Nut Free Desserts for the Holidays

by Becky Elmuccio on November 12, 2013

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links in order to help Crafty Garden Mama to grow.

Welcome to the November 2013 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Feeding Your Family

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month our participants have shared recipes, stories, and advice about food and eating. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.


Nut Free Desserts for the Holidays - Crafty Garden Mama

Holiday cooking is going to be a bit different at our house this year. Since Tomato was diagnosed with a peanut allergy, we have been working to find safe ingredients for her for when we cook and bake. We are supposed to steer clear of peanuts, any other nuts processed with peanuts and any facilities that process any kind of nut. Nut free desserts have become one of the treats that I like to figure out for her so that she does not feel left out.

I have been on the phone a lot in the last few months. Each time, I ask companies whether or not their products are nut free and are produced in a facility that is peanut/tree nut free. I have been blessed that all of the companies have been willing to track down even the smallest ingredient in order to make sure that there are no cross contamination issues. We have a few that have become great go to ingredients for when we are making peanut free desserts. As always with any allergen worries, check the labels and contact the companies yourself when you are interested in using their products. You never know when processing plants change or updates are made, so be safe. Here are my top four:

1) Enjoy Life

These Enjoy Life chocolate chips, chunks and morsels are perfect for cookies, cheesecakes and brownies. They are nut free and gluten free, so if you have gluten to worry about, this might be for you too. We have been enjoying them in chocolate chip pancakes too and when we make cupcakes ahead of time for in school birthday celebrations.

2) Kinnikinnik

Kinnikinnick is my new go to for plain pie crusts and cookie crumble crusts for pies and cheesecakes. Their graham crackers can be a great addition atop a sweet potato pie or the K-Toos work well for my sister’s Cookie pie that she features each Christmas Eve. Our Whole Foods does not carry their pie crusts in the frozen section, but since they do carry the line, they can special order them for us. This line is also gluten free.

3) Vermont Nut Free Chocolate

These are perfect for ordering sets of ready made chocolate treats or supplies to make your own chocolates. When Tomato was first diagnosed, I ordered almost weekly so that I had a safe nut free dessert for myself during nap time. Now, they are carrying Advent calendars and hot chocolate just in time for winter.

4) Sunbutter

With the combination of chocolate from Vermont Nut Free and this SunButter Organic Spread, we can transform traditional peanut butter desserts into sunbutter desserts. I actually prefer the taste of sunflower butter, so it’s a win win for everyone in the house.

To all those looking to be nut free, be sure to personally call each company yourself so that you can determine if the products are safe for your own allergy. It is beneficial to check in from time to time to make sure that facility practices are consistent.

Does anyone in your family have a nut allergy? How do you navigate food allergies during the holidays?


Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

(This list will be updated by afternoon November 12 with all the carnival links.)

  • Nut Free Desserts for the Holidays — Becky at Crafty Garden Mama will be talking about navigating the holidays with peanut allergies in the family.
  • Making Peace with My Picky Eater — Once upon a time, there was a boy who would try anything. And then he turned 3. Thus began the dinner chronicles at Dionna at Code Name: Mama‘s house.
  • Foodie Morphed by Motherhood — Rosemary at Rosmarinus Officinalis reflects on the changes of her family’s food culture since becoming a mother, and shares a snapshot of their current food rhythm.
  • Introducing First Foods — Wondering what your little one should take a bite of first? That Mama Gretchen explains baby-led weaning/baby self-feeding and answers a number of questions that may come to mind!
  • Feeding Your Family — Coconut Oil!!! — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama is a coconut oil devotee. In this post, she shares her favorite ways to include coconut oil in her family’s diet as well as why she feels it is important to do so.
  • We Thank the Earth for its Food! — Terri at Child of the Nature Isle spends hours in the kitchen each day trying to make medicine in the form of food.
  • Focusing on Healthy, Gluten-Free Foods for My Family — Deb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now shares what her family is doing to eat healthily along with her recipe for gluten-free peanut butter oat bran muffins.
  • Intolerancesustainablemum laments the misunderstanding surrounding food intolerances.
  • Don’t Let Food Sensitivities Ruin Your Holidays! — Rachel, the Titus 2 Homemaker, talks about ways to enjoy the holidays even if you wrestle with food sensitivities.
  • Losing grains, keeping empathy: Paleo and fat acceptance — Lauren at Hobo Mama vlogs about her family’s decision to cut grains to improve health — and hopes she can retain her position as a proponent of size acceptance even as she loses weight.
  • Easy Homemade Crockpot Mac & Cheese — Amy W. at Me, Mothering, and Making it All Work, shakes off the blue-box blues with an easy crockpot mac-and-cheese recipe with no artificial dyes or excessive preservatives … just creamy, delicious, comfort-food goodness.
  • Extended Family Dinners — Shannon at Pineapples & Artichokes talks about sharing family dinners with housemates and why it works for her.
  • Five Suggestions for Eating Healthy During the Holidays — No need to feel powerless when it comes to our highly sugared/processed food culture during the holidays &emdash; Andrea at It Takes Time offers tips to stay on track.
  • How to feed your family — no food required! — Jessica at is kind of obsessed with food. But, lately she’s realized there’s more to nourishment than what she cooks up in the kitchen.
  • Food as family medicine: living gluten-free and beyond — Jessica at Crunchy-Chewy Mama sticks to her gluten-free guns but sees room for improvement in her pursuit of a real-food family table.
  • Feeding My Family — Challenges and Growth — Susan at Together Walking shares what has been most challenging about feeding her two kids and how she has grown in the kitchen since becoming a mother.
  • How I Lost 75 Lbs — What I Eat & My Top 5 Tips — Abbie at Farmer’s Daughter shares how she and her family became healthy, happy and active.
  • The Weight of Motherhood — Revolution Momma at Raising a Revolution rethinks her relationship with food after struggling with post-pregnancy weight gain.
  • Geek Food: Pumpkin Pasties — While Jennifer at True Confessions of a Real Mommy and family might have food sensitivities, their geekery knows no limits. So, when faced with a desire to recreate Pumpkin Pasties from Harry Potter, they do not shy away!
  • Pumpkin Harvest Muffins — This summer Mama is Inspired and family grew pumpkins, and this autumn they are baking scrumptious, healthy muffins out of those pumpkins.
  • Reintroducing Meat to the Vegetarian Tummy — Ana at Panda & Ananaso shares some of the considerations she explored before transitioning from a vegetarian diet to reintroducing meat as a protein source and a few tips on making it an easy one.
  • Thanksgiving Meal, Thankful? — Jorje of Momma Jorje has never felt terribly thankful for Thanksgiving itself. Perhaps that could change if she’s a little more invested?
  • 5 Ways to Use Healing Bone Broth — It’s that time of year again, when unpleasant little bugs make their way into our homes. For Megan of The Boho Mama, guest posting at Natural Parents Network, homemade stock or bone broth is a natural remedy.

I am linking up with the Pinterest Foodie Linky.

{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

Heather November 12, 2013 at 6:04 am

We have good friends with a child with a peanut allergy. I always try to consider this when they are coming over (as in what we serve as well as what we have eaten recently leading up to their visit so I can ensure no residue is left over).


Becky Elmuccio November 12, 2013 at 8:57 pm

It’s so great to know that other families extend that courtesy, Heather. It makes playdates so much easier.


Dionna @ Code Name: Mama November 12, 2013 at 7:41 am

We have an allergy (shrimp and eggs) and food sensitivities, but I cannot imagine having to call the companies to see if their products are safe for my kids. You are amazing!! It’s great that you found some special foods that will work 🙂


Becky Elmuccio November 12, 2013 at 9:03 pm

Thanks, Dionna! It’s certainly taken some time, but I’d rather be thorough than sorry. Thank goodness a lot of companies are aware of allergen issues.


claudia krusch November 12, 2013 at 8:41 am

We don’t have allergies in my house, my son is mildly intolerant to gluten…but I love your alternatives, will share!


Becky Elmuccio November 12, 2013 at 9:08 pm

Thanks, Claudia!


Jessica November 12, 2013 at 9:19 am

Nut allergies seem so much more prevalent now. I always ask before a playdate if there are food allergies.


Becky Elmuccio November 12, 2013 at 9:08 pm

That’s always a big anxiety reliever, Jessica!


Debra November 12, 2013 at 9:30 am

Luckily both my kids aren’t allergic to any foods, but I am to strawberries – so I’m always sensitive to others who might also have them. I always ask before playdates and as well as in my children’s classroom – to bring something in that everyone can eat!


Rosemary November 12, 2013 at 9:40 am

My husband developed nut allergies (and several other food allergies/sensitivities) as an adult. It’s made cooking and especially baking tricky, but we’ve figured it out over the last few years. Thankfully none are life-threatening. My former go-to holiday and special occasion dessert and the recipe I took pride in perfecting? Baklava. Sad. 😉


Becky Elmuccio November 12, 2013 at 9:09 pm

We will have to give Baklava a try! We are lucky that some many ingredients can be found to help make baking easier now.


Colleen (Souffle Bombay) November 12, 2013 at 9:52 am

A lot of great suggestions & ideas, thanks! I have 2 kids with life threatening tree/peanut allergies (12/9). First taste for my oldest at almost 3 years old almost killed him – crazy stuff! Good luck with figuring it all out – SO much easier these days with between awareness & clear labels on so many products 🙂 When my son first was diagnosed after a hospital stay I was literally calling cereal companies to ask what some of “the big” words meant on the ingredients to find out if any traces of nuts were present…they were like – weeelllll it depends on what day it was processed and what else was processed in that plant that dat…etc. SO, SO much better now!!


Becky Elmuccio November 12, 2013 at 9:11 pm

Everyone has been great to help out when I call. As a teacher, I saw it all come so far in understanding from over a decade ago.


Chelle @ oh just stop already November 12, 2013 at 10:11 am

I was seriously debating whether I wanted to sign up for my son’s classroom party but I think now I will sign up. Especially since I can make chocolate chip cookies without the worry of anyone being excluded or put in danger.


Becky Elmuccio November 12, 2013 at 2:06 pm

Always check with each family who has food allergies in the class since they are all so different. We opt to bring our own food to school to be safest. Our school requires that each kid with an Epipen has their own food from home, which is great to help out with managing it all.


Gina Badalaty November 12, 2013 at 10:52 am

Look, all my family favorites!! We JUST figured out you can buy SunButter at Amazon for a great deal, so LLLAAATTEEE to the party, lol! One of my fav’s is sunbutter cups, dairy-, gluten- and peanut-free, and so good. You can even make them with carob.


Becky Elmuccio November 12, 2013 at 9:12 pm

We get Sunbutter at Whole Foods and Wegmans too. It’s such a great alternative!


Lauryn November 12, 2013 at 12:52 pm

Great products Becky! These will certainly be in our house this winter;)


Becky Elmuccio November 12, 2013 at 9:14 pm

They are super staples for us!


Carrie November 12, 2013 at 4:09 pm

Can I just say that the Enjoy Life chips and Sunbutter are two of my FAVORITE things ever. I eat both on the regular. Great list!


Becky Elmuccio November 12, 2013 at 9:15 pm

I have a breakfast recipe coming that uses them both!


Lauren @ Hobo Mama November 12, 2013 at 5:20 pm

It must be such a challenge to eat nut-free! Thanks for these resources for others struggling with finding safe ingredients. We love Enjoy Life chips here, too. 🙂


Becky Elmuccio November 12, 2013 at 9:15 pm

Thanks, Lauren!


Rachee November 12, 2013 at 6:37 pm

I don’t really have issues with nuts but I do have a picky kid. Thanks for such an extensive list of resources.


Becky Elmuccio November 12, 2013 at 9:16 pm

My pleasure, Rachee!


Barb @ A Life in Balance November 13, 2013 at 10:55 am

Heather and I tried the Enjoy Life chocolate chips at the Wow Summit and loved them. I pinned this to my Christmas board.


sustainablemum November 15, 2013 at 9:14 am

We don’t have allergies in our house just my intolerances. I think labelling must be better in the UK, products have to state if they are produced in a factory also handling nuts and many other ingredients that are known allergens. Food labelling is still a minefield for me as some the foods I am intolerant of are not required by law to be on the label, if I am not sure I don’t buy.


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