Category Archives: recipe

Homemade Sunflower Seed Butter – really affordable and SOY free!

sunbutter bread Manimal loves sunflower seed butter. If I put it in his oatmeal he giggles loudly with every bite, and he almost always steals his big brother’s sunbutter bread (He did this morning, and the day before that). Unfortunately, all the brands that are sold at the stores near my house are made on a shared line with soy, so they are a no-no. That leaves the Trader Joe’s brand, which is really good — except Trader Joe’s is 30 plus minutes from my house. A 30 minute drive to buy groceries when you don’t have small children is an annoyance.  A 30 minute drive when you have small children is like getting a root canal. My boys use up all their patience on the drive over and spend the next 45 minutes in the store making fools of themselves, while making the grocery store unpleasant for anyone in earshot (and Trader Joe’s is small, so that’s everybody). Whew.

With that said, I have not had a chance to make a trip out to Trader Joe’s in a while. But a few weeks ago, I realized I could probably easily make my own. So I did a quick Google search and found this recipe on the really cute blog, Life From the Roof. It was soooo easy to make, and it tastes as good as the main-stream brands.

I have always bought Dakota-Brand shelled sunflower seeds from Hy-Vee because they are affordable (around $3 for a 16 ounce bag) and they seem to have good allergy practices so their lines are soy, peanut and gluten free. This recipe took all of 5 minutes to make, and yielded about half a mason jar of sunbutter. Because the sunflower seeds I used were salted, I omitted the salt from this recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 tsp salt (or use sunflower seeds that are salted).
  • 1-2 Tbl sp honey (I used 1 Tbl spoon, but I would have used another had I not run out)
  • 2-4 Tbl spoon oil (I used canola but coconut or olive oil would probably work really well, too).

Directions:

sunbutter processorIn your food processor (I’m sure a blender would work OK, too), pulse your sunflower seeds until they are a grainy mass that looks almost like wet sand. Use a rubber spatula to scrape the sides (turn the process off to do this, of course). Put the processor’s lid back on and while processing the seeds again, add a tablespoon of oil. Use the same tablespoon to add your honey (this way the honey just slips off the measuring spoon without sticking or having to scrape it off. Add the remaining number of tablespoons to the processor, while intermittently taking breaks to scrape the sides. Process until desired smoothness and consistency.

sunbutter manimal

Manimal enjoys his homemade sunbutter sandwich while giving the camera his newest weird “smile for the camera” face.

Sunbutter mason jar

Ham & Black Bean Lime Rice

cuban rice 2The Hubs made this dish last night in an effort to get rid of some of our leftover Easter Ham. At first he was calling it Cuban Sandwich Black Beans and Rice, but when we Googled recipes for Cuban Sandwiches, we realized the only ingredients that were similar were ham… so, he renamed it. I realize that this isn’t lime rice, but lime black beans, but well, “black bean lime rice” rolls off the tongue a little better!

Ingredients

  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 5 oz chopped cooked ham
  • 1 can prepared black beans (16 oz)
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 T cilantro
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 T lime juice
  • 1/2 T oil (we used canola)

Sweat the garlic and onions in the oil on medium heat. Add the chopped ham, cilantro and cumin and cook at medium heat ’til it is warmed. Add the beans and cook on medium heat until fully heated. Mix the sugar and lime juice together and add at the end. Pour over prepared rice and enjoy!

 

FREE allergy-friendly cookbook!!!

enjoy life e-cookbookHey, I wanted to share this FREE cookbook that Enjoy Life Foods has put on their Web site. It is a free download that is full of Top-8 and Gluten-Free recipes that I am excited to try.

I already own Enjoy Life’s Cookies for Everyone!: 150 Delicious Gluten-Free Treats that are Safe for Most Anyone with Food Allergies, Intolerances, and Sensitivities and it not only has great recipes but also tips on things like egg-replacer and how to stock an allergy-friendly kitchen. It is a must for anyone new to gluten-free and allergy-friendly cooking (as well, and anyone who wants good cookies…).

I really enjoy most of the products made my this company because I never EVER have to glance at the ingredients. And that’s a nice change…

Bumps on a Rock & Bumps on a Stump

bumps on a rock

Bump on a Rock

bumps on a stump

Bumps on a Stump

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is a play on the great snack from my childhood “bumps on a log” made with celery, raisins and peanut butter. Unfortunately, celery is too hard for Manimal to chew, but I have found a fun solution he loves – and it’s gluten-free, corn-free and top-8 free to boot!

Finding fun, healthy, allergy-friendly snacks for little ones can be difficult. Also, because peanut butter is a no-no for my kids, I often have trouble getting them to eat protein during the day without busting out the leftover meat from the night before.

I love making this snack for Manimal – he loves that they are bite sized, and I love that they are healthy and safe for him (Lil Z likes all three ingredients, but won’t eat it unless it is “deconstructed” because he has aversions to mixing of foods… sigh).

Ingredients:

  • Sliced bananas (the stumps)
  • Rice Chex (the rocks)
  • Raisins (the bumps)
  • Sunflower seed butter (I have been using Sunbutter’s, and it is really good, but soybeans are roasted on the same line and I think it has been bothering Manimal… so I am on a quest to find a new version).

Do I really need to explain how to make it? Just look at the pics!

Manimal enjoying bumps on rocks

Manimal enjoys his bumps on rocks.

What are some allergy-friendly, kid-friendly snacks you make at your house?