This is not a sponsored post, nor was I compensated in any way for the following content.
Our school is officially classified as "nut careful". Which is terrible grammar, I know, but it essentially means that all students, staff, and visitors are asked to not bring any nuts or products containing nuts to school. Classrooms with a student who has a nut allergy are "nut free" - in those classrooms, if a parent forgets and sends something with nuts, the offending item is promptly removed and the parents are called to remind them.
This is all fine. No peanut butter & jam sandwich I've ever made is delicious enough to run the risk of hurting a child. My peanut-junkie kids can get their fix on weekends, or the seemingly endless parade of PD days.
My kids are unapologetic lovers of peanut butter: peanut butter & jam, or honey, or bananas, or smeared on a cut-up apple, or on celery stalks as ants-on-a-log. Even carrot sticks apparently taste good dipped in peanut butter. They are pragmatic about the situation, but when their friends started bringing sandwiches to school made with nut-free peanut butter substitutes, they started pestering me to give them a try.
Enter NoNuts Golden Peabutter.
I was given a jar by a neighbourhood mom who tried it out on her kids, with limited success.
I'm glad I didn't pay any money for it.
At first glance, it looks basically like peanut butter. The smell isn't quite right, though. We all used a highly-scientific sampling procedure - we took a taste on the end of a spoon.
The mouth feel is the same as smooth peanut butter. And your brain goes something like this:
Hmm, this tastes pretty much like peanut butter, I mean it's a little strange but OH GOOD GRIEF WHY IS MY MOUTH FULL OF THE TASTE OF DUST???? GAAAA IT TASTES LIKE I'M EATING MUD OH LORD SWALLOW SWALLOW I CAN'T SWALLOW IT'S TOO DRY I'M STILL TASTING IT HELLLLLLLLPPPPPPP!!!!!
And that's how it went. I tried it as did all three of my kids, and we all had the same reaction - for something that has two kinds of oil on a six-item ingredient list, this stuff is as dry as tombs. I cannot imagine eating an entire sandwich made of it. I'd rather chew paper. My poor toddler just kept saying "more milk, pwease, mommy?" and guzzling it down in desperate fashion. The aftertaste has unbelievable staying power, too. I tasted it again while writing this post just to make sure I was remembering it correctly (I was) and several swallows of strong coffee later I can still taste it.
NoNuts Golden Peabutter is made of brown peas, oil, icing sugar, and preservatives. It is free of nuts, peanuts, gluten, and trans-fats. One tablespoon has 2 grams of protein; less than the admittedly-not-terribly-healthy Kraft Smooth PB that my kiddos like. I checked with registered dietician and blogger Diana Chard who told me that a serving of protein is 6 to 7 grams, so NoNuts' claim to be "very high in protein" is not correct unless you're eating it by the quarter-cup. I say that if you do that your entire body will shrivel into a dessicated ruin, so.
Bottom line? I don't recommend NoNuts Golden Peabutter. Yes, it's nut-free - but that's about all it has going for it. It's more expensive than peanut butter, too. Leave this one on the shelf.
One thing my kids do love is hummus. I am very, very lazy about hummus - it goes on sale a lot, and I figure pre-prepared hummus is better than no hummus.
However, I have a new food processor so my excuse for not making any from scratch is kind of gone. I've made this recipe before and it makes a nice, chunky hummus. My Lebanese neighbour tells me that if you want very creamy, smooth hummus, you need to parboil the chickpeas first so they break up more readily.
This is from Eat, Shrink, and Be Merry by Janet & Greta Podleski
1 can (19oz/540ml) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup light sour cream
2 tbsp tahini
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp grated lemon zest
1/2 tsp toasted sesame oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp each ground cumin and ground coriander
Place all ingredients in food processor and blend until smooth. Makes about 2 cups.