Brunch, Snacking

Cranberry Oat Breakfast Bars

Recently I attended a yoga retreat with my friend Misty who brought these amazing bars along as a snack.  Misty is an incredible woman who helps at our school a LOT (she’s my work wife, we joke), so I knew her treats would be as amazing. And they were! The Cranberry Oat Breakfast Bars are the perfect treat – not too sweet and super healthy. And since Craisins (dried cranberries) are a safe, PN/TN free food, I thought this would be a perfect recipe to add to our mix of healthy snacking. Also, kids approved today when we made this recipe for breakfast – crumbles well over yogurt if you’re into parfaits! Apologize for the photos – not my best work lately. But you get the idea.

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Ingredients

  • 2 cups oats – Quaker Oats are safe
  • 1/2 cup flour – King Arthur
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries – Craisins ONLY, there are a lot of dried fruits made in shared facilities with nuts, so be extra extra careful with this one!

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees & lightly grease a 9×6 or 8×8 baking dish.
  2. In small bowl, stir flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  3. Cream together butter and sugars until smooth. Add the egg and vanilla and beat well.
  4. Add flour mixture to the wet mixture, just until incorporated. Add the oats and dried cranberries and stir to combine evenly.
  5. Pat batter into prepared pan and press it until mostly even. Bake 25 minutes, until the edges are golden and the middle looks dry and appears set when you jiggle the pan.
Snacking

Organic Goldfish

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Organic Fish are chasing after Organic Bunnies. No, this is not part of a riddle about the movie Peter Rabbit, although it could be…..

Do you know what I’m talking about? Both of these items are nut-free and a very popular snack in our household, at school and in lunch boxes. They are also littered all over the back of my Honda Odyssey!

Pepperidge Farm’s Goldfish and Annie’s Cheddar Bunnies! These two items are in FIERCE competition at the grocery store and I had no idea until I read this New York Time’s article titled, “Why These Goldfish are 70 Percent Organic.”

Danny Hakim wrote a wonderful piece this past weekend on his trip to the grocery store to buy some Goldfish when he discovered over 30 different Goldfish varieties!

***Most goldfish are safe, but do know that the graham goldfish are made in a facility with nuts. Always check your labels***

This blew my mind. Thirty varieties?! Did you know there were so many to choose from?!

In short, the organic movement is strong. Goldfish brand is trying to stay competitive by not using artificial flavors or preservatives. They use 100% real cheese and source their products from real plants. Pepperidge Farm’s  goal was to create a MOSTLY organic product while not sacrificing flavor.  Goldfish come up a little short in the organic race however, since they are only 70% organic compared to Annie’s Cheddar Bunnies at 100%.

Research has shown that when we eat organically, we reduce our pesticide exposure. When we reduce pesticide exposure, we benefit, particularly pregnant women.

Will you be buying the new 70% organic goldfish?

I’m going to give them a try.

Snacking

Chloe’s Top 5 Sun Butter Snacks

If you had a chance to check us out on IG live today @nutfreemomblog, Chloe gave a little demo on her “made-up” recipe for after school snacking with Sun Butter. It was pretty cute, and included her favorite……MARSHMALLOWS! Yum.

Chloe’s top 5 favorite after school Sun Butter snacks:

  1.  Sun Butter Apple Donuts
    1. Slice one honey crisp apple on it’s side, core facing the wall, into thin slices. With a small round cookie cutter, or paring knife, cut out the middle where the seeds would be. Do this to all of the slices. Spread Sun Butter on the apple slices + top with your favorite sprinkles / Enjoy Life chocolate chips.
  2.  Sun Butter to-go cup + Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips
    1. Chloe is a huge fan of the to-go cups of Sun Butter, we take them everywhere. her typical after school snack is Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips with a to-go cup! These are also great for lunches.
  3. Ants on a Log
    1. A few slices of celery smeared with Sun Butter and topped with raisins or chocolate chips! My little guy LOVES celery, so this is his favorite.
  4. Sun Butter & Honey Toast
    1. We use Country Hearth Split Top Wheat bread and top it with sun butter while the bread is still warm. It melts the sun butter and then we drizzle organic honey over the top. SO GOOD!
  5. Sun Butter & Pretzels
    1. We use Rold Gold pretzels and dunk them into our favorite sun butter. Easy snacking.

When we attended FaBlogCon in November, we learned about the Sun Butter partnership with free2b sun cups pictured below, and they are so delish. If you love Reeses Peanut butter cups, but can’t keep them in your home, THIS IS FOR YOU!

free 2b is free of the top 12 allergens! Better than top 8! free2b also has other flavors, you can’t go wrong. They are ALL good. The only place I have seen them for sale locally in Madison is at HyVee in Fitchburg in the Health Market. You can find these on Amazon as well.

Holiday Favorites, School Safe List

A Very Target Valentine’s Day

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Both of my kids have the flu, but yesterday we were totally fine, doing our Target stock up, and I’m so glad we did. We are using everything we bought yesterday to help alleviate these symptoms.

  • water with electrolytes
  • zinc
  • OJ
  • tissue
  • Honest juice boxes
  • bleach wipes
  • chicken noodle soup
  • detergent for all those blankets!!!

While we were stocking up for the “off chance we get sick with the flu” we saw this amazing display of nut-free items and had to snap a pic.

Valentine’s Day is approaching and Target is rocking the nut-free options this year, which hasn’t always been the case!

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This is the back, seasonal section of your local Target Boutique. Not all of these items shown are nut-free, but these are the school safe items shown:

  1. Tootsie Pops
  2. Fun Dip
  3. Starbursts
  4. Skittles
  5. Trolli
  6. Air Heads
  7. Sweedish Fish
  8. Nerds
  9. Sweet Tarts
  10. Spider Man Gummy Bracelets
  11. **Jelly Belly is ONLY PEANUT FREE, NOT TREE NUT FREE***
  12. Hard Candy + Gummy Candy Life Savers
  13. Dum Dum Pops
  14. Valentine Theme Junior Mint Hearts
  15. Andes Candes
  16. Twizzlers
  17. Sour Patch Kids
  18. Push Pop
  19. Rolo
  20. Red Vines
  21. Whoppers

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And a few more options for sharing at school!

  1. Pirates Booty
  2. Veggie Sticks
  3. Goldfish
  4. Utz
  5. Fruit Roll ups
  6. Annies Fruit snacks
  7. Welchs Fruit Snacks
  8. Gogo Applesauce Pouches
  9. Pez

This year, Target is carrying Dylan’s Candy Bar products. They are NOT nut-free, but if you’re looking for an extra special treat for someone like a teacher or friend, Dylan’s is sure to put a smile on their face. Plus they have these adorable Dylan’s Candy gift bags to hold their special snacks.

And of course, I topped off my Target run with a treat for me, a bottle of Kim Crawford. Of course it’s nut-free, but it’s all for me. Keep Calm and Kim On.

Birthday Parties, School Safe List, Snacking

Dunkin’ Donuts and Nut Allergies

Please click the link below & read my updated blog post about Dunkin Donuts allergy policy.

Updated on 1/23/2018

All Dunkin Donuts locations are different when it comes to allergies, please check yours before ordering.

Dunkin’ Donuts is a relatively new treat for our family. We started treating Carter to Dunkin’ after his hemoglobin levels improved in September following his HUS infection, and it just became our thing. After the doctor, we’d head over to Dunkin’ to celebrate good health. Kind of ironic since Donuts are in no way healthy for you.
Fast forward, I was talking to my best nut free mom friend, and she threw out the idea of Dunkin’ for my nut allergic kiddo. She said that she had tried a Dunkin’ location with her nut allergic son, talked allergies, and gave it the OK. So I thought what the heck, it’s Friyay, it’s been a week, and we could ALL use a donut from Dunkin’. There are two on our way home, so why not?

We went in to Dunkin’ talk to someone about our food allergies. It was our lucky day. The nice young man behind the counter also had peanut and tree nut allergies. He informed us all about the strict guidelines Dunkin’ follows, including the special carts the donuts are wheeled over to the pretty case on, labeled, and carefully transported around the kitchen with the “allergy donuts” always in the same place, clearly marked. Dunkin’ is clearly passionate about protecting its guests and we felt that today. We talked for about 20 minutes, then chose our donuts.

Dunkin Donuts staff also showed us how safe the donuts actually are (nut free) by eating a donut himself that was located next to a donut with peanut topping. He was fine and we talked about anaphylaxis for a while before heading out.

His confidence gave us confidence and my daughter demolished her donut once we got home. Of course, I had my Epi ready, but I knew she’d be fine.

This was her FIRST DONUT! Chocolate with sprinkles!

She was over the moon happy. Around 200ish calories, this is something that I don’t mind as an occasional treat!

Thank you, Dunkin’ for making allergies a priority. We are grateful for small treats like this that are close to home, and special.