Shea panic

Unknown-10

ONE OF THE few mainstream chocolates that is safe for Sidney to eat is Cadbury’s Buttons. This is fantastic because:

* they are kiddie-friendly

* they come in teeny packs so it’s easy to limit the amount he shovels in

* they are available everywhere so it’s the perfect party bag sweet to suggest to friends

* they are available everywhere so it’s the perfect treat for family to buy

* they are available everywhere so if we find ourselves in a situation where we’re out with friends and every kid is having an ice cream, or a cake, or something Sidney can’t have, it’s easy to track down a packet of Buttons for him to enjoy

* they are brilliantly versatile for cake toppings, biscuit decorations, etc

So imagine the panic when a new ingredients listing turned up on selected packets of Buttons a little while ago: shea. Continue reading “Shea panic”

Advertisements

Absolutely the BEST cake recipe ever

Nut free, dairy free, egg free (optional: gluten and wheat free)

IMG_8319

I CANNOT even begin to say how easy and amazing this allergy safe cake recipe is.

As usual, I left it until the last minute to get prepping for Sid’s birthday (how clearly I remember last year pledging to perfect all manner of sweet treats by the time he turned three. Ha!) and in a state of panic tweeted my worries about finding the right recipe.

Back came a link to something called ‘Wacky Cake’, an American concoction apparently created during the Depression era when fresh ingredients were rationed. It contains no egg, no dairy, no nuts and can be baked with gluten free flour, too. It uses vinegar or lemon to replace the egg and it works.

Continue reading “Absolutely the BEST cake recipe ever”

Kinnerton’s a winner

4 FACING CLASSIC LOLLY SOT_F_2-1I CAN’T BELIEVE it’s taken me this long (herein proof it’s a bum ache finding allergy safe food) but I have just discovered that Kinnerton make a nut free, egg free milk chocolate for kids.

I knew they made the dairy free bars and lollies, which are pretty liberally stocked by the major supermarkets. But for some reason none of the supermarkets I have ever visited stock the milk chocolate versions.

Continue reading “Kinnerton’s a winner”

Allergy Show: the verdict (and five fab finds)

IMG_2091LAST year I penned a super-peeved post about our debut trip to the Allergy & Free From Show. From the ‘welcome’ bag stuffed with sesame bars to the willy-nilly nuts, the lack of allergy friendly cafe fare and the quacks offering dodgy allergy tests occupying pole position at the entrance it was less the allergy show, more the gluten free nut-lovers’ hippy dippy hokum show. OK, I exaggerate a bit: I did find some very fine allergy safe gnocchi and was bowled over to hear the fabulous Dr Adam Fox speak).

To give them credit, after I posted my rant the organisers got in touch and talked through each of my (and my fellow allergy bloggers’) concerns – explaining the reasoning behind some peeves and promising to put other aspects right by this year’s event.

Happily, it seems they have. Continue reading “Allergy Show: the verdict (and five fab finds)”

Don’t discontinue the chocolate!

So, I’ve just come back from my second day at the Allergy and Free From Show at Olympia. The last time I was there was 15 years ago for Erotica ’97 – my boyfriend at the time worked for a porn mag, I’m afraid. How things change, eh?

I’m gearing up for a bit of a blog rant about the show, so I’ll save that for now. But this afternoon I came across the Kinnerton confectionery stall and, for the first time, their Luxury Belgian Milk Chocolate bars.

Unfortunately, just as I find them it seems they’re being taken away. The egg, nut and gluten free choc tastes delicious – but it’s now been discontinued. Apparently stockists (i.e. the big supermarkets) weren’t displaying them where people could find them. As a result, nobody knew they existed, sales were low and they’ve been forced to ditch the line. Which is such a shame as these are perfect for the very many kids and adults with nut, egg and gluten allergies out there.

I bulk bought as many as I could reasonably see us eating by the ‘best before’ in Feb 2013 – but I hereby attempt to mount a campaign to Bring the Chocolate Back. They tell me if enough people lobby them for the bars’ return they will consider reviving them. There are so few allergy friendly chocolates out there – particularly nut allergy friendly – that I’d be overjoyed to have it them production. So I’m starting a petition – will you join me by signing it here?

And the best ‘free from’ products are…

From pies to beers, here’s the full list of winners from the Free From Food Awards 2012 – and details of where to buy ’em:

Best Pie, Flan or Ready Meal

The Gluten Free Kitchen’s Ovencrust Chicken & Bacon Pie (gluten, wheat, dairy free) “Crisp, golden pastry with a succulent, tasty chicken filling.” £2.50 from The Gluten Free Kitchen

Continue reading “And the best ‘free from’ products are…”

Top 10 allergy friendly Easter treats for grown-ups

Easter’s not just for children, you know. Here’s our guide to the best freefrom goodies for adults this April…

1. ‘Choices’ dark chocolate egg & fine mints (dairy free, gluten free, wheat free, egg free, vegan)

A dark egg with fine mint chocolates made from 60 per cent cocoa solids. As with their kids’ eggs, makers Celtic won’t promise “nut free” because they can’t rule out airborne contamination throughout the supply chain – but no nuts are used in the factory, staff are banned from eating nuts in the canteen or from bringing nuts on-site and there are even spot checks to ensure the rules aren’t breached. £3.99, Holland & Barrett stores nationwide. Call 0870 606 6606 for details or find your nearest store here.

2. ‘Choices’ chocolate egg & discs (dairy free, gluten free, wheat free, egg free, vegan)

An allergy friendly alternative to the traditional milk choc egg in perky spring packaging, also from freefrom brand Celtic (see above for nut information). £5.49 online from Carrick’s of Penrith

3. Booja Booja Champagne Truffle Easter Egg (dairy free, gluten free, wheat free, egg free, soya free, vegan)

A luxury egg with beautifully hand-painted wrapping and decadent champagne truffles. Every egg bought supports artists and their local communities in Kashmir. Comes in other flavours including sozzled sultana, midnight espresso, stem ginger and hazelnut crunch (clearly not one for the nut allergic). £10 from Goodness Direct and Diverse Hampers

4. Sainsbury’s Freefrom dark chocolate egg & discs (gluten free, wheat free, dairy free, egg free)


A simple but cute egg wrapped up Italian-style in daffodil yellow paper with a moss green ribbon. No nuts in the ingredients. £3.99, selected Sainsbury’s stores

5. Kinnerton plain chocolate egg & bar (dairy free, nut free, wheat free, egg free, gluten free)

The rich, dark Kinnerton classic, backed by its nut-free promise and without dairy, gluten or egg. £5 from Asda and selected Morrisons, Sainsbury’s and Tesco stores

6. Waitrose LOVE Life Free From hot cross buns (gluten free, wheat free)

Hot cross buns for Easter.

Buns without the wheat or gluten for hot toasted buttery breakfasts this Easter. Unfortunately, not ones for the egg allergic, I’m afraid. £2.49, Waitrose stores and online

7. Buttons the Easter Bunny (gluten free)

Grown-ups deserve a bit of silly, too – so this luxury choc bunny’s a real treat. Especially because it’s gluten free. No eggs or nuts in the ingredients, but they can’t guarantee no traces. £6.50, Hotel du Chocolat

8. Siesta Carob Easter Egg (dairy free, gluten free, vegetarian)

A simple hollow chocolate egg, made in a nut-free environment (though, again, they ‘cannot guarantee’ no nut traces). £5.36 from Goodness Direct

9. Billy Goat Stuff small solid eggs (dairy free, soya free, nut free, egg free, wheat free, gluten free)

Pretty rose gold foil-wrapped solid eggs made with goat’s milk from Essex-based specialist Billy Goat Stuff. Check out their website for other freefrom half eggs, bunnies, ducks and more. From £1.20-£7.49 , Billy Goat Stuff

10.  ‘Moo Free’ Egg (dairy free, gluten free, casein free, egg free, vegan, wheat free)

A dairy-free ‘milk’ choc egg that’s good for kids and grown-ups. There’s no soya in the ingredients list but there is a ‘may contain traces’ of nuts and soya warning. From £3.79 online at www.ecogreenstore.co.uk and at selected stores nationwide. See here for stockists or contact Moo Free on 0845 094 6498