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Vegan with a Peanut Allergy? Have I got a product for you...

Posted May 22 2009 4:53pm
While perusing the shelves of the grocery store near my work, I found myself in the 'raw food' section of the store.

Raw Food, you ask? What the monkey?!? Here's an explanation.

Here's the thing. I've been transitioning our diet at home into more of a vegetarian one (yes, me, the one who LOVES short ribs). Why? Lots of reasons. Health mainly. So there I was, in the raw section of the store, just checking things out. Living in Northern California certainly provides you with many opportunities to try new things, right there in the local grocery store (even at our local Safeway). And raw food is just another subset of the vegan lifestyle.

But as many of you out there have probably noticed, it seems that a vegetarian diet relies A LOT on nuts for protein and a vegan diet even more so.

So I'm NOT an expert on vegetarian/vegan diet so please don't blast me on this, it's just what I've observed in my limited research. I mean, check out this place in San Francisco: Cafe Gratitude. The menu looks amazing, but so many of the dishes have some sort of nut product in them: I wouldn't put B two feet near the place. They even have a disclaimer on their menu that anyone with a nut allergy should avoid eating there - which I actually appreciate, don't you?

So where was I? Oh yeah, the raw food section of the store. I was looking at all the 'bars' in the section, thinking that they would be good for me, but NONE of them would work for B as they'd be loaded with peanut butter, almonds, cashews - you name it.

But then, like a beacon, these appeared:
GoRaw Live 'Granola' Bars
  • 100% Gluten Free
  • 100% Nut Free
  • 100% Wheat Free
  • 100% Vegan (that means no milk or eggs!)
You can't really see it in this photo, but on the label, they say their production line/facility is 100% vegan, 100% certified gluten/wheat free, 100% nut free and 100% certified organic.

I bought one, but was skeptical about giving it to B in case there would be cross contamination issues. But an email to the company confirmed their claims (although they DO use coconut in their facility, which is considered a tree nut, so if you're avoiding coconut many of their products wont work for you).

The ingredients are:
  • Buckwheat Groats
  • Sunflower Seeds
  • Flax Seeds
  • Sesame Seeds
  • Raisins
  • Dates
Again, be aware that the granola bar contains sesame seeds and sunflower seeds (I didn't ask how/where they source their sunflower seeds). B isn't allergic to either of these seeds, so I decided to try it out.

I didn't know if B would like it. It tastes really mild, but it's not like your usual Quaker Oats chocolate chip bars (not that she's had those - they have a peanut warning!). I gave her a little sliver, thinking she wouldn't want any more, but she ended up eating half the bar! She then proceeded to ask what other flavors they have? I bought a Banana Bread flax bar at Whole Foods yesterday, so we'll put that to the test over the weekend. You can check out their other flavors here.

The other product they have that I am in LOVE with are these:

Original Super Cookies
These little wafers of goodness (about the size of a quarter each) are SO addictive that I can't stop myself from gobbling them up! The ingredients are:
  • Organic Coconut
  • Sprouted Organic Sesame Seeds
  • Organic Date
The GoRaw product line includes all sorts of other products which you can see here. If you are a vegetarian or a vegan with a peanut allergy I would check their products out (they even have a store locator on their site - I input a few random zip codes and found them all over the USA).

Warning: these aren't the cheapest snacks out there - the bars are almost $3 a pop (ouch!) - but it's nice to find a product that fits our niche. I'll continue to buy them as long as B wants to eat them.

Even if you aren't vegetarian/vegan you might find a good snack bar for your child with non-peanut/tree nut protein in it that they can take along on a field trip or hike. I'm always looking for something non-sugary to take in my purse on an outing instead of chips or fruit leather (that gets boring every time) so I think the bars or super cookies will fit the bill. I'm thinking of grabbing a few bags of the cookies for our earthquake emergency kit.

So that's it. A little shout out for a local-to-me company making a tasty little product!

Finally I want to say that I was NOT asked to review these items, nor was I given them for free or anything like that.I found them on my own and wanted to let you guys know about them.

Happy Memorial Day Weekend!

p.s. how is it that you can still be vegetarian and eat eggs? i don't get it. it's still a chicken, isn't it?
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