Early this year, I got tested for food allergies and when the results came back, I was devastated. It turns out that I’m allergic to some of my favorite foods: peanuts, peanut butter, oysters, red beans, black beans, etc (it’s a long list). I’m also allergic to some ingredients commonly found in Asian food, such as fish sauce, fish paste, fermented fish and some preserved dishes – but I already knew this, because I’ve been having bad reactions (hives) to these ingredients since I was kid. But the peanut and beans allergy is new news to me. New and sad.
I used to eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches about once a week, I love Mexican food with black beans, and chili with red kidney beans is one of my favorite dishes. Was. *sigh*
Now, I try my best to avoid all of these, especially when I know that I am more prone to developing hives (i.e. during allergy season or when I’m extra stressed). Lucky for me, they only register as mild allergies – I will never go into anaphylactic shock nor I do not need to carry an epi-pen; all I get are red, nasty, itchy hives. And to be honest, finding out about my food allergies hasn’t really made me completely abandon those foods: when I’m really craving it, I allow myself a spoonful of peanut butter (my favorite is Peanut Butter & Co’s Dark Chocolate Dreams). And when I am at a Thai restaurant and forget to ask them to please prepare my food without any fish sauce, I still eat it and just put on a brave face – albeit with red, swollen lips – then pop a Claritin (and a Zyrtec for good measure) afterwards.
And to be really, really honest: I actually don’t just eat a spoonful of Dark Chocolate Dreams; I make a big, fat PB sandwich on whole wheat bread with a sliced banana or organic strawberry preserves – I love that with a glass of skim or 1% milk. Yes, I still get hives from the peanut butter but that’s a small price to pay for the yummy goodness, right?
Can you see the background? I ♥ Peanut Butter & Co’s Dark Chocolate Dreams!
Until I found an alternative.
Yesterday at Whole Foods, I found Maranatha Dark Chocolate Almond Spread. I gave almond butter a try a couple of years ago but it just wasn’t cutting it for me; it didn’t taste as good as peanut butter. But almond butter blended with dark chocolate? Now that’s enough for me to say goodbye to my beloved, hive-inducing peanut butter (not sure if the goodbye is permanent; I really can’t see myself without peanut butter for too long). This dark chocolate almond spread is as rich, nutty, and chocolaty as the dark-chocolate peanut butter, so I am blissfully satisfied.
So for now, I am saying good bye to peanut butter. Peanut Butter, we had a good run. Maybe one day – when my hives are completely gone, or when I really, really need to have some peanut butter and no other nut butter will do – I’ll come calling again. Until then, I’m dipping into this jar of dark chocolate almond butter.