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A mother’s perspective: a sweet solution to dealing with children’s allergies
By Brenda Utzinger
Being a parent of a child with food allergies or sensitivities is forever a challenge, but it has gotten a little easier since The Sweet Beet opened its doors on Route 10 at 498 Salmon Brook Street in Granby. Since revamping one of my daughter’s diets a few years ago to avoid gluten, egg and most dairy. I have learned to be a quick study of a food label and menu, and I have revised many a family recipe with alternate ingredients. Some things I have done successfully—others not so much—so I am in awe of Heather’s creations. Even if I slave over a recipe I cannot seem to achieve the taste of Sweet Beet’s food. Nor do I even have the time in my carpooling-mommy schedule to effectively make some of the ingredients such as the homemade hemp ricotta that goes into menu items such as the savory pie.
From the moment you enter The Sweet Beet you are greeted with smiling faces, warm welcomes and yummy scents. You can choose to take some healthy food to go, or go with a friend and enjoy your meal at an intimate table. The first place my daughters go to is the refrigerator case that holds chef Heather’s delicious quinoa tabbouleh (which they beg to eat in the car before we get home), and then to see which Sweeties cupcakes are in the display case for that day.
Since the entire kitchen is gluten-free and vegan we can actually go into The Sweet Beet without having to check any ingredient lists. I am very grateful that my family doesn’t deal with anaphylactic allergies, but to those who do, they are serving food from a gluten-free and animal-product-free kitchen. So I suggest that people stock up on foods when entertaining friends and relatives who have dietary needs such as gluten sensitivity, celiac disease, animal protein allergies or many of the autism and ADHD diets.
Any parent whose child has allergies/sensitivities can tell you that one of the biggest challenges arises around birthday parties or holiday celebrations. Until The Sweet Beet opened there were no local bakeries that met all of our dietary requirements. One of The Sweet Beets specialties, Sweeties cupcakes, are lacking in allergens, but there is no lack of flavor. Any palette will enjoy these mini-delights with flavors such as Mint Chocolate Chip, Red Velvet, Mexican Hot Chocolate or Snickerdoodle. The products are GMO-free, organic and free of artificial flavorings and colorings. Real lime zest tops the lime-flavored frosting adorning the vanilla cupcakes. It is important to teach our children to understand how to nourish their bodies, and how a treat does not need to be laden with artificial food coloring and flavors when the vivid green of the zest of a lime suffices for both beauty and flavor.
I am pleased to be living in Granby with its family-owned stores that provide healthier options such as The Sweet Beet, Granby Village Health, Grass Roots Creamery, Lost Acres Orchard and Sweet Pea Cheese to name a few.
I look forward to many more years of bringing my business to The Sweet Beet, and I encourage those who have not gone to check it out. To quote my daughter, “There is something magical in these Sweeties!” And who wouldn’t want to buy a cupcake made by someone with a ducky tattoo?