There are lots of ways to avoid using nuts in our day-to-day cooking whether by using an alternative "pea" butter spread or simply avoiding nuts in recipes they are commonly found in. The safety of the children in all of our programs are our top priority so we avoid using both nuts and seeds at all costs. However, that does not stop us from using creative methods to make delicious breakfasts, lunches, and snacks!
Red Rabbit Is A Nut & Seed Free Kitchen
Our kitchen, bakery, and operations office are all nut and seed free — so our school partners, kids and parents can be sure the food they order from Red Rabbit is not problematic for anyone with a nut allergy — from mild to severe. Our kitchen is also free of any seeds that may cause allergies, such as poppy seeds or sesame seeds.
A Delicious, "Sneaky" Alternative
We know there are so many temptations out there for snacks loaded with nuts but rest assured there are lots of options we not only use in the kitchen but that can also be used to cook with in fun recipes at home!
We've started using Sneaky Chef No Nut Butter in our kitchen to make some delicious items including "Pea" - Butter & Jelly sandwiches and our "Pea" Butter Cookies. The Sneaky Chef herself, Missy Chase Lapine, developed this product in an attempt to feed kids the veggies they need in foods they already love seamlessly integrating yellow peas into a spreadable treat.
Heads Up! We're continuing to try out new recipes with this ingredient so let us know if you have any fun ideas or requests!
You don't Always Need the Nuts
Maintaining a nut-free space lets us be creative in the kitchen by testing recipes without nuts and we've had great success with a couple of our now kid-favorites. We combine real, whole ingredients to make the items kids are accustomed to eating but without the nuts!
- Pesto. The classic pesto recipe often calls for pine nuts or walnuts but we've found our recipe to equally as delicious without it. Our recipe uses basil leaves, garlic, Parmesan cheese, olive oil, lemon juice, and a little salt and pepper. It's simple, but just as tasty spread on a simple baguette or mixed in with one of our lunch wraps.
- Hummus. Our partners are constantly asking if there is sesame in our hummus because "tahini" is a popular ingredient in the classic hummus recipe. However, we skip the tahini altogether and simply use chickpeas, lemon juice, olive oil, water, and a little bit of salt. Hummus frequently appears on our menu in our Mediterranean Lunch Platter or as a snack served with fresh pita or fresh cut vegetables.
A "Sneaky Chef" Recipe to Try at Home
No Nut Butter & Jelly Muffins
- 1 cup whole grain flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup canola oil
- 3/4 cup lowfat milk
- 3/4 cup Sneaky Chef Creamy No-Nut Butter
- 8 heaping teaspoons favorite jam
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a muffin tin with paper liners.
- In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; set aside. In another large bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugar until well combined, then whisk in the oil, milk, and No-Nut Butter. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet and mix until flour is just moistened
- Scoop two tablespoons of batter into the large muffin cups until half full. Place a heaping teaspoon of jam in the center of each muffin. Cover the jam with another 2 tablespoons of batter, filling the cups just over the top.
- Bake for 20 to 24 minutes, until the tops are golden brown, let cool, then enjoy!
For information about nut allergies in this previous blog post that addresses the allergy, the possible reactions, and prevention. about finding an allergist in your area, visit the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI) or the American College of Asthma, Allergy and Immunology. For additional information visit The Peanut Free and Nut Free Directoryor the National Peanut Board.