'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!

Tuesday, April 30, 2013


Store-bought granola is often labeled as a health food. But, it generally isn't.  The problem... store-bought granola is often full of preservatives and other such unwanted items.  If that isn't bad enough, they are also often contaminated with peanuts (if the don't actually contain them). And if you can solve both of those problems, the cost usually is not worth the actual granola.

We did not eat much granola before we made our diet switch (because of the above reasons). Homemade healthy granola was one of the first things I started making myself about a year ago when I found out how healthy it could be and how easy it was. I went to a class taught by the Green Smoothie Girl and thought she had some good points on eating whole foods (or real foods). So, I went to her website and began looking at her recipes and tips. When I found this granola recipe and made it for the first time, I was hooked. I made a few changes to suit my tastes better, but it is still as healthy and delicious!

This recipe if full of fiber and will clean you out (in case you need that). If is also full of omega-3 fatty acids. Most Americans get far too many omega-6 fatty acids and not enough omega-3 fatty acids (you can thank processed foods for that). We should be getting a 1:1 ratio of omega-6's to omega-3's (or if that seems too hard, at least a 4:1) where most people get a ratio closer to 20:1 (or even higher!). So, in conclusion, eat lots of healthy granola (yes that would be a plug for my recipe) and less processed foods For more information on this subject (fatty acids), read "In Defense of Food" by Michael Pollan.


Mix well:
4 cups rolled oats (not instant)

1/2 cup raw wheat germ (found in the bulk section of a health food store)

1/2 cup shredded coconut (unsweetened - also found at health food stores in bulk)

1/4 cup ground flax seed (fresh ground is better)

3/4 cup nuts and/or seeds (walnuts, pecans, cashews, almonds, pumpkin seeds or hemp seeds)

1/8 cup sesame seeds (found in the bulk section of a health food store)

1 Tbsp. cinnamon

Heat on stove until barely melted, stirring together:
1/3 cup honey

1/4 cup pure maple syrup or molasses

1/4 cup water

1/3 cup extra virgin coconut oil

1/2 Tbsp vanilla

Once all liquids are melted and stirred together, pour liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until distributed evenly (this takes a few minutes). Spread granola out on greased cookie sheet.

Bake at 250 degrees F for 60-90 minutes or until dry (and enjoy the delicious smell in your house). Remove from oven and allow to cool completely. Once cooled, scrape the granola off the pan with a spatula - the chunkier the better. Keep in the pantry in cooler weather for up to 2 weeks or in the fridge for up to six weeks in a sealed container (I use a ziploc bag).

Here are some ways we like to eat granola:
* directly out of the bag as a snack
* added to homemade trail mix
* in a bowl with milk like cereal
* on top of plain greek yogurt mixed with homemade berry sauce (and a dab of honey)

Recipe adapted from Green Smoothie Girl


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Chunky Monkey Muffins

As you know, I have a thing for muffins. My kids love them, I love them, and my husband loves them (because they are fast and easy to grab on his way to work). They work for breakfast, lunch, snacks and even dinner (because breakfast for dinner is always a hit to switch things up a bit). I was introduced to this "type" of muffin in a gluten-free version and it looked so yummy, I wanted to find a "regular" version. This is what I have come up with. We LOVE it!! I hope you do too.

Of course, we have Mickey muffin tins!!

Chunky Monkey Muffins

1/2 cup sugar (or raw sugar)
2 eggs *
1 Tbsp vanilla
4 bananas, mashed
3/4 cups buttermilk (I have used regular milk and almond milk with great success)
1 cup butter, melted (or 6 oz. coconut oil, melted)
1 3/4 cups wonder flour **
1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour (or regular whole wheat too)
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 Tbsp cinnamon
1 cup shredded coconut, unsweetened
1 cup chocolate chips (or 1/2 cup chocolate chips and 1/2 cup cinnamon chips)
1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Cream together sugar and wet ingredients (eggs through butter). * If you would like to replace the eggs in this recipe, I would use 1/3 cup applesauce for 1 egg and 1 Tbsp ground flax mixed with 3 Tbsp water (let sit until it gels) for the second egg. 

Mix in dry ingredients. ** If you are using a different whole grain flour than wonder flour, cut the amount back to    1 1/2 cups. Fold in the shredded coconut and chocolate chips.

Line or spray muffin tins. Scoop batter into muffin tins and fill 3/4 full. If using chopped nuts, sprinkle on top of the batter.

Bake for about 20 minutes. This recipe makes 2 dozen muffins (which I like - a little work with a big result). These can be frozen and thawed in the refrigerator overnight. I love to eat these with a little coconut oil spread on them (instead of butter) or some all-fruit jam. Yum!!

Recipe adapted from Tasty Kitchen
Disregard the dirty muffin tin - focus on the delicious looking muffins!


Friday, April 19, 2013

How To: Replace Eggs

Eggs have many functions in baking, which makes it difficult to use only one method to replace eggs in all recipes. Before you decide which method to use, you need to figure out what the purpose of the egg is in your recipe. Here are some of the functions of eggs in baking.

1. For moisture: If there is not a lot of other liquid in the recipe, then the egg is used for additional moisture.

2. For leavening: If there are no other leavening agents in the recipe (like baking powder or baking soda) but you notice that there are acidic ingredients (like buttermilk, vinegar or citrus juice) then the egg is used as a leavening agent.

3. As a binder: If there is enough leavening and liquid in the recipe but nothing to "glue" it all together, then it is used as a binder. Eggs help prevent crumbling and provide structure to foods. Sometimes, eggs are used to give the recipe moisture and binding.

So, now that you have figured out what the egg is used for, here are some common substitutes.

For moisture: 
* 1/2 mashed banana (about 1/4 cup)
* 1/3 cup no-sugar added applesauce
* 1/3 cup pumpkin puree

For leavening: 
* 1 Tbsp each of vinegar and water mixed in a glass. Add 1 tsp baking powder and mix well.
* Ground flaxseed (1 Tbsp mixed with 3 Tbsp hot water - set aside until it turns to gel)
* Buttermilk (1/2 cup in place of egg, add a little less water - works well in baked goods)

For binding: 
* Equal amounts oatmeal, mashed potatoes or cooked rice (for use in meatloaf, burgers or patties, etc...)
* Ground flaxseed (1Tbsp mixed with 3 Tbsp hot water -set aside until it turns to gel)
* Banana, applesauce, pumpkin puree (see above amounts)

When working to replace eggs in your recipes, keep in mind it is much easier to replace only 1 egg (or 2) rather than 3 or more eggs. Recipes with 3 or 4 eggs are much harder to get just right. Also, it is a trial and error process. Each recipe is different and what works with one recipe won't work as well with another recipe.

I found that there were some types of recipes that were especially hard to get to my liking (for me, it was brownies and waffles). Muffins and quick breads were fairly easy to replace the egg(s) in (even with 2 or 3 eggs).

My secret trick (I can't believe I am sharing!) is to search for vegan recipes. It is easy to substitute healthier flours and oils in a recipe that doesn't already have eggs.

Happy baking!


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Thin Mints

I'm sure most of you noticed the Girl Scouts out selling their cookies last month. Every year, I would go out in search of some cookies (since they never came to me)... until this year. We have decided we don't want to buy their cookies anymore - for 2 reasons, really.

One, they are expensive. Yes, you can argue that it is for a good cause, but they are still expensive.  We are trying very hard to stay within budget (which is a bit more work when buying "clean" foods) and I hate spending money on junk, especially expensive junk.

Which brings us to my second reason... they are just not healthy (as if you couldn't already guess). Now, I am a firm believer in having some sweets (moderation in all things) and don't advocate and all-out-ban on treats, but I also believe that we can still be smart when picking our "treats".  We can still have treats without preservatives and artificial ingredients. There are no redeeming qualities to girl scout cookies (health wise). Here is the nutrition label for Thin Mints.

Notice that they contain enriched flour, partially hydrogenated oils, soy lecithin and other ingredients I would never use at home. Now, don't freak out on me. I realized that some of you will think I am being ridiculous here and that they only come around once a year, so is it really a big deal? If that is how you feel, just skip this post and wait for the next one... I won't feel bad. For those of you who may be thinking that you don't want to eat that stuff... keep reading.

Brother #1 was a bit bummed when his friends were eating their cookies at school for lunch and we didn't have any.  I decided to surprise him one day and make my own. Needless to say, he was very excited and happy to take my cookies in his lunch the next day. Just thought you might like to know... I count 8 ingredients in my cookies compared to 21 in the Girl scout version. 

Since I used coconut oil, my were a bit crumbly and some broke in two when I was coating them. 
They may not look as pretty, but they sure tasted equally as yummy!

Thin Mints

For the cookies:
8 ounces butter (or 6 oz coconut oil - which will make them a bit crumblier, but a great option for a dairy allergy)
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup powdered sugar*
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour

For the coating:
10 oz. semi-sweet baking chocolate
1 1/2 tsp pure peppermint extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Cream the butter (or coconut oil, which is what I used) until light and fluffy, then add the powdered sugar and mix until combined. *If you want to be even healthier, place 1 cup raw sugar in a high-powered blender and blend until a fine powder forms. Stir in the salt, vanilla and cocoa powder. Mix until the cocoa powder is integrated and the batter resembles a thick frosting. If you opt for coconut oil, you may want to soften (not melt) it a bit before using. It makes this step work a bit better - otherwise you might find yourself with chunks of coconut oil that won't mix in and your batter won't resemble frosting at all. I know this from personal experience. Add the flour and mix until just combined, making sure not to over mix.

Form the dough into a ball. Knead a few times to bring together, then flatten into a disk (between 1/2 inch and an inch thick) and wrap in plastic wrap. Place in freezer for 5 minutes.

Remove dough from freezer and roll out really thin (about 1/8 inch thick) on a floured surface. Cut cookies using a 1 1/2 inch to 2 inch cookie cutter.

Place cookies on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely on a wire rack.

While cookies are baking, make the mint coating. Chop the baking chocolate into small pieces (or if you are lazy, just throw the bricks into your bowl) into a glass bowl. Place in microwave in short 15-20 seconds, stirring in between until melted. Stir in peppermint extract.

When cookies are cool, gently drop cookies, one at a time, into the coating. Turn to coat entirely, then lift the cookie out with a fork. Tap the fork gently on the side of the bowl to allow extra coating to drip off. Place on parchment paper or wax paper lined baking pan. Repeat the process with the rest of the cookies.

Place the cookies in the refrigerator or freezer to set. I stored my cookies in the freezer to keep them from melting (or getting soft).

Recipe adapted from The View From Great Island


Friday, April 12, 2013


I guess it is pretty obvious that I haven't posted in a long time - a really long time. To be quite honest, I became so overwhelmed with life and everything that comes with life. Ok, a lot of it boils down to taking away The Princess's binky and her deciding to stop napping. She went from a very happy, fun-loving toddler to a very mean, ornery, stubborn (ok, she was that way before) and demanding toddler. I just couldn't keep up with everything (and still find the time to blog) and something had to give. So, I backed away from blogging for a bit until the dust settled.

We are now about 6 weeks post-binky and still haven't quite figured things out completely. We kind of have a system down now where The Princess gets to spend an hour (at least we try for that, but inevitably, she ends up banging on her door around 30 to 45 minutes in) in her room for "quiet time". Whether she takes a nap or not is her decision (and so far her decision is to not take a nap - ever! Until we get in the car and than she is out).  That "quiet time" gives me a few minutes to get things done. Anyway... there really is something called the terrible 2's! To make matters more fun, we are also in the middle of potty-training.

The Princess weathering the storms of life... with a spiderman umbrella, of course!

Switching gears a bit from the joys of having a toddler to the second reason I was feeling overwhelmed. If you have followed my blog since the beginning, you know that The Princess was diagnosed with an egg (and milk) allergy along with her allergies to peanuts and brazil nuts right before she turned 1.  We had her tested for additional allergies (and retested for her known allergies) when she turned 2. We learned that she had already outgrown the egg and milk allergies (and thankfully had not developed any new allergies). That knowledge obviously changed the way we had been cooking - since we were cooking without eggs. As the time went on, we were able to slowly work eggs into The Princess's diet, until now she can tolerate scrambled eggs - and actually really likes them.

One of the main reasons I started this blog was to share recipes that I had either created or adapted to suit The Princess's allergies - one of the main ones being her egg allergy.  Once she outgrew her egg allergy, I still felt a sense of responsibility to continue to post "egg-less" recipes, yet we weren't eating that way at home. Most of the recipes I was making for my family, I felt I couldn't put on the blog because they contained eggs. As more time went on, I found that there were fewer and fewer recipes I felt were "blog-worthy". I found myself spending more and more time trying to create or adjust recipes just for the blog and less and less time with my kids.

In my month off of blogging, I have been wondering if I would/could keep the blog going and what type of recipes I would post if I did keep blogging.  I found myself thinking at times, "This would be a good recipe to post" and at other times enjoying not having to take pictures of everything I cooked. As of today,  I guess you could say I have decided to keep posting recipes. There is no guarantee they will be regular - that depends on The Princess and The Brother's sports schedules - and whether I have found time to cook some new and wonderful things.

As for what types of recipes?  I will post what we eat. So, to those who need egg-less recipes, I will post a tutorial in the near future on how to replace eggs in recipes so that you can easily change recipes yourself. Of course, all the recipes I post will be peanut (and brazil nut) free (and will have options if you need to avoid tree nuts - where possible). Since we have also been focusing on "clean-eating" in our house in the last year, that is the direction my blog will also take. I know that many may not share my views on the need to get rid of processed foods, additives, preservatives, artificial sweeteners and food colorings, but I hope I can share with you my passion on why I feel it is so important for our family... and for every family.

I will continue to share tips, tricks and information on navigating life with food allergies. And for those who are parenting children with food allergies or intolerances, I will share insights into the life of The Princess and the life of a mother of a child with food allergies. Since, lets face it, motherhood is hard enough and adding in the stress, anxiety and extra things a food allergy mother deals with makes it even harder.

I hope that you will still find recipes that work for you and your family and that you enjoy as much as we do. Thanks for taking the time to read my blog and put up with my crazy life!