Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Going Nuts!

Two weeks ago, we had our yearly appointment at the allergist's office.  We're there a lot more than that when we add in bloodwork, food challenges, etc., but this is our yearly pow-wow meeting. 

At the appointment, we confirmed that Georgia had no shellfish concerns.  As I mentioned in another post, I was still a tad nervous about just giving her shrimp or lobster, so the doctor let us do a skin test while we were there.  After 20 minutes, no reactions.  So, we've been totally cleared of shellfish.

While we were there, the doctor encouraged us to start giving Georgia tree nuts since her bloodwork does not show any issues and her skin tests have been cleared.  We already did a formal almond food challenge and a pistachio food challenge in the past year at the doctor's office and Georgia passed both.  The doctor encouraged us to try cashew, hazelnut, pecan and walnut at home. 

Cue the anxiety meds for Mommy!

My first issue became finding tree nuts without a cross contamination warning for peanuts.  Nearly impossible!  I hit up three grocery stores before I headed off to Whole Foods.  I still couldn't find any regular nuts without a warning.  Luckily, I discovered a cashew butter and hazelnut butter that were clearly marked safe for peanuts. 

Oooops - only took a picture of the cashew butter

First up... we tried cashew butter cookies!  I searched for an online recipe and ended up using this one HERE with a few modifications - regular sugar and regular flour.  The recipe was super quick and the dough came together very fast. 

First off... hello, cashew butter!  Where have you been my whole life?!?!  This stuff smelled and tasted delicious.  The whole house smelled amazing as these cookies baked.

Second... they tasted even better.  Nevermind peanut butter - I am officially a cashew butter gal now.  These cookies were delish!

We've done enough oral food challenges that I knew "what to do" in terms of how our allergist's office handles new food and introductions.  I know that every hospital and doctor does things a little differently, but this is what we are used to, so I followed her protocol.

I gave Georgia a teeny tiny crumb from one cookie, which she promptly inhaled and declared her undying love for these cookies (me too, G!).  Then we waited 10 minutes.  That first 10 minutes is always the hardest for me.  After, I kept giving her slightly larger chunks and waiting 10 minutes after each bite until she ate 3 whole cookies over the course of a few hours.  Yippee!! 

Over the subsequent days, she ate a cookie (or two) each day for about 5-7 days and we considered cashews a success! 

Next up... Hazelnut!

I didn't take a picture of the jar, but I found this image online:

Same company - Maisie Jane's

For some reason, when I first picked up the jar, I totally missed that it was CHOCOLATE flavored hazelnut butter.  So, basically, a dairy-free Nutella????  Yes, please!

Again, I searched the web for a cookie recipe and found one HERE.  It was for just a regular hazelnut butter, but chocolate never hurt anyone, so I went with it.

We repeated the exact same process that we did with the cashew butter cookies - small bites, long waits.  By the time she inhaled 3 full cookies over the course of a few hours, I felt pretty good about hazelnuts too.  She's been eating the cookies all week long, so it looks good.

Onto pecans and walnuts next.  Unfortunately, I still haven't found any without a peanut cross-contamination warning!  If anyone finds any or knows where I can order some, please let me know!!!  I'd love to hammer all these out before we head back to school in a few weeks.

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