At $3.99 for a dozen mini cupcakes this isn’t your normal “deal” — but Mr. 9 was having a small birthday celebration with a couple of friends and I needed to pick up nut-free cupcakes. Every other thing of cupcakes in the bakery had a “may contain” nut allergy warning on it, so I ended up with this pack of School Safe vanilla cupcakes. If you’re also on the lookout, the School Safe line of products is peanut free, tree nut free, and dairy free, plus Kosher & free of artificial colors & flavors.
I received Wholly products for purposes of review. All opinions in this post, however, are my own.
Wholly Guacamole will soon be launching a dairy free avocado ranch flavor! I have no idea how they did that, but it really does taste like there is ranch in there.
It comes in these little snack packs. Which a dairy free 10 year old, by the way, can devour in about 30 seconds.
With carrots, or with corn chips, or… with his finger.
Mr. 5 was also a fan. And when I say fan, I mean: They started fighting over about as soon as I took this photo, and I had to get him his own bowl. Then Mr. 10 complained that Mr. 5 had already taken a bite out of HIS bowl and it wasn’t fair because now HE had less. And then…
Well, you can see that non-dairy Avocado Ranch Wholly Guacamole may not bring family harmony (I’d suggest starting everyone out with their own bowl, though!), but they both enjoyed it thoroughly. Me? I thought it tasted exactly like there was ranch in it, but honestly prefer my guacamole a little less… adulterated. 🙂
I received a package of dairy free Avocado Ranch Wholly Guacamole for the purposes of this review. All opinions in this post, however, are my own. (Well, the kids also had their opinions…!)
This post has been sponsored by SunButter. All opinions here, however, are my own.
At the Gluten Free Expo back in March, I talked to the SunButter folks, who had a booth going there to display their sunflower seed spreads. Besides being peanut and tree nut free (and processed in a peanut and tree nut free facility), SunButter is also gluten free! They sent over a mixed box of their products to review — and I’d had no idea they had so many varieties.
Above, the natural creamy, made with evaporated cane syrup rather than the sugar found in the regular creamy. We also used this to make a batch of cookies.
Super easy wheat free, dairy free, peanut free cookies
Mix together one cup SunButter, one cup sugar, and one egg.
(If you want also to make these egg free, substitute flax seed: mix 1 tsp ground flaxseed meal with 3 TBSP water. Let sit for two minutes. Mix into the SunButter/sugar mixture.)
Make little balls and roll in granulated sugar.
Spray cookie sheet with non-stick spray. Drop dough balls onto cookie sheet and press down lightly with a fork.
Add a few non-dairy mini chocolate chips on top of each.
Cook at 350 degrees for 14 minutes.
Let cool for five minutes before trying to remove from cookie sheet.
These were good! Whole different flavor from peanut butter cookies, but tasty in their own right, and all sorts of allergen free.
Mashup Dad and I also tried the Natural Omega-3. While I know some of you haven’t liked other Omega-3 products because they taste “fishy,” the Omega-3 here comes from flaxseed — here left in whole. This adds a whole different crunch. Honestly, I didn’t think I’d care for this when I first looked at it, but the nuttiness of the flaxseed complemented the taste of the sunflower seeds nicely. I’m pretty sure, though, that the kids wouldn’t care for it (Mr. 9 won’t even eat a lot of berries because he complains the seeds get stuck in his teeth) but it makes for a more grown-up spread. This one needs stirring and should be kept in the fridge after opening — all of the varieties do say to refrigerate to help retain freshness.
Don’t want sugar?
Organic SunButter has but one ingredient: Fresh Roasted Organic sunflower seeds.
So about allergies
A jar of this went to a friend whose child has peanut allergies, but they’d never tried SunButter. Now, they can have SunButter sandwiches, SunButter cookies, and more!
We don’t have peanut allergies in our house, but the hidden pleasure of allergies has been a greater openness to trying new things around here — we’ve tasted so many products recently that we would probably never otherwise have tried. Even though we can have peanut butter here, SunButter is a nice change, and I’d get it again for the variety. If you do have peanut allergies in your home, I’d highly recommend this as an alternative.
Where to pick up SunButter
Everywhere from Jewel to Whole Foods to online, everywhere from the SunButter site to Amazon. I did see it at Jewel the other day for $4.99, but it’s currently cheaper on Amazon, where you can currently pick up SunButter Creamy Sunflower Seed Spread, 16-Ounce Plastic Jars (Pack of 6) for $21.76 shipped with subscribe & save, or $3.63 a jar.
Prices on Amazon often change quickly; this price is current as of the time and date of this post. Be sure to check out all of our great Amazon deals!
I received Energ-G products for the purposes of revew. All opinions in this post, however, are my own.
At the Gluten Free Expo last month, the people at the Ener-G booth offered to send samples of their new gluten free, dairy free garlic pretzels to try. So, they recently sent over several little snack sized bags, and Mr. 9 got to work taste testing.
These were garlicky all right! As soon as you opened the bag, you could tell they were going to be strong — you’d have to really like garlic if you’re going to buy these. The flavor, though, masked some of the grainy aftertaste that some gluten free products tend to have, so that was a big plus.
Here’s Mr. wheat free dairy free 9’s rating! He loved these and wants me to get more — I just checked Vitacost and Amazon and don’t see the garlic flavor available yet, though, so will have to dig a little deeper. (Amazon does have regular and sesame, so hopefully will add garlic soon.)
Keep in mind, though, that he’s my guy who likes a lot of flavor — he will eat jalapeños out of the jar, for instance. Mr. 5 thought the pretzels were too strong and gave the rest of his bag away. So look for these if you’re more toward the Mr. 9 end of the scale, you’ll probably quite enjoy them 🙂
One of you on Facebook had mentioned Hasselback potatoes a while back, and I knew as soon as I saw the recipes I wanted to try them. Most of the recipes I found online, though, used butter, cheese, and/or bread crumbs, so tried improvising a version tonight that Mr. 9 could eat. (Plus, using just olive oil instead of breadcrumbs, butter, and cheese makes it lower fat! 🙂 )
Preheat oven to 425. Wash potatoes, then make thin slices about 3/4 of the way through. It’s a lot easier if you put the potato between two wooden spoon handles, then just slice down to the spoons so you get even depth. (Next time, I’d do the slices a bit thinner, though.) Yes, that is my Rachael Ray knife! lol
Arrange in a shallow baking dish. Drizzle with olive oil, then add some minced garlic, sea salt, and pepper. Next time I’d add some more seasoning — probably some paprika, and maybe slice some garlic cloves and stick them in between the slices. If you’re not dairy free, a bit of Parmesan would also be great.
Bake at 425 for 55 minutes, then flip over to brown the tops and cook another 15 minutes. I then flipped them back over and cooked for another 5 til they seemed done.
I cooked up seven small-ish potatoes. The boys and I each had one, and Mashup Atkins Dad had to pass — so leftovers for tomorrow! These were pretty tasty: Crisped up nicely on the outside and soft on the inside, with a good flavor. As I mentioned above, I’d add a bit more seasoning next time for our family’s preferences, but they turned out quite well as is. And, they’re cool looking! Definitely making these again.
So… I’ve been meaning to tell you the results of our experiment with Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Pizza Crust. We made this a couple of weeks ago, because the biggest food Mr. 9 has been missing on his new diet is: PIZZA. Well, mixed results!
One mix made two good-sized pizza crusts. Yeast was included, so all we had to add was a little olive oil, water, and ground flax seed (as an egg substitute — directions were right on the package). This was some goopy dough, and did come out somewhat soggier than “regular” pizza crust. However, the flavor was good, and the crust itself was a hit.
The one on the left is made with Teese vegan “mozzarella” I found at Whole Foods for something like $3.99 for a little log. The one on the right has Daiya mozzarella shreds from Fruitful Yield, $4.79. (I was told later to go lighter on the Daiya, since it’s somewhat overpowering in flavor and cooks up greasy — this was good advice, and I’d do that next time.)
Per Mr. 9’s request, one made with Italian beef and jalapeño.
The Teese cooked up really nicely. Here’s the official Mashup Family Poll:
- Mr. 4: Won’t eat peppers.
- MashupDad: Flavor very good, but mild, melted like mozzarella.
- Mashup Mom: Tasted like mozzarella, texture a bit off, weird aftertaste.
- Mr. 9: YUCK. Picked all the toppings off and ate them, then picked the “cheese” off and ate the crust with sauce.
The Daiya one we cooked with (cooked!) bacon, per Mr. 4’s request. It was VERY greasy, probably a combination of the bacon and the “cheese.”
Blotted it off, and here are the unofficial results:
- Mr. 4: LOVED IT. Ate a ton, ate leftovers the next few days.
- MashupDad: Cheese flavor right on, too greasy.
- Mashup Mom: Very strong flavor, horrible aftertaste, too greasy.
- Mr. 9: YUCK. Pulled off the toppings, ate the crust with sauce.
So…. the final word
So far, we haven’t found a non-dairy cheese alternative that makes the grade with Mr. 9. Next time, I’m going to try making this bread sticks recipe from the pizza crust mix, and just give him some sauce for dipping — I think that will be a big hit.
I’d definitely recommend the Bob’s Red Mill gluten free pizza crust. When I bought it on Amazon, a four-pack was $10.30 shipped with subscribe & save, and now it’s up to $10.95. (As always, prices on Amazon can change at ANY time!) Since each bag makes two crusts, that’s a decent value — $2.74 a bag is $1.37 a crust, which isn’t much more than the “regular” pizza dough.
Don’t blame Mr. 9 at all about the “cheese,” though. He’s a fan of the non-dairy non-cream cheese from Trader Joe’s, but we’re striking out on substitutes for regular cheese. Any other recommendations? 🙂
Boom! So we are gradually working on conquering the fear of baking around food allergies — this is all still very new to us. 🙂 But tonight I remembered that old flourless peanut butter cookies recipe. You know the one — One cup peanut butter, one cup sugar, one egg? So here’s what’s what:
Wheat free dairy free egg free peanut butter cookies
Mix together one cup peanut butter and one cup sugar.
To replace the egg, mix 1 tsp ground flaxseed meal with 3 TBSP water. Let sit for two minutes. Mix into the peanut butter/sugar mixture.
Make little balls (dough is VERY sticky) and roll in granulated sugar.
Place on greased cookie sheet (I used Pam) and press down lightly with a fork.
Add a few non-dairy mini dark chocolate chunks on top of each.
Cook at 350 — recipe said 10 minutes, I had to do about 14, probably because I cooked two cookie sheets at once.
Let cool for five minutes before trying to remove from cookie sheet.
Ta-da: Gluten free wheat free dairy free egg free darn good cookies. These were great! Very soft and broke apart easily, but yummy — we all liked them 🙂
So, cooking has become even more interesting in this house. Mr. Mashup is on Atkins, with all the non-carb restrictions that entails. Mr. 9 now cannot have: wheat, dairy, eggs. Tonight… my mother-in-law gave us the rest of a pack of Costco burgers that have been sitting in her freezer. So I crumbled them up and made… CHILI.
- Pull out some chili before adding the beans at the end, and keep it in a separate container for Mr. Atkins. Who just had some over some cooked cauliflower.
- Mr. 9 will have his tomorrow plain or over a baked potato.
- I’ll have mine with some cheese n’ Ritz crackers.
- Mr. 4 will probably want a potato if his brother has one!
Boom. One pot, several different-ish dinners.
Allergies and Atkins chili
Brown about 1.5-2 lbs hamburger in big pot. (I crumbled up the hamburger patties.) Drain.
Cut a couple medium onions into small-ish chunks. Dice up several hot peppers — used a mix of a couple jalapenos and three small serranos frozen from the garden. Sautee in olive oil with a generous amount of minced garlic until soft. Add to browned hamburger.
Add small can of tomato paste and 28 oz can crushed tomatoes.
Spice to taste: Lots of chili powder, some red pepper flakes, some oregano, a little basil, a little cumin.
Simmer for a while til it tastes good, and add more spices if needed. When it seems done, reserve part beanless for the Atkins part of your family, then add two cans drained kidney beans. Simmer til warmed through.
This post was sponsored by John Morrell. All opinions here, however, are my own.
When Mom Central contacted me to participate in a new blog tour they’re running for John Morrell allergen-free products, I said yes — because I know so many families now who are struggling to shop wisely around food allergies, sensitivities, and celiac. So I’m happy that they’re introducing a new line of products, currently including balogna, hot dogs, and smoked sausage, that are free of common food allergens: Milk, egg, nuts, fish, soy, wheat. No MSG and gluten free! I’m pleased to know about easy gluten free options to serve for lunch when the kids have friends over — and it’s especially easy when it’s stuff I’d buy and have in the house anyway.
Right now you can head to their Facebook page to print a $1.00 coupon for their new “worry-free meats” and find out where to buy. And, if you “like” them on Facebook, you’ll be entered into a weekly drawing for free coupons for their allergen-free products.
I wrote this review while participating in a blog campaign by Mom Central on behalf of John Morrell and received a free coupon for John Morrell products to facilitate my candid review. Mom Central also sent me a gift card to thank me for taking the time to participate.