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Have you browsed the snack bar section at your local health food market lately? You’ll find a seemingly endless array of flavors expressed in fruits and grains—and a lot of nuts. So if you’re saddled with allergies or intolerances (like me), you’ll read the labels, heave a regretful sigh, and continue on your futile quest for allergen-free snacks.
Blake Sorensen decided to do something about that. “I had accepted that I couldn’t eat pretty much any bar, trail mix, or cookie on the market because they all had nuts in them. And then one day on a long road trip, I walked into a gas station, strolled down the snack bar aisle, and in a moment of frustration said, ‘Why don’t I just make these myself?’ There are 32 million people in the U.S. that have food allergies, and there truly is a lack of healthy, allergen-free snacks for them.”
Raising the Bar on Allergen-Free Snacks
Sorensen focused on creating allergen-free snack bars—first and foremost no tree nuts, but also no peanuts, dairy, gluten, or soy. Experimenting in his kitchen, he used a variety of seeds and fruits to realize his determination to produce something healthy and delicious that everyone could safely enjoy.
The result? Blake’s Seed-Based bars and treats. “I don’t want anyone with an allergy to feel deprived or scared of snacks. While a snack bar or Rice Krispies treat might not change the world, we can give an athlete fuel to perform, provide a kid with a safe snack to fit in with their friends, and so much more.”
These nut-free, gluten-free, vegan snack bars are made from sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, and flax seeds; fruits such as raspberries and blueberries; and puffed quinoa and rice. And remember those Rice Krispies treats that Mom used to make? Blake’s does them one better with a healthier and tastier version of the time-honored classic.
“The hardest part about this journey,” Sorenson says, “is losing sight of your mission. I always have to remind myself to step back, to look at what we’re building and at how far I’ve come from that moment in the gas station when I decided to take my snacking matters into my own hands.”
But in the end, the rewards definitely outweigh the growing pains. “Every child, teenager, and adult out there who is able to safely enjoy a snack that we make—that brings me endless joy. I am motivated to reach everyone who has an allergy and show them that they too can safely snack on something delicious and nutritious.”