Special Diets and Treats for All

In 1977, I was in graduate school, living in a dorm and eating in a dining hall that served hundreds of students with various diets.  All the food looked gray.  At the same time, I read books and articles about  the slaughter of animals. By spring semester, I was a vegetarian.  Technically, a pescatarian because I was still eating fish.  

Forty years ago, this presented a challenge for my mom and anyone else who wanted to feed me. They served beef or chicken with a starch and maybe a can of peas.  I don’t like canned peas.  It turned out that tuna fish in a can became the “go to” meal which many folks offered; tuna fish salad, tuna fish casserole, tuna fish with melted cheese.  I became tuna-ed out rather quickly.  Learning how to eat (excluding meat and poultry) was definitely a process for me and everyone who loved me.  I appreciated any effort made on my behalf, but felt weird when a unique dish arrived at the table specifically for me.

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Fortunately, some very good vegetarian cookbooks were available. Friends and family learned to cook dishes without meat or chicken which were delicious and which everyone enjoyed.  I never imagined that I would be presented with food preparation challenges at this point in my life, but here they are.

My partner has a son, daughter-in-law, and granddaughter who all live on plant-based diets in North Carolina. When they are in town, I want to be respectful of their diet.  Whereas I don’t eat fish anymore, I do eat eggs, cheese, butter, honey and other non vegan items. As someone who does not enjoy having food made especially for me, I do what I can to prepare items that everyone will eat without worry. 

My son lives with a sweet, loving, kind, beautiful woman, who interestingly, is pescatarian. Recently, she has experienced some gastrointestinal issues and was advised, by her physician, to eat a dairy-free diet. This has helped her feel better.  A big fan of my baked goods, I was distressed to think that anything I bake for her would have to be without butter, cream cheese, or cream.  And then it occurred to me that she could eat anything vegan!

So here’s a recipe which is vegan and by definition of vegan, non dairy, which people of all diets can enjoy. I hope you do too.

Nut Butter Balls

Here is what you’ll need:

  • 1/2 cup nut or seed butter
  • 1/8 cup oatmeal
  • 3 tablespoons VeganSmart Chocolate Nutritional Shake 
  • 1/4 maple syrup or agave
  • 2 Tablespoons cocoa nibs
  • 1/4 cup raisins or dried cranberries
  • Toasted coconut and sesame seeds

Nut butter Balls Instructions:

  1. Mix first 6 ingredients together.
  2. Roll into balls about the size of a walnut.  
  3. Roll in toasted coconut or toasted sesame seeds.  
  4. Serve and enjoy.

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