Hungry Hungry Hippie

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Baby donuts

Calm down, I’m not feeding my two year old son donuts.  But he doesn’t know that.

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As it turns out, toddlers like eating things in fun new shapes, even if it’s the same batter as every other thing I bake!  Ha!

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To be fair, it’s not actually the same batter as the other breakfast stuff he eats, but the ingredients aren’t that different (they’re still plenty healthy), so it’s an easy option for me to offer him and a win that he is obsessed.  As you’ll soon see, they are super simple.

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The batter makes 6 donuts and 4 muffins – so my mini-me and I both have breakfast for a few days!  I have this donut pan by the way.

Based on this chocolate recipe by Elana, I made it allergy friendly (and non chocolate) for P.

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How pleased is he??

Allergy Friendly Vanilla Donuts [gluten free, dairy free, nut free, soy free]

  • 4 eggs (room temp)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1/4 cup gluten free all purpose flour (I used TJ’s)
  • pinch salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.

Mix wet ingredients (eggs, oil, vanilla, syrup) in a large bowl and then mix in the rest of the (dry) ingredients.  Pour into greased donut/muffin tins (don’t fill the donuts over half way).

Bake for 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the muffins comes out clean.

Store them in the fridge, but I suggest warming them slightly before serving because coconut oil solidifies at cold temperatures.

Breakfast diversity

Oh my gosh!  I had different things for breakfast this week!  Food ruts be gone?

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I made another paleo loaf this week, which yielded one mini loaf and three muffins (because I don’t have the recommended size loaf pan for the actual recipe).

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A completely different breakfast for me here – two fried eggs made into a omelet of sorts with spinach and goat’s milk brie folded inside.  And half an avocado on the side.

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And then my taste buds swung back in the sweet direction.  180 from the above, much?  This pancake had way more sun butter on top than shown (and the second half of the banana went into my mouth during the cooking process).

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Here’s one of the paleo bread muffins.  Paired with an egg and avo.  Standard.

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Ran out of avo :(

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I made vanilla muffins for P because we have a few birthday parties coming up and I thought it would be easier on the other moms if I just told them I’d bring a treat for my guy (rather than add stress to them in considering his allergies – which they all are doing anyway because they are super freakin awesome).  So I made a few big ones and some mini ones since we had extra batter.  I plan on frosting the ones I bring for the parties so they seem more special than the others which I’m just giving him as muffins for breakfast.  They have virtually no sugar since they are sweetened with mashed banana, so it doesn’t even matter how many he eats or when he has them.

Anyway, I sampled one myself with a fried egg.

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And one final pancake to finish off the week.  Topped with sun butter and salt.

Are you so impressed with the diversity in my first meal of the day?!  I was.  Kyle, on the other hand, managed to make the coffee cake that I baked him on Sunday night last all week!  So he had the same thing every day.

The weekly menu

This post feels like a sponsored post for Trader Joe’s, but I assure you it is not.  They are kinda awesome though in terms of price and quality.  And we happen to do the majority of our shopping there.  Sure, you could find more local/organic/etc stuff at WFs, but TJs is definitely on their game and does a pretty good job of keeping with the food trends while remaining true to their consumer’s desire for affordable but popular products.  So yeah, as I warned you, this week was heavy on the packaged (semi-pre-made) stuff to assist me in my pregnant and lazy state.  Could be any day now…fingers crossed.

No chalkboard photo again this week because it still has random drawings on it, unrelated to our menu.

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An easy Saturday night dinner with TJs ribs, cornbread, and Caesar salad.

I made the cornbread the previous day using Bob’s Red Mill mix and canned coconut milk so P could have it too.  He loves cornbread.

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On Sunday we had pork tacos with a cabbage salsa slaw and avocado.  I used green cabbage and TJs peach and mango salsa (to give it a fruity twist).  I tossed the cabbage in the salsa a while before we ate so it could soften up a bit and take on some of the salsa flavor too.

I had leftover shells from a million years ago but since they were sealed in an air tight container they were still crunchy and delicious.

In case you were wondering the ingredients in the carnitas are: pork, water, vinegar, salt, sodium phosphate, marinade (water, orange juice concentrate) and pepper.  Not bad, right?

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I microwaved it in a glass bowl (it’s already cooked so just needs to be re-heated) with a bit of water in the bottom and saran wrap on top, which steamed it nicely so it easily chopped up in a semi-shredded / semi-pulled state.  Super simple and thanks to the fairly basic marinade, I can see it being good in a million different recipes thanks to the ability to take on the flavor of whatever dish you are using it in.

I had three tacos and Kyle had four.  I bet soft corn tortillas would be delicious as well.  Simple can be great.

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The next night was Monday which meant co-op “school” with P til 4:30 and minimal time to cook.  Usually these are crock pot nights for me but this Monday was easy enough that I just did it all once we got home.  A steak salad with TJ’s grass fed beef sirloin roast.

 

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It looks weird when you open it but it was, in fact, super easy to remove from the plastic.  I have mega issues with things wrapped in plastic so this is a point worth mentioning for me.  Goat cheese?  Don’t get me started!  And sausages!?!  Ugh. It’s like the stupidest system ever!!!  There’s no way to NOT make a mess, and with certain products (i.e. cheese) you lose 25% in the process.  Lame.

I digress.

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The only ingredients in the grass fed beef are: beef sirloin, sea salt, and pepper.  And it comes already cooked and perfectly sliced.  Happy dance.

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I made a salad with spring greens, quinoa, goat feta, dried cranberries, and a red wine vinaigrette (olive oil infused with garlic, red wine vinegar, dijon mustard, maple syrup, sea salt and pepper.

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Looks fancy for how quickly it came together.

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On Tuesday we had bibimbap with pickled cucumber and ground pork based on this recipe.  I’ve never had (authentic) bibimbap and I don’t really know how to say it so I always call it a bipitty bopitty boo bowl.  I’m a freak, I know.  I wish they had a bibigo in Davis.  That place was yums.

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I would have bought the bool kogi from TJs (I think it’s a new product) since it’s basically meant for exactly this recipe but (1) it wasn’t pre-cooked and (2) it had sesame in it’s marinade which meant P couldn’t have any.  Instead I got ground pork (from WF) so we could all eat it.  P lovesssss pork.  Okay, he loves all cuts of pig – bacon, ham, you name it.  It’s alarmingly ironic given my dietary background.

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The rest of the contents of the bowl included brown rice, shredded carrots, quick pickled cucumbers (for me, not Kyle), crushed up seaweed snacks, with a fried egg and sririacha on top.   Completely delicious.

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Wednesday was burgers and slaw.  We had leftover cabbage which I tossed in a mayo, vinegar, salt and sugar blend.  I like mine really mayo-ified and Kyle’s not a big vinegar person so this was not the healthiest of meals by any stretch.  C’est la vie, right?  At least there was something green on the plate.

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Sorry about the funky lighting in this pic – the iPhone can only do so much.  This was Kyle’s plate btw (hence the cheese).  I made the burgers plain (without anything beyond an egg, salt and pepper).  I think patty-cakes likes saying hamburger just as much as he likes eating them.  He says it in a funny accent, which I have basically encouraged because it makes me crack up so much.  I can’t describe it, but you’ll just have to trust me, it’s amusing.

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We got back pretty much right at dinner time on Thursday thanks to an afternoon zoo visit, so it was good I had leftover cornbread ready to go (all of P’s food was leftovers as well).

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I paired it with pork belly sautéed with collards.  Boom, dinner is served!

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This cut of meat (and product in general) is new to me, so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect upon opening it, but as with the rest of the already cooked meats from TJs, it was super easy to use.

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I just chopped it and added it to a pan.  Then added collards and later deglazed the pan with some white wine.  So simple I think my two year old could have done it.

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Kyle basically fell in love with pork belly after this.

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TGIF!!!!!  The glorious weekend arrived and we celebrated with the most home-made thing all week…shrimp and veggies in a coconut milk broth, served over quinoa.

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Both the veggies and the shrimp were frozen so I basically did nothing but dump them in a pan with garlic infused olive oil, but shhhh…it looks fancy. How fun is the name Harvest Hodgepodge.  I liked it a lot.  P pounded heaps of shrimp like I knew he would and reluctantly ate the veggies (he loves most veggies but this medley was new for him and had a few things he didn’t recognize, but he still cleaned his tray, because quite simply I don’t allow picking out foods and leaving some behind).  Anyway, after he had his share of the shrimp and veg I added in coconut milk, tamari, fish sauce, fresh ginger, and the juice from one lime to make a broth.  Simmered it while feeding him quinoa, a home-made dried fruit/seed bar, avocado, and grapes.

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The quinoa was made by the rice cooker, so essentially I stirred things for dinner.  The struggle is real.  Ok, I’ll give myself a little credit, the combo of flavors int he broth was kinda fantastic and I should have maybe paid more attention to the exact amounts because had I written it down it would have been post worthy for sure.

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I’m guessing that next week will be more of the same in terms of semi-pre-made eats.  Not exactly inspiring, but I figure if nothing else it may give you a glimpse into my current reality.  It’s not hospital food and it’s not take-out…yet…

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As for desserts…well, in addition to our beloved Pound Plus obsession, I have been seriously splurging in the bulk bins and raw foods sections of WF and the Co-op.  Yikes.  I need to reign it in asap.  But for reals, why is Righteously Raw chocolate soooooo goooooood.  Sigh.  It wouldn’t be so terrible if I was able to make one bar last longer than one serving but they are small.  The colored candies that look like pastel M&Ms are sunflower butter filled chocolates (co-op bulk bin$$$) and naturally a few extra squares of pound plus went undocumented because anything less than four chunks in one sitting is unacceptable.  Kyle and I are so bad for each other because neither of us has any self control.  Or maybe that means we are perfect for each other.

The weekly menu

Another post with our dinner meal planning.  Kinda.  These weeks have been weird with some nights away (visit to my parents’ house) and family staying with us and a few nights of me eating solo (Kyle doing business stuffs), which makes for a difficult game plan.  I totally relied on scrounging up leftover scraps to create not that innovative meals, but it was also in an attempt to be slightly more frugal after some splurging for birthday shenanigans.  These are the meals I’ve managed to capture over the past week (and a half?).

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This salmon dish was from a long time ago.  We always have frozen salmon in the freezer.  I thawed three filets and made patty-cakes’ separately.  For the adults’ fish I made a faux hollandaise/aioli thing with mayo, mustard, and garlic infused olive oil.  I baked it with broccoli, too.

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Yums.

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Kyle was out of town this night so I made a Caesar salad with leftovers (rotisserie chicken from when Kyle’s parents were visiting, romaine lettuce, Caesar dressing, nooch, and avocado just for kicks).

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Another leftover creation with quinoa, collards, and chicken apple sausage.  Similar to Mexican bowls and salmon dinners, this meal is an easy peasy go-to because we always always have chicken sausage on hand (it’s P’s favorite), quinoa in the pantry, and something green in the fridge.  More importantly it is a dish that every one of us likes and eats.

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Collards are the bees knees.  We have a crap ton growing in the garden and P likes them both raw and cooked.

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First time doing a whole chicken in the crock pot!

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Last friday the Whole Foods #onedaysale was for organic whole chickens ($1.99/lb).  I put quartered onions, baby carrots, and as many cauli florets as I could fit on the bottom and then added the chicken on top (breasts down, not that it matters).  Poured some olive oil on, sprinkled on some salt and herbs (bay leaves, thyme, sage, pepper) and let it cook all day.  Easy as that!

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It was the most tender thing ever and fell apart as I put a fork into it.

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I split the leftover meat in half, reserving some for a recipe later in the week and leaving the rest on the pot with the remaining veggies and broth.  Then I added celery, rice, and water and let it cook overnight.  The next day I added a dash of heavy cream (we have it left over from the failed dairy trials) and viola – another meal!  I think this will be mostly for Kyle’s lunches because I don’t feel like testing my gut with dairy right now, but who knows.  I may just give in since my pregnancy symptoms are just as erratic as any IBS ones I have from time to time.

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Burgers and spinach salad.  In the salad was avocado, slivered almonds, and pomegranate arils with a home-made lemon vinaigrette (with our meyer lemons).

Turns out, P loves burgers.  No shock there.  I’ve really only given him ground beef before, but I made his into a burger patty this time and he was super excited about it the whole time it was cooking.

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The patties were: 1 lb organic grass fed ground beef, 1 egg, and salt…then after I shaped his and set them aside, I added white pepper and dried basil to ours.  I haven’t found any spices that are made in allergy free facilities so it’s hard to know what’s safe for P in terms of spices/seasonings.  In any event, he loved the burgers.

Kyle had his with cheese and BBQ sauce on a sourdough roll, but I had mine plain over the salad.  [I had a mini carb fest an hour before dinner because I graze in small portions all day long, so I didn’t feel like a bun]

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This is a Cooking Light recipe for Kale Caesar Quinoa with Roasted Chicken.

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I used a pre-made Caesar dressing from WF and leftover chicken and swapped walnuts for slivered almonds because of what we had on hand (and Kyle said he would prefer almonds to walnuts) and it was great.  I also nixed the parmesan cheese.  Yummy and easy.  Can you tell my preggo laziness is at it’s prime right now?  Energy level = negative four.

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Salmon pasta with GF spaghetti and kale topped in a creamy dijon tarragon sauce I made up on the fly.

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I didn’t measure anything (standard) but added Green Valley organic lactose free sour cream, dijon mustard, the juice of 1/2 a lemon, dried tarragon, garlic infused olive oil, salt and pepper in a jar and added it after P had had his share of the fish and noodles.

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He ate most of my fish so that’s why my piece is so small.  I made up for it in chocolate later though.  :)

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For the record, we are NOT eating turtles.  But now P knows another letter.  I know, I’m random, but he just wants to learn all the time so the actual dinner menu got erased for an impromptu lesson.  Forgive the bragging, but I think he may be ready for kindergarden in a week.  ;)

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Another sausage skillet stir fry kind of meal.  These are just too easy and yummy to dismiss.  P ate every part of this including the wild rice which he thought was fun since we got a library book a few weeks ago called “Mr. Tiger Goes Wild” and he figured the rice was the kind that Mr. Tiger ate.  Otherwise it was just broccoli and TJ’s chicken apple chardonnay sausage.

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Since that potentially was too plain for Kyle’s palate I scrounged through the fridge and found the rest of this sauce (from the honey chipotle chicken bowls) to pour on top of our servings.  So glad I doubled that sauce – it’s been awesome to add to things here and there.

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The last of the leftover chicken went into this roasted carrot, chicken and grape quinoa salad bowl.

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I made a few tweaks.

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I nixed the slivered almonds (on accident – I just forgot to add them at the end).

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And I swapped Green Valley organic lactose free sour cream for plain greek yogurt (we had some on hand to use up).

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And I used collards (from the garden) in place of the recipe’s suggested greens.

I loved the combo of roasted carrots and grapes and the cumin and parsley were a nice change from the usual flavors I choose to cook with.  Kyle and I were both into it and basically ate all four “servings” that night.  Portion control who?

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In truth, I’m not sure how much I will both sharing weekly meal plans in the next few weeks because I’m going to start phoning it in with the cooking.  I am exhausted by pregnancy and with only a few weeks to go, I would rather conserve my energy for other more important things.  Trader Joe’s has so many simple recipes on their site that use their (ready to go) products so that’s where I am thinking most of our meals will come from.  If you have other way way easy meal ideas feel free to share.

Allergy friendly baby/toddler products

First things first – a heads up.  How products are packaged can change!  We used to buy these dried cranberries and evidently the co-packing and/or facility from where they are sourced is no longer the same!  READ LABELS EVERY SINGLE TIME YOU BUY A PRODUCT!!

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Second, since sharing this link (about a new study that tested the efficacy of a probiotic in the treatment of peanut allergies), I have spoke with my son’s pediatrician and started us both on this probiotic.  I find research like this so interesting and promising and even if it doesn’t change anything in his tolerances, it can’t do any harm.

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This won’t come as a surprise to anyone who knows me, but I did research foreverrrrrrr before choosing a probiotic.  I also talked to two Kaiser pharmacists and one of the supplements specialists at our local Whole Foods (who was super knowledgeable).  In the end, the main criteria were (1) it had to be an appropriate dose of the specific strain (~5 billion of lactobacillus rhamnosus is the range for children); (2) it couldn’t contain allergens like diary, soy, or gluten (harder to find than you think); (3) it had to be affordable (if I’m going to be doing this long term I didn’t want to spend a fortune); (4) it had to be easy to administer to a toddler; and finally (5) the brand had to be reputable (I wanted a quality product without additives or fillers, obviously).

Lactobacillus rhamnosus is a common strain in probiotics so that wasn’t the hard part.  Almost every probiotic at WF contains one allergen or another (usually dairy from the casein in which the probiotics were cultured).  Our pediatrician did give a prescription for Culturelle, but I read several reviews about people with allergens reacting and the pharmacist couldn’t give me a straight answer about the product.  In the end, I discovered Jarrow Formulas makes a special allergen free probiotic that you can buy on amazon for a decent price ($15 for 60 capsules).  The dose per capsule is 10 billion, which means we share it, so that’s really $15 for 120 doses.  Since it’s a powder, it’s easy – I just open it, pour half into a smoothie for P, and take the rest myself and boom, we are both probiotic-ified.  We’ve been doing it for a week…and I plan to continue indefinitely.

Ok, now for the food products.

I have done posts like this in the past, and I’m trying to continue to remember to do them as I do more and more research because I think it’s important to share it with other allergy mamas.  It’s not easy making every single thing from scratch!

A few new things that we’ve found safe…

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Pacific Gold original beef jerky, found at our local Costco.  They have other flavors that have wheat so make sure to double check the ingredients.

P had this and liked it.

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Made in Nature dried fruit* is also available at Costco and per the company

We understand how serious allergies can be and we want to ensure every experience with our products is always a happy and healthy one.

We have very strict procedures in place to ensure that there is no possibility of contamination from peanuts, or any type of tree nut in our products or in our facility. Each new lot of product that we receive has a variety of tests performed by an outside lab before it is processed in our facility. All of our fruit goes through a water washing process before it is packaged. We have a very thorough cleaning and sanitizing process that happens in our facility between shifts and between products. Most importantly, however, our facility is used exclusively for packaging our own dried fruit.

The only exception to this is our Organic Made in Nature Tropical Fruit Fusion, which is packaged in a different facility due to the coconut ingredient. Although that facility has very strict guidelines to follow, it packages other types of nuts as well. Therefore, we cannot 100% guarantee against cross contamination with that product.

P is into dried fruit and I buy it in bulk to make fruit bars for him.  *Obviously those with peanut/tree nut allergies may want to avoid the tropical fruit fusion flavor to be 100% sure there’s no risk for cross contamination.

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Trader Joe’s is great with their labeling.  These products have all been safe for us but please double check before you buy because your local store may source from a different manufacturer/co-packer/facility.  As I mentioned at the start of this post, the other kinds of dried cranberries (we used to buy) are now packaged in facilities that also handle allergens, so be sure you note these are the WHOLE organic cranberries.  Like I said, though, they are great with labeling so just read the back of the package.

I buy all my chia and hemp seeds from Nutiva which are produced/co-packed in a peanut/tree nut free facility (the only allergen present at the facility is coconut).  However, their coconut flour and oil are produced on equipment that is shared with several other allergens including peanut and tree nut oils (unrefined), wheat, eggs, soy and dairy.  They follow strict guidelines for cleaning machinery, but still, proceed at your own risk with those.  As per their website, “in early 2014 we will launch coconut oil that is processed in a dedicated facility. At that point, you will see labels that state: Made in a peanut-free facility.”  So perhaps that has already happened but read your labels because the last jar I bought says very clearly it was packed in a facility that also has peanut oil.  Here’s more info about their products and facilities.

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The soy free Earth Balance is standard in our house.  P likes it melted on corn or brown rice tortillas.

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For bread, we have found the super seeded multi-grain sliced bread from The Essential Baking Co to be the best in terms of wholesome ingredients for an allergen free product (they are gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free, soy-free, and made in a dedicated gluten-free bakery).  They have flax and sunflower seeds, which happen to be two of the safe seeds my guy tolerates, plus our Costco carries them, which is clutch.  Udi’s works too, but in terms of ingredients, it’s not exactly nutrient dense.  Still, a safe bread is a safe bread!

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More favorites from our pantry – Lundberg brown rice cakes and TJ’s light coconut milk (we sometimes buy the coconut cream too).

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I know I’ve discussed applegate products before, but they are literally one of our saviors, so I figure I can’t emphasize it enough.  Awesome quality meats from trusted sources without any chemicals, hormones, additives, and most important, allergen free (including their facilities).  Deli meat is a recent discovery for P (ham is his favorite).

Gluten free pastas are a dime a dozen these days, so it’s not a huge shock that we are big fans.  The TruRoots ancient harvest noodles are inexpensive for organic whole grain noodles, thanks to Costco.  Trader Joe’s has cheap brown rice options too though, which we usually have on hand.

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From Trader Joe’s…

Dear Elise,

Thank you for your email.  This product [Grass Fed Angus Beef Burgers] order sku# 50723, is produced on equipment that does process tree nuts.  There are no peanuts or sesame in this facility.  We hope this is helpful.

Sincerely,
Amy
Trader Joe’s
Customer Relations

Dear Elise,

Thank you for your second email.  These burgers [chile lime chicken] are produced in a peanuts, tree nut and sesame free facility.

So the chicken ones are totally allergy friendly, but the beef ones carry a risk for cross contamination for those allergic to tree nuts.  Proceed at your own calculated risk.

I haven’t tried either yet, but I did research on them anyway because I wanted to have them on hand for easy meal options.  As an FYI to those who care about where the meat comes from…these Angus burgers come from cattle raised without the use of artificial growth hormones and the cattle are 100% grass fed.  The only ingredient in the burgers is the beef.  Per TJ’s, they graze on wide-open pastures on a diet of natural greens which is why it’s kinda a steal to get the burgers at such a good value ($5.99 for a one pound package of four burger patties).  The chicken ones have both white and dark meat (no info on the antibiotic or hormones situation but they aren’t organic) and the only other ingredients are onions, bell peppers, garlic, cilantro, salt, lime juice and red pepper flakes.  If I give either a shot I will let you know both how they taste and how P handles them.  Until then, there’s the allergen info for your education.

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We have tried both Trader Joe’s sunflower seed butter and Sunbutter and both are delicious and well tolerated.  We go through them so quickly I buy more simply depending on where we are.  Target, Nugget Market, and WF all sell Sunbutter, but we do most of our shopping at TJs so it simply depends on where we are going shopping for the week when we run out.    Sunbutter makes their allergen info more known (see this page) and they offer different varieties including organic, no added sugar, crunchy, and natural.  Has anyone tried pea butter?  I’ve heard good things but it sounds weird to me.  Share!

I think that’s it for now…for all the other allergy mamas feel free to chime in with your favorite products you trust.