When I was a kid, the world seemed like a much simpler place in many ways. One of the drastic changes that my children and their friends now consider normal is peanut sensitivity. Not long ago, a main staple in lunchboxes and snacks everywhere was peanut butter. Now we see warnings, labels, and rules regarding this once seemingly harmless legume and that often creates a challenge for moms, dads, and kids as the question of what to pack for lunch arises. Many schools have actually banned peanut butter or created peanut-free zones.
A few years ago, we had a horrible scare when my son Max and his friends were waiting to come home from kindergarten. He and three friends sat together on a bench after school. While they waited, they decided they were hungry. One friend pulled out a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and offered to share it with the other kids. A girl in the group, Gracie, asked if it had peanut butter in it and declined since she was allergic. Another friend pulled out some cookies and offered one to Gracie, not realizing that they also had peanuts. When Gracie ate the cookie, she started acting very strange and then got very sick. Max and a friend went to get a teacher. Gracie was having an allergic reaction. Sadly, the normally wonderful act of sharing a cookie made her quite ill.
I have developed the following original recipes as a substitute for those times when peanut butter isn’t an option. One salty and one sweet, they make great dips for snacks or spreads for wraps, and the best part is they are so quick and easy–perfect for busy families. Make a batch on Monday and enjoy it through the week. You may find that you like these so much that you’ll like them even when you can have peanuts in your diet.