Monday, February 27, 2012

Look Mum, No Nuts!

I’m not known for my domestic skills in the kitchen so I was bemused when Kellogg’s invited me to create a recipe based around their latest product, Kellogg’s All-Bran Fibre Toppers.
If I normally had trouble coming up with food the kids would eat, how would I go about creating a dish featuring a healthy new product that was actually good for them? From scratch? On my own?
But then I tasted the All-Bran Fibre Toppers. It immediately struck me that they were crunchy, and really very yummy. And there was something else. They tasted nutty.
Now I love nuts, but I rarely get to eat them. (Steady on, mind out of the gutter!)
Regular readers will know that Mr 11 has a deadly allergy to nuts and tree nuts (like cashews and almonds), called anaphylaxis. Not only is it very scary for Chase (and all who love him), but it means we go without a lot of my favourite foods rather than risk having them when he is around.
You see, it takes just a trace of nuts for a reaction to occur, which means kids like Chase can suffer anaphylaxis by touching something which has been touched by someone who has eaten nuts. Or eating food cooked in a pan which was previously used to cook nuts. I could even eat nuts on a night out, and then come home, kiss Chase good night, and unwittingly cause a reaction. So to be safe we just don’t eat nuts or have them in the house.
Instead, we cook foods like basil chicken and cashews, and lose the cashews. Home-made muesli slice without the nuts. Date and walnut muffins minus the walnuts. Which all gets a bit bland at times.
So imagine my delight when I discovered I could use the All-Bran Fibre Toppers in place of nuts. *
What’s more, Kellogg’s new cereal contains natural wheat bran, oat fibre and psyillium. So they are loaded with fibre and all kinds of other goodies, like vitamins and minerals. Oh and they are low in fat. So they are Boombah-Friendly.
Some of the family favourites where I’ve successfully substituted Kellogg’s All-Bran Fibre Toppers for nuts, include chop chip and macadamia nut biscuits, and banana and date muffins
And I’ve sprinkled them on top of salads, Thai green curry, in wraps and sandwiches, and on top of yoghurt and cereal too.
I’ve also used them in place of rice and bread in dishes like zucchini slice, home-made sausage rolls and meatloaf.
But my favourite recipe is the one I created just for Kellogg’s as part of a competition to win a return trip to New York for the Blog Her 2012 conference. Here, I substitute crushed peanuts for the crunchy texture of the fibre toppers.
Bronnie’s Beautiful All-Bran Pad Thai
Vegetable oil (non-allergic people can use peanut oil)
I pack rice noodles (200/250 gram packets are fine)
4 large cloves garlic (add more to taste, or if you have no friends)
3 or 4 eggs
About 250 gram of peeled green prawns, pork, tofu or chicken. I use tofu.
3 or 4 eggs
2 tablespoons of fish sauce
1 tablespoon of white vinegar
2 teaspoons of sugar
1 packet bean sprouts (about 2 cups)
1-2 bunches bok choy
2 or 3 spring onions
1 cup Kellogg’s All-Bran Fibre Toppers
1 lime
Chopped red chilli, vinegar and soy sauce mix in a bowl for individuals to add to their plates to taste

Chop and keep separate garlic, bok choy, tofu (or seafood/meat), and spring onions.
Mix fish sauce, sugar and vinegar together.
Beat eggs together in a separate bowl.
Heat oil in wok or large pan.
Fry the garlic, remove with slotted spoon and keep separate.
Mix the eggs and fry like an omelette. Remove and keep separate.
Cook tofu/meat/seafood.
Cook noodles according to instructions. (Usually you soak in hot water for about ten minutes, or put in boiling water and cook for a few minutes).

Add fish sauce mix to wok. Throw in bok choy, sprouts, garlic, and egg mixture. Gently add strained noodles and shallots, and stir through. (You can add extra fish sauce or water to aid mixing and for taste).
Sprinkle with Kellogg’s All-Bran Fibre Toppers.
Then mix them through ...
So you should end up with something like this.
Serve with a wedge of lime and a few pieces of coriander torn on top.
My kids don’t add the chilli mix, but I love it served on the side so that the spice-lovers can add it to taste.
Disclaimer: Kellogg’s sent me a hamper of Kellogg’s All-Bran Fibre Toppers and other goodies to try. If they like my recipe, I could win the trip to New York as detailed above. Hopefully your kids won't fight over them like mine do!

* It's really important to point out here that for legal reasons, Kellogg's, like other Australian companies, basically can't 100 per cent guarantee that there isn't some tiny chance that some trace of nuts will contaminate one of their products which don't contain nuts. So there is a disclaimer on the box, as there is on most products found on the shelves in Australia these days.
On the All-Bran Fibre Topper Box, the statement is that the product 'may contain traces of nuts'. This is because it is produced in a building in which other cereals which do contain nuts are made. Even though all the machinery pieces and parts are completely washed and cleaned in-between, and all traces of nuts removed, the company likes to point out that they can't absolutely guarantee that every trace has disappeared.
Now as a parent of an anaphylactic child, I've had to do my research and make a call. I've done this by talking directly with companies like Kellogg's, Chase's doctors, and also with allergy awareness and support groups. And we know that in Australia, where food and production standards are extremely high, it's pretty much guaranteed you'll be safe eating something from a good Aussie company like Kellogg's.  
So we take the 'risk'. Otherwise, we pretty much would have to highly limit Chase's diet because many unlikely things from crackers to ice-blocks may contain traces of nuts.
And we've never had any trouble. Touch wood, cross fingers, and pray to God. 
Eating cheaper products, imported from overseas where standards may not be as high, is not as safe.   
I wouldn't actually feed Chase Kellogg's Crunchy Nut Cornflakes - which DO contain nuts, for example. But I'm happy to feed him the Cornflakes, which may contain traces of nuts. And he's never had a reaction eating those.
That's my choice, other parents may feel differently.


♥.Trish.♥ Drumboys said...

Sounds delicious Bron , they would be great in Slices / muffins for nut free school treats.
Good luck

Jayne said...

I am also highly allergic (anaphylactic) to nuts-so I might try this! Great idea. Hope you win the trip! :)

Unknown said...

Thank you my lovelies. Even if I don't win, I've discovered a healthy product that we all like ... and as a bonus it's Boombah friendly and nut-free. I'm looking forward to more experimenting! (But I really, really want to win ...hee hee!)

Marg said...

Thanks for posting this. My son is also allergic to tree nuts, and I found out when I kissed him after eating Nutella and his lips blew up. I don't have anything with nuts in the house any more, so this sounds like it might be worth exploring!

Unknown said...

Isn't it scary Marg? Witnessing Chase suffer an anaphyactic attack is terrifying for me, but I can only imagine how bad it is for him. He is so terrified of having another attack and is so good about not having anything containing nuts or tree nuts ... and will go without rather than risking an attack. But it's the innocent mistakes that you can't control that are scary.

tiff(threeringcircus) said...

Yum! That looks delicious.
If only those toppers were gluten and lactose free, i could use them. We have strict dietary requirements here too and things can get very bland. That looks really yummy though and I hope you win!

Unknown said...

Oh Tiff, I have a friend whose son is like that, so I do understand how difficult it is. From what I understand, Kellogg's are working really hard to come up with something just as yummy for people with gluten and lactose problems too.

Lisa - Epstein News said...

Yummo Bronny. It is making me hungry.
Good luck.

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

That's so interesting that you can use them in place of nuts! And it must be great to be able to get the texture and taste of them back into food :)

EssentiallyJess said...

Oh glad you can replace nut with something else. We have one child with a dairy intolerance, and that gets tricky, so I couldn't imagine having anything worse or life threatening like nuts!

Hope you win!

xxx said...

Pad Thai - my most favourite food in all the world - I'll be trying this recipe out!! Great blog, hope to read more soon.... and Good Luck!! x

Jacqui Honeywood said...

That looks bloody great Bron. Pad Thai is one thing I don't usually cook but I reckon I'm going to have a crack at this one (with chicken not tofu - think hubs would think I'd lost it if I served him tofu lol).

sevencherubs said...

Oh my goodness! I love Pad Thai. Looks great and I so love the cherubs fighting over the packet. Hope you win!! N x

Unknown said...

Great post! I have to say, when I hear the word "bran" - I just think "boring rabbit food"...this has made me see All-Bran in a totally new light! :-) And that recipe looks absolutely delicious. What a great exotic twist on a healthy ingredient! :-)


Denyse Whelan. said...

That sounds like such a "tops" idea...geddit? Anyway, I love a company that can find a way to make food choices appealing and healthy.
Go Kelloggs on this one, and go Bronnie with your ingenuity. Hope you get the big one. "Start Spreading the News....."

Rubyjaz said...

Oh yummy non boombah food, just what I've been looking for. I love nuts but they can be high in fat, I hadn't thought of using the toppers in savoury food, only sweet. Great idea and good luck.

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