Peanut Allergy

How Does SunButter Measure Up Vs. Soy Butter?

Wednesday, September 24th, 2014

Move over, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. There are more peanut butter replacements available than ever–allergy friendly for those avoiding tree nuts, peanuts and other nuts. We’re comparing various peanut butter replacements as nutritious sandwich spreads, dips and recipe ingredients. Here, we compare three varieties and brands of soy butter…

SunButter Natural vs. I.M. Healthy SoyNut Butter vs. WOWButter

We compared SunButter Natural with I.M. Healthy SoyNut Butter and WOWButter Creamy, since all are made from seeds or soybeans, plus similar sweeteners and salt.

SunButter Natural

          I.M. Healthy SoyNut Butter jar.            I.M. Healthy SoyNut Butter nutrition label,

 

WOWButter compared to SunButter.

 

WOWButter soy nut butter nutrition label.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SunButter Organic vs. Don’t Go Nuts Pure Unsalted Soy Butter

We also compared SunButter Organic to Don’t Go Nuts Pure Unsalted Soy Butter. Both are simply 100% seeds or soybeans, roasted but with no added sugar or salt (this soy butter does contain organic soy oil and organic palm stearin).

SunButter Organic nutrition panel.

Don't Go Nuts Pure Unsalted Soy Butter.

 

Label for Don't Go Nuts Pure Unsalted Soy Butter.

 

 

 

Nutrition

All varieties and brands were pretty similar, with comparable levels of protein, sodium, carbohydrates, monounsaturated fat and low levels of trans fats. All are also gluten-, egg- and dairy-free.

 

Taste

Since these peanut butter alternatives are made with roasted seeds/beans, they have a rich yet distinctive flavor. SunButter tastes like a handful of sunflower seeds. Some taste test panels noted that soy butter is better when combined with other spreads.

 

Cooking, baking

Both SunButter and soy butters perform nicely as a peanut butter replacement in recipes, especially the smoother varieties. The Organic/Unsalted varieties are ideal for baking since they allow the cook to control the amount and level of sweeteners.

Keep in mind that peanuts and soybeans are both legumes, so, if you have an allergy to legumes, you will most likely be allergic to both peanuts and soybeans.

In future posts, we’ll compare cashew butter, walnut butter, sesame (tahini), coconut butter and natural peanut butter. See our post comparing SunButter to almond butter, too.

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 .

Heavenly SunButter Rhubarb Muffins or Bread (Dairy-Free, Nut-Free Too!)

Sunday, September 21st, 2014

Something old. Something new. We have an extensive collection of church cookbooks, filled with traditional favorites, time-tested hints and charming heritage recipes. You know, creations that call for ingredients such as venison, lard, rye, rhubarb and sunflower seeds.

We found a recipe for “Rhubarb Sunflower Bread” and adapted it to include SunButter! We also like this version because most rhubarb baked goodies call for buttermilk, and we wanted a dairy-free creation. So if you have time for a few more harvests from your rhubarb patch, pair it with SunButter in these slightly sweet, slightly salty, absolutely heavenly muffins or quick bread!

SunButter Rhubarb Muffins or Bread are easy and quick to make!

SunButter Rhubarb Muffins/Bread

Ingredients:

Bread:

1 1/2 c. brown sugar

1/3 c. sunflower oil

1/3 c. SunButter (we used SunButter Creamy)

1 egg

1 c. water

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. vanilla

2 1/2 c. flour

1 1/2 c. fresh rhubarb, diced

1/2 c. roasted, salted sunflower seeds

 

Topping:

1/2 c. sugar

2 Tbsp. SunButter (we used SunButter Creamy)

1/2 c. roasted, salted sunflower seeds

 

Directions:

Combine all bread ingredients in large bowl, mixing until blended. Spray nonstick spray into either two 9″ x 5″ loaf pans, 24 muffin tins or a combination. We used one, 9″ x 5″ pan and  12 lined muffin tins. Place batter into pans. Mix topping ingredients together and sprinkle on top of batter. Bake 50 minutes or until loaves or muffins test done (toothpick inserted in center comes out clean). Cool and enjoy! Store any that aren’t eaten off the countertop in refrigerator.

Sunflower seeds top this SunButter Rhubarb quick bread.

 

Moist, flavorful SunButter Rhubarb Bread!

Refreshing SunButter Blueberry Sauce

Thursday, September 4th, 2014

As allergy mom Cindy says, “When you live with food restrictions, you sometimes need to get creative with your recipes.  But being creative doesn’t always mean being complicated!”

Proof? This recipe.

It’s from Cindy’s creative mind, a blueberry patch and her kitchen.

To pick up more inspiration, stop by her Vegetarian Mamma blog. Here’s Cindy:

 

Sometimes by taking a fresh, simple ingredient you can make a tasty treat for you and your family. SunButter is a staple in our house, and I am guessing it is in yours, too.

We recently paired it with some freshly picked blueberries to make a delicious treat. This summer we have been focusing on fresh foods.  The entire family really enjoyed picking blueberries and seeing the source of these delicious, nutritious berries.

Blueberries complement SunButter in this delicious sauce recipe.

One of Cindy’s sons, helping gather ingredients for another delicious nut-free creation from his mom.

So let’s just picture for a moment… SunButter + blueberries + ice cream = YUM!

Nut-free fruity yet savory sauce for ice cream!

We made some HOT Blueberry SunButter Sauce with our bounty of blueberries!

 

SunButter Blueberry Sauce

Ingredients:

1 c. fresh blueberries

½ c. creamy SunButter

2 Tbsp. milk (of your choice)

Ice cream (of your choice)

Directions:

Puree blueberries, SunButter and milk in a food processor or by using a hand blender.  Place into small pot; over low heat warm the sauce while continually stirring.

 

Once sauce is warm, pour over ice cream.  Enjoy!

 

7 Simple Tips to Handle Food Allergies at School

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014

Elizabeth Goldenberg is the Founder of Onespot Allergy and the Co-Founder of EpiCenter MedicalShe also has a son starting a new school this fall. We are proud to share her proven steps on preparing school teachers and staff members for students with food allergies. Thanks, Elizabeth!

 

Elizabeth Goldenberg's tips for keeping kids with food allergies safe at school.

Forms first

1. Complete the Authorization for Administration of Prescription Medication Form and the Individual Medical Emergency Plan form, or whatever forms your school requires for the identification of allergic students and authorization to inject epinephrine.

Go to the Principal’s office

2. Call the school principal to set up an appointment to discuss your school-wide and classroom-specific allergy safety needs. Usually you can get an appointment the week before school opens, when the school is being cleaned and readied.

Go to class, gym, lunch and get on the bus

3. Meet with the principal, school nurse, your child’s teacher, all his or her specialists (gym teacher, media center/librarian, art teacher, lunch room personnel) and school bus driver (if any) to discuss allergy safety.

Give the gear

4. Leave one auto injector at the school office, and perhaps one in the classroom.

Train on

5. Ensure that those caring for your child are trained in anaphylaxis first aid. Children age 12 or older should take the training course themselves to know how to recognize a reaction, when to use epinephrine for the best chance of survival, and what to do next.

Ensure your child is ready

6. Make sure your child is wearing 2 doses of epinephrine in a belt on the school bus and throughout the school day. You can call your pharmacy to ask that fresh inventory with the latest possible expiry date be obtained, prior to filling your prescription. These two auto injectors on your child should be the ones used first (you want people running TO your child to help him or her, not AWAY FROM your child to get medication). The other injectors in the office and classroom are for back up.

Enjoy!

7. Relax and send your child off with a smile knowing that he or she is well prepared for a safe and happy year at school!

The Peanuts kids, nut-free lunch in hand, ready for school! (c) Charles Schultz

Ironically, the “Peanuts” kids look like they have a nut-free lunch packed and ready for school. (c) Charles Schultz

Delectable Nut-Free SunButter Sea Salt Caramel Bars

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014

Just a hint of autumn is in the air, which is the season for creamy caramel. We tried adding SunButter to several Caramel Bars recipes, and this was the clear winner! You know, the perfect blend of salty and sweet, from a buttery crust and gooey caramel center to just-right topping. (These are not low-fat or low-calorie, but cut into tiny squares are a perfect bite of salty sweetness!)

Nut-Free SunButter Sea Salt Caramel Bars are a perfect blend of salty and sweet!

SunButter Sea Salt Caramel Bars

Ingredients:

Crust:

1 3/4 c. unsalted butter

1/4 c. SunButter

1 c. sugar

1 1/2 c. powdered sugar

2 Tbsp. vanilla

4 c. all-purpose flour

1 tsp. sea salt

 

Filling:

1 bag (14 oz.) nut-free caramel candies, unwrapped

2 Tbsp. SunButter

1/3 cup heavy cream

1 tsp. sea salt

 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325° F. In a large bowl, combine the butter, SunButter and sugars and blend in mixer or with mixer until smooth. Add the vanilla and blend in. Add the flour and sea salt, then beat on low until smooth.

Coat a 9″ × 13″ pan with non-stick cooking spray. Press one-third of the dough evenly into the pan. Cover remaining dough and place in refrigerator. Bake crust about 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool at least 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, melt the caramels over the stove or in a microwave. Stir in the SunButter, then cream and sea salt. Pour the caramel filling over the crust. Spread the rest of the crust dough on top. Bake another 20 – 25 minutes or until topping is lightly brown. Cool. Cut into squares. Enjoy!

Nut-Free Sea Salt SunButter Caramel Bars are a perfect bite of butter sweet and salt!

Nut-Free Three Ingredient SunButter Cookies Recipe

Friday, August 22nd, 2014

Inspired by Erica, who blogs at Coffee And Quinoa.com, we whipped up these super-simple yet delicious Nut-Free Three Ingredient SunButter Cookies.

Photo and recipe courtesy of Erica at Coffee And Quinoa.com

Photo and recipe courtesy of Erica at Coffee And Quinoa.com

These make a sweet after-school snack where the house smells of fresh-baking cookies even though busy moms and dads just rushed in the door before the kids! With guidance and permission, older kids could make these on their own, too.

Nut-Free Three-Ingredient SunButter Cookies

Ingredients:

1 c. SunButter (we used SunButter Organic that has no added sugar or salt)

1 c. sugar

1 egg

Optional: Nut-free chocolate chips and/or sea salt

Three ingredients combine for these Nut-Free SunButter Cookies.

 

Nut-free chocolate chips are a possible addition to SunButter cookies.

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Combine SunButter, sugar and egg in bowl, mixing until well-blended.

Combine ingredients in bowl for super easy SunButter Cookies!

Place on baking sheet and down gently with fork in criss-cross pattern. If desired, sprinkle with nut-free chocolate chips and/or sea salt. Bake 10 minutes. Remove and enjoy!

Perfect as a nut-free after school snack with apples:

Three ingredient SunButter cookies pair perfectly with apple slices for a nut-free after school snack.

 

 

 

 

 

How to Pack Allergy-Friendly School Lunches Kids Will Actually Eat

Thursday, August 14th, 2014

Keeley McGuire is the proud mother of “Little Miss,” her sous chef. Together they love spending time in the kitchen creating, cooking and making fun foods. Keeley views the challenges of working full-time, parenthood and food allergies as an adventure!

Keeley McGuire and her Little Miss, who obviously focus on making life with food allergies fun!

Keeley and Little Miss, proof that their goal is to show the world that “food can be fun for kids with food allergies.”

You can follow their journey on her KeeleyMcGuire website, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. We’re proud she is also an Official SunButter Blogger Ambassador and so happy to share her proven tips for packing nut-free, allergy-friendly school lunches that kids will love! Thanks, Keeley!

A few simple shape cutters, a thoughtful note and well-balanced meal make for simply fun allergy-friendly lunches. Here’s how you can pack allergy friendly school lunches like Keeley!

Allergy friendly school lunch loaded with fruits, veggies, protein and of course a sweet note.

Allergy-friendly, love-loaded school lunch that includes Enjoy Life Plentils (lentils) chips, fruits, veggies, sandwich and nut-free cookie–plus a sweet Lunchbox Love Note.

My daughter started attending school full-time at the age of two. I already knew at that time about her life-threatening food allergy, add on top of that sensory disorders and the normal pickiness that comes with any toddler.

That’s when I started getting creative.

Lunch doesn’t have to be boring

Making it doesn’t have to be a dreaded task, either. My daughter, now almost nine, avoids peanuts, tree nuts, and gluten. I avoid dairy and gluten due to an autoimmune disease. Managing multiple diets can seem tricky, but by focusing on all the “can haves” instead of the “can nots,” we manage to have delicious lunches packed daily without feeling overwhelmed or like we’re missing out.

Here are some of my tried and true lunch packing tips to get you through the school year:

Lunch Containers & Gear: You don’t need to break the bank to get started!

Keeley McGuire gets creative with allergy friendly school lunches, including neat containers.

1)     Utilize what you already have around the house to use for ecofriendly & waste free lunch packing. Reach for recycled deli meat containers, recycled condiment containers from restaurant leftovers, strawberry clam shells, leftover cupcake liners, even coffee shop stir sticks make great (non-sharp) food picks.

2)     There are also great items available from your local dollar stores: Divided lunch containers, cute food picks, cupcake liners and even cookie/ sandwich cutters.

3)     Be sure to check “after holiday sales” for clearance items that can be used—food picks, containers, even empty plastic Easter eggs make fun food dividers to pack.

Food Friendly:  Packing lunches efficiently

This allergy friendly school lunch is simple to pack the night before so morning is a tad less rushed.

1)     Save yourself a morning headache by packing lunches the night before. This will ensure your family gets a well-balanced meal, even though you run out of time the next day while rushing out the door. Once you get into the habit, it will become normal routine.

2)     Feel like the evenings are too hectic too? That’s okay – I share on my blog tips for packing lunches for an entire week ahead of time. Spend one Sunday afternoon making lunches for the entire week. See how to pack a week of lunches! 

3)     Leftovers are your friend. I will purposely make extra so that we can eat it for lunches the next day. Throw an extra chicken breast on the grill, boil extra allergy friendly noodles, etc. Pack lunches while you’re cleaning up dinner to ensure they make it to the lunchbox before anyone else nibbles on them late at night!

4)     Bake ahead for easy lunches! The freezer is your friend. Allergy free pancakes, corn dog muffins, gluten free homemade chicken nuggets and more. Make large batches ahead so you can pull them out and heat for lunches. Get some of our favorite bake-ahead recipes.

Pack allergy-friendly pancake sandwiches for lunch!

Eat your veggies. But how?!

One of the items I’m asked the most about is how to get more veggies into lunches… that kids will actually eat! There are only a handful of veggies my own daughter prefers, so to kick up her intake, I often “sneak” them into baked goods and sauces. Get our veggie-loaded Tomato Soup Carrot Spice Muffins recipe.

Sneak veggies into deliciousness with these Tomato Soup Carrot Spice Muffins.

 

Sick of sandwiches?

I know. You can only pack so many before you (and the kids) have had enough. We love SunButter for lunch, but don’t limit yourself to using it just on sammies! Try an Apple Butter & SunButter Quesadilla. What about using it as a dip for apples or blueberry waffle sticks:

Pack a little breakfast...for an allergy friendly school lunch!

Keeley’s blueberry waffle-and-SunButter-stick sandwiches are allergy friendly and delicious, made with Van’s Waffles.

Try a DIY Lunchable with crackers and jelly or honey. One of my personal favorites are Applewiches with SunButter and granola!

 

My best advice: Find a routine that works for you and focus on the items your kids love and can safely enjoy. Then start thinking outside the sandwich for fun ways to pack it for lunches. Lunch shouldn’t be boring, make it fun!

How to Get SunButter in Your Favorite Grocery Stores

Monday, July 28th, 2014

Can’t find SunButter in your favorite grocery stores? 

You’re not alone, but here’s how to change it.

SunButter has six varieties to fit all food allergies, eating styles and taste/texture preferences!

We’re always working to expand our distribution both geographically and to more actual stores, yet as with many other initiatives, food allergy parents can have an awesome impact!

If you’d like to see SunButter on your local stores’ shelves–and/or if you’d like them to carry more of SunButter’s six varieties, here are some things you can do:

 

1. Talk with the Store Manager

Tell her or him the importance of stocking allergy-friendly foods, perhaps mention why SunButter and other nut-free products are important to you and your family. You can have him or her stop by our website for a bit more info and to contact us, too.

 

2. Download this merchant card

Drop it off at your store’s customer service desk or hand-deliver it to your store’s manager.

Download this Merchant Request Form to get SunButter in your store!

 

3. Fill out our online request form

Then we’ll reach out to your store for you! Chances are, we’re already in contact with the decision makers there.

 

4. Tweet your wishes

Feel free to tweet this! If you’d like, you can Tweet @ your favorite grocery store, too.

Grocers, please stock @SunButter4Life: sunflower spread for #peanutallergy kids. Because safe kids = happy parents #peanutfreeplease

Irresistible Inside Out “Peanut Butter” Cups (SunButter Nut-Free Version!)

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014

Nut-free versions of “Peanut Butter Cups” remain one of the most popular recipes we see (and sample!), so we’re really excited to share these SunButter Inside Out Nut-Free Chocolate Cups! It’s another recipe where SunButter as a peanut butter replacement is perfect. These are also free of dairy and gluten!

If desired, top these Inside Out "Peanut Butter" Cups with sea salt and/or nut-free sprinkles.

SunButter Inside Out Nut-Free Chocolate Cups

Ingredients:

1 c. SunButter (we used SunButter Natural)

1/2 c. nut-free coconut oil

1 c. nut-free chocolate chips (we used Enjoy Life Mini Chips)

Optional toppings: coarse ground sea salt, sprinkles

Nut-free SunButter, coconut oil, chocolate chips and sea salt for our Inside Out SunButter Cups.

Directions:

Line a mini muffin tin with liners.

Mini muffin pan, lined and ready for Inside Out "Peanut Butter" Cups, made with SunButter and other nut-free ingredients for a nut-free treat.

Melt the coconut oil and SunButter together.

Nut-free coconut oil and SunButter combine and set up deliciously in these sweet treats.

Pour 2 Tbsp. or so into each liner.

SunButter and nut-free coconut oil are the outside of these "Inside Out" Nut-Free SunButter cups.

Freeze about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, melt nut-free chocolate. Remove cups from freezer, add about 2 tsp. melted chocolate to each, leaving a bit of an edge around each.

Nut-free chocolate is the inside in these "Reverse" SunButter cups.

Top with 2 more Tbsp. of melted SunButter mixture.

Nut-free SunButter Cups, ready for a few minutes in the freezer to set up.

Freeze another 8 – 10 minutes or until set. If desired, sprinkle with sea salt and/or sprinkles. Store in refrigerator.

SunButter Cups in Reverse!

 

Nut-Free SunButter Rhubarb Crumble

Friday, July 11th, 2014

Does anything taste more like summer than a rhubarb dessert? We think not.

In our Midwestern hometowns, a patch of rhubarb is a staple in yards, from sprawling farms to suburban lots and even city rooftop gardens. Often sharing the gardens? Sunflowers! Many people call rhubarb the “pie plant,” since its stalks bake up tart, soft and delicious. Just like in the garden, we paired rhubarb with SunButter in this nut-free SunButter Rhubarb Crumble.

See if it tastes just like summer to you!

SunButter enhances familiar Rhubarb Crumble.

SunButter Rhubarb Crumble

Ingredients:

Filling:

1/4 c. SunButter

5 c. rhubarb, sliced

1/2 c. brown sugar

3 Tbsp. cornstarch

1 Tbsp. lemon juice

2 tsp. lemon zest

1/2 tsp. salt

Topping:

1 c. flour

3/4 c. brown sugar

1/2 c. old fashioned oats

1/4 tsp. salt

8 Tbsp. butter, cold and cut into cubes

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat 8″ x 8″ baking dish with nonstick spray. Combine filling ingredients.

SunButter combines with other simple ingredients in filling for SunButter Rhubarb Crumble.

 Place in prepared baking dish.

SunButter combines with rhubarb and other simple ingredients for the filling in this SunButter Rhubarb Crumble.

In food processor or stand mixer, combine topping ingredients until crumbly.

Five simple ingredients in the topping for SunButter Rhubarb Crumble.

 

Sprinkle evenly over filling.

Topping for SunButter Rhubarb Crumble.

Bake 45 minutes. Cool at least 10 minutes.

SunButter Rhubarb Crumble, baked up and nearly ready to enjoy!

 Serve! It’s great with ice cream, where the two melt deliciously together…just like summer days melt into summer evenings.

Fresh-from-the-oven SunButter Rhubarb Crumble melts ice cream just a bit.