'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!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Nut Butter Granola Bars

Don't ask me how I forgot to post this on Friday?! I had it all ready to go and than it totally slipped my mind. I guess when my routine is thrown off, everything else goes out the window. So, you are getting it Sunday evening so you don't have to wait until Tuesday.  Happy St. Patrick's Day!!

After taking my original granola bars on road trips and realizing that they don't stay together all that well and finding a big mess after any of the kids ate them, I decided that I needed to revamp my recipe. I needed one that held together better, but was still yummy and healthy.

These new granola bars have been with us to Disneyland (twice), Yellowstone, and countless other places. They are so much easier to eat and travel with. I think they taste even better. On our last trip to Disneyland, these are the only thing The Princess would eat - literally. It is a good thing the recipe makes a very large batch!

Nut Butter Granola Bars

1/2 cup butter

1/4 cup coconut oil

1/2 cup sucanat or brown sugar

1/2 cup brown rice syrup (can be found at health food stores)

1/4 cup honey

3/4 cup nut butter (I used this recipe)

3 tsp vanilla extract

3 cups quick oats

3 cups old fashioned oats

2 1/4 cups crispy rice cereal (we like Envirokidz Koala Crunch - regular or chocolate)

1 1/2 cup chopped nuts or seeds (any combo and variety - I used walnuts and pecans)

3/4 cup mini chocolate chips (optional)

Spray bottom of a cookie sheet with non-stick spray or cover with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, mix together quick oats, old fashioned oats, crispy rice cereal and nuts (or seeds).

In a large sauce-pan, add butter, coconut oil, sucanat (or brown sugar), brown rice syrup, honey and nut butter. Heat over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally until the mixture starts to bubble. Once bubbling, cook for 2 minutes while stirring. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract.

Pour wet mixture over dry mixture in bowl and stir (very well) until everything is coated.

Pour into prepared pan and press mixture evenly into the pan. I find this is easiest (and best) done with fingers. You want to make sure you press it down tight and compact. This will make your granola bars have maximum stick-togetherness.

Sprinkle mini chocolate chips over the top and gently press into the granola bars - again with your hands. DO NOT mix in chocolate chips with the dry ingredients before adding the wet stuff - you will no longer have chocolate chips in your granola bars but have chocolate granola bars instead (as you can tell from the lack of chocolate chips in my picture).

Place the whole pan of bars in the refrigerator and let cool for at least 30 minutes. Cut into bars as big or small as you want. I like to wrap my bars in plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator. They hold together better when cold. We have kept ours in the fridge for up to 2 weeks and they are still tasty. I bet they would last longer, ours just never make it longer before they are gone!

Adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod


Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Green Eggs

This is going to be a quick post... I am working on making some changes (again) to the blog. Stay tuned for some updates.

For now, this is a plug (I guess you could call it) for one of my favorite websites, 100 Days of Real Food (www.100daysofrealfood.com). She has some great ideas and advice on real food eating. Obviously with food allergies, we have to pick and choose what advice and recipes we use but I still love following her.

Since The Princess has outgrown her egg allergy, we have been introducing them slowly into her diet. She is now able to tolerate scrambled eggs - although she doesn't eat them too often. As part of our diet change, we are trying to avoid food colorings and dyes, so when I came across this recipe for "healthy" green eggs on the 100 days website, I knew I had to try it.  We celebrated Dr. Suess's birthday by making green eggs and ham and reading aloud the book while the kids ate.  The Princess and The Brothers didn't even notice a difference - and there really wasn't a taste difference. 

 This is a TERRIBLE picture, but the only one I snapped in the chaos of the morning

While Dr. Suess's birthday has passed, St. Patrick's Day is coming up and healthy green eggs would be a great way to celebrate!

Click here for the recipe and enjoy your own green eggs!!


Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Homemade Ramen Noodles

Brother #1 loves ramen noodles. He could eat them every day. I prefer that he not eat them every day - or ever really. I stopped buying packaged ramen about a year ago and he was so sad. After thinking about it, I decided it wouldn't be that hard to recreate ramen at home, but with healthier ingredients and no preservatives and additives. Luckily, he loves the homemade kind just as much. This might take a few minutes longer than the packaged kind, but it is worth the wait (and is still pretty quick and easy).

Healthy Ramen

Olive oil

Vegetables, diced (we use carrots and celery)

4 cups water (or chicken broth/stock)

3-4 Tbsp chicken flavoring (if not using stock - try and find some without MSG. I get mine at Costco)

Noodles* (approx 6-8 ounces)

Vegetable Seasoning (I have been using McCormick Vegetable, while not the best, it is still better than the eating packaged ramen)

Sriracha Hot Sauce

1 -2 Eggs, beaten (optional)

Heat 1-2 Tbsp olive oil in sauce pan. When hot, add your diced vegetables and cook for 3-5 minutes until soft.

Add water/broth (and chicken flavoring, if using) to your saucepan and bring to a boil. When the water is boiling, add the pasta *(We use basic whole-wheat spaghetti or angel hair pasta but you can get fancy and use an asian noodle. If you are using a noodle with a shorter cooking time, you may need to increase your saute time to ensure the vegetables aren't crunchy.)

About 1 minute before the noodles are finished, add your beaten egg (is using) to the pan and swish around to break up any large egg chunks. When the noodles are finished cooking, add the vegetable seasoning (or whatever seasoning you choose) and hot sauce. The hot sauce is super spicy so a little bit (and I mean a little bit - we use about 1/2 tsp) goes a long way.

Side note: when The Princess's daddy and I were dating, I lived with a Korean roommate. She would make ramen all the time and add the Sriracha hot sauce. She would judge how spicy it was by how many "turns" she made in her bowl with the hot sauce. She thought it was so fun to challenge everyone who came to visit to a competition to see who could handle the most "turns". The Princess's daddy beat everyone with 4 turns (but after living for 2 years in Korea, he had an unfair advantage)! Now, don't try that at home unless you really like spice. 

Ladle soup into a bowl and enjoy!


Friday, March 1, 2013

It could be worse...

There are times as I sit thinking about The Princess, her allergies, the difficulties of getting people to be tolerant and accepting of food allergies, and what lies ahead in her life, I have a little pity party for what she has to deal with and what I have to deal with. It is hard to have a child with food allergies and know that they will experience some pain in life.

Than I remember that she is strong and healthy. Despite not being able to eat peanuts and brazil nuts, she has no other medical conditions. I realize that I should be grateful that this trial is very small compared to some... and it could be much worse.

I have recently learned about a young boy named Mitchell who has it much worse.  Check out the Facebook page his father created that follows his journey with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy - a disease that is rapidly destroying his heart. Scrolling through the many posts and pictures has changed my views... there is no room in my life for a pity party.