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SunButter is a peanut butter alternative made from sunflower seeds.  I picked up a jar of SunButter to give it a try since my daughter is allergic to peanuts and tree nuts.  Both my husband and I love peanut butter so my goal was to find a product that would be a good substitute.  One that would mimic peanut butter well both in everyday use like on toast or on a peanut butter sandwich as well as in recipes like cookies or monkey munch.

Admittedly, I was a little skeptical.  I just couldn’t see how a product made without peanuts could really taste like peanut butter.  My first try of SunButter was on a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.  I was very pleasantly surprised.  SunButter tasted almost exactly like peanut butter.  The consistency was pretty similar to natural peanut butter and spread really well on the bread.  Now, I will admit that Maya wasn’t a huge fan but she can sometimes not be a fan of something the first time she tries it.  I’ll let her try a few more times before I say for sure if she likes it or not.

I think SunButter will be very useable as a peanut butter substitute in recipes.  Based on the taste and consistency I would imagine that SunButter can easily be substituted into baking recipes in the same quantities as the recipe calls for.  As with any substitutions it may take a little trial and error before you get the perfect amount.  I’m going to give it a try in monkey munch later this week so I’ll let you know how that goes.

My one big disappointment was the price.  I had to pay over $6 for a 1lb jar.  Now, I bet the pricing was high because the store I purchased it from saw an opportunity to gauge the consumer a little given that people looking for peanut alternative “peanut butter” don’t have a whole lot of options.  You can find it cheaper (about half the price) online at places like, Peanut Free Planet.

So, the bottom line is that price aside I am very impressed.  SunButter is definitely a peanut butter alternative that this admitted peanut lover could get used to.  If you have children with peanut allergies it is definitely worth giving this product a try.  I would recommend purchasing it online though as you will be able to get a much better deal!

As I mentioned last week Maya was referred to an allergist for some testing due to a possible peanut allergy. Well, we had that appointment today. I had done a little research about what to expect at the appointment on a few forums and through talking with her pediatrician (whose own daughter has a nut allergy). I was a little worried about the appointment since Maya HATES all doctors and nurses (anyone in scrubs!) and I had heard that the tests can be particularly difficult for little ones because they don’t understand what is going on and have to sit still for an extended period of time. Luckily, it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.

Maya started getting tense as soon as we entered the building and started crying as soon as she saw the receptionist behind the desk. Our appointment was one of the first of the day so we didn’t have to wait at all, we were taken right back into an exam room. Maya cried the whole time Dr. Allergy was in the room with us. It made it a bit difficult to talk about her medical history, family history, etc :). Every time Dr. Allergy or his nurse entered the room she would start crying and saying “all done” and “bye-bye”. Thankful she would stop crying as soon as Dr. Allergy or his nurse left the room so that made it a little easier on her and me.

The test itself wasn’t too bad, really. They used a small plastic disc with tiny pins on it. The allergens were put on the ends of the pins and then the pins were pressed into her back. It leaves behind an oil droplet so I had to be careful that neither Maya or myself touched her back. This was the part I thought would be particularly difficult since not many 18 month olds are game for sitting still. To my amazement she gladly sat still. I sat in a chair and just had Maya laying on my chest. She was happy to lay there contently and actually fell asleep for a few minutes while we were waiting to see what would happen. The nurse came in part way through the test to check on us and Maya cried but was fine again as soon as she left the room.

After just a couple of minutes I could see red marks forming on her back and figured that probably meant she was allergic. Sure enough, the nurse came back in after 15 minutes to wipe it all off her back and apply some cream to alleviate the itching and swelling, she said she tested positive for peanuts, cashews and pistachios. Poor Maya is allergic to both peanuts and tree nuts. I’m so bummed for her.

The doctor gave us a prescription for a Twinject, which is a type of epipen along with a list of instructions on when to use it. Pretty much if she ingests nuts and has any sort of reaction, be it a rash, swelling, or shortness of breath we have to administer the epipen and then call 911. Needless to say I was a little freaked out listening to the doctor explain it all.

One of my biggest questions for the doctor was how she ended up with a food allergy since there is no family history of food allergies on either my side or Daddy’s side and she has no other allergies. Well, it turns out that children with a family history of asthma or eczema do have a higher risk of having nut allergies (thanks Daddy’s side of the family ;))

There is a small chance, about 20%, that she will out grow this allergy so we will take her back in a few years for additional testing. Keeping my fingers crossed that she is one of the few who out grow it.

I’m off to do a ton of research on nut allergies, safe foods, etc. I’ll share what I find.