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Gluten-Free Granola Giveaway

There are certain foods you don’t expect to buy if you have food allergies. Granola is one of them.

Guess what, I have a gluten-free granola that I love. My kids love it too!

gluten-free nut-free granola

The SoyNut Butter Company that I raved about a few weeks ago also has a gluten-free, peanut-free granola.

I.M. Healthy Granola comes in 4 flavors — original, apple, blueberry, and cranberry & raisin.

gluten-free, peanut free granola banana

My 6 year old begs for it, yesterday he asked if he could have some but it was time to leave for school so I said no. He said, “please, can I have just two tiny pieces.” That boy is hooked.

Those of us in the food allergy community need to know more details about products before we can trust them. The SoyNut Butter Company is transparent about their manufacturing practices. Their granola DOES NOT contain peanuts, tree nuts of any type, sesame, dairy, egg, fish or shellfish. Their entire facility is free of those ingredients to eliminate cross contamination. Three of their Granola flavors contains fruit but they only use dried fruits with no sulfites.

gluten-free, peanut free granola

When I was a stay at home mom I’d occasionally make my own granola but most of the time I would buy it. When I went back to work full-time last year I stopped making many of those homemade treats. Once we discovered food allergies in my youngest we stopped buying most granola’s and granola bars. Many granola’s contain nuts or are manufactured on shared equipment. You also have to consider that most are made with oats that are contaminated with gluten. My son is now 4 and had never had granola before I discovered this brand.

granola giveaway

We enjoy eating granola as a snack by itself but we also sprinkle it on SoyNut Butter-covered rice cakes or fruit, mixed into non-dairy yogurt and sometimes on dairy-free ice cream YUM!

I often rely on it as a quick pick me up between meals.  When I don’t have time to sit down and have a proper snack I’ll just toss a handful into my mouth, I know, I’m classy like that.

You have a chance to win 4 packages of I.M. Healthy Granola! The giveaway is open to US residents only.

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If you can’t wait for the giveaway to end you can always purchase it on their website or on Amazon (affiliate link).

August 31, 2015 Meal Plan Monday

Almost…so close. One more day until September and I can almost taste it. I’m pretty sure it tastes like pumpkin spice.

I may need to make a batch of Pumpkin Cupcakes to celebrate. Or, if it’s too hot I’ll just make this easy 2 ingredient fruit dip!

Those of us in Arizona are looking forward to the lower temperatures. I really need to plant my fall garden but I’m waiting for it to be a little cooler. Cilantro doesn’t grow in hot temps and this girl loves Mexican food. If I get my garden going I’ll be sure to add more Mexican food to my weekly Meal Plan Monday post.

Plant-Based (Vegan) Meal Plan Monday

Meal Plan Monday

Breakfast

Even my breakfast cravings are in tune with fall favors. Take a look at what I mean. Cereal will be my backup plan.

Lunch

My first grader will get lunch box food while the rest of us eat lunch at home. One of the great things about working from home is that I can just run to the kitchen and heat up leftovers. Often, Jim will make me lunch and deliver it to my desk. Isn’t he a sweetheart?

  • Soup and Sandwiches
  • Leftover Veggie Pot Pie
  • Burritos
  • Steamed Veggies (I like to use potatoes, carrots, onions, broccoli and more)
  • Bean and Rice Bowl

Dinner

I love the dinner’s I’ve planned for this week. The meal plan contains soups and casserole-type meals but I can lighten them up by serving with a side salad.

Have you made the move to fall foods yet or are you still hanging on to summer?

It’s ok to hang on a bit longer. I’m not ready to give up cantaloupe and pineapple yet.


Don’t forget to enter the Bob’s Red Mill Giveaway. It runs through Tuesday, September 1st.

2 Ingredient Fruit Dip

Our family LOVES fruit! We eat between 15-20 pounds of apples each week, if that tells you anything. We don’t just eat apples, we eat bananas, blueberries, strawberries — basically whatever is in season.

I have readers tell me their kids won’t eat fruit. Although that isn’t something I deal with I have an easy solution, ready for this. Add a dip.

Kids will eat almost anything with a dip.

You may be thinking, I want my kids to be healthy, how is adding a fruit dip going to help? You can use a healthy dip and I’ve got a super easy dip recipe for you. It’s only 2 ingredients so even your kids can “help” you make it.

Chocolate Fruit Dip

Chocolate Fruit Dip

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • 6 oz Vanilla So Delicious Cultured Coconut Milk  (non-dairy yogurt)

Do

No steps required, just stir the cocoa powder into the non-dairy yogurt. DONE.

This makes an incredible fruit dip to dip for cookies or graham crackers. I haven’t tried it yet on a fruit pizza but I really want to. One day I’ll try it as a frosting or filling for cupcakes but I don’t know how well it will work. It makes a pretty fabulous parfait as well.

Chocolate  Fruit Dip

I chose this type of yogurt because it’s made from coconut milk and safe for people with dairy, soy and tree nut allergies.

My boys loved it and they are picky about their yogurt.

On a side note, So Delicious just calls this cultured coconut milk, they don’t use the word yogurt because technically it isn’t. I use it because we always buy non-dairy versions of yogurt and it is just the word we are used to using.

You can make this with other flavors. Our store only carries plain, vanilla and blueberry but raspberry would be delightful.

If your kids get used to eating fruit with dip they will be more likely to eat it without dip too.

For us, this dip is like a special dessert treat. I don’t make it all the time but they love it. It also works great in a lunch box.

Snackable-Recipe-Contest-BadgeThis recipe is an entry in the So Delicious and Go Dairy Free Snackable Recipe Contest.

You can connect with So Delicious on their Facebook page.

Teaching Kids to Eat Safe Foods

Today we continue out series, Teaching Kids to be Food Allergy Advocates. Last week we heard from Kathy at Food Allergy Jams. She told us about a Preschool Food Allergy Game.

This week, I’m excited to have Cindy Gordon from Vegetarian Mamma join us today. She is discussing different methods to teach kids to eat safe foods. When I first discovered Cindy’s site I was thrilled because her focus is on meat-free, gluten-free and nut-free recipes. It’s easy to find recipes that work for our family. She also has a weekly link up called Gluten-Free Friday’s.

Another reason I’m excited to have Cindy here is that I met her at the Food Allergy Bloggers Conference last year! Ever since we met I regularly send her random questions and she is always so gracious to answer them. Without further ado, here’s Cindy.

Teaching Kids About Their Food Allergies

Living with food allergies can be overwhelming for anybody, let alone our little ones. As we head back to school, whether it be preschool, elementary and beyond, we need to teach our children about their food allergies. Learning about their food allergies, includes learning what is safe to eat.

Green Means GO

When my youngest was finally diagnosed at 18 months old, we began teaching him about safe foods. Being so young, he was not able to fully communicate in sentences and read labels. He was however very fluent with his colors. We were able to teach our children, green means GO and red means STOP! We headed to the dollar store and bought all kinds of green and red bins. Within all the green bins, we placed food items that my youngest could eat. He was able to immediately identify with the color of the bin that the food inside was safe. In the red bins, we had foods that were not safe for him. Since he was a toddler those red bins were on very high shelves.

This color coding system worked well for any visiting family members that came to our house. Grandma and Grandpa didn’t have to question an item when it was on the green bin.

As the kids have grown older and are beginning to read, we still have our color coding system in place, but in a different way. We have two sets of utensils, toasters, etc. The allergy friendly utensils and toaster are green. This is a clear reminder for the children so they do not cross contaminate their foods with unsafe foods.

Focus On What You Can Eat

From the initial allergy diagnosis, our children wore Allerbling medical bracelets. On the bracelets, it indicated with words and pictures what their allergies were. People would often ask about their bracelets. This was the perfect learning opportunity for my children. We would point to each picture and say what the allergen is and explain that it is not safe to eat. We would always end on a positive note and say a few food items that were safe to eat. We always tried to focus on what we could eat, not what we can’t eat.

Look for Teachable Moments

As additional reinforcement, often times when we would see an allergen in our environment (grocery store, etc) we would point it out and discuss the allergen. We would discuss that it is not safe to eat.

As the boys started to get older, we would point out the allergens words, such as: peanut, gluten, dairy on ingredient labels. These words were some of the first ‘sight words’ that my children could read. That is a life saving skill!

Over the course of several years, we have worked to adapt our food allergy learning to the ages of the boys. When they were little we were visual and concrete with colors, as they grew older we used pictures and as they matured we began reading labels.  No matter what age or stage your child is in, it is important for you to teach them about their allergies and to know what is safe to eat. In our food allergy world, just one little bit could change everything.

Bio:
Cindy HeadshotCindy Gordon is the owner and author of Vegetarian Mamma and is a foodie who loves to blog about gluten free vegetarian/vegan recipes. Her family also focuses on foods that are peanut, tree nut, dairy and gluten free. Cindy’s family is dedicated to finding/creating recipes and products that fit their families allergy needs. Cindy resides in Ohio with her husband and two boys (born ’07 & ’10). She enjoys spending time with her family, the outdoors, gardening, wine and cooking! Connect with Cindy on VegetarianMamma.com, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. Check out her latest books: Gluten Free Fork and The Dessert Fork. Both books are completely gluten and nut-free.

Bob’s Red Mill Giveaway

I haven’t talked much about Plant-Based breakfasts ideas since I started all of this Back to School excitement. Today I’m excited to share the latest giveaway! It’s perfect for all of you in a breakfast rut, but we will get to that in a minute!

On Monday’s Meal Plan I admitted that I have a bad habit of skipping breakfast. I know I need to eat but I get busy and half way through my morning I start feeling it. You know the feeling, the “I’m completely depleted and I can’t go on” feeling. Please tell me I’m not the only one!

I’ve found an easy solution. On the weekend I’ll cook a large pot of oatmeal, usually in the Instant Pot and we will eat it for several days. I cook it up plain, without any seasonings then each morning everyone can choose their own toppings to mix in.

Take a look at a few of our favorites.

Oatmeal Giveaway

All three of these are made with steel-cut oats. The first is apple and raisin oatmeal with cinnamon and hemp seeds. The second has blueberries and raw pepitas. The third is simply banana slices and chia seeds.

You know I’m partial to Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free oats. We use them every week. I cook steel-cut oats in my Instant Pot or if I’m in a bigger hurry I’ll use Quick Cooking Oats and cook them in the microwave.

Of course you don’t have to stick to breakfasts, oats are great in desserts too. I’ll let you in  on a little secret, we eat oatmeal for dinner too! It’s so easy and my family loves it.

Bob’s Red Mill Giveaway

Today you get a chance to try some of my favorite oats for FREE! One lucky winner will win this prize pack from Bob’s Red Mill plus a $25 gift card to be used on the Bob’s Red Mill website!

Bobs Red Mill giveaway

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Hurry and enter this giveaway won’t last long!

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