When I was a kid (you know you feel old when you start the post this way), peanut butter and jelly sandwiches were a staple for school lunches. You rarely heard of kids with peanut allergies and I still to this day couldn’t name one child/teen from my childhood that had a peanut allergy. In recent times it is hard not to notice that allergies have spiked. These increases in allergies have convinced me that toxins in our food and environment have done something to change the way our children’s bodies react to certain foods, such as peanuts. Interestingly enough, I had written this article prior to getting the news today from the famous Dr.Sears that GMOs (genetically modified organisms) are possibly linked to the increase in allergies and autoimmune disorders (such as Ankylosing Spondylitis). And I quote: “That may be one of the reasons why things like food allergies [and] autoimmune problems are skyrocketing,” pediatrician Dr. Jim Sears adds. “Peanut allergies in kids have tripled in the last decade.” (Robyn O’Brien, http://blogs.prevention.com/inspired-bites/2012/04/20/why-nutrition-labels-dont-always-tell-the-whole-story/).
Not really surprised by this news, and why I try to go organic with a lot of my foods… GMOs and pesticide use scare me…
With all that said, I was to stop eating peanuts as part of an elimination diet to reduce inflammation in my lower back. Considering I eat toast with peanut butter and honey every morning it was going to be a challenge to find a new breakfast love that pairs well with a hot coffee.
Again, I did like I always do, researched online for alternatives to peanut butter. Almond butter was one option, but it doesn’t have the same sweet taste as peanut butter (side note: I sometimes enjoy eating peanut butter out of the jar like it is a dessert- so delish!). However, I did notice SunButter at my local grocery store and it is completely peanut-free, tree-nut free, and gluten-free. Even better, SunButter, made with sunflower seeds, has one-third less saturated fat and 27 percent of a day’s recommended allowance of vitamin E in one serving. It also has much higher iron and fibre content than peanut butter, while still being a great source of protein.
SunButter has been a great alternative to this peanut butter connoisseurs morning routine, and has actually been a great switch for a lot of things we make at our house. My kids really have no idea that it isn’t peanut butter because of the sweet taste (they could tell the difference right away with almond butter).
5 ways to enjoy SunButter:
1. Ants on a log: The classic celery with… SunButter and raisins. While most of us cringe at the thought of eating bugs, my 3 year old finds it amusing.
2. Peanut Butter and Raspberry Smoothie (makes 2 glasses):
- 1 cup vanilla almond or soy milk;
- 1/2 cup orange juice;
- 1/2 cup soy yogurt – any flavour (optional);
- 1 banana;
- 1 cup raspberries;
- 1/4 cup SunButter.
3. Peanut Chicken Satay:
Marinade 4 chicken breasts or thighs in large resealable bag for 1 hour before BBQing (poke each chicken with a fork before putting in bag). Discard sauce in resealable bag after marinading.
For marinade, mix add…
- 2 tbsp of onion powder;
- 1 tbsp minced garlic;
- 1/2 cup olive oil;
- 3 tbsp brown sugar;
- 4 tbsp SunButter;
- Salt and pepper.
4. Apples dipped in SunButter. Really great for lunches and kiddies love them.
5. Slice of Gluten Free/Vegan Bread (toasted), SunButter, and Organic Honey – Did you really think I would leave my favourite breakfast off the list? – oh! and don’t forget the coffee… it is just not the same without it…
For more information on peanut allergies, check out Beyond a Peanut: