Before changing our eating habits one of our snacks we would eat were Ants on a Log using Peanut Butter. I eventually switched to peanut butter that had no hydrogenated oils and thought I was doing something healthier for my kids. What I didn’t realize is that peanuts are legumes, not nuts. This matters because peanuts are low in nutrients and more importantly have higher amounts of phytates as well as lectins. Phytates limit the nutrients your body absorb by actually binding to minerals in the food you are eating and in your body and in higher amounts can deplete your body of necessary minerals. Lectins are proteins God gave a plant for defense against digestion thus making them harder to digest. The other bad constituent in peanuts are aflatoxins which has been found to cause liver cancer in rats among other things.
*Just a moment for clarity friends – I am not saying that all people should stay away from legumes, however anyone with skin problems, inflammation, fatigue, headaches, PMS, autoimmunity, & neurological problems should steer clear of these since they can cause leaky gut, damaging our intestines, and creating a cycle of inflammation which can cause all of the above health problems and more. There are more nutrient dense foods to choose for that can promote health rather than destroy it.*
As I started healing, after finding my baseline (eliminating ALL foods for many months that caused inflammation in me – you can read my health story here for more info), I realized I could not eat nuts or even seeds for a time because all of my eczema would come back with a vengeance and I would get really achy. Boo! I still really shy away from nuts due to the above things I mentioned as well as their generally poor Omega 3 to 6 ratio. I came up with this recipe for Nut Free Ants On a Log that uses seeds instead of nuts. I tend to tolerate seeds in moderation better than nuts and don’t get a viscious return of psoriatic like eczema when I eat them. Do note that nuts and seeds do contain higher amounts of phytates and lectins as well BUT have more nutrients so, in moderation, are more worth eating than peanuts. If you can tolerate nuts in your diet try to soak them before you eat them. It makes them more digestible because it reduces the phytic acid (or anti-nutrients) as well as the lectins.
Although my boys can tolerate nuts (one boy more than the other), I like that I have been able to use this nut free alternative and enjoy this snack with them too. It is so simple to make that even my little guys can make it.
Be sure to purchase Organic Celery to stay away from pesticides. When EWG tested samples of non-organic celery they found up to 13 different pesticides on a single piece of celery! No thank you. Buy organic on this one.
Also, be sure to purchase Organic Raisins to avoid pesticide toxicity. This was something I overlooked back when I was still eating peanut butter and didn’t understand the value and safety in buying organic food. Again, EWG tested samples of non-organic grapes and found that a single grape had 15 different pesticides on it! What in the world? Organic Raisins are relatively easy to find and it a wonderful and simple way to reduce toxins you get from foods.
- 3 stalks of Organic Celery
- 3 Tlbs. Tahini
- 1 Tlbs. Raw Local Honey
- Organic Raisins for the "Ants" on top of your logs 🙂
- Wash and dry each stalk of celery and chop into roughly 4-5" pieces.
- In a small bowl mix together tahini and honey until a paste forms. It's amazing how thick it will become once combined.
- Spread tahini mixture on celery and top with raisins.
This might also be a great option to bring if your child attends a nut free school.