I had a glimpse into motherhood of the future last week. Edie had her first week of full day camp and I needed to pack her snacks and a hearty lunch (because if you think I’m paying an additional $60 for your ‘hot lunches’ you’re out of your dang mind). I had natural concerns of what Little Miss Picky would eat on her own but it was when I received a call the Thursday beforehand informing me that “absolutely no products with nuts” would be permitted in the building, I knew I had to re-evaluate my entire approach.
I feel for the parents of children with food allergies and agree, I really do. If a child suffers from a severe food allergy, eliminate the risk. My concern is that all nuts seem to be receiving a bad rep and many families, with their hectic schedules, are relying only the pre-packed ‘made in a nut-free facility’ filler food and putting no extra effort into feeding nuts to their children at home. A regular diet of all types of nuts can lower risk of heart disease, lower cholesterol, help maintain a healthy weight, and are excellent sources of protein, fiber, antioxidants and omega 3 polyunsaturated fats.
To launch my NUTS ARE GREAT campaign, I’ve created this phenomenal strawberry “cheese”cake made entirely out of almonds and hazelnuts. Try it for yourself – it will blow your mind!
This is a rich cake so small pieces are best, will make about 10 servings.
- 1 cup almonds, soaked 6 hours
- 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1. Process almonds in food processor until finely ground. If you’re low on time almond meal can be purchased from bulk stores and most grocery chains.
2. Add coconut oil and pulse until well combined.
3. Press mixture in the bottom of a 6 to 8-inch spring form or tart pan.
4. Place in refrigerator.
- 2 cups soaked cashews (preferably overnight)
- 1/3 cup agave nectar
- 1/2 cup cacao butter, melted (not an easy ingredient to find, call around to your health food stores or order online. You can exclude in this recipe and it will still taste delicious – more strawberry without the ‘chocolate’)
- 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup fresh strawberries (cleaned and stemmed)
1. Blend cashews, agave nectar, cacao butter, coconut oil and vanilla in food processor.
2. Process until very smooth.
3. Pour over the filling mixture.
4. Refrigerate and serve chilled, about an hour.
5. Return any uneaten cake to the refrigerator.
To be clear, I am not attacking the necessary prevention for those suffering from food allergies. I am requesting more education be had in these same environment (schools, community centres, etc.) so kids and their parents understand the risks of food allergies, know the proper precautions to take, identify which foods are of concern and recognize that just because your class mate suffers from an allergy doesn’t mean you need to be afraid . For example, although Johnny is one of the 1.3% global population affected by a peanut allergy, that does not mean eating peanut butter at home is “bad for you”. BTW, did you know that although the name “nut” is in “peanut” that it is in fact a legume since it grows underground. Something to think about.
Now, on the issue of school lunches and what healthy (nut-free) foods to pack, fortunately we have a whole year of blogging to determine that one.Add to favorites