Monday, November 28, 2016

12 Days of Holiday Cheer Giveaway

Are you excited?!
Are you ready to have 12 daily chances to win?

So, Here's the Deal I reached out to some fabulous companies to see how we could all give back to you! Why? Because we all know that the journey of food allergies (and life, in general) means good and bad. I wanted to be able to show my gratitude for having all of you be a part of what I have done since 2011.... wow! Now that I typed that, I can't believe it's been 5 years since I began blogging (I am giggling at my first blog entry compared to now, it's all good).  I began this for ALL of you and I know the companies that are a part of this giveaway also want to make sure that you know we all appreciate your time, your trust and your continued support. Extra thank you's to all of the companies that are a part of this (hugging, kissing) - I know you are all busy this time of year but you still made it a priority to offer this to your consumers and followers and I love that.

12 Chances to Win?! Yup. 
  • Just submit your entries via the Rafflecopter doodad and every day from December 1st - December 12th I will announce one winner for one of the prizes
  • Sharing is always appreciated- please include #12DayCheerGiveaway
  • There is no purchase necessary
  • Contest is open to US residents only (sorry Canadians...I need to do something for you soon!)
  • One daily winner will be chosen at random via Rafflecopter. If the winner does not claim their prize within 48 hours, a new winner will be chosen for that day's prize
  • Prizes cannot be exchanged or returned. Please note that a prize may or may not be suitable for your specific allergy needs.
  • If you win an item and cannot use it, regifting to an in-law, friend or co-worker is always an option. 
  • Please allow 10-12 business days for your items to arrive as shipping can be hectic this time of year. 
  • As always, none of your information will be shared or sold (come on, it's the holidays...who would do that? Not me). 

Check Out the Prizes

2 Cans of Popcorn Butter, a T-Shirt & popcorn kernals
100% pure oil- NO gluten, soy, chemical propellants or GMO's
Read why do I love Winona Pure Oils &
use code nutrimom15 to save 15% thru 12/31/16
Congrats to our winner
2 Boxes of their products (winner's choice)
FREE of gluten/preservatives/nut/dairy/soy/MSG/egg/artificial & synthetic colors
We tried it
Congrats to our winner

No peanuts, no gluten, no dairy
Awesome products, funny story
Congrats to our winner

Sweet Note Bagels (becoming The Greater Knead)
3 Packages of their bagels
NO gluten/wheat/egg/dairy/soy/tree nuts/peanuts/fish or shellfish
These bagel are definitely fit for royalty
Congrats to our winner
2 Bags of her gluten free oat coating
Gluten Free oat-based products for coating & breading
When being crummy is good
Congrats to our winner

$50 Gift Card to purchase Blue Bear Aware items
We almost lost this company
Congrats to our winner
2 Year (8 isssues) Subscription
The magazine for allergies, asthma & gluten free guidance
Congrats to our winner

1 OSKA Pulse
Wearable pain-relief remedy that's drug-free
Congrats to our winner

4 Packs (1 EACH BBQ, Chili, Curry & Lamb)
Paleo meat & veggie bars that are FREE of grain/gluten/soy/nut/MSG
No added hormones, antibiotics or nitrates
Congrats to our winner

FREE Products!
A little dairy free (So Delicious), a little gluten free (Canyon Bakehouse
& an allergy-friendly treat (Free2B Foods)  
Congrats to our winner

$25 To use on any Talk For Me Tees purchases
Food allergy alert apparel
Congrats to our winner

ME! (and SeaSnax)
1 Case (12) SeaSnax Big Grab Snax & MORE surprise goodies
I have a cool recipe idea for SeaSnax

Ready, Set, ENTER! (Remember, the MORE entries you complete, the better your chances are)

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

SunButter Giving Back Giveaway

Is the fact that SunButter is top 8 free the only reason we love them? No way! I am amazed at how much SunButter also makes it a point to give back to the community. This is one of my passions as well so for them to continue to also understand that need and to meet those needs is an incredible part of why I want to scream from the rooftops to let everyone know about their products. Some of it may be common knowledge however some of it is also more low-key (but equally as awesome).

SunButter Pays it Forward
In 2015, I approached SunButter with an idea. I wanted to donate allergy-friendly foods to the families in my daughter's school who needed some help. This was part of the Pay It Forward movement. The Pay It Forward movement takes place one day each year and inspires people all over the world to do something for someone as a kindness and without expecting anything in return. Without even batting an eye, SunButter responded by donating a jar of SunButter for each family's bag. That week, ten families received extra food that included SunButter as a healthy protein in addition to being allergy-friendly (read). Random acts of kindness should be shared every day but being a part of this was simply amazing. My heart smiles at the constant compassion that SunButter shows.

Spread the Love What better way to share SunButter and give back at the same time! In 2016, SunButter teamed up with FEI (Food Equality Initiative) and launched their Spread the Love campaign. This campaign asked those who donated SunButter items to their local Feeding America food bank to register what they had donated. In return, SunButter matched each donation jar for jar. The end result- over 150 pounds of SunButter was donated to the Great Plains Food Bank in Fargo, ND! In a time of such need, SunButter was able to bring people together to help as well as offer their donation and time too.

Send Love Locally Back in March, I saw a box at a local Starbucks requesting donations of peanut butter and jelly for the Winston-Salem Rescue Mission. I immediately contacted the person asking for donations and asked if I could donate SunButter instead of peanut butter for those who may have food allergies. With an excited answer of yes and six jars of SunButter later (I donated the jelly) we had given back locally again (look!). I want to extend additional thanks to SunButter as well as the employee that were a part of this kind gesture.

SunButter is Always Aware I am proud to share that SunButter is always donating whenever and wherever they are needed. Whether it be at a food allergy walk, an allergy event, product donations (such as for Hurricane Matthew) or as a constant resource in so many of our food allergy resources, the crew at SunButter is always pulling their sleeves up and asking what has to be done. I have personally watched this company grow from a line of peanut-free products to so much more. They even made sure NutriDaughter and I had samples and coupons for the newest Gluten and Allergen Free Wellness Event location this year (read it!). It's been an amazing journey to watch and I know that SunButter will only continue to make us all proud. SunButter also donates products to many other charitable organizations and events throughout the year BUT now....

Are you feeling a bit left out of the loop? Do you feel as if, somewhere in the push and pull of everyday life, that getting a gift for yourself may be asking too much? Have you found yourself feeling guilty for just plain wanting something and not having to keep it a secret? No need to do this! Because now....

It's Time to Give back TO YOU!

The secret is out- the holiday season is here and so are those feelings of giving and receiving. SunButter and I are grateful for each and every one of you and we want to thank you with a chance to win an entire SunButter sack of goodies. What is inside this wondrous prize you ask?
Get ready for details to get you on your way to giveaway entries:
  • 1 SunButter cinch sack (your choice of blue or red)
  • 1 SunButter flower pot pen
  • 1 SunButter luggage spotter
  • 1 SunButter solar-powered flower pot 
  • 1 Jar of Creamy SunButter
  • 1 SunButter On the Go Canister
  • 1 Large stack of $1 off SunButter coupons 
  • 1 SunButter product coupon for a FREE jar
  • 1 SunButter Recipes booklet
  • A bunch of SunButter 1.1 oz. cups
  • 2 SunButter chip clips
  • 2 SunButter letter openers
  • 1 SunButter tablet/phone stand
 a Rafflecopter giveaway

The SB Giveaway Details Enter for a chance to win using the above Rafflecopter giveaway entries. Share and tag @SunButter and @TracyBNutrimom and be sure to include #SunButter4Me.

This contest will be open to US residents only. The contest will run from Wednesday November 23rd - Tuesday November 29, 2016. No purchase necessary. Sharing is encouraged but not mandatory.
One winner will be chosen at random via Rafflecopter. Should the winner not claim their prize within 48 hours, a new winner will be chosen. No personal or entry information shall be shared. Please allow 10-12 business days for the prize to arrive.

Good Luck Everyone!

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Are You Getting True Allergy Support?

Thanks Jen!
Food allergy support; this is a vast, never-ending place where people from all over the world meet. This is a family that you never knew existed and that you didn't think would ever be a part of your daily life. And just like any other family, there may be some family members that you don't get along with; some that thrive on the latest food allergy gossip and those who are just downright angry about everything that actually solves very little. How do you learn to navigate through the allergy support network without getting caught up in places that may not be the best for your needs? There are no rules except one- stay with those that support you, no matter what. Stay with the people that you know you can talk to and trust without feeling as if you will be spoken down too. Stay away from the people who prey on all of the negativity because the only thing that anybody really needs is to stay positive. Luckily, there is a place where you can go every year to experience what true allergy support is all about- the Food Allergy Bloggers Conference.

Aterica Health, Kaleo, EpiShell, DineSafeApp
Each year, my recaps about the Food Allergy Bloggers Conference get a bit more tricky to write. Not because I don't know what to write or what to include but because there is just so much that I want to share with everyone. I'm always afraid I won't share enough and the event will be downplayed (see my previous articles here). Within the whirlwind of hugs, kisses, photos, safe food, products and classes there is something for everyone. In fact, I challenge even one person to tell me that they went to the conference and claim it wasn't everything I promised it to be. This is a place where everyone can meet someone from every aspect of the food allergy support that they need. A place where meeting with the founders of Auvi-Q or shaking hands with your favorite blogger is the norm. The Food Allergy Bloggers Conference is a safe haven for anyone that is yearning for answers that they haven't found yet.

Beginnings This year, I wanted to share how the Food Allergy Bloggers Conference began. "The idea for a FAB Conference is something that Jenny Sprague had been pondering for about two years before it became a reality. It stems from the longing to connect, share, learn and meet all these amazing people she had come to know virtually through Twitter, Facebook, reading their blogs or books. They had helped guide her on the food allergy journey and, in turn, she has tried to help others. As Jenny verbalized this idea and shared it among her inner circle of friends, they too saw the value and were equally excited at the idea of having a conference for all of us. This conference is a great opportunity for us to come together to share, learn and connect with each other!"

Food & Stuff As I mentioned before, there's so very much to do, see and eat when you go to this conference! This year, in my quest in (trying) to show everyone all of the details, I have posted all of my photos in an album (just go here)- I wanted to make sure I didn't leave anyone out. And just to tease everyone and make your mouth water, I am sharing a small glimpse of what goes on at dinner as part of the Conference.

Time For Me to Give Back If all of this is not an awesome reason to begin something to give back, I don't know what else is....UNLESS I host a giveaway! I have teamed up with the wonderful people at Barney Butter to give some of the food allergy love. Since Barney Butter was my official sponsor for this year's Food Allergy Bloggers Conference I felt that sharing should be virtual as well as literal. For those with peanut allergies who can safely enjoy almonds, Barney Butter is a must-try. Their almond- only facility allows consumers with peanut allergies to enjoy multiple varieties of Barney Butter without the worry of cross-contamination*.  A little known fact- Barney Butter got it's name from the person that originally started the company. When it was sold to the current owners in 2010, they felt the name was catchy and they wanted to continue the loyal following. Thus, Barney Butter was born (yes, not the other Barney!).

Bring Me Barney Butter 
Ready to win some Barney Butter & an ebook?!
Giveaway details as follows:
  • Contest will run from Sunday, November 20- Wednesday, November 23rd 12PM EST
  • 1 Winner will be chosen at random via Rafflecopter
  • The winner will receive 2 jars of Barney Butter of their choice
  • The winner also gets 1 copy of my ebook The Stepping Stones to Food Allergies
  • Should the winner not claim their prize within 48 hours, a runner up winner will be chosen
  • Contest is open to US citizens only
  • No purchase necessary
  • Extra tagging & sharing including #BringMeBarneyButter is always appreciated
  • None of your information will be shared as that is just plain rude & I respect everyone

Additional thanks to Barney Butter for sponsoring me for this empowering event (endless hugs!) as well as offering a product that holds true to it's purpose. For more information, visit them on the web, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest & Instagram~

*Barney Butter does offer a variety of products, some of which contain coconut and other ingredients. As always, please check the website and ingredients to decide what is suitable for your specific allergy needs.


Thursday, November 17, 2016

This Really Happened

I got these Know Allergies bars from the Food Allergy Bloggers Conference. I absolutely love the fact that they are peanut free, gluten free, dairy free and the fact that they have chocolate chips in them is an absolute plus. The taste- amazing! But there's one teeny, tiny thing that happened while I was eating one. It may be a tad oversharing but why do what I do if I cannot be honest, blunt and make people laugh at what really happens?
So, let's begin. Hey Know Allergies Dude that I spoke to for two days, can see your face in my memory but honestly can't remember your name now (no hard feelings)- I love your product! But the chocolate chips...they are like ninja chocolate chips! Here's the scenario: I grabbed your wonderful bar as I was running out the door. I, like many others, tried to rip it open while stopped at a light. First big mistake. That's when the first chocolate chip escaped and now lives permanently under my dashboard in between my steering wheel. Do you see it? Do you see the bump? I can't get it! It's wedged in there and I wonder what lovely, gross, creepy crawly bugs will find it, begin to eat it and then, of course, fall on me or touch me while I am driving. Plus, at some point, it will melt.

But that was just the beginning. I accepted the lost chocolate chip. After all, I have kids and a van that hasn't been vacuumed since.....well, whatever, it's dirty. What happened next was a blur of chocolate, extreme wiping, horror, embarrassment and then giggling followed my daughter being embarrassed. I finished the bar and parked to pick up NutriDaughter from school. I park in a parking lot surrounded by kids and other parents. So I can just imagine what other people were thinking when they saw me in my car, unable to fully explain my situation. I parked, put the wrapper on the floor and reached down to wipe away the excess chocolate.....well, guess what. There was A LOT of excess chocolate. And the only reason I realized it was because it was running down the length of my hand which only meant one thing- the chocolate had, indeed, fallen in between my legs but had also MELTED ONTO MY PANTS! NOOOOOOOO!!! Oh no, no, no,no NOOOOOOO!

I had to go to an appointment right after that and what- look like I had poop on my pants?!! Mortified, I grabbed the wipes (also from the conference, thanks FAB and Nice N'Clean) and I began to (try) to wipe my inner thighs and, well, frontal area. Then, I realized how this must look- a woman inside of her car, furiously wiping in between her legs (if anyone even saw it as wiping)...OH MY GAWH!!!!!! So I decided to open the door, get out of the car and clean it up while standing outside of my car so minimize what ugly, incorrect thoughts people might have while watching me. That's when NutriDaughter showed up and asked "What are you doing?!" This while snapping photos the entire time because I knew this was something that had to be shared :)

The morale of the story-

  • ALWAYS have a ton of wipes inside of your car because...
  • If you're going to eat inside of the car, cover all areas that may be effected
  • Park and eat- it's so much easier to clean up a spill when there's minimal people around
AND, if you are anything like me, you will immediately call someone that you know to tell them the entire story :)

Please know that I absolutely LOVE these bars (and that says a a lot!). I have spoken with the company and he has assured me that they are working to improve their bars as we speak. Would this stop me from buying them or recommending them? Absolutely not! It was a funny story that happens in every day life. At the end of the day, I was still happy I had eaten it.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Are You REALLY Breathing?

Even NutriMeow was excited!
Let me go back in time for a minute. At the end of many long days, after staying up with my son who has a hacking cough that almost causes him to vomit and a stuffy, runny nose- a mom needs help. I have seen my son be so tired from those tough nights and still go to school; dark circles and bags under his eyes. Meanwhile, I feel as if I am failing as a mom inside. I'm literally watching my child feel unwell and I cannot seem to find anything that will prevent these flare-ups. This kills me. I have one job for this child and it's to keep him safe and well. Finally, we get an actual diagnosis of asthma after a trip to the emergency room and 30+ albuterol puffs later as well as some tips on how to not only manage his asthma but how to try to prevent the symptoms before they get out of hand. One of these tips is to invest in an air purifier (NOT a humidifier; a humidifier can actually grow mold and create an icky mixture of other allergy no-no's. Yes, we made this mistake). When I found out about the Intellipure Ultrafine 468, I was eager to put it to the test.

Safe For the Entire Family What I secretly loved about getting this air purifier was the fact that it was in one piece, ready to plug in and get to work tackling our air. I admit, I am one of those wives who immediately hands over new items for my husband to put together. I'm willing to bet my husband was also happy that he didn't have to read any assembly instructions or spend hours trying to figure out what pieces go where. In fact, he was impressed that I moved it upstairs by myself considering the size of the unit. Although the Ultrafine 468 is tall, the wheels and easy to move lightweight construction of the unit makes it super easy to move to just about anywhere in the house.

I even shared my excitement here

What's That Smell?! Well, truthfully, most moms have teenagers and there's just a funky smell that begins to take over their room at some point. For me, the first thought that crossed my mind was how well the air quality would improve in my son's room so we decided to start the Intellipure air purifier there. Unlike HEPA filters that have a 99% density (making it much more difficult and noisier to push out clean air) the technology with the Ultrafine 468 is not only better than HEPA, it's quieter and improves more air in less time and with less energy (thank you Intellipure for helping to keep out electric bill down). Plus, with a picky son who is thrives on video game interaction, lower noise levels are a must. On the flip side of loving anything electronic, NutriSon loves that the Ultrafine 468 can be controlled with just a simple swipe of one finger. It's actually really cool- watch

You CAN have one too! Go to Intellipure now 
Our Results So Far As I mentioned, NutriSon is a teenager and he has environmental allergies- specifically pollen-induced asthma. When he was younger, he was always a heavy breather and coughed a lot certain times of the year. Through trial and error and many, many doctors, we finally found out what triggered these symptoms and how to help him breathe easier. As a parent, food allergies are tough but watching your child not being able to breath is a double whammy. And as a child with food allergies and asthma, I'm sure my son would say that this was not the easiest thing for him to go through either. We went through a lot of tissues in those years but I am glad to report that the pure, clean air that has been in his room for the past few weeks is just amazing! I am actually jealous and can't wait to switch it into our room next. I am especially jealous that the kid that hates to sleep because he may miss something is falling asleep so soundly, he doesn't even here me sneak in to take a picture.....totally jealous of that one!

NutriSon turned 15 this year. It's been an amazing journey with his allergies (both food and environmental) but during this journey, I have learned so much that sometimes, I feel as if my brain cannot possibly allow anything else new to enter. And just like that, on the days that I feel slightly overwhelmed, I find something that does some of the work for me. Something that soothes my worries of I can't do this today! I just can't research this, verify this- I have soooo much to do! This is why I do what I do though. I know that by finding new products that truly work for our allergy lifestyle and put a band aid on my bruised brain, it is something worth sharing to (hopefully) do the same for all of your families.

*I received materials and information for providing my thoughts and ideas to Intellipure. All comments made by me about  the Ultrafine 468 or Intellipure are at my own discretion and based on my own opinion. #Sponsored

Thursday, November 10, 2016

What Kind of Donut?!

It's November people...NOVEMBER! This means there are weeks before us that will include meals, get togethers, more meals and (oh yeah) stress from all of that. There are easy ways to cope with meal planning without stressing out and you can even have a bit of fun in the process. Are you thinking it's not possible? Or are you assuming that whatever I am sharing may be fun but a lot of work? Nope, neither. I (just like all of you) love taking the easy and simple way to a recipe of food fest so that I can enjoy the time that I have outside of the kitchen.

I also like to come up with recipes that I can make ahead of time, freeze and then defrost and go as needed. This can be challenging sometimes since my children eat non-stop. But occasionally, I manage to hide some of the extras and stow them away for those last minute invites. The result? My allergic son arrives with a very special, fun and safe platter of food for him that he often shares with the other kids who desperately want to know what all of his cool foods are. That's how it should be- food allergies should never limit what you do or where you go as long as you think ahead and go prepared.

NutriSon tends to like pick foods. Admittedly, who doesn't? Especially at parties. So when we got an invitation and I only had a few items on hand, I just winged it and wound up coming up with an easy recipe that can be used as a snack, appetizer, side item or alone. Best of all, I was able to use up some leftover chili hanging out in the fridge. Curious? It's round, it's dipable and ripable and it's anything except an actual donut.

Corn Taco Donuts 
Get the recipe here
Winona Pure Popcorn Butter Spray
1 package cornbread mix (such as Glutino)
Leftover prepared taco meat
Cheese of your choice (add as little or as much as you’d like)
*Optional- 2-3 tablespoons pureed veggies for those picky eaters

Prep Time:   7 Minutes
Bake Time:   23 Minutes

1.       Preheat the oven to 375°
2.       Drizzle a doughnut pan with oil
3.       Using your finger, rub the oil to ensure thorough coverage of the pan indents
4.       Prepare the cornbread mix as directed
5.       Mix in your taco meat
6.       Add cheese
7.       Bake for 23 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean
8.       Cool on a wire rack
9.       Leftovers can be kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator or frozen

Serving sizes will vary

Need an easy taco seasoning recipe? Click here J

What secret ingredient will you put into your Corn Taco Donut? 

Monday, November 7, 2016

You're a Mom, Know a Mom- Read This!

Let's just start by saying that Moms work hard- ALL MOMS (hey, all you dads- you do too but you know, let's just give the moms their well-earned space for now). When I say ALL moms it's because it's true but I also think food allergy moms (sometimes) have an even harder time with the added stress of finding safe foods. And being that's it's already November, the stress of the holidays is just creeping up and adding to our everyday lives! How do we fix this? How do we get a break? What will make us feel like someone understands and appreciates what we do?


I have teamed up with Deep River Snacks to share their contest with all of you! Why? All of their chips are Kosher, many of their products are Vegan, they are gluten free and they do not use artificial colors.* One of the most important dilemmas that a MOMCHO has is trying to figure out how to feed her family but also finding REAL foods that fit within her busy life and schedule. (Are you reading this like ....what's a MOMCHO?! According to the official HONCHOS term, it is a noun and it's an awesome mom who deals with a TON of mom stuff every mom day, and overcomes it with super mom powers) Now how many of you are reading this screaming, THAT'S ME!

So How Does This Work?
VERY easy (which also fits into our busy-day mom lives)

  • Go to the Honchos video (here)
  • Nominate your mom who deserves to win (YES, you can nominate yourself!)
  • Tag them in the video comments and you must include #HONCHOMAMA (VERY important, don't forget!)
  •  Nominate no later than November 13th
But What Are the Prizes?
Oh my GAWH!!! Are you ready for this? Cuz even I want to win! There will be 1 Grand Prize Winner and 12 Finalist prizes too (yes, other people will win stuff too!!). The Grand Prize winner will receive: $250 in Visa Gift Cards, 3 months of HONCHOS chips (6 cases of 12-1.5 oz chips of the winners choice), a tiara (YES!!! I WANT A TIARA!!), MOMCHO slippers and other goodies adding up to a $500 value.  The Finalists will get: 3 complimentary bags of HONCHOS chips, a t-shirt and other HONCHOS swag (for those of you that don't know what swag is- it's fun stuff!).

Other Important Stuff 
Remember to nominate your mom no later than November 13th 2016. If you don't they can't be entered for a chance to win. The winner will be announced on Friday December 2, 2016 via Facebook. For complete details on the contest rules, eligibility and prize information please click here. So what are you waiting for? Go nominate the person that you think should win NOW!!!!

Thanks to Deep River Snacks for understanding that moms need extra recognition, prizes, fun and super sweet swag! Visit them on their website, Facebook, Twitter & Instagram.

*As always, everyone's allergies are different so please be sure and check the ingredients page to see what is safest for your need.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Barney is FABulous!

I am gearing up to go to another Food Allergy Bloggers Conference in just days! For those of you who have not been, you can go too. This conference is open to anyone, not just bloggers. It's chock full of classes, sponsors, safe food and best of all, endless love from fellow food allergy people from all over. This is where people in the food allergy community go to meet their extended family. This is where they go to find out about new products that we may not have seen locally yet. This is where they go to connect, get more education and have a ton of fun during the entire conference. Still on the fence? Read my recaps and I am willing to bet you will be kicking yourself for not having your travel arrangements already planned for this year.

I wanted to extend a very special thank you to Barney Butter for being my event sponsors and for making my trip to the Food Allergy Bloggers Conference possible this year. I am also extremely honored and excited to share that I am now one of their official Ambassadors now as well (insert beaming smiling happy face). Our family has used Barney Butter as far back as I can remember. NutriSon is peanut allergic but not almond allergic so their products have been a saving grace. For those of you who may not be familiar with them, I decided to share a few Q&A's to help you decide which item is right for you.

1) Barney Butter is peanut free, dairy free, Kosher, gluten free and offers some Vegan options. Can you explain why this was an important detail for your products?
Food allergies affect 11 million households and 6 million children in the US, and have risen 50% since 1997. We're proud to be the #1 independently owned, certified peanut-free almond butter company out there and take pride in providing healthy, safe foods for families with peanut allergies and gluten sensitivities. We also believe in using only the finest quality ingredients including organic and fair trade whenever possible. If an ingredient isn't 100% necessary to the taste and quality of our almond butters, it isn't included. That's why our whole line is vegan, except one flavor (Honey + Flax) and why our products are Kosher as well.

2) Can you share a few details on how Barney Butter got started?
We wanted to make a better for you alternative to peanut butter and being located in the heart of "Almond Alley" California, where more than 80% of the world's almonds are grown, it was a no-brainer to begin making an almond butter alternative to typical peanut butters. We didn't want to be a hard-core scary almond butter, with grittiness and oil, we wanted to make something that kids would eat. That's why we perfected our blanched (no skin, no grit) blend to be spreadable, no-stir and shelf stable. Even the pickiest kid (or adult) will make the switch from a traditional peanut-butter to Barney Butter.

3) I noticed on you website that Barney Butter has a strong environmental side to it ( as seen on your Beliefs page), could you comment as to what made this part of your mission?
Absolutely. We started this company as a way to make something positive for the world. That means not only creating a quality, healthy product that people will love, but making sure it gives back to the environment as well. That's why we use recyclable packaging when possible (our jars are made of 100% post consumer recycled #1 PET plastic, which is BPA Free), contribute to the Xerces Society (helping protect invertebrates like honey bees and their environment) and work 100% with local California almond farmers who use the strictest guidelines for pollination and harvesting, among other initiatives. We also use the highest level of sustainable palm-oil possible, as well as fair trade and organic ingredients.

4) I see there are recipes too! How often does Barney Butter add new recipes to their site?
As often as possible! We're constantly creating new recipes in house and have a dedicated customer base who submit fantastic recipes that we post too. Just head to to submit yours!

5) Barney Butter is more than just almond butter. In addition to your almond butters and snack packs, you also sell almond flour and almonds. Was this also a need you felt you should offer to your peanut allergic consumers?
Yes. Many brands produce almond products and peanut products within the same facility so they are not actually safe for peanut-free families. We had demand from our customers who loved the quality of our almond butters and were looking for more completely peanut-free snacking, cooking and baking alternatives. We're excited to continue to meet their allergy needs!

6) Is there a particular recipe that Barney Butter has shared the most? Is so, can you share it with us so we can all give it a try?
That might be like choosing a favorite child! But a few of our all-time favorite recipes are:
Almond Joy Overnight Oats
Almond Butter Cup Smoothie
Spicy Asian Noodles with Almond Butter Sauce
Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

7) Are there any plans of introducing any new Barney Butter items (such as apparel, aprons, oven mits, etc)?
We just launched our dip cups (convenient snacking cups for dipping things like apple slices, pretzels and crackers) and will be re-launching our almond flours this fall, just in time for winter baking projects! We're also very excited to be coming out with a Probiotic Almond Butter now available at Sprouts Market.

8) If you could tell all of your Barney Butter fans one thing, what would it be?
Spread the love!

Thank you Barney Butter- this information is super helpful! I can't wait to report back after the  Food Allergy Bloggers Conference and let you know everything that went on this year! As a special thank you to my readers, I haven't forgotten about you! The only way to spread the love is to have a GIVEAWAY!

Comment below so I can host a giveaway

*Need more information and recipes using Barney Butter? You can find them in my ebook The Stepping Stones to Food Allergies. Purchase it now for all of your allergy resource information in addition to easy top 8 free recipes.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Mama Always Knows

I dunno, maybe I'm just as much of a giant #KitchenGeek as I always tell everyone and if I am, I am proud of it! I've taste-tested a lot of products over the years. They are included in my ebook and I have bunches that I have blogged about here to share with everyone. Why do I write product reviews? Because our family was there fifteen years ago. I was that mom, standing in the aisle at the grocery store, reading every label and grimacing when I read the ingredients. And in the beginning, there were a lot of just plain awful tasting products that we tried. So to find products that taste great and are adaptable AND free of the top eight allergens (and then some!) is like a bright, shining star. I share because I want it to be easier for all of you- this food allergy journey. And it should be.

There's MORE! Visit them at Mama Stoen's
THIS is Mama Stoen's (see above picture if you are unsure). I was contacted by them, asking if I would try them out. As you can see, they were more than generous with the product that they sent to our family and this isn't even the entire line of items that you can get! But what caught my eye the most about these boxes were the seemingly never-ending statements of what they did NOT contain. And for those of you with corn allergies- you are in luck! Most of their mixes are also corn-free which is practically a Godsend! For those of you with corn allergies, be sure and double-check the products for those that do contain corn because of the corn starch in the baking powder in certain boxes. The mixes that are free of corn include: Angel Food Cake Mix, Cookie Mix, Carrot Cake Mix and Pizza Crust Mix. MOST of their mixes ready for all of this? (Deep breath, imagine me speaking in that fast, radio announcer voice for the full effect) Non-GMO, certified gluten free, no preservatives, nut free, dairy free, soy free, egg free, no artificial colors, no synthetic colors, no MSG, no added trans fats and it's made in the USA! (wiping forehead, catching breath). So now that I've got all of that out, let's see about the tasting and cooking that happened.

Banana Bread Mix Super easy to make, no gritty texture or dryness just as promised on the box. The directions called for 2 eggs but we successfully made ours with powdered egg replacer and 1 (4 oz) applesauce. These muffins were just as moist with no eggs and they baked up nice and fluffy. Definitely great with tea or coffee (or dairy free milk) and they were just as good the next day. I reheated them for about 15 seconds. I also did the freezer test successfully- simply defrost in the refrigerator before you heat and eat. These are a hearty muffin which means one is just the right amount for a serving.

Carrot Cake NutriKids really liked this mix! I do admit that I was at first a little put off that I had to grind up my own carrots....I know, I am spoiled. I'm so used to mixes that already contain carrots but I got over it very quickly. I used three carrots and it took a whole 5 extra minutes so shame on me for being lazy. This mix called for eggs as well as buttermilk- nope, we didn't do that. I used 1/4 cup butter, 1 (4 oz) applesauce and powdered egg replacer. I also mixed dairy free almond milk with lemon juice in lieu of buttermilk. I was hoping the entire time it was baking that it wouldn't flop in the middle like most mixes do or that it would come out less than what a true layer of cake should be. Much to my happiness as you can see, the carrot cake mix looks like a proper cake should!

Cookie Mix Again, super easy and adaptable to be egg free. I baked them on parchment paper (because parchment paper is a gluten free cook's best friend!). I did note that when I took them out of the oven, they may seem a little mushy, which makes us tend to think they are not cooked properly. Totally untrue- after letting them cool a bit, the cookies were a perfect mixture of just a bit crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. And you know how sometimes the next day allergy-friendly cookies are...well, mushy? So not the case with these! The leftovers didn't make it to a third day. I mean, just look at that stack of happy cookies! I bet if you put them next to a typical cookie (full of allergens) that nobody would know which is which.

Pizza!! YES!!! Amidst all of the wonderful baked goods, there was a pizza crust mix too! And although my kitchen was already chock full of baked items NutriSon eyed up the box and I knew I had to go big or go home. There was just no turning back! We would make the pizza and eat the pizza! And..wait! The recipe calls for egg whites.... again, so not a problem. Powdered egg replacer is unbelievably wonderful with all of these products. There is a baking tip I recommend- the box doesn't suggest anything except for baking the pizza crust on the pan. I baked it for 5 minutes then I placed a cookie cooling rack underneath it on the sheet and baked for another five minutes. The reason? Often times, when we bake gluten free pizza crust, they seem anything but crispy on the bottom. The reason? The air has to get to it or else it remains a little on the soft side (unless you burn it and that's always horrific).Watch here to see our thoughts.

It's Chocolate Cake...or IS It? I began to mix the chocolate cake mix but then my blogger brain stepped in. I wanted to try something I hadn't before. I had purchased a Twinkie Baking Set but I wanted to make them with chocolate and Barney Butter! (Barney Butter is almond butter) Now, before everyone who is top eight free starts to freak out on me because I'm mentioning a nut item, just chill and listen; you can also use SunButter or any nut free spread in this recipe. I chose to begin with Barney Butter because NutriSon is peanut allergic but not almond allergic. And what does it look like? It looks delicious! Behold the Chocolate Almond Butter Twinkies! Are they light and spongy like a Twinkie? No but the taste combination is like Twinkie meets almond butter cup.

When Was the Last Time You Liked Your Foods? Does anyone else get excited when they find new products? Truly, all of the cake mixes from Mama Stoen's have excellent taste, are easy to make and absolutely won over my entire family. Being free of the other usual ingredients like many mixes (artificial colors, etc) is an added bonus. Make sure you visit Mama Stoen's on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to let them know you'd like to know more about their products. Many thanks to them for reaching out and providing NutriFamily with such an abundance of great tasting items!