Fitness & Nutrition

A Nutritionist Shares Three Delicious Reasons to Eat Sunflower Seeds

Wednesday, December 10th, 2014

“I don’t have food allergies, but I have clients who do. And I need to be eating Vitamin E-rich foods. Guess what? Sunflower seeds are the richest source!” That’s our friend Sarah, nutritionist and founder of Eat 2 Run Sports Nutrition. Always in training for her next marathon, she runs 60 – 70 miles each week around her home in Vancouver, B.C., and helps clients find the right fuel for their own training programs (training for simply living life counts too!).

Sarah C of Eat2Run breaks down the benefits of sunflower seeds (and SunButter!).

Sarah breaks down the benefits of sunflower seeds, and shares her recipes for SunButter Fudge Cookies and SunButter Pumpkin Mini Muffins, which are free of peanuts, tree nuts and gluten, too. Cookies? From a marathoner? We’re all in! Thanks, Sarah.

I was first introduced to SunButter when searching for an alternative to nut butters for a client. Initially I figured it was a great option to have in my back pocket for those with allergies to peanuts, tree nuts and gluten sensitivities. I also recalled that sunflower seeds are quite nutritious, so I did a little further research. Indeed, it turns out they have more to offer us than I’d originally anticipated. I now recommend SunButter to everyone! Here’s why:

1. Excellent Source of Vitamin E (potent antioxidant)

I don’t have food allergies myself, but I’ve pinpointed a few sensitivities such as dairy and gluten. Despite this, I reach for SunButter regularly simply due to its amazing nutrient profile. For example, it’s an excellent source of vitamin E, which is incredibly important as it has the ability to disarm free radicals. This mechanism protects our cells from the damage that would otherwise occur (such as aging, slow healing, lowered immune system and chronic diseases such as heart disease and cancer).

For the record, free radicals come to us through processed foods (including many common cooking oils), chemicals, drugs (recreational and prescription), stress (both emotional and physical), air pollution and exhaust, cigarette smoke, and radiation (X-rays, UV rays). Faced with the impossibility of avoiding all sources of free radicals, our most favourable solution is to increase our intake of antioxidants in order to help disarm the free radicals: and vitamin E is one of the most potent.

Source Serving size Amount of Vitamin E (as %DV)
Sunflower Seeds ¼ cup 82%
SunButter 2 Tbsp (32g) 49%
Almonds ¼ cup 40%
Almond Butter 2 Tbsp (32g) 51%
Spinach, cooked, boiled, drained 1 cup 25%
Spinach, raw 1 cup 4%
Avocado ½ of the avocado 14%

2. Lots of Vitamin B1 (converts carbohydrates and fats to energy)

The majority of my clients come to me with energy complaints. While many factors contribute to fatigue, eating both nutrient-dense foods as well as adequate food sources of B-vitamins can help by converting the food we eat into actual energy (B-vitamins help our bodies to handle stress better, too).

Luckily, sunflower seeds contain 47% daily value for B1 (per ¼ cup). Many foods are good sources of B1 but sunflower seeds rank among the top five (the others are asparagus, green peas, flax seeds and Brussels sprouts).

3. Great Source of Magnesium

I work with athletes who are constantly putting themselves through hard workouts. In order to help relax their muscles afterwards it’s beneficial to choose foods rich in magnesium, a muscle relaxant. Magnesium can also help those who have sleep trouble: it helps them fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. Sunflower seeds offer us 28% DV (per ¼ cup) and rank among the 10 best sources (which also include pumpkin seeds, spinach, tofu, quinoa, sesame seeds and black beans).

You can see now why I’ve chosen to incorporate sunflower seeds and SunButter into my own daily nutritional habits as well as my clients. To get your daily dose of sunflower seeds, of course you can eat SunButter by the spoonful, spread it on your toast or dip your apple slices into it, but if you want to get a little more creative then try adding SunButter to your cookies and muffins, such as these Chocolate Fudge Cookies or Pumpkin Mini Muffins.

Sarah's SunButter Chocolate Cookies, free of gluten, peanuts and tree nuts: full of energy!

SunButter Chocolate Fudge Cookies

These are free of peanuts, tree nuts, gluten and are vegan! Makes 24 cookies.


1½ c. mashed banana

1 c. instant rolled oats

1 c. ground oats (oat flour)

¼ c. SunButter

¼ c. coconut oil, melted

¼ c. raw cacao powder

¼ c. coconut flakes

¼ c. maple syrup

¼ c. nut-free dark chocolate chunks (or chocolate chips)

1 tsp. sea salt


Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl beat together all the ingredients. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto the lined baking sheet and bake for 14 minutes. Store in refrigerator (they freeze well also).

Sarah's SunButter Pumpkin Muffins are free of gluten, tree nuts, peanuts and dairy.

SunButter Pumpkin Mini Muffins

These are free of peanuts, tree nuts, gluten, dairy and grains.


2 eggs, beaten

½ c. pumpkin puree

½ c. SunButter

½ c. coconut oil, melted

1/3 c. maple syrup

2-3 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. vanilla

½ tsp. sea salt

2 tsp. baking powder

1/3 c. coconut flour

¼ c. nut-free chocolate chips or dried cranberries (optional)


Heat oven to 350 degrees F and line two mini muffin tins with 24 mini paper muffin cups. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, pumpkin, SunButter, oil, maple syrup, cinnamon, vanilla and salt. Beat well. Fold in the baking powder and coconut flour. Add the chocolate chips or dried cranberries if desired. Divide between the 24 mini muffin cups. Bake for 20 minutes. Cool completely.

Catch up with Sarah for more nutrition tips and delicious recipes!

Nutritionist and Marathoner Sarah C shares the benefits of sunflower seeds and two of her favorite SunButter recipes!






Preparing For a 100-Mile Desert Bike Ride (Help & Dessert from SunButter)

Friday, October 17th, 2014

One of Sarah Royal’s first memories is riding bikes with her friends, then stopping for a snack at someone’s house. While her friends at peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, she ate plain saltine crackers, due to her peanut and tree nut allergies.

Sarah still loves riding bicycles. And she’s still allergic to peanuts and tree nuts. But she’s not subsisting on plain saltines anymore! And she’s far beyond neighborhood streets on her bike.

Sarah grew up loving biking. And with food allergies. She's still biking, century ride style, and SunButter proudly fuels her with nut-free protein!

She shares her story in this guest post. Thanks, Sarah, ride strong!

Desert distance biker Sarah is fueled in part by SunButter!

100 miles of Sun

Instead of plain saltines, I now spread SunButter onto crackers! Plus, I’m getting ready for a 100-mile bicycle ride through the desert. I’ve also tried dozens of SunButter recipes that taste great and give me the fuel I need to prepare for long rides.

This weekend, I’m joining a team of friends in Death Valley National Park, California, on a 100-mile bicycle ride (or “century” ride, in cycling parlance) to raise funds for the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation Type I research.

You can keep up with my team on our Facebook page and fundraising website.

I’ve tackled some epic cycling tours previously, and just like my childhood, everyone else eats peanut butter sandwiches to survive. I get to eat SunButter sandwiches during rides!

Sarah making a SunButter sandwich during a bike ride.

Sarah’s favorite fuel? Cookies!

I’ll be preparing one of my favorite snacks for me and crew: SunButter Chocolate Chip Cookies from Tracy at Sugarcrafter. These taste great, have enough salt to give us our electrolytes, protein to keep us going physically, and sweet flavor to keep us all in great moods as we push through the heat.

SunButter Nut-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies


1 c. SunButter

1/2 c. brown sugar

1/2 c. granulated sugar

1 egg

1 tsp. vanilla extract

Pinch of salt

1 tsp.  baking soda

3/4 c. nut-free dark chocolate chips

More sugar for topping


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, and spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray (I made my cookies big, so I only used one). Mix the sugars and SunButter together until smooth. Add in the egg and vanilla extract and mix; then add in the salt and baking soda. Stir in the chocolate chips. Drop the dough on to the cookie sheet about 2 inches apart (okay, mine were more like 1 inch). Smash down with a fork and then sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Let them sit on the cookie sheet for a few minutes, if you can… Move to a wire rack and cool. You don’t want them to overbake, because you want them to be soft.

More sunny miles ahead

It’s important to stay healthy and ensure that you’re getting enough nutrients when you’re pushing your body physically, and I can’t tell you how fortunate I’ve felt to have SunButter in my possession in an athletic world awash with nutty protein bars and the like.

SunButter keeps Sarah smiling through long miles.

We’re behind you all the way, Sarah, ride on!

We're behind you all the way, Sarah! SunButter sponsors her desert bike ride for juvenile diabetes research.

How Does SunButter Measure Up Vs. Almond Butter?

Thursday, September 4th, 2014

SunButter’s first love will always be peanut-free people and recipes.

Yet what about our friends who are looking for peanut butter replacements as nutritious spreads, dips and recipe ingredients? Keep in mind that many people who can’t tolerate peanuts can have almonds and almond butter (make sure the product is also processed in a peanut-free facility, of course).

We compared three varieties and brands…

SunButter Natural vs. Barney Butter Smooth Almond Butter

We compared SunButter Natural with Barney Butter Smooth Almond Butter, since both are seeds or almonds, plus similar sweetener (sugar cane/syrup) and salt.

SunButter Natural

Comparing SunButter to Barney Butter Smooth almond butter.


SunButter Organic vs. MaraNatha Organic Almond Butter

How about SunButter Organic vs. MaraNatha Organic Creamy and Roasted Almond Butter? Both are simply 100% seeds or almonds, roasted but with no added sugar, salt or anything else.

SunButter Organic nutrition panel.

MaraNatha Organic Almond Butter is simply roasted almonds.


SunButter No Sugar Added vs. Justin’s Almond Butter

We compared SunButter No Sugar Added with Justin’s Classic Almond Butter, since both are seeds or almonds, plus one other ingredient: salt in the SunButter; palm oil in the Justin’s Almond Butter.

Comparing SunButter No Sugar Added to Justin's Almond Butter.

Justin's Classic Almond Butter measures up vs. SunButter No Sugar Added.


All varieties and brands were pretty similar, with nice levels of B-vitamins, vitamin E, zinc, iron, monounsaturated fat and low levels of trans fats. All are also gluten-free.



Since these peanut butter alternatives are made with roasted seeds/nuts, they have a richer flavor. Almond butter is sweeter; SunButter tastes like a handful of sunflower seeds. Some taste test panels say they think of almond butter as more of a “dessert” spread, while SunButter is more of a “snack” spread.


Cooking, baking

Both perform nicely as a peanut butter replacement in recipes, especially the smoother varieties. Again, some taste testers prefer almond butter is sweeter recipes; SunButter in savory recipes. The Organic varieties are nice for baking since they allow the cook to control the amount and level of sweeteners.

Keep in mind the recent almond butter product recall, too.

In future posts, we’ll compare soy butter, cashew butter, walnut butter, sesame (tahini), coconut butter and natural peanut butter.


Let us know how you think SunButter measures up to other nut and seed butters? Comment here or on our SunButter Facebook page or SunButter on Twitter .

Meet Our New SunButter: Natural No Sugar Added

Wednesday, April 16th, 2014

We’re proud to now offer a new SunButter, Natural No Sugar Added. It’s simply specially roasted sunflower seeds and a bit of salt (just 98 mg of sodium in 2 Tbsp.)! No sweeteners or anything else.

New SunButter Natural No Sugar Added is simply roasted sunflower seeds and a hint of salt: no sweeteners!

Check out this video, too:


So far, we’re heard from folks like you who appreciate SunButter Natural No Sugar for reasons such as:

- The bit of salt enhances the flavor

- It’s a nice complement to sweet jams, jellies and preserves on SBJs (SunButter and Jelly Sandwiches)

- It allows you to adjust/control the sweetener in baked goods since there is no sweetener in the SunButter

- It fits paleo and clean-eating lifestyles

- Like all other SunButter varieties, it’s peanut-free, dairy-free, gluten-free, tree nut-free, egg-free and kosher.


SunButter Natural No Sugar Added is now available online. Order SunButter Natural No Sugar Added on Amazon. If you’d like your area grocery or other stores to carry it, fill out our Merchant Request Form.

If you try new SunButter Natural No Sugar Added, please let us know what you think? Comment here or on our SunButter Facebook page or SunButter on Twitter .

SunButter’s Guide to Date-ing

Friday, February 21st, 2014

SunButter has many ideal matches for its roasted flavors, and one of the most nutritious and delicious is Medjool Dates. Medjool Dates, the fruit of date palms, are about 6,000 years old. We like older mates! Dates are also naturally sweet, which perfectly complements SunButter’s salty side. Other attributes that make dates an ideal partner for SunButter:

Protection  - Dates take care of you. As a hot-climate fruit, dates are loaded with polyphenols, an antioxidant that’s showing promise in helping ward off cancer.

Energy (but no crash) – Dates have “good carbohydrates,” and are rated low on the Glycemic Index (GI). Low-GI foods help keep blood sugar at good levels, so you get a nice source of energy without the “crash” from more processed foods. Dates also have lots of potassium, which balances sodium levels.

Satisfying –  Dates are a filling snack to keep you focused. Just two dates provide 12 percent of the recommended daily requirement of fiber.

Money-savingGet a coupon for Natural Delights Perfect Medjool Dates

Perfect for play dates, workout dates and lunch dates

Dates are ideal portable energy for all ages. Here are four of our favorite SunButter Date Recipes:

SunButter Date Smoothies are easy to make and packed with protein and good carbs.


1/2 c. frozen yogurt (we used vanilla)
2 Tbsp. SunButter
1 or 2 dates, diced (don’t forget to remove the pits!) – if desired, save a few for garnish
1/4 c. milk (we used soy milk)
Optional: 1 scoop protein powder and/or whipped yogurt


Place all ingredients in blender.
SunButter Date Smoothie is a great  breakfast, lunch or post-workout fuel.
If desired, add a scoop of protein powder for a perfect post-workout meal.
SunButter Date Smoothie is naturally sweet and packed with fiber, protein and good carbs.
Blend until smooth, pour into glass, top with whipped yogurt and a few more date pieces if desired.
Sweeten up a play date, breakfast or lunch date with SunButter on toast and sliced dates on top!

Sweeten up a play date or breakfast with SunButter on toast and sliced dates on top!

Best lunch date, ever. Tortilla spread with SunButter, topped with spinach and sliced dates.

Best lunch date, ever. Tortilla spread with SunButter, topped with spinach and sliced dates.

SunButter-filled dates, topped with coconut or nut-free chocolate drizzles.

Quick date: Fill them with SunButter, top with coconut or nut-free melted chocolate drizzles.




Eat Like an Olympian: Cocoa Cranberry SunButter Granola Bars

Tuesday, February 11th, 2014

Davaite est! (That’s “Let’s eat!” in Russian, site of the 2014 Winter Olympics Games.) In the spirit of healthy eating, our friend Meaghan Grettano, a food allergy parent and Certified Health Coach, graciously shared her go-to peanut free snacks recipe. 

Read her food allergy story“Visit Meaghan’s “Your Life. Unsugar Coated.” website.

Cocoa Cranberry SunButter Granola Bars from Meaghan Grettano's nut-free kitchen!

Granola bars are such a fun and nutritious snack to give to kids. Having a child with a peanut and tree nut allergy, though, and I am never able to buy the stores’ granola bars as they almost always contain nuts (not to mention lots of added sugar, which I’m definitely not crazy about!) It’s okay, because this forced me to get into the kitchen to come up with a healthy, nut-free homemade version! These bars are soft and delicious and pack a powerful punch of protein with NO refined sugars!

Cocoa Cranberry SunButter Granola Bars

Makes 12 bars


2 ½ c. rolled oats

½ c. raw sunflower seeds

1/3 cup honey

¼ c. butter, cut into pieces

¼ c. SunButter Organic

½ tsp. vanilla extract

¼ tsp. kosher salt

1 Tbsp. cocoa powder

¼ c. shredded, unsweetened coconut

½ c. dried, unsweetened cranberries,* coarsely chopped.

*You can substitute dried cherries, apricots, raisins, etc. Any dried fruit of your choice, really. I happen to love the deep red color of the cranberries in the bar.

Chopped dry cranberries add nice color to these nut-free SunButter granola bars.


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Take an 8-inch square baking dish and cover the bottom and sides with aluminum foil. Grease the aluminum foil with coconut oil. Set aside.

Meaghan Grettano's homemade nut free granola bars recipe.

On a baking sheet, spread the oats and sunflower seeds evenly and put into the preheated oven.

Toasting oats and seeds for nut free homemade granola bars.

Toast oats and sunflower seeds for 5 minutes. Stir and toast them for another 3-5 minutes. Transfer toasted oat/seed mixture to a large mixing bowl. Add coconut and cocoa powder and mix to combine.

In a small saucepan, combine butter, honey, Sunbutter, vanilla extract, and salt.

Melting ingredients together for nut-free SunButter granola bars.

Place this over low to medium heat on the stove. Cook, stirring constantly until butter melts. Be careful not to let this bubble and burn!

Meaghan's kitchen helper, creating nut-free SunButter granola bars.

Pour melted butter mixture into mixing bowl with toasted oats and seeds.

Combining wet and dry ingredients for nut-free SunButter granola bars.

Mix well and let cool about 5 minutes. Add chopped cranberries and stir to combine.

Mixing in cranberries to these nut-free SunButter granola bars.

Transfer mixture to your aluminum lined and greased dish.

Mixture of SunButter nut-free granola bars, poured into prepared pan.

Use a rubber spatula to firmly press mixture into the pan, spreading to the sides and all corners. Press hard and evenly. They will stay together better once they are cooled and cut if you press hard and evenly!

Press SunButter nut-free granola bar mixture firmly into pan.

SunButter nut-free granola bars, ready for the refrigerator.

Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours. This allows them to set.

Look who is ready for nut-free SunButter granola bars!

Remove block of granola from the pan and peel away aluminum foil. Cut into 12 bars.

This recipe for SunButter nut-free granola bars makes 12 bars.

Store in an airtight container for up to 7 days. For a softer bar, keep at room temperature. For a harder, firmer bar, store in the refrigerator. Enjoy!

Life Without Nuts Is Better: Guest Post from a Food Allergy Mom

Thursday, February 6th, 2014

We meet amazing people every day who are learning how to handle food allergies. They each teach us new recipes, introduce us to new resources and best of all, offer a positive perspective we are so proud to share with others.

Meaghan Grettano, health coach, mom and blogger at Meaghan Grettano, shares her story here. Her blog tagline: “Your life. Unsugar coated.” still makes us smile, as she is a big fan of our SunButter Organic (no sugar, salt or anything: just roasted sunflower seeds). See what parts of her story will make you smile… And get her recipe for Cocoa Cranberry SunButter Granola Bars here. Thanks, Meaghan!

Meaghan and her kiddos, all focused on healthy, allergy-friendly eating and active living.

My New Life Without Peanuts: How it has Changed Me for the Better!

Peanuts used to be a staple in my house. As a child and even into my early adulthood days, I loved everything from peanut butter and jelly to peanut butter on apples to peanut butter and chocolate. It was definitely a go-to snack for me, like it is for so many people.

This was in my pre-kid days. Today, I am a mom of two and my daughter has a severe allergy to peanuts and tree nuts. In fact, she went into anaphylactic shock when she was a year and a half old and I was at home alone with her. At that time, I was also 9 months pregnant with her little brother, to boot! It was the scariest moment of my life. All was well and I got her to the emergency room.

But our entire life changed that day.

I completely revamped my focus on nutrition, label reading, and creative ideas for healthy snacks. This major lifestyle change that was handed to my family that day forced me to look at alternatives and get creative in the kitchen as so many things now needed to be homemade. I could often no longer turn to or trust the convenience of prepared snacks or baked goods as so many of them contained nut warnings.

This allergy has been a blessing in disguise for me.

I turned what could have been an unfortunate, negative situation, into something positive. I have, through my new insights and learnings about food, allergies, and nutrition, turned my passion about health and allergy awareness into a new career for myself. It’s true, my dedication to integrating better nutrition into our home while learning to be an expert label reader played a big part in my decision to go back to school for nutrition. I was a stay-at-home mom before I decided to go to school and start my own business. I am now a Certified Health Coach.

Cooking and baking in the kitchen gets kids involved in creating allergy friendly recipes.

“In the kitchen with the kids, because they are forever in the kitchen with me.” How Meaghan captions this photo. We couldn’t have captioned it better!

Today, I have a lot of fun experimenting with new recipes in the kitchen, all while providing healthy and homemade goodness for my husband and two kids. No doubt, this has been a life-changing experience for me.

People often say things to me like, “oh my gosh, I am so sorry you have to deal with that. I feel so bad for you. That is awful to have to stay away from nuts.”

It’s perceived to be a major inconvenience and disadvantage. I, on the other hand, feel fortunate to have realized the abundant opportunities, awareness, and expansion it has provided for me and my family.

Guest blog post about adapting to food allergies by food allergy mom and certified health coach Meaghan Grettano.

Meaghan’s website descriptor is “Your life. Unsugar coated.” Yet look how sweet her life is with these two kids!

SunButter fits in.

Discovering SunButter, and SunButter Organic in particular (our family’s favorite), was one of the most amazing finds and a huge window of opportunity for me through this journey. The once peanut butter lover, I was right away in desperate search for a good alternative. I’ve consistently stocked my fridge and pantry with SunButter for years now and don’t think that I could live without it! We still go with the classic “SunButter and jelly” sandwiches and SunButter with apples on many days. And, we always have a lot of fun coming up with great new ways to use it in our recipes as well.

Next up: Meaghan’s Cocoa Cranberry Sunbutter Granola Bars recipe!

SunButter On-The-Go Pouch Boxes Now Available in Canada

Monday, December 23rd, 2013


Handy SunButter On-The-Go Packs are now available in Canada.

Look for this product display of SunButter On-The-Go packets, now available in Canada!

If you’re on the go, try SunButter On-The-Go packets, now available in Canada!

Each handy packet contains 32 g of our popular SunButter Original No-Stir variety. You can also see the product information in French.

SunButter On-The-Go packets are totally peanut and tree nut-free, gluten-free, egg-free and dairy-free, and produced in a strictly peanut-free and tree nut-free processing facility. The packets do not require refrigeration.

The size and packaging is perfect for:

  • School lunches
  • Snacks for sports, tournaments, day camp and field trips
  • Road trips
  • Airline travel: the portion size fits CATSA, TSA and other air travel security guidelines, so you’ll have safe, nut-free snacks right with you during air travel

SunButter On-The-Go packets contain : Roasted Sunflower Seed, Evaporated Cane Syrup, Palm Oil to prevent separation, Salt, and Natural Mixed Tocopherols to preserve freshness.

Where to buy

Find where to buy SunButter On-The-Go packets, including online retailers.

SunButter packets not in your store?

Download a Merchant Request form

Let us know where you take your SunButter On-The-Go packets! We’re always looking for portable snacks to fuel our adventures. Comment here, or chime in on our Facebook pageTwitterInstagram or Pinterest.

Dr. Oz’s Nut-Free Granola Recipe (with SunButter; thanks, Doc!)

Thursday, December 5th, 2013

Protein helps you stay full longer, reducing the number of total calories eaten each day. That’s right from Dr. Mehmet Oz, in a recent article that includes his Vegan Granola Recipe with SunButter. The article is based on The Dr. Oz Show episode on how hemp seed boosts memory with omegas.

Two new studies even show how protein can boost your weight loss. Read those findings here.

As Dr. Oz says: “What’s in hemp seed? It’s high in omega 6 and omega 3, which are healthy fatty acids. The benefits range from enhancing your brain’s memory and cognitive function to improving your heart health. And if you’re wondering if you can get high on these seeds, the answer is no. What it does contain: More than 10 grams of protein per serving.”  See the whole article here.

SunButter is packed with protein

We’re proud that SunButter is also loaded with nut-free protein. Most varieties have 7 grams of protein per serving (2 Tablespoons), and SunButter Natural Omega-3, which also includes flaxseed, has 8 g of protein per serving! Try Dr. Oz’s Vegan Granola Recipe with SunButter.


Dr. Oz's Vegan Granola Recipe with SunButter is packed with protein, which the doc says keeps you fuller, longer and boosts weight loss.

Dr. Oz’s Vegan Granola with SunButter. Photo from The Dr. Oz Show.

Dr. Oz’s Vegan Granola Recipe


2 1/2 c. old-fashioned rolled oats

1/3 c. sunflower seeds

1/3 c. pumpkin seeds (pepitas)

1/3 c. goji berries

2 Tbsp. chia seeds

2 Tbsp. hemp hearts or the entire seed

1 tsp. cinnamon

Pinch of salt

1/2 – 3/4 c. pure maple syrup*

1 tsp. vanilla

1/4 c. SunButter (Dr. Oz’s version says ‘optional,’ we will always include it!)

1/4 c. unsweetened shredded coconut (optional)


Preheat oven to 250°F. Combine all your dry ingredients in a medium-sized bowl. Add your maple syrup, SunButter and vanilla. Mix until well coated.

On a greased or ungreased, baking sheet (use two sheets if you like), add your granola, laying it flat and bake for about 30 to 35 minutes, stirring the mixture every 10 minutes to ensure even cooking. If using two baking sheets, you may even like to switch their positions in the oven once after stirring. If using a smaller baking dish such as a 9″x9″ or 11″x13″, bake for up to 1 hour or so, or until golden throughout. Be sure to stir the mixture every 15 minutes or so.

Looks simple, delicious–and packed with nut-free protein. Thanks, Doc!


Do you have nut-free yet protein-packed recipes? Please share here or send us the link.

The ONE BIG THING we learned at the Food Allergy Bloggers Conference

Monday, November 11th, 2013

Newly diagnosed food allergies. Moms of kids with food allergies. Third-generation food allergy family members. Foodies with food allergies (!). Food allergy medical experts looking for cures.

And companies like SunButter looking to be part of the solution.

All these people (and more) gathered at the very first Food Allergy Bloggers Conference (FABCon), the brain-child of Homa Woodrum, who blogs at OhMahDeehness and Jenny Sprague of MultipleFoodAllergyHelp.

SunButter proudly participated in the First Food Allergy Bloggers Conference In November 2013.


Homa Woodrum and Jenny Sprague, who developed and organized the first Food Allergy Bloggers Conference in November 2013.

Homa and Jenny.

SunButter was proud to meet so many of the people who have taught us so much over the years, from how to make clever allergen-free lunches to advocating for kids–and smiling with empathy at the folks who “just don’t get it.”

The one big thing we learned at FABlogCon?

You’re not alone.

It may feel like it. The world is full of nuts (no comment), wheat, hidden dairy, masked eggs and other allergens. How do you avoid what you can’t have yet still eat healthy? How do you help your child(ren) safely navigate school lunch rooms, snack time, grocery aisles, sleepovers, restaurants and summer camp?

Here are some of the best resources for those dealing with several prominent aspects of food allergies. We couldn’t include every detail, but we are sharing some of what we learned at FABlogCon based on several of the conference speakers. After all, that’s served us well so far in this great community: Sharing the best information so we all benefit.


What (and how) do you feed your family?

One of our favorite FABlogCon sessions was “The Art of Recipe Development,” which featured three amazing bloggers:

- Cybele Pascal, the allergy-friendly cook, is our go-to source for delicious, allergy-friendly recipes. We also learned she uses two (count ‘em, two) thermometers in her oven. We see more fool-proof baking in our test kitchens on the horizon, thanks to Cybele’s great tips!

- Like you, Colette Martin had to re-invent her family’s eating styles when her son was diagnosed with food allergies. She’s now working on her second cook book. Turn to her at LearningToEatAllergyFree.

Kelly Rudnicki is The Food Allergy Mama, and she has easy, fast family meal ideas and more info on her blog.


How do you dine out?

Dr. Lama Rimawi of Tasterie and Nona Narvaez of the Anaphylaxis and Food Allergy Association of Minnesota teamed up with tips for safely dining out. Communication is key. When you make a reservation, detail your food allergies. Also mention them to the host or hostess and your server. “A good restaurant will send the chef to your table. If they don’t, ask to speak with the chef or manager.” If you or someone in your group does have a reaction, tell the restaurant. If it doesn’t get reported, there’s no tracking so others are at risk. Good restaurants want to accommodate all diners.


How will you ever go on vacation?

Veronica LaFemina and her team at Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) have great tips on traveling with food allergies.

FABlogCon attendee Sarah Norris has you covered, too. Her blog, Gluten Free and Dairy Free at Walt Disney World, gives you reviews and practical tips for navigating this family getaway spot.


How do you effectively advocate?

A panel and conference discussions produced proven approaches to dealing with family members, schools and other audiences so those with food allergies are safe–yet their parents don’t become “that annoying person.” If you need guidance on building alliances, consider visiting these speakers’ blogs:

- Caroline Moassessi at GratefulFoodie

- Elizabeth Goldenberg at OneSpot Allergy; Elizabeth is a leading allergy legal expert, allergy mom and brand advocate who posts reliable allergy alerts and spot-on practical information

- Daniella Knell of SmartAllergyFriendlyEducation, who has mastered using well-placed, positive energy to keep food allergy kiddos safe while educating even the most reluctant other parents


What new medical research can help me?

Dr. Eric Edwards shared his story: He and his twin brother were diagnosed with food allergies as kids. By the time they were teenagers, they were tired of lugging around the cumbersome epinephrine injector in case either had an allergic reaction. They set out to create a more compact version, carefully planning their college courses and undergraduate projects. Auvi-Q (Allerject in Canada)was approved last year. Read Dr. Edwards’ story in his words.

Henry Ehrlich presented encouraging research on food allergies. If you don’t already subscribe, his AsthmaAllergiesChildren site offers accurate, timely information and reliable resources. His cousin, Dr. Paul Ehrlich, is a leading allergy physician, too: think Henry has the inside track on info? Several conference participants told us they’ve used info from Henry’s site to ask their own doctors about best meds and other approaches that have helped their kiddos with allergies.


How do you maintain a smile?

For an empathetic view of dealing with food allergies, look to:

- Erica at Celiac and the Beast, for reviews of gluten-free products, restaurants and new foods (she’s the first to admit she is not a cook), plus helpful info–all with just the right refreshing level of sass as she deals with celiac and other food sensitivities.

- Susan Weissman, author of Feeding Eden, a candid, powerful yet also humorous account of her family’s adaptation to food allergies. We think Feeding Eden ought to be required reading for everyone dealing with food allergies.

- Tiffany Glass Ferreira at Food Allergy Fun; our personal favorite of her creations:

Nut-free Comic


For more information on FABlogCon, check out their conference wrap-up blog post.