintage Chic (Saturday)  Or So She Says…Six Sisters’ StuffIt’s Overflowing, (Sunday) Made from Pinterest

Brownie Graduation Hats

For Mr. Three’s pre-school graduation party last week, I made little graduation hats. (I can’t believe my baby is going to Kindergarten in the Fall!)
 (You may have seen this pic on Instagram already.)  I got the idea from Pinterest (of course), but most used a Reese Cup as the base.  Mine needed to be peanut free, since my son and another classmate are allergic.  So, I decided on brownies, baked in a mini muffin pan. (You could buy pre-made brownie bites making these a quick, no-bake treat!)
 I thought they turned out pretty cute for my first attempt, and the kids & parents alike enjoyed them. {Yes, I was *that* mom who brought in something cutesy off Pinterest. But hey, sometimes I’m that “crap! I forgot to buy something for the party, let me grab some Little Debbie snacks” mom too. It’s called balance. Can’t be on top of my game all the time. lol}
Since these were for preschoolers, the mini brownies made the perfect size snack!
Brownie Graduation Hats
 
1 box brownie mix, plus ingredients on box
1 package chocolate covered graham cookies
candy for ‘tassels’*
mini M and M candies
melted chocolate for ‘gluing’ everything together
  • Mix brownies according to directions on package (or try this egg free, lower fat version!).
  • Bake brownies in a mini muffin pan until done (they will not take as long to bake as directed on package since they are minis. Do I really need to point that out? probably not)
  • Once cool, carefully cut rounded tops off brownies so they will sit flat (if needed)
  • Flip brownies over, so the widest side is down.
  • Use some melted chocolate to attach a graham cookie to the now upside down brownie.
  • Use more melted chocolate to attach candy tassels to top of cookie, and the mini M candy on top of tassel.
*The candy that I used for the tassels was some rope candy I had never seen before (and don’t remember the name of). It is similar to the pull-apart Twizzlers in shape. The problem I had with this candy is that it was kind of hard and round, and it was a little difficult to get the round rope pieces to sit on top of the cookie, and they were a little too big. I ended up cutting each rope piece in half (vertically), and then cut them to the desired length.  My recommendation, and what I will do in the future, is use something that is flat…like a fruit roll up, or maybe a flattened Tootsie roll? And cut it into strips. I think that would be much easier to work with.
Other tips: You could use cookie icing to “glue” your pieces together, b/c it hardens pretty quickly and comes in a handy little squeezable pouch. The only color I had on hand was red…so I ended up using melted chocolate. You don’t need that much…I might have used 1/4 cup?
I may be linking up at any of these places – 

(Monday) The Tumbleweed ContessaHolly’s Stamping AddictionThe Dedicated HouseHomemaker on a DimeSkip to my LouMaking the World CuterI Should Be Mopping the FloorThis Gal CooksWatch Out, Martha!Huckleberry Love, The Newlyweds Pilgrimage (Tuesday) Naptime CreationsMandy’s Recipe BoxBlessed with GraceLove in the Kitchen, Memories By the Mile,Inside BruCrew Life, Sarah Lynn’s Sweets, VMG206, The Real Thing with The Coake Family (Wednesday) Fluster BusterMostly Homemade MomAdorned from AboveLady Behind the CurtainGinger Snap CraftsHungry Little GirlNaptime is My Time, Cherished Handmade Treasures, The Wilderness Wife  (Thursday) Project Inspire ,Joyful HomemakingDesigned DecorMiz Helen’s Country CottageThe Mandatory Mooch,  The Busy Bee’s, Lamberts Lately (Friday) Not Your Ordinary Recipes,  Simple Living and EatingJust Us FourBacon Time with the Hungry Hungry HypoDiana RamblesThe Better Baker,CraftionaryOne Artsy MamaThe Best Blog RecipesOne Creative Mommy, Michelle’s Tasty CreationsClose to Home, 30 Handmade Days, A Peek Into My Paradise, The Jenny Evolution , Walking on Sunshine(Saturday) Lemons for Lulu,  Or So She Says…Six Sisters’ Stuff (Sunday) Mommy’s Sweet Confessions 

Memories by the Mile   HungryLittleGirl

saving4six
Miz Helen’s Country Cottage