Sunflower Seed Sauce: Peanut-free Version of Peanut Sauce

This peanut sauce look-alike is peanut-free + also free of the top 8 allergens. Nutritious SunButter is used to replace peanut butter. Plus, this recipe is soy free + gluten free, two other ingredients that can often be found in a traditional peanut sauce.

peanut free peanut sauce

I made this peanut-free "peanut sauce" + my husband said, do we have any vegetables to go with it? I'm not kidding that made my day! Of course I had some vegetables to go with it. My husband has no food restrictions. So, sometimes he's a hard sell on allergy friendly recipes. But, he loved this. And, he thinks my recipe tastes like the real thing! I sure was excited to hear that. I love this recipe also. But, honestly, I've forgotten what peanut butter tastes like as I haven't had it for almost 2 years now.

Sunbutter Sauce

Sunflower Seed Sauce: A Peanut-free Version of Peanut Sauce:

Ingredients:

1/2 Cup SunButter

1/2 Cup Water

2 tbsp Nutritional Yeast

1 tbsp Honey

1 tbspn Fresh Lime Juice

2 tsp Red Pepper Flakes

1 tsp Garlic Salt

 

Optional: 1 tsp Fresh Ginger. For garlic allergy, omit garlic + add extra red pepper to taste. For strict vegans, use bee-free honey.

sunbutter sauce peanut sauce

Directions:

Turn stovetop to Medium heat. In a small sauce pan, add SunButter + water. Stir well. Slowly add in the remaining ingredients + stir well.  Remember to keep the heat low to prevent burning.

 

Add your SunButter Sauce to: Jasmine rice + sautéed eggplant, tomato slices, and steamed green beans.

 

Enjoy!

sunbutter sauce

I hope you love this simple sauce + as always, add whatever vegetables you'd like. Or, what you have on hand. Or, what you found on sale at your local store this week.

 

Photography by: // Lindsey Lee & Co.

Sunflower Seed Sauce. Peanut free- peanut sauce

Frozen Coconut Berry Pie with So Delicious Dairy Free

Creating a dairy free, top 8 free dessert really isn't as complicated as it might seem. I just thought outside of the box. And, looked into the carton. The So Delicious carton, that is!

Dairy free dessert

When So Delicious asked me to create a recipe with the Dairy Free Coconutmilk Yogurt Alternative, I thought, creating something for Thanksgiving would be so much fun! Friends, this recipe was fun to create + it is fun + easy to make! No baking! The best part is, you can make this ahead of time + throw it in the freezer + your work for Thanksgiving day is cut down. 

Dairy free yogurt

Honestly, the most difficult part of this recipe is seeding the Pomegranate. But, I look at it as a relaxing activity, a chance to let my busy mind relax.

To seed the Pomegranate:

First, cut the pomegranate in half. Next, place your strainer inside of your clean sink. Then, hold the half of the pomegranate with your thumbs at the center of the skin, over the strainer + push the halved pomegranate inside out. Next, peel the seeds out of the membranes + place in a separate bowl. Rinse + set aside.

Shhhh... Here's a secret: if you feel pressed for time on seeding the pomegranate, you can buy pre-seeded pomegranates at most grocery stores!

So Delicious Dairy Free

Did you know the pomegranate is a great source of soluble + insoluble fiber + high in Vitamin C? Foods high in Vitamin C are great immune boosters. So helpful, especially around the holidays! Pomegranates are also high in antioxidants. Antioxidants are so valuable for our health, it's really important to include them into our diet, you can read more about the health benefits here.

Ok, let's get onto this pie making adventure.

Dairy free pie

Frozen Coconut Berry Pie with So Delicious Dairy Free

Ingredients:

Coconut Berry Pie:

2 Cups So Delicious CoCo Whip Original

1 1/2 Cups So Delicious Unsweetened Vanilla "Yogurt" Alternative

1 1/2 Cups Raspberries

1/2 Cup Pomegranate Seeds

3 tbsp Sugar

1/2 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract

Graham Cracker Pie Crust (I used the MI-DEL gluten free + peanut free crust)

Strawberry Sauce:

1 1/2 Cups Strawberries (sliced + hulled)

1/4 Cup Sugar

1 Lemon, zested

Dairy free pie

Frozen Coconut Berry Pie with So Delicious Dairy Free

Directions:

First, open up your pre-packaged graham cracked pie crust + set aside. Next, seed the Pomegranate, rise + set aside. (See above instructions for seeding the pomegranate). Rinse raspberries + set aside. Measure 11/2 cups So Delicious Unsweetened Vanilla "Yogurt" Alternative + 2 cups So Delicious CoCo Whip + combine in a large bowl. Mix the yogurt alternative CoCo Whip. Add 1 cup of raspberries to the bowl + mash with a fork. Add half of the pomegranate seeds + mix. Heap mixture into crust + freeze for 3 hours or overnight

Next, top with Strawberry Sauce + reserved raspberries + pomegranate seeds.

Strawberry Sauce Directions:

Add sliced + hulled strawberries into blender + zest 1 lemon into the blender. Add sugar + blend on high. Add strawberry sauce when ready to serve + get creative with the reserved raspberries + pomegranate seeds.

top 8 free pie
dairy free so delicious pie
dairy free so delicious

What's your favorite thing about a frozen pie? Do you eat dairy free for health or environmental reasons? Let me know in the comments.

My opinions outlined here are my own + I do love So Delicious Dairy Free!

Photography By: // Lindsey Lee & Co.

Dairy free ice cream pie. Vegan frozen berry pie. Gluten free ice cream pie.

Top 8 free dessert: So Delicious Rootbeer Float

Honestly, I think finding safe allergy-free desserts is one of the most difficult aspects of managing food allergies. So many of the classic desserts contain one or many of the top 8 allergens. Plus, many desserts are processed in a way to cause cross-contamination to a dessert that may have been otherwise safe with the main ingredients, prior to processing. So, here is an awesome top 8 free dessert: So Delicious dairy-free rootbeer float.

top 8 free dessert

Did you know that milk allergy (dairy allergy) is the most common allergy in infants + children? Also, many people have a lactose intolerance. The two are often interchanged + misunderstood, but they are very different. Food allergies involve the immune system + have the potential to produce an anaphylactic reaction. Food intolerances, like lactose intolerance do not involve the immune system.

According to food allergy.orgPeople who are lactose intolerant are missing the enzyme lactase, which breaks down lactose, a sugar found in milk and dairy products. As a result, lactose-intolerant patients are unable to digest these foods, and may experience symptoms such as nausea, cramps, gas, bloating and diarrhea. While lactose intolerance can cause great discomfort, it is not life-threatening.

so delicious rootbeer float

I nursed my son, Bowan for a year after the diagnosis of his food allergies. During that time I strictly avoided all of his allergens. I also avoided foods that could've been cross-contaminated with his allergens. So, I didn't eat ice cream. (Sounds hard, I know!) I knew that most ice cream was or had the potential to be cross-contaminated with peanuts + tree nuts, so I just avoided ice cream. And, honestly I didn't take the time to research ice creams. Until I found So Delicious. They use top-notch allergen testing, that I trust enough to eat myself + let my sweet little Bowan enjoy.

rootbeer float

One day my husband came home with rootbeer + I thought, why didn't I think of that?! A rootbeer float can be top 8 free! So, it was a fun evening with way too many rootbeer floats. And, here Bowan is with his 1st rootbeer float.

rootbeer float

Top 8 Free Rootbeer Floats (dairy-free):

Ingredients:

Rootbeer

So Delicious Vanilla Bean Frozen Dessert

Directions:

Pour chilled Rooter into your glass + scoop as much of the coconut frozen dessert in as you want! Enjoy with a spoon or maybe some fun straws for an extra special treat for your kids. 

Top 8 free desserts don't have to be super complicated + they don't even need to include baking!

top 8 free dessert

Did you know that going dairy free for 21 days can not only be beneficial for your health, but also beneficial for our environment? You can read more about the dairy-free challenge here.

 

Photography by: // Lindsey Lee & Co.

Peanut Free Granola Bars: Free of the Top 8 Allergens

Who doesn't love granola bars? They are quick, easy + tasty.  They are kind of a staple for busy families, right? With allergies to peanut, tree nuts, sesame, soy + gluten, it's actually super difficult to find pre-packaged granola bars free of our allergens.  I've been making these homemade 15 minute granola bars for quite a while now + I thought I'd share with you!

gluten free granola bars

I love that these bars have only have 4 ingredients!  They are simple + healthy.  Plus, we almost always have all the ingredients needed on hand.  I love creating simple + healthy recipes that I know the kids love to eat.  Breck + Bowan love these bars.  Now, Bowan is a silly one + he sometimes picks the chocolate chips out before eating the rest.  Oh, two year olds they are silly + full of surprises + super messy, too.

5 ingredient granola bars

Peanut Free Granola Bars:

Ingredients:

2 Cups Oats or Granola

1 Cup SunButter Sunflower Butter

1/2 Cup Mini Chocolate Chips

1/4 Cup Local Honey

I order + use Gerbs Original Seed + Honey Granola, it is free of the Top 11 allergens.  The facility is dedicated free of sesame, which can be hard to find.  Sesame-free is so great to find, as sesame is not a top 8 allergen in the US, so it doesn't have to be labeled like peanut.  Plus, this granola includes flax seeds, sunflower seeds + pumpkin seeds.  So, this granola helps to make this recipe easier as the seeds are already included! Also, oats don't inherently contain gluten, but they are generally harvested + processed in a way that contaminates them with gluten, Gerbs specifically processes the oats so they stay gluten free.  Like Gerbs, SunButter is also free of the top allergens, high in protein, folate + Omega 6 fatty acids.  I use Enjoy Life Foods Mini Chips chocolate chips.  Enjoy Life products are also free of the top allergens + the kids love the mini chips!  I try to get local honey into our diet when I can.  Local honey is thought to help reduce the severity of environmental allergies.  Bowan + I both have some high allergies to some trees + weeds out here in Colorado.  So, honey pollinated out in the Rocky Mountains is an important staple for us.  

Supplies:

Large Glass Bowl

Measuring Cups

Spoon

Cupcake Liners

Ziplock Bag

Directions:

Measure 1 cup SunButter + scoop it into a glass bowl.  Microwave for 30 seconds, then stir.  Microwave for an additional 30 seconds if needed, to help it get very warm + creamy.  Measure 1/4 cup local honey + pour into bowl with SunButter.  Measure 2 cups oats or granola + pour into the glass bowl.  Mix all the ingredients together until the granola is evenly coated + covered.  Next, stir in the mini chocolate chips.  Now, scoop the granola into cupcake liners + let cool.  Sprinkle additional chocolate chips on the top of the granola if you'd like.  Let cool.

peanut free granola bars

I'm due with my third baby boy soon, so I recently made these to freeze for those hectic days to come.  With three boys under 5, I'm sure to be busy soon.  These freeze well in a ziplock bag.  Plus, they are already portioned in cupcake liners, so they are easy to take out one at a time.  It's also nice to have these on hand incase a birthday party or event comes up where there will be sweets, so I have something I can give Bowan.

10 minute granola bars

I made these quick 15 minute granola bars this past winter + brought them to a wedding.  My non-allergy friends even loved them.  I hope you do too!  Please let me know if you try this recipe out!

Cheers,

Lindsey Lee

4 ingredient granola bars

Photography by: // Lindsey Lee + Co.

Granola Recipe

10 Tips for the New Allergy Mom

If you're a newly diagnosed allergy mom, my heart goes out to you.  Just over a year ago, my son was diagnosed with multiple life threatening allergies.  I felt so overwhelmed with all I needed to learn + all I needed to do to keep my baby safe.  An enormous amount of new responsibility was placed on me with the weight of my son's multiple food allergy diagnosis, he was only 15 months old, so I needed to care for his allergies.  His allergies were completely out of his control + purely my responsibility.  Kids often seem to be diagnosed with allergies as babies + toddlers, so the responsibility placed on the new allergy mom is incredibly high. I completely understand + hope to help you.  

Here are 10 tips for the new allergy mom:

1. An EpiPen case or bag

EpiPens need to go with you and/or your child wherever you go.  They are a lifesaving device + emergencies are unexpected, so the EpiPens always need to go with you + your little one, even if it's just a quick trip to the park down the street.  You just never know.  The EpiPens are also heat + cold sensitive, so having the EpiPens in a specific bag helps to easily bring them with you when you leave the house + then, hang them on the same hook by the door every time you come back home.  It also helps to hang the EpiPen bag up high so the little ones don't accidentally get into the EpiPen bag.  It helps to always use the same bag + hook so other caregivers always know where to get and replace the EpiPen bag.

Food Allergy EpiPen Bag

We just got this new EpiPen case at Target.  It is so fun + cute.  I'm the one carrying it, so it's fun for me.  This week these Oh Joy! cases are free at Target with the purchase of 3 first aid items.  Hey, we needed more band-aids anyway.  

2. An action plan + informational sheets to hang on the inside of your pantry door or cabinet door in your kitchen

It is so helpful to have information printed out about food allergies that are easily visible in your kitchen.  Your kitchen is the primary place your child will be eating.  So, reactions are most likely to occur in our own kitchens.  If an emergency does happen, it's helpful to have all the information readily available.  Also, we never know when we might have a babysitter + it's so helpful to have all the necessary information available to go over with them + for them to check if needed.

An Action Plan for Anaphylaxis   

Epinephrine Myths + Facts 

Be Food Allergy Aware 6 That Save Lives 

Facts about Food Allergies, listing mild symptoms, severe symptoms + ways a child would describe a reaction

3. A backpack

The days of just running out of the house with a cell phone + keys quickly faded.  So, I decided that I wanted to carry a backpack with the kids + my necessary items.  It's helpful to put your EpiPen bag right in the backpack with your safe snacks, water bottles, diapers, keys, wallet, cell phone, etc.  One additional thing that helped me decide that I'd rather carry a backpack over a purse or diaper bag was that I could just wear it over my shoulders + it wasn't as cumbersome or worrisome as having a diaper bag that I'd set down + maybe need to leave somewhere as I chased my little ones around the park or museum.  

4. A water bottle with a covered mouth piece

Let's just say kids put their mouths and hands on everything.  There will be times when other kids reach their hands into your stroller or backpack even + having a covered mouthpiece on your little one's water bottle is so helpful in preventing them from exposure to different allergens.

5. Allergy awareness stickers

Personally, I think allergy awareness is key.  If others don't know about the peanut or dairy or sesame allergy, how can they help?  How can they be proactive if they don't know that a severe reaction is possible?  I personally love the stickers from Minted. They are adorable while spreading awareness.

Minted allergy label water bottles

6. The Complete Peanut Allergy Handbook by, Scott H. Sicherer, M.D., + Terry Malloy

This book was such a helpful resource in the early days of our peanut allergy diagnosis.  I highly recommend this book, as it is very comprehensive in managing food allergies.  Also, if peanut is not one of your allergens, you can just substitute peanut for dairy or fish or wheat, etc. as you read, because the principles outlined in this book really can apply to all types of food allergies.  The book includes five parts: An Introduction to Peanut Allergy, Getting Help for Your Peanut Allergy, How Peanut Allergy is Treated, Living with a Peanut Allergy + Looking to the Future.  This book was so helpful, I hope you are able to read it soon.  Also, if you have friends or family that are interested in learning about the allergy + supporting you + your child, it may also be a great idea to send them a copy so they can help support you + your little one.

7. SunButter

SunButter is free from the top 8 food allergens.  It is such a great alternative to peanut butter + other nut butters.  Plus, it is not made from a legume like soy or pea that can often cross-react with peanut.  An allergy to sunflower is possible, just as it is possible to have an allergy to any food. So, if sunflowers are safe for you, I highly recommend!  Not only is SunButter a great allergy friendly choice, but so nutritious as well.  SunButter has the same amount of protein as peanut butter, double the zinc, 1/3 less saturated fat, twice as much fiber + nearly triple the amount of iron.  Knowing that SunButter is so nutritious helps to make eating SunCups even more fun!

8. Journal

A journal dedicated to food allergies has been very helpful for me.  It still is.  An allergy journal was especially helpful in the early days when my little guy had reactions to foods that were not top 8 allergens (peanut, tree nuts, dairy, egg, soy, fish, shellfish + wheat).  So, things were surely more confusing.  It's been helpful to have a page with the diagnosed food allergies + the skin + blood results so I can compare over time.  I've also kept a page with suspected allergens.  It's also been useful to have a page with safe foods listed, they surely can change at anytime, but it is so helpful to come back to when feeling like so many foods have been ruled out.

food allergy journal

9. Extra supplies in your EpiPen bag

Your EpiPens will go with you wherever you go + your child go, so it's best to be fully prepared.  I personally feel best treating allergies in a proactive way, rather than a reactive way.  In that, I'd rather prevent or avoid reactions as much as possible.  Here are some things I carry in my EpiPen bag:

     1. Wipes (check the ingredients, some wipes can contain seed oils)

     2. Hand Spray (Buy one with safe ingredients or make your own: water + hand soap in a spray bottle)

     3. Happy band-aids (not necessarily allergy related, but you will surely need them at some point)

     4. Inhaler (if one is prescribed)

     5. Note from your child's allergist listing the allergies

     6. Allergy action plan

     7. Pre-measured Benadryl

     8. Anti-itch cream/topical Benadryl

10. SnackSafely.com

Did you know that the current U.S. food labeling laws make it very difficult to know if a packaged food is free from allergens by the label alone?  Snacksafely.com works with companies to verify that the products listed in the guide are free from specific allergens, including peanut.  This website is a great place to start if you feel overwhelmed with finding safe food for your little one.

I hope these 10 tips will help you to manage your new food allergy diagnosis a little easier.  I was there before + I know all the feelings + difficulties you are likely facing too.  Lives surely can change with a diagnosis.  I completely understand that + have lived it.  Up to 15 million Americans have food allergies.  Food allergies can be very isolating, yet many people live with them.  Keep reaching out, earning about food allergy management, new studies + treatments on the horizon.  I promise it does get easier as time goes on.

 

 

 

Folic Acid Awareness Week

It's folic acid awareness week. Folic acid + folate. They sound like twins, but they are quite different.

IMG_8949.JPG

This past July, I was diagnosed with the MTHFR gene mutation. I know it sounds like I'm swearing, but the gene's official name is methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase. This diagnosis came after my second miscarriage. Both of my miscarriages really left an aches in my soul. The loss of the babies will always have an impact on me. My first miscarriage made me a mother. My recent miscarriage led me to the diagnosis of the MTHFR gene mutation. Learning how this impacts my life has been overwhelming, yet quite helpful to improve my overall health.  

I am not a doctor or a science minded person like my husband. But, I do understand that folic acid is essential to every cell in our body. Folic acid is converted to methylfolate, after several steps. Methylation is a fundamental action that is always occurring in our body. But, for people with the MTHFR gene mutation, we can't process folic acid properly. Resulting in many possible things like, recurrent miscarriages, depression, anxiety, pulmonary embolisms, autoimmune disease, and many others. The U.S. National Library of Medicine describes the role of the MTHFR gene here.

Here's the thing, folic acid is a synthetic, man-made vitamin + is fortified in foods. Folate is naturally occurring in whole foods. When we consume foods that are naturally high in folate, we are improving our health tremendously, even for those that aren't living with MTHFR.

Here are some whole foods high in folate:

Leafy greens

Broccoli + Cauliflower

Sunflower Seeds

Lentils + Beans

Asparagus

Papaya + Oranges

Turkey Liver

Brussel Sprouts

Orka

Folate is just one more reason to focus on eating leafy greens + other whole foods for important health benefits.  Cheers to methylation + folic acid awareness week!

What are your favorite high folate foods?

IMG_8948.JPG

Photography by Lindsey Lee & Co.

New Year + New Hope + Minted New Years Cards

New year.  New hope.  Same story + life I'm leading.  New dreams.  New beginnings.

For last year's words belong to last year's language + next year's words await another voice. - T.S. Elliot

Well, 2015 was a year with quite a bit of trials + heart break + huge life changes for me.  In April of 2015 my youngest son, Bowan was diagnosed with multiple life threatening food allergies.  He was only 15 months old.  As the months went by, + as I introduced more new foods to him the reactions kept coming.  So, the diagnoses kept coming.  My nerves were shot.  I was fearful of feeding him new foods.  The new foods in toddlerhood are typically such a joyful, silly + happy time.  I morned the loss of what I hoped my motherhood experience would be.  My patience was tested as I eliminated foods + slowly added them in one by one.  

My entire view of food + life + our true need for food all changed.  I never knew how much we truly needed food until I was standing in the grocery store reading each label through the tears running down my face only to find a couple things that were free of Bowan's allergens.  My stomach growled, I was in so much pain.  I'd never experienced hunger like I did that day.  My two sweet little boys were in the cart, in the middle of the wide grocery aisle, just as hungry as I was.  This memorable day was just one week post the initial peanut allergy diagnosis.  That day I broke.  I changed.  I decided I needed to do something, if I could just find a way to feed my family, I'd succeed.  But, really I was broken so much that I really wanted to do something more.  

envelopessharpen.jpg

As the months went on, I learned more about life with food allergies.  As the new diagnoses came, there was almost a sense of relief.  Things fit together better.  The mystery reactions at home no longer happened.  Bowan was happier.  I was happier.  We were all happier.

I'm not the same person I was when this year started.

This past year surely was hard, but that made the special moments shine brighter.  I really worked on finding gratitude in the small things.  And, because of that I surely have grown.  In the midst of it all, I fought for a deeper happiness.  This December, I partnered with Minted to create New Years cards to send to friends + family.  I love the beautiful + unique cards by the independent designers at Minted.  It's something extra special to send to the people I love.

Celebrate the small things.  Give thanks for the here + now.

My Great Grandma would say, it is what it is.  I sure am doing the best to embrace her way of life that she so graciously modeled.  When our circumstances are what they are, sometimes we just need to roll with it + find all the happiness we can grab along the way.

The best time for new beginnings is now.  It's time for hope + joy + love.  It's a fresh start.  It's a chance to create new memories that were just "the little things" in the moment but turn out to have the biggest place in our hearts at the years end.  I'm so thankful for my friends + family that I get to share my life with.  These New Years cards are just a small way to say thank you for being in my life.  For being here in the raw moments + in the joyful ones too.

As the year comes to an end, don't look back on yesterday's disappointments.  Look ahead to God's promises yet to unfold. - Buky Ojelabi

Peace + Joy in 2016,

Lindsey

 

 

 

Photography by Lindsey Lee + Co.