Thursday, October 30, 2014

Our Halloween Prep and the Teal Pumpkin Project

Have you seen pictures of teal pumpkins floating around social media lately?  If you haven't, it's time to check out the Teal Pumpkin Project from FARE (Food Allergy Research & Education).

As FARE mentions on its website, this campaign encourages people to paint pumpkins teal to build awareness of food allergies. Holidays and celebrations are always risky times for people with food allergies. Halloween is especially challenging. In support of kids with food allergies, and other kids who might not be able to eat candy (due to diabetes, etc.), FARE encourages you to offer options for non-food treats for trick-or-treat.  

Why is Teal Pumpkin Project so awesome? As FARE mentions, "The Teal Pumpkin Project is designed to promote safety, inclusion and respect of individuals managing food allergies – and to keep Halloween a fun, positive experience for all."

And there's one more benefit that I haven't heard much talk about......

You may find other friends with food allergies in your neighborhood.

We already know two kids in our development who have food allergies.  But I'm guessing there are a number of kids who deal with food allergies who we don't even know.  It's always great to have friends who deal with the same "stuff" that you do.  You never know what new friends you'll meet on trick or treat!

We have all our non-food treats ready to go along with our teal pumpkins.


Little Guy loved painting his pumpkin and then had to paint another one!  He's only 4, but I think he finds the teal pumpkin idea pretty cool. 


I've been collecting fun non-food treats at our local Giant grocery store and Target.  Things like Halloween pencils, erasers, kazoos, stamps and bracelets. I also have some fun Spooky Fruit Snacks I'll offer to the kids as another option. I'll be interested to see if the fruit snacks or non-food treats will be more popular!

Are you giving out non-food treats this year? What do you think of the Teal Pumpkin Project?

You might find have fun reading these other Halloween posts!

Allergy-Friendly Halloween Candy and Food Ideas

Halloween Happiness

Nut Free Chocolate Sunbutter Cups

Healthy Green Bhostbuster Smoothie


Thursday, October 23, 2014

Sunbutter Chocolate Cups: Taste Just Like Reese's

I've been wanting to make peanut free and dairy free Reese's Peanut Butter Cups for awhile now. I've had the candy molds sitting in the deep dark depths of my kitchen cabinets for about a year!  In preparation for Halloween festivities, I thought I'd try out a recipe for Sunbutter Chocolate Cups. Let me tell you, they are DIVINE. The Hubs and I both think they taste just like Reese's Peanut Butter Cups.

At FABlogCon (Food Allergy Bloggers Conference), SunCups said they are working on a dairy free version of their tasty nut free sunbutter filled chocolate cups. OH BOY! Until then, I'm excited that I can make these for Little Guy!

Also, one note if you're making these for kids with food allergies. Since these are "look-alike" candies, make sure you emphasize that these are DIFFERENT than Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. Just to make sure kids with food allergies realize they have to be careful if they eat something that looks like this.

Thanks to Sunbutter for their amazing and easy recipe. I didn't have the exact ingredients in my kitchen, so I thought I'd share my version with you that worked out perfectly too.

I mean, just take a look at this mouthwatering treat.


It's so exciting making fun recipes for your family that are safe for EVERYONE to eat, you know?

So how do you make this sweet nut free and dairy free treat?

Slowly melt 1 cup of dairy and nut free chocolate chips in a double broiler. You can see I made my own using a glass bowl and small pan.


Can you say YUM?


Pour about 1/4 - 1/2 tsp of melted chocolate in the bottom of your candy mold (depending on the size). Make sure it covers the bottom of your mold.  Put the mold in the freezer for 5 minutes and freeze the chocolate.


While the chocolate is freezing, mix up the Sunbutter filling. You can see here that I tried it two ways.  One with vanilla extract and one without. The vanilla extract makes the Sunbutter filling a little more moist when you're working with it. As for taste and texture when eating it, I didn't notice a difference with or without it!


Roll the filling into small balls, about 1/2 tsp size, and press balls down slightly into frozen chocolate cups.

Cover with rest of melted chocolate. Next time I may try to make them a little flatter on top, but this way turned out great too!


Sunbutter Chocolate Cups
Adapted from Sunbutter's awesome recipe

Ingredients

Filling:
  • 6 Tbsp smooth sunflower seed butter (try other types of "butters" if you can't eat sunflower!)
  • 2 Tbsp powdered sugar/confectioner's sugar
  • 4 tsp organic corn syrup (as Sunbutter recommends, you can also use agave syrup, brown rice syrup or cane syrup)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract (This makes the inside Sunbutter filling a little more moist when you're working with it. I tried one batch with it and one without. As for taste and texture when eating it, I didn't notice a difference with or without it!)
Outer Chocolate Coating:
  • 1 cup chocolate chips (I used Enjoy Life which are free of the top 8 allergens. Pascha chocolate also now offers dairy free chocolate chips!)
  • 1 Tbsp Sunbutter (This helps thicken the chocolate. Other recipes suggest palm shortening as an option too).
Directions
  • Melt your chocolate in a double broiler (I used a glass bowl on top of a sauce pan) on low heat. Stir until chocolate is melted.
  • Pour about 1/4 - 1/2 tsp of melted chocolate in the bottom of your candy mold (depending on the size). Make sure it covers the bottom of your mold.
  • Put the mold in the freezer for 5 minutes and freeze the chocolate.
  • While chocolate is freezing, mix up the Sunbutter filling. Roll the filling into small balls, about 1/2 tsp size, and press balls down slightly into frozen chocolate cups.
  • Cover with rest of melted chocolate.
  • Makes about 24 small Sunbutter Chocolate Cups
Recommendations
  • I used small candy molds. It would be fun to try others themed candy molds like this Small Pumpkin Chocolate Candy Mold or Small Heart Shape Silicon Candy Mold too!
  • Store these in the freezer. This chocolate is not tempered (it will melt at room temperature) and eat them soon after you get them out of the freezer!
  • HIDE these in the freezer. If I didn't hide them, then I know we wouldn't have any left for Halloween! (yes, this is a direct reference to my Sunbutter Chocolate Cup loving Hubs <3)


Here are some of the basics you need to make this recipe!  Choose your favorite chocolate (I used a mix of Enjoy Life mini chips and dark chocolate chips).


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