Monday, March 23, 2015

Easy SunButter Breakfast Cookies

I wanted to share a healthy recipe with you that my kids just gobble up. These Easy SunButter Breakfast Cookies are great solutions for a fast breakfast or snack. I usually make a double batch and store them in the freezer. They defrost rather quickly so you can pop them in a lunch bag or eat them as a bedtime snack.

Oh, and you know they have to be egg free, dairy free and nut free!

My 2 year old toddler ate 4.5 of these yesterday. Honest!
nut free, dairy free, gluten free, egg free

You know what? I didn't mind that she chowed down on them. I truly love these breakfast cookies because they:
  • Are made of whole foods and real food
  • Are vegan (egg-free, dairy-free and can be made with maple syrup instead of honey to be truly vegan)
  • Are gluten-free if you use gluten-free oats
  • Taste just a little sweet, almost like a healthy granola bar, but not too sweet
  • Have no added refined sugar
  • Are easy and you probably have most of these ingredients
See? You probably already have all this in your kitchen!
Easy SunButter breakfast cookies

Easy SunButter Breakfast Cookies
Print this recipe
Adapted from a Breakfast Cookie Recipe in Dr. Oz's magazine
Makes 20 cookies

Ingredients:

Mix together first:
3 ripe bananas
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1/4 cup SunButter
1 Tbsp ground flaxseed
1 Tbsp honey (or maple syrup to make it truly vegan)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp cinnamon
pinch of salt

Fold in at the end:
1/2 cup unsweetened dried coconut (or coconut flakes)
1/3 cup unsalted pumpkin seeds + sunflower seeds (any combination you'd like)
1/3 cup dried fruit (in the past, I've combine raisins, Craisins and dried dates - use any combination you'd like)

Directions:
  • Line two baking sheets with parchment paper
  • Mash bananas with fork
  • Stir in oats, SunButter, honey (or maple syrup), vanilla, salt and cinnamon
  • Fold in coconut, seeds and dried fruit
  • Let mixture sit for 10 minutes so oats absorb liquid
  • Drop by about 1/8 cup fulls (scooped about half of the mixture into a 1/4 cup and used a spoon to drop it onto the cookie sheet) onto baking sheets
  • Flatten cookies with a fork
  • Bake at 350 degrees for about 12 minutes or until slightly golden brown

This is a photo of the cookies before baking. It was hard not to eat the "batter".
Easy SunButter Breakfast Cookies

Easy SunButter Breakfast Cookies

If you like nut-free SunButter recipes, you might also like:

SunButter Baked Oatmeal

No Bake Oat Balls

Chocolate Coconut Oat Bars

SunButter Chocolate Cups

Friday, March 6, 2015

Eating Freely at One Dish Cuisine

Okay food allergy friends. I want you to imagine something. 

I want you to imagine a restaurant which contains NONE of your or your child's allergens.  It's a place where you're free to order whatever you want from the FULL menu. You don't have to educate staff about cross contact, allergen-free cooking surfaces, clean pans, the severity of your food allergies or epipens. 


Does this restaurant oasis actually exist?


YES!


If you haven't heard of it before, One Dish Cuisine, located in Ellicott City, MD, is free of Gluten (Wheat, Rye, Barley), Oats, Soy, Eggs, Fish, Shellfish, Sesame, Peanuts and Tree Nuts (except Coconut in very limited products). They also operate with two different cooking lines with dedicated equipment.  The GREEN kitchen contains milk products. And the BLUE kitchen does not contain milk, dairy, lactose or whey.


There is no other restaurant I know like this one. I WISH we lived closer to it, but we were lucky to have attended a Baptism right near it last weekend.  I knew we had to make a special trip to One Dish Cuisine since we were so close!


Food Allergies
Little Guy is so happy being able to order lots of safe food!
Here are the two genius owners of this wonderful restaurant, Maureen and Dave Burke. Did you know they were the #1 rated independent restaurant in the U.S. on AllergyEats?

Notice the two menu boards in the back. The board on the left, the GREEN menu, contains milk. The one on the right, the BLUE menu, does not.

food allergies

We ordered all our food from the BLUE, dairy-free, menu. And we ordered a LOT of food - just for the fun of it!

food allergies

Before you read any further, just remember that ALL of this food is free of:

Dairy, Gluten (Wheat, Rye, Barley), Oats, Soy, Eggs, Fish, Shellfish, Sesame, Peanuts and Tree Nuts

...and it was DELICIOUS.

First, Maureen brought us out two big rolls, "rye" and white, on the house. Yum.

food allergies

We also ordered spaghetti and meatballs, complete with garlic bread!
food allergies

Chicken fingers and fries...something we never get to order in a restaurant.
food allergies

A turkey bacon club sandwich.
food allergies

And a "cheese" pizza.  Mainly - everything Little Guy might like to try!!

food allergies

Oh, and did I mention the DESSERTS?

This is a chocolate cupcake that Little Guy picked out from the BIG case of desserts that were safe for him. Not something we usually get to do.

food allergies

This is a picture of happiness! Do you see all the BLUE trays under the desserts in this fun case? That means they're free of dairy and all of Little Guy's other allergens (peanuts, tree nuts, sesame and egg)!

food allergies

Little Guy also got to try his first Whoopie Pie! He LOVED it.
food allergies

As if we didn't have enough good stuff already, Maureen brought over her amazing carrot cake cupcake and snickerdoodle cookie to try.  Um, they were devoured in a minute...
One Dish Cuisine Restaurant
And we definitely want to go back to try things like:  

This amazing ice cream cookie.
food allergies

These pre-made cupcakes. Perfect portions to stick in your freezer and take to a birthday party.
food allergies

Pizza, french toast, pancakes, shepherd's pie.
food allergies

Chicken nuggets, meatloaf, bread and burger buns.
food allergies

food allergies

And who doesn't love a restaurant that offers Enjoy Life Chocolate bars? 
food allergies

We REALLY want One Dish Cuisine to expand to the Philly area. Maybe one day? Either way, we'll certainly be making a trip there again! 
food allergies

Have you ever been to One Dish Cuisine before? What would you order if you were able to eat at this awesome restaurant?

Monday, February 9, 2015

Easy Heart Shaped Pancakes for Valentine's Day

Tinfoil heart mold for pancakes

OH Valentine's Day. How I love (and DON'T love) thee! 

I try not to make too much fuss about "holidays" like Valentine's Day. There's enough pressure in day to day living! However, I DO want to have a little fun and make sure my kids do too.

So far, we bought good-old valentines for the kiddos to give out at their school. Simple, cheap, cute AND they include NON-FOOD "treats" like pencils and stickers. 

Valentine's Day is such a candy and treat-focused time which makes it challenging for kids with food allergies. Non-food treats are an awesome way to celebrate the day and still show friends you care. Aww.

Oh, and parents of kids with food allergies REALLY appreciate those non food treats too.


Valentine's Day food allergies

On the other hand, it's also fun to have food allergy-friendly recipes and ideas in your back pocket for days like this.  I have a set of heart shaped cookie cutters like these (affiliate) that I'll use on Valentine's day to have fun with sandwiches, fruit, cheese, etc, etc!). 

We're also going to have our favorite Vegan Pumpkin pancakes to start the day with a special treat. I already cooked and froze them ahead of time so I can just pull them out of the freezer on Vday. 

It's so easy to make this beautiful plate. Just cut a triangle out of the top of halved strawberries, and sprinkle shredded coconut and dairy-free chocolate chips and enjoy!

Tinfoil pancake molds

I used this tin foil mold idea to make heart shaped molds for the pancakes. It was simple and easy to make and it took about 5 minutes total!  

How do you do it?
  • Basically, just fold a long piece of tinfoil the "hotdog" or long way, and wrap it around a heart shaped cookie cutter.  
  • Take out the cookie cutter from the foil, and adjust the tinfoil as needed to make a more perfect heart.
  • Spray the inside of the tinfoil with oil of your choice. I used olive oil in my Misto Sprayer (affiliate).
  • Put the tinfoil heart mold on an already heated pan and pour in your pancake batter.
  • Once the pancake is done on one side, carefully peel off the tinfoil and flip the pancake as usual to finish cooking.

This photo is about 2 pancakes later. The molds are still ready to shape a pancake!
Easy Heart Shaped Pancakes for Valentine's Day

Tips: 
  • Don't plan on making 20 pancakes with this tinfoil mold unless you have lots of time. I successfully used each one for about 3 pancakes (and made the rest of my pancakes the traditional way!). 
  • After each pancake I wiped off some of the pancake batter that stuck onto the tinfoil mold.
  • Make sure to spray the inside of the mold every time before you use it so the batter doesn't stick. 

How do you celebrate Valentine's Day? There are SO many creative ideas out there (on Pinterest for instance!). 

What's your favorite?


!
 
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