'Peanut Allergy Princess' is the story of one mom, one Princess with food allergies (to peanuts and brazil nuts) and our journey through the stress of life with food allergies. Here you will find many recipes, tips on living (and enjoying life) with food allergies, thoughts from a mother of 3 kids (The Brothers and The Princess) and insights into our life. Welcome!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Homemade Granola Bars

When there are kids in the house, snacks are a common thing of discussion. What is allowable? When are snacks allowed? How big should snacks be? Blah, blah, blah... We are always struggling with snacks at our house. The Princess prefers to eat "snacks" all day and no meals. That drives me crazy! 

But, whatever your rules are about the when, where and what of snacks... it is always nice to have healthy options that your kids like to eat. The Princess and her brothers like fruits and vegetables (mostly) but sometimes we need a more substantial snack. That is where granola bars come in. They are easy to grab, portable and kids like them. Next week, I will clue you in on where we used our granola bars - stay tuned!! Unfortunately, granola bars and peanut allergies DO NOT mix. So, when I found a basic recipe, I knew it would come in handy. I made a few changes to make them a bit healthier and more to my liking. They ended up turning out so well... The Princess and her brothers ate all the bars within a few days (and it only took that long because I limited them to 2 a day)!

Homemade Granola Bars

1 cup brown rice crispy cereal

1 3/4 cups quick cooking oats (not rolled oats)

2 Tbsp ground flax seed

2 Tbsp wheat germ

1/4 cup coconut oil (or butter)

1/4 cup honey

1/4 cup sucanat

1/2 tsp vanilla

2 Tbsp mini-chocolate chips

In a large bowl, stir brown rice cereal, oats, ground flax and wheat germ together. Set aside. 

In a small pot, melt coconut oil, honey and sucanat together over medium-high heat until it starts bubbling. Reduce heat and cook 2 minutes. Add in vanilla and stir. Pour over dry ingredients and mix well to moisten all ingredients. 

Pour into lightly greased small jelly roll pan (about 12x8) and press to be about 3/4 inch thickness. If your pan isn't small enough, pack the mixture into one side. You really want to press them down so they stick together. I had to work at getting them squished tight in the pan - so don't give up! I also found it that if I doubled the recipe, they fit nicely in a 9x13 pan.

Sprinkle with mini-chocolate chips and press down lightly. Cool on countertop until room temperature (about 2 hours) or until the chocolate chips are set before cutting into bars. Wrap in plastic and store at room temperature. 

If your granola bars don't stay together very well you might have made them too thin or you may need to pack them tighter next time. Try putting them in the fridge for 20 minutes to hold them together better. 

You can play with the ingredients and add whatever you like... raisins, cinnamon, craisins, shredded coconut, finely ground nuts... the list is endless! Just make sure you end up with about 3 cups of dry ingredients so cut back the oatmeal accordingly or add a touch more coconut oil (or butter).

Recipe adapted from Lauren's Latest


Friday, November 23, 2012

Egg-free Pumpkin Spice Sandwich Cookies with Maple Frosting

I hope everyone had a wonderful and safe Thanksgiving yesterday.  We had a very delicious Thanksgiving meal with all the trimmings. This year, we didn't have to worry too much about The Princess's allergies since she is able to eat eggs and milk now - and than she ended up not eating anything but crackers and ice cream (yes, not healthy but it was a holiday after all). We spent the morning with one side of the family and the afternoon with the other side of the family. The weather was beautiful and The Princess, The Brothers and their cousins were able to run around outside and leave the adults to visit (and watch football) in relative peace.

I realize the last thing everyone probably needs is more goodies after eating pie yesterday... but, I wanted to get in another recipe with pumpkin in it before the month of November was over. And trust me, you don't want to miss out on this recipe. These cookies are so delicious!

As a side note: I almost never bake with all-purpose flour. It is so processed and refined and there is absolutely no nutrition in it. But, I did use a little in this recipe to make sure they turned out ok (since I was taking them a family outing). When I make them again, I will use all wonder flour (or another whole grain flour).

Pumpkin Spice Sandwich Cookies 

1 1/2 cups wonder flour

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

2 tsp ground nutmeg

1/2 tsp ground cloves

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup raw sugar

1/2 cup sucanat

1 1/4 cups pumpkin puree

1 Tbsp ground flax seed mixed with 3 Tbsp water (or 1 egg)

1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Combine flours, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ground cloves and salt; set aside.

In a medium bowl, cream together butter and sugars. Add pumpkin puree, ground flax mixed with water and vanilla to butter mixture and beat until creamy. Mix dry ingredients. Drop on cookie sheet by tablespoonful; flatten slightly. (I prefer to flatten mine right after they come out of the oven)

Bake for 15-20 minutes in a preheated oven. Cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.

Maple Frosting

1/2 cup butter, softened

1 1/4 cup powdered sugar

2-3 Tbsp pure maple syrup

Put butter in a medium size bowl and mix until whipped. Mix in powdered sugar and beat for another minute. Scrape down the sides and add the maple syrup. Mix for another 2-3 minutes or until frosting is fluffy.

Recipe inspired by Living Well Spending Less
I intended to take a better picture of these, but I forgot so this is what you are stuck with. 


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Pumpkin Quinoa Granola

Thanksgiving is almost here... where has the time gone? It seems like the past few months have flown by and now the year is almost over. So, what does the end of the year coming up so fast have to do with granola? Absolutely nothing.

But, speaking of Thanksgiving, there are a lot of posts on Pinterest and food blogs with recipes for breakfast on Thanksgiving day. The problem with most of the ones I have seen is that they are very rich, full of sugar and fat and not a great way to start a day that will most likely be full of other food that falls into that category. I wanted to post a recipe that would be a yummy yet healthier way to start your Thanksgiving day.

Most store bought granola, while touted as a health food, is anything but healthy. It also may contain or be contaminated with peanuts. I prefer to make my own and it is super easy!

This post is the debut of a recipe on my blog containing quinoa... which is hard to believe because I use it quite often. For those who have never cooked with quinoa, here are some interesting facts about this superfood.

* High in protein - Quinoa has more protein than any other grain, it also contains the 9 essential amino acids making it a complete protein
* Lowers your blood pressure - Quinoa is high in magnesium which relaxes blood vessels helping to lower your blood pressure and improve overall heart health
* Helps reduce migraines - Quinoa is high in magnesium which helps with the constriction and rebound dilation of blood vessels that are characteristic in migraines. Quinoa also has riboflavin which has been proven to lessen the frequency of migraines
* Fights off dangerous cancer and disease-causing substances - The manganese and copper found in quinoa are powerful antioxidants that help fight disease
* Higher in calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, iron, copper, manganese and zinc than wheat, barley and corn
* Gluten free - Quinoa is a gluten free food and good for those who can't tolerate any grains because it is a seed (it is actually related to spinach - which is why it is a powerhouse when it comes to nutrition).

For more information on quinoa, check out this post from Unconventional Kitchen.

I like to eat my granola as cereal with vanilla almond milk on top. You can also add it on top of yogurt or applesauce or eat is straight out of a bag as a snack.

Pumpkin Quinoa Granola

1 cup brown rice cereal (like Rice Krispies except made from brown rice)

1/2 cup instant oatmeal

1/2 cup cooked quinoa

2 Tbsp ground flax seed

1/4 cup shredded coconut (preferably without added sugar - get it at a health food store)

1 Tbsp coconut oil

2 Tbsp pure maple syrup

1/2 cup pumpkin puree

1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

1 tsp vanilla

1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts * (optional)

1/4 to 1/2 cup dried fruit (raisins, cranberries, cherries, etc...) (optional)

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper (or tinfoil in a pinch).

Combine brown rice cereal, oatmeal, cooked quinoa, ground flax, shredded coconut and chopped walnuts (if using) in a bowl.

In a small saucepan heat coconut oil, maple syrup, pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice and vanilla over low heat until melted and incorporated. Stir into dry mixture.

Spread in a single layer on prepared baking sheet. Cook for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. Let cool on baking sheet. Break into clusters and mix in dried fruit (if using).

* One of the nice things about using quinoa in this recipe is that if you are unable to use nuts, there is still protein making it a filling breakfast.

Recipe adapted from Cookie Quinoa


Friday, November 16, 2012

Baked Pumpkin Donut Holes

I am not a huge donut eater, but I do have a weakness for pumpkin donuts. Krispy Kreme makes a delicious pumpkin spice cake donut, but it obviously contains eggs. It is also seasonal, so what is a girl supposed to do when she is craving pumpkin spice donuts in the spring.  I decided I would make my own donuts.

When came across this recipe, I loved the idea of using a mini muffin tin to create donut "holes".  I also liked that these were baked and not fried - not just because of the health factor, but mainly because of the mess factor. I loathe cleaning up oil splatter all over the stove top and counter. These turned out so well they were gone within a day! We did manage to save enough to sneak some into The Princess's granddad who was in the hospital at the time (because everyone needs some contraband in the hospital to help them feel at home!).

Baked Pumpkin Spice Donut Holes

For the Donuts:
2 cups wonder flour*

2 tsp baking powder

2 tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp allspice

1/8 tsp ground cloves

1/3 cup coconut oil, melted

1/4 cup sucanat

1 Tbsp ground flax seed mixed with 3 Tbsp water (or 1 egg)

1/2 cup non-dairy milk

For the Coating:**

1/2 cup raw sugar

2 Tbsp. cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 Degrees F. Spray a 24-cup mini muffin tin with baking spray and set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and cloves.

In a separate large bowl, whisk together oil, sucanat, ground flax mixed with water, vanilla, pumpkin and milk until smooth. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix until just combined.

Divide batter evenly among mini muffin cups. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

While the muffins bake, combine raw sugar and cinnamon in another bowl. Remove muffins from oven when finished and allow to cool for 2 minutes. Roll each muffin in cinnamon sugar to coat. Serve muffins warm or at room temperature - if there are any left  to serve!

*If you choose to use all-purpose flour in place of the wonder flour, cut the amount to 1 3/4 cups.

**The original recipe called for dipping the donut holes in melted butter before rolling them in the cinnamon sugar mixture. I tried mine both ways to see if there was much difference. I tasted a small difference (because I knew the difference) but nobody else could tell. I say save the mess and the calories and avoid that step.

Recipe Adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

"Healthier" Pie crust

Is it suddenly winter at anyone else's house? We went from wonderful warm and sunny weather one day to a blizzard the next day that came with a foot of snow and a 40 degree drop in temperature. Talk about a shock to the system!
 Trust me, this literally is one afternoon to the next! 
On a side note,  look how nice the grass is coming in.

But, it is starting to feel more like the holidays with the layer of snow on the ground. The Princess has requested we listen to Christmas music, so I obliged her. But, we don't want to jump too fast to Christmas without paying some attention to Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. I love getting together with family to enjoy each other's company and discuss our blessings and the many things we have to be grateful for. And I have much to be grateful for this year! I also love Thanksgiving because it means PIE. Is anyone else a pie lover? There is nothing better after a yummy turkey dinner than a big old piece of pie covered in whipped cream. Yes, calories, fat and sugar, but that is ok on a holiday, right? I do believe that everyone gets the chance to splurge, but I also believe we can splurge without completely falling off the boat.

This year, I decided to create a "healthier" pie crust. Most pie crust recipes call for all-purpose flour and shortening. We all know that all-purpose flour has very little, if any, nutrients. Shortening is made by hydrogenating liquid vegetable oil. While most shortening no longer contains trans fat, I am still leery of eating anything that has been hydrogenated.  Now, don't confuse the word "healthier' with the word "healthy". I doubt this pie crust would ever be considered a health food. But at least we will remain on the boat. This recipe is also diary, nut and egg free.

Here are some other tips to keep your Thanksgiving pie from knocking you clean off the boat:
* Cut down the sugar in your recipe. I generally always cut at least 1/4 of the sugar out, sometimes
    even half. If you are planning on eating your pie ala mode, you won't miss the extra sugar in the pie.
* Substitute stevia in your pie recipes in place of sugar. Since most fruit pie recipes don't need the sugar
   for anything but to make it taste sweet, this is an easy substitution. I do not like pumpkin pie (gasp!
   yes, you read that correctly) or pecan pie.  I have never made either in my life. Using stevia works in
    fruit pie recipes, try it out in other types of pie recipes at your own risk.
* These tips even work for your whipping cream. Buy real cream and use less sugar (or stevia) when
   whipping it for a "healthier" whipped cream.

Now, the recipe.

"Healthier" Pie Crust

1 1/4 cups wonder flour (whole wheat flour could be substituted, but would result in a slightly denser

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup coconut oil (at room temperature - you want it to be the consistency of shortening)

4-5 Tbsp. cold water

I found this recipe works best in my food processor. If you don't have a food processor, you can cut the coconut oil into the flour with a pastry blender (or 2 knives)

Place flour, salt and coconut oil in the food processor. Blend until coconut oil is cut throughout the flour and the mixture resembles crumbs.

Begin adding water  and processing (or stirring). Add little bits of water until your dough forms a nice round ball.

Roll out your dough. I like to roll mine out on waxed paper because that makes the transfer to the pie plate easier. Do whatever works best for you.

Place your dough in your pie dish and shape it into the dish. Here is where you can make your edges all fancy (if you know how to do that - which I have not mastered yet).

This recipe makes one 9" pie crust. If you are making a pie with a bottom and a top crust, you will need to double the recipe. 

I LOVE apple pie, so that is what I made. I tried out this Sweet Molasses Apple Pie recipe (because it had molasses and I also LOVE molasses) and it was delicious! I obviously used my own crust recipe and cut the sugar WAY down and didn't add the raisins (because to me, raisins and pie don't go together). Use your favorite pie recipe and enjoy!


Friday, November 9, 2012

Fall Pumpkins

Here is your advance warning... this is a craft post. But since it is so easy, even for non-crafters, I thought it would be fun to post. Who doesn't like an extra way to dress up your home for fall?

I am not a pumpkin carver. I find it too messy and time-consuming for what it is worth. My husband always carves one big pumpkin for the kids to enjoy and for the seeds. We also let each kids pick out a small pumpkin. For these pumpkins, we either paint them or use pumpkin push pins (plastic pieces you can poke into the pumpkin to make a face). So, when Halloween is over, we are left with a few pumpkins that are still in fine condition and can be used as decorations. Usually I just leave them on the porch as plain old pumpkins. This year, I decided to do something a bit more fancy with my "leftover" pumpkins.

I simply took different colors of tulle (it is super cheap at Walmart) and wrapped my pumpkins in them.  I used some yellow, goldish brown and red, but you can use whatever colors you want. I tied the tulle at the top with some ribbon. I cut the top of the tulle to even it up a bit, but you can leave it however you want. (As a side note... I love using tulle to wrap around birthday presents instead of ribbon because it is so fun to poof - and it can also look a little masculine when wrapping presents for The Brother's friends) I used an assortment of ribbon that I had on hand for the "bows". You can get as fancy and creative as you want. Or keep it simple if you are not crafty or don't have hours to spend trying to create the perfect bow. These could even be made to use for Halloween by adding some fake spiders or other Halloweeny stuff.

Happy Fall!

On the buffet in our living room

On the piano - which has absolutely no natural light so this picture is terrible!


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Pumpkin Snickerdoodles (and they're egg-less)

Happy Election Day! I hope we all let our voices be heard today by voting.

Since we haven't had enough treats with Halloween being just last week, I thought it was a good time to post some cookies. Fall, Halloween and Thanksgiving are the perfect time to bust out the pumpkin recipes (although I think it is ok to cook with pumpkin year-round, if I can find it).  I just love the combination of pumpkin with all the yummy spices... cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger and allspice. Not only do they make the house smell heavenly while baking, they taste so delicious!!

This recipe combines all the fall yumminess (you know pumpkin and all the above-mentioned spices) with a classic favorite - snickerdoodles. It doesn't get any better than this, I promise!

Pumpkin Snickerdoodles

For the cookies:
2 cups wonderflour

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 tsp. aluminum-free baking powder

1/2 tsp. sea salt

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 tsp. nutmeg

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature

3/4 cup raw sugar

1/4 cup sucanat

3/4 cup pumpkin puree

1 Tbsp. ground flax mixed with 3 Tbsp. water

2 tsp. vanilla

For the coating:
1/2 cup raw sugar

1 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

In a medium bowl, combine flours, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Whisk to blend and set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the butter and sugars on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Blend in pumpkin puree. Beat in the ground flax mixed with water and vanilla until incorporated. With the mixer on low speed add in the dry ingredients and mix until just incorporated. Cover and chill for at least 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray baking sheet with non-stick spray or cover with silicone baking mat. Combine sugar and spices for coating in a small bowl and mix to blend. Scoop the dough (I like to use a small cookie scoop) and roll into a ball. Coat the dough ball in the sugar-spice mixture and place on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough to fill the sheets, spacing dough 2-3 inches apart. Press on dough balls slightly to flatten (I use the bottom of a small bowl so they are evenly "smooshed".

Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes, or until just set and baked through. Let cookies cool on cookie sheet for 5 minutes before transfering to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.

Recipe adapted from Annie Eats


Thursday, November 1, 2012

Egg-less Zucchini Spice Bread

Fall is the time of year when there always seems to be an abundance of zucchini - especially if you grow your own garden. While I am always looking for new ideas to use up my zucchini, there is always the favorite. Zucchini bread. I am also a lover of spice bread - meaning cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg - those kind of spices. So, why not blend the 2 together!

I had a recipe from years back that we used to make, but it calls for 3 eggs and oodles (and oodles and oodles) of sugar. While it tasted great, it was definitely a "treat" and not something to be eaten for breakfast. Obviously I needed a version without eggs and I wanted one that was a bit healthier. This is what I came up with after combining and changing a number of other recipes. It is equally as delicious, but also more filling and worthy of breakfast. Or lunch. Or why not dinner?

Egg-less Zucchini Spice Bread

2/3 cup turbinado (or raw) sugar

2/3 cup sucanat

1 cup coconut oil (or butter. Or even half coconut oil and half butter)

2/3 cup no-sugar added applesauce

1 Tbsp. ground flax mixed with 3 Tbsp. water (or 1 egg)

2 cups grated zucchini

3 tsp. vanilla

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

2 1/2 cups wonder flour (or other whole grain flour, like spelt or kamut)

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. baking powder

3 tsp. cinnamon

1/8 tsp. nutmeg

1/8 tsp. ground cloves

1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)

1/2 cup mini chocolate chips (optional - for a special occasion)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.  Spray loaf pan (or muffin tins) with non-stick spray.

Combine sugars, oil, applesauce and flax mixed with water in a large bowl. Beat until well blended. Add the grated zucchini and vanilla and mix well. In another bowl, sift together the dry ingredients.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake at 325 degrees F for 45-55 minutes (for loaf) or 20-25 minutes (for muffins).

These are super yummy served with homemade Apricot Jam or Raspberry Apricot Jam.

Yes, we love muffins more than "loaves" at our house!