I’m not much of an actual peanut person but peanut butter is my jam – and I definitely love the iconic sandwich. In fact, during my last pregnancy, I craved PB&J sandwiches for the first few months, and I secretly hoped it would immunize my baby against peanut allergies. Once my daughter was born though, that all went out the window because my house it peanut free, and you won’t find any bamba in the pantry.
A couple of years ago, when my now-5-year-old son was about 16 months old, I gave him a Larabar for snack, and a few bites in he broke out in hives all over his body. Having never dealt with food allergies with my other children, I wasn’t really familiar with such as extreme reaction, but I gave him Benadryl and he fell fast asleep. When I went to check on him, his lips had turned blue so I quickly called Hatzalah and he was rushed to the hospital, with a dose of epinephrine administered on the way. Thus began my journey as a mom of a child with life threatening food allergies.
Let me tell you – there is literally nothing more terrifying than watching your child struggle to breathe because of something they ate. I always try to use my platform to spread awareness because I know what it means to be that clueless parent who is lucky enough to be unfamiliar with food allergies. When my son turned three and started to wear a kippah, I partnered with iKippah to design the first ever ALLERGY KIPPAH to help keep young boys with food allergies safe. My son proudly wears his kippah and I know that in case of an emergency, his allergy and emergency information can all be found underneath.
So what has that got to do with TAHINUT CHEWS? Well, since my house is peanut free, but thankfully we are free of sesame allergies, TAHINI has become our new peanut butter. And the truth is, it’s a great stand in. The texture is pretty similar and pure raw tahini paste really does taste a bit like peanut butter too. I use it in recipes like my tahini muddy buddies, in place of peanut butter in Asian sauces, cakes and treats. The best part is, you don’t have to melt tahini, since it’s liquid at room temperature, so this recipe comes together in just minutes. And I love that I don’t have to forgo one of my all time favorite indulgences – Rice Krispies Peanut Chews!
Now if you’ve got a peanut AND a sesame allergy? I truly feel bad for you! I always say G-d was good to me by at least saving us from a sesame allergy because TAHINI IS LIFE. Although I’ve got you covered there as well – cookie butter works as a great alternative to peanut butter too!
3 cups Rice Krispies
1/2 c tahini paste
1/2 c honey
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 c chocolate chips
1-2 tsp sesame seeds
Maldon salt, to taste
In a bowl, combine the Rice Krispies, tahini paste, honey, cinnamon, vanilla and salt. Stir until incorporated. Transfer the mixture to a small parchment-lined dish (I used an 8″ x 6.5″), and press down to pack firmly into the dish (it helps to cover the mixture with parchment paper and use your hands to smooth it out while you press down).
Melt the chocolate in the microwave or over a double boiler and spread over the Rice Krispies in an even layer. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and Maldon salt.
Refrigerate until firm, 1-2 hours, slice and serve.
NOTE: these are a bit on the salty side (just how I like them), adjust to your personal taste.