Aw, Nuts

October is my second best month for toy sales (early Christmas shoppers). Weirdly, August (and the last half of July this year) is the absolute best. Which does mean that September is a bit of a scramble to restock.


The latest finished piece.

That’s Cashew Bear. He’s made with Lion Brand Nature’s Choice organic cotton. I’m actually a big fan of this yarn. It’s readily available, reasonably priced for an organically grown cotton AND plant-dyed. You do have to watch the dye lots since shades can vary radically between batches but I don’t care because plant-dyed is cool. Nature’s Choice listed as a worsted yarn, but I treat it like bulky with no trouble. The soft spun core plied with a skinny thread gives a fun wooly texture to the fabric but it can be a problem for seaming. The friction caused by drawing the strand through the knit stitches may cause the strand to fray and break. Which may cause you to tear out your hair. Not a huge big deal with toys – I just swear a little, pick it out and start over. If I were making a sweater I would consider using a different yarn for the seams.

While we’re on the subject of cashews (we’re not really but stay with me), Ellie’s school is peanut free. Which means that for my vegetarian child, a dependable source of lunch time protein has become completely unavailable. Since I can’t give her cheese every day, she’s not real big on leftovers and veggie deli slices aren’t the easiest things to get, enter the nut butters:


Presented in order of highest protein content per serving to lowest.

While peanut butter (as a legume) still has the best concentration of protein at 8g per 2T, sunflower seed butter is right up there with 7g. Almond butter has 6g, cashew 4g, and Nutella (while the most chocolaty of the contenders) has only 2g of protein. There are other brands of hazelnut spreads that I have not investigated, so it may be that the protein content is higher in those. The fat content ranges from 18g (cashew) to 12g (Nutella weirdly). Those are just the nut butters I have found available locally! Know of any others to add to my collection?

ETA: Ellie has just revealed that she does not care for SunButter. I’m going to have to figure out something else to do with it.

11 thoughts on “Aw, Nuts

  1. eidolons

    I’m told that nut butters in cookies (like peanut butter cookies) but add vanilla and oatmeal, maybe. Oh and chocolate chips. Might disguise the taste enough to use up the jar. (:

    Best of luck during your restock month. I had a (major to me) fit of sales over Labor Day weekend and am trying to restock as well. It’s a sloooooow process as I have to dye small batches of fiber and then decide color schemes – something I’ve proven to be not very creative at.

  2. Barbara

    My boys’ school is also peanut-free, and while I don’t have to send a lunch for them, the school has sent out info on a few alternatives to peanut butter. I find sunflower seed butter to be a little bitter, but it’s okay with some honey. Have you seen butters made from roasted chick peas or soy beans? The chick pea one tastes all right, but is really sticky. My boys made granola bars from a soy butter at school, and couldn’t eat them fast enough, so it must taste good. (I haven’t researched the protein and fat content, though). Also, my sister gives her kids hummus in their school lunches, with little pita breads and veggie sticks.

  3. Carole

    The school where Hannah works is peanut free and we tried the sunflower butter and she really didn’t care for it. She’s a big fan of nutella, though.

  4. Jennifer Teeter

    There’s a great local guy who makes delicious almond butter. I’ll have to send you guys some.

  5. Bronwyn

    That’s interesting. I developed an intolerance to peanut butter (not really an allergy, just weird indigestion) in my early thirties. I bought sunbutter and cashew butter at the same time to do a taste test. Sunbutter won by a landslide. I don’t think I’ve tried almond butter, though. I was glad I didn’t have to give up my grilled PB&J. (Yes, grilled. Just like a grilled cheese. Yum.)

    I can’t get over how Ellie has grown up! She’s just adorable! My son just started Kindergarten, too. He barely eats anything at lunch–a major struggle right now, but the school year is still young. He refuses to eat peanut butter or anything remotely similar to it. He will eat hummus, though, to my husband’s chagrin; he reeks of garlic for days afterwards! Still, it’s protein. I recently made roasted chick peas. They were good, but left my mouth feeling dry. If you/Ellie can get over that feeling, you might give that a try. Trail mix, granola bars, and muffins chock full of nuts and seeds might be good for the lunchbox. Good luck!

  6. sprite

    What about yogurt? My mom routinely sent me to school with a cup of yogurt in my lunchbox as a kid. (I also was a big fan of cream cheese and jam sandwiches, but cream cheese is definitely higher in fat than a lot of alternatives.)

  7. Ruth

    Your latest finish is cute.
    We can get drinking yoghurt here that is low in fat and sugar but tastes great – perhaps something like that?

  8. Danielle

    I don’t worry a lot about protein as long as I’m eating a colorful varied fresh diet. However, some easy things that contain (more) protein include bagels, oatmeal, soy milk, baked beans (which maybe you could substitute other beans, too, like lentils ((are they a bean?)), or just some roasted almonds to snack on.

  9. Emily

    Ellie ate hummus happily until about a month ago. I’m thinking of using the SunButter to make a kinder, gentler hummus (with less garlic, Ellie says it’s too smelly for lunch). Barbara’s SunButter in granola idea is something I am going to try too (with chocolate on top so it looks like a cookie).

    Incidentally, hummus may be a big no in her lunch box, but I am betting that the ‘cookie-dough’ dip (also made with chic peas) will be a hit. And is another use for SunButter.

    Justin’s Maple Almond Butter has been a favorite for years. I’m not sure why I bothered to get the plain kind. I just have to mix it with maple syrup. 😀

    Thank you everyone for all the suggestions! I’ve just purchased a couple smaller thermos things to put cookie dip and yogurt in – and mmm sauce if that’s not ‘too smelly’ for school. Great idea about the yogurt – she likes it with grape nuts so having those to pour on top would be fun for her!

    If we weren’t in such a Picky Eater Food Spiral where things she’s loved are now unacceptable and new things are as well, I’d be less concerned about nutrition packed noms. (Trail Mix is currently an abomination. Likewise raisins. And yogurt-covered raisins if you can believe that!) Gah.

  10. KSD

    I love Jason’s Almond Butter. And the couple of stores in town that carry any sort of Cashew Butter always seem to be out. Very frustrating.

    Cashews, one of my Favorite Foods, compel me to try and buy Cashew Bear. . .

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