Sunbutter Cinnamon Rolls


I was inspired by a recipe I saw on Mom Vs. Food Allergy, but adapted it to something I had on hand: a 1 pound section of pizza dough. And the pizza dough has a better ingredient list than canned crescent rolls do (especially if you use homemade dough!). Alistaire can have a small gluten cheat here and there, and this was just perfect!


As they were cooling on the counter, Ford kept going by them and asking what they were. I said “Just try them!” and I went outside to weed/play with the younger boys. A few minutes later I hear from the kitchen “MOM!!!! These are the BEST! Can I have more?”. Praise from the 16 year old means I got it right. Sweet but not just all about butter and sugar, the sunflower butter takes it to a new level. Could you add in finely chopped sunflower seeds and raisins? I am sure you could. I went for simple, because I knew the three hungry boys would like it that way.

Sunbutter Cinnamon Rolls


Glaze -


If pizza dough is frozen, allow to thaw overnight in refrigerator. If chilled, let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes to an hour.

Preheat oven to 200°, turn off.

Roll out to about 15 x 8″.

Heat Sunbutter and buttery stick in microwave for 30 seconds at 70% power, stir till smooth. Add in brown sugar and cinnamon, stir well. Spread on dough, leaving an edge around.

Starting with the long edge, roll up gently. wipe a little water on final edge, gently seal. Cut into 8 pieces.

Liberally spray a 8 x 8″ glass baking dish or pie pan, place pieces in it loosely. Cover with a clean kitchen towel, leave in warm oven, with oven door open a bit, for 45 minutes. Take out dish, preheat oven to 400°. Put rolls back in and bake for about 20 minutes, or until just turning golden. Let cool for 10 minutes, run a narrow knife to split up rolls.

Mix up powdered sugar, coconut milk and salt in a small bowl, drizzle over warm rolls.

Makes 8 rolls.

Gluten-Free & Vegan Sunflower Cookies


5 days and now into the 6th day of a really painful slowdown of our internet. Many calls, a tech at the street and yet no answers. So last week I ended up not posting a few days because it was slower than 1999-era dial up. Comcast is sending out yet another tech today. I really hope it gets fixed. I can deal with slow internet to a point, Kirk cannot – he works from home in the tech field. So it pretty much sucks, especially since we pay for “Business Class” and currently have “Amish-Speed”. For me, I had to shelve writing/posting anything that was picture heavy (especially since I can’t edit photos online!), so I figured I’d share this now favorite recipe of Alistaire’s for an allergy-friendly version of the standard peanut butter cookie!


As I have mentioned before, I am a huge fan of this gluten-free flour mix!

Gluten-Free & Vegan Sunflower Cookies



Preheat oven to 375°, line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a small bowl, whisk Ener-G with warm water, set aside for 5 minutes.

In a stand mixer bowl, add sugars, Sunbutter and shortening, blend together. Beat in vanilla and Ener-G mixture, until smooth.

Add in flour blend, xanthan gum, baking powder and salt, beat in. If mixture is dry, add in up to 1 more Tablespoon warm water, till a cookie dough forms.

Make balls with a 1 Tablespoon Disher, drop on baking sheets. Gently make hash tags with a fork on top. Bake for 8 to 12 minutes, checking at 8, until lightly golden brown. Let rest for 5 minutes before moving to a cooling rack (they are fragile when warm).

Makes about 2½ dozen.

Walker helping me make the cookies ;-)


Spicy Sunflower Chocolate Chip Cookies



Mildly spicy (the kids didn’t appreciate it!) and both gluten-free and vegan. Frozen, they taste even better!

Spicy Sunflower Chocolate Chip Cookies



Preheat oven to 350°, line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Add warm water to Ener-G, stir till mixed.

Add sunflower butter, brown sugar, chili powder, baking soda and salt into a food processor bowl, pulse to mix. Add in Ener-G mix, process until smooth. Add in chocolate, pulse till mixed in.

Scoop heaping Tablespoon balls, roll with hands to smooth, lay on baking sheets. Press gently with fork tines, making a hash tag. Bake for 10 minutes. Let cool fully on tray before moving, the cookies are fragile when warm.

Store in freezer or refrigerator.

Makes about 20 cookies.

Allergy Friendly Cookies: Chickpeas & Chocolate


Grain-free, gluten-free and allergy friendly – and quick to make. Kids will love them, and no, you don’t taste the chickpeas at all! We go through a lot of SunButter Natural Sunflower Seed Spread in our house, and the kids loved these cookies – all 3 of them. Bonus is I got protein and fiber into the youngest, without him knowing ;-)


Chickpeas & Chocolate


  • 15 ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • ½ cup + 2 Tbsp Sunbutter
  • ¼ cup raw honey or raw agave nectar
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • Pinch of fine sea salt
  • ½ cup dark or semisweet chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 350°, line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Spread the chickpeas out on paper towels, pat dry. Add them, Sunbutter, honey, vanilla, baking powder, and salt to food processor, process until smooth, scraping often. Add in chocolate chips, pulse to mix in.

Drop 8 balls of dough on each sheet, gently flatten with dampened fingers.

Bake each sheet for 10 minutes, or until turning golden on top. Let cool fully.

For a “fudgy” treat, stash cookies in refrigerator, enjoy while cold.

16 cookies.

NaBloPoMo November 2013

Sunflower & Peach Jam Quinoa Donuts


I was excited to have an idea for a treat that Alistaire could enjoy: gluten-free, nut and peanut free, egg free – well you know the spiel. Quinoa flour is one I work with only here and there, it has a pretty strong flavor so I usually avoid it when baking, unless it is a small amount. With the level of sugar, I figured the taste wouldn’t be too prominent. I was right on that. And guess who really liked them? Well, one would be Alistaire….the other was a certain older brother in a blue shirt. Turns out…..


I didn’t leave them far back enough on the counter. And someone ate nearly THREE of the six donuts. Oh well, at least someone appreciated them. As in a 3½ year older. At least baby got one to himself.


I do add a disclaimer: if you are not used to baking with quinoa, it has a very dominant smell while baking. Very earthy. I find it dissipates as it cools. But these donuts will not be light or fluffy. They are whole-grain (well, actually whole-seed) and are rich with the sunflower butter. I found the texture pleasing, xantham gum might be a good addition to lighten the batter when baking (and firming it up to be more cake-like).

Sunflower & Peach Jam Quinoa Donuts


  • ¾ cup Quinoa Flour
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • Pinch fine sea salt
  • ¼ cup SunButter Natural
  • 1 Tbsp ground flaxseed meal + 3 Tbsp water
  • ½ cup unsweetened rice milk
  • 1½ tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 3 Tbsp peach jam


Preheat oven to 325°, liberally spray a 6-Cavity Donut Pan. Whisk flaxseed meal and water together, let rest for 5 to 10 minutes, beat until thick. Divide jam between the cups, spreading evenly around, about 1½ teaspoons each.

Whisk the quinoa flour through sea salt together in a medium bowl.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk Sunbutter and flax mixture till smooth, whisk in remaining wet ingredients through vanilla, until smooth. Add to dry ingredients, stir until mixed. Scrape batter into a new gallon zip top bag, seal out air while zipping closed. Cut off a corner of bag, pipe equally on top of the jam.

Bake for about 20 minutes, until golden. Let rest on a cooling rack for a few minutes, flip over and remove pan. Let cool before enjoying.

Best eaten day of baking.

Makes 6 donuts.


Zucchini Oat Brownies (GF/Allergy Friendly)

Ooh, guess what today is? Besides my littlest one turning 18 months old?


It is National Zucchini Day!

Well, I’d probably celebrate more, but this week I had to tear out all of my squash and cucumber plants. The white fungus got to them all :-( Ah well. At least I got to enjoy some tasty zucchini and yellow summer squash before they were infected. Apparently this year I don’t get to participate in the other part of today’s holiday “sneak some zucchini onto your neighbor’s porch and run day“. Hehheh! Oh well – there is always next year, and I now know to not buy any veggie starts (lesson learned – I bought a yellow patty pan set of plants that got it first a few weeks back, then it travels via insects landing on other plants). If anything, this year has been a great lesson in how things grow organically :)

So…the other day, for National Night Out in our neighborhood, I made up these brownies. Partially I wanted to see if anyone noticed. Apparently not, because the platter was empty within minutes. And I didn’t hear any kids going “OMG, this is so gross”. Mission accomplished ;-) The boys loved them and hey, even the Teenager didn’t question what was in it. With all the chocolate the zucchini melts into it. If you are worried your kids might question it, use the fine grating side of your box grater.


Zucchini Oat Brownies


  • ½ cup Sunbutter
  • ¼ cup pure maple syrup
  • ½ cup applesauce
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • ¾ cup Gluten Free Rolled Oats
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp fine sea salt
  • 1½ cups shredded zucchini (see below)
  • ½ cup dark chocolate chips (GF/Vegan/Nut Free)


Preheat oven to 350°, lightly oil or spray a 9×13″ baking dish.

Shred zucchini on a couple of paper towels (layered). When done grating, roll up and let sit for a few minutes to help remove excess moisture.

Whirl oats in a mini food chopped until mostly ground.

Add Sunbutter, applesauce, maple syrup and vanilla to a stand mixer bowl, beat on medium till smooth. Add in zucchini, cocoa powder, ground oats, baking soda and salt, beat until combined. Add in ¼ cup of chocolate chips.

Spread in prepared dish, sprinkle remaining chips over the top. Bake for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out mostly clean from the center.

Let cool, then cut into 20 pieces. Store tightly wrapped, in the refrigerator.


Sunbutter Cupcakes for Alistaire

For my little buddy, I would try anything, just so he can have a treat like the rest of us.


Giving him a cupcake that can give wheat ones a run for their money? Yeah, that felt awesome! Moist, light with that cupcake texture and yes, allergy friendly. No gluten, peanuts, nuts, eggs, dairy….just a lot of flavor! I was proud of these cakes, I took them to our neighborhood National Night Out this week. And they were all gone in minutes. Woot!


Sunbutter Cupcakes




Preheat oven to 350°, line a 12 count muffin tin with papers (preferably Reynolds or Wilton).

Stir cider vinegar into milk, set aside.

Add Sunbutter to a stand mixer bowl (paddle attachment in place), beat for 2 minutes on medium.

Add oil, brown sugar, and vanilla, beat on medium for 3 minutes. Add in flax mixture, beat until combined.

Whisk flour, xantham gum, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

Add the flour in slowly, in 3 batches, alternating with the milk, beat on medium until smooth.

Divide batter between the liners. Bake for about 22 minutes, until golden on top and a toothpick comes out clean in the center.

Let rest for 10 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack.

Makes 12 cupcakes.


Sunbutter Frosting


6 Tbsp vegetable shortening (Spectrum Organic)

1/3 cup Sunbutter

1½ tsp pure vanilla extract

2 cups powdered sugar

¼ cup unsweetened non-dairy milk (used So Delicious)


Add shortening and Sunbutter into a stand mixer bowl, beat on low until combined, add in vanilla. Add sugar, beat in on low, then on medium until crumbly. Add milk in, 1 Tablespoon at a time, until smooth.

Pipe or spread on cooled cupcakes. Decorate with decorating sugars, if desired.


Allergy Friendly Chocolate Covered Cherry Granola Bars

I am slowly finding more ways to adapt and make treats for my boys, that work for Alistaire’s allergies and yet have everyone else happy. And this brings me to something. I have to remember every day to not judge others though, which is never easy – no matter your background.

I follow a few allergy support groups for moms online and found myself feeling way out. I think what it is, is that in blogging I am surrounded by others who see the world in a similar view. And being an avoid cook, I am willing to make whatever I can from scratch to avoid potential issues with my family’s diet. Suddenly, I was reading threads on how moms could still buy highly processed foods and what was potential cross contamination or contained peanuts/nuts. And I found myself feeling overly pious/nose in the air “Why can’t you people just BAKE YOUR OWN bread! Arguing if Sarah Lee bread is OK? That Hostess products from certain plants are nut-free?. Make them donuts from scratch!” Oh wait, not everyone cooks, creates or even knows where to start. Before I spout off…I have to back up and think it out. When all you (my readers) ask something, you expect hand-crafted answers. They are just trying to get through the store. And so…I suddenly felt like a natural food freak from the town of Hippyville, Crunchtown, where these ladies are from Anytown, Middle America. I have some advantges in a way – I like cooking/baking, I know how to shop for special needs diet already and have local access to natural food stores. But more…with his having 5 food allergies, it is past the point of finding processed foods he can have. He is in a niche of a niche. There are only a handful of companies that make safe foods – no gluten, eggs, dairy, peanuts or tree nuts. So I guess I don’t have to worry if boy can eat Hostess Ding Dongs safely. He will never have one!

I go buy the theory of “If in doubt, go without” – which means I bring B’s food along (that is safe) or I make it. Which I might add, I read that one in the newest issue of Living Without Magazine.


In the end….I am responsible for him. And I want him to enjoy the foods he can! It encourages me to keep making more, trying new ideas. In this one I adapted a peanut and nut filled recipe and made it for him. Delicious!


Allergy Friendly Chocolate Covered Cherry Granola Bars



Spray or lightly oil a 9×13″ pan. Line with parchment paper cut to fit bottom of pan, and up the end sides. Spray or oil the paper.

Mix the cereal, oats, cherries and chocolate chips together in a large bowl.

Add the Sunbutter, honey, maple syrup and brown sugar to a medium mixing bowl, heat in microwave for 1 minute on high. Remove and stir until smooth.

Add to dry mix, stir till thoroughly combined with a silicone spatula. Pack into prepared pan, pressing down evenly.

Let cool for an hour, cut with a sharp knife into bars. Wrap each bar individually. For best storage, keep in refrigerator or freezer until snack time.


On crisp rice cereal, I have found the store brands to be safer than the name brand – mostly due to the ingredient list. Does one need high fructose corn syrup in it? No. So read the labels, you might find the generic looks better as well.

I don’t often keep quick oats in the house, so I take regular old-fashioned oats and run them through my mini-food chopper to blitz up a bit. This works just fine!



I was inspired by a quick recipe I saw on Keeley McQuire’s blog and made an adapted batch for Alistaire to nibble on. Turned out everyone else liked them just as much…..even the Teen. But first I had to lure the littlest back inside to enjoy a snack made just for him!



Being that they didn’t need a food processor, I had them ready in under 10 minutes (most of which was Walker trying to help me….)



One thing I changed was using 1-minute quick oats instead of rolled oats. The texture is finer and easier for Alistaire to chew.





Mix the oats through honey together in a medium mixing bowl. Make balls with a 1 Tablespoon Disher, packing tightly with hands and rolling into balls.

Add powdered sugar to a shallow bowl, roll balls in sugar. Store balls in an airtight container, in the refrigerator.

Makes about 14 balls.


You can make your own oat flour easy enough. Grind oats in a mini food chopper or blender.

Read powdered sugar labels. Some contain tapioca starch, others cornstarch. I have good luck with Wholesome Sweeteners organic.

I tried out a new-to-me honey in this recipe, Golden Blossom Honey:



I had received samples of it recently, the Sunballs were its first use. Taste wise?  Clear, mellow, fruity. It wasn’t what I was expecting from commercial honey (I am not a fan of most honey-bear honey found in stores. It is often so intensely sweet it isn’t palatable) I would put Golden Blossom Honey in the “I’d have it in tea” category, meaning I liked it quite a bit. And to my Mother In-Law (who I know will read this!), it is sold in Florida. You need to pick me up some ;-)


Sesame Noodles

It is Wednesday already? Eek! I am finally catching up from the weekend. My In-Laws are on the road, off on vacation, the house is getting back to order. Kirk and I took the boys hiking on Sunday to one of my favorite places, Sunrise, at Mt. Rainier National Park. Still plenty of snow and we had nice weather, sunny and maybe 70°. I posted many more photos on my other blog. Walker loves snow (and what kid doesn’t in July?) and hey, Alistaire loves being carried ;-)


In the quest to make dinners Alistaire can eat with us (with his allergies), I am working on the sauces first, then I will adapt the pasta, as we use up our wheat pasta stock before we go to gluten-free. I can always drizzle sauces over quinoa or rice for now, for him. Thankfully we are down to maybe 8 or so boxes left of spaghetti.


Sesame Noodles


  • 1/3 cup Sunbutter
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp red pepper rice vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp lower sodium soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp dark brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp granulated garlic
  • 1 tsp dry ginger
  • 1 tsp chili pepper sauce (Sriracha or Tabasco or similar)
  • 2 Tbsp sesame oil, divided
  • 2 Tbsp sesame seeds
  • 16 ounces spaghetti noodles


Bring a large pot of salted water to boil, cook pasta as directed. Reserve 1 cup cooking water before draining.

Meanwhile, add all of sauce ingredients to a high-speed blender, reserving 1 Tablespoon of sesame oil for later use. Process sauce until smooth.

Toss drained noodles with remaining 1 Tablespoon sesame oil in a large bowl.

Add in the cup of reserved pasta water to blender, process until smooth.Pour sauce over pasta, toss to coat. Sprinkle sesame seeds over, toss again.

Serves 4 to 6.


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