NuGo Dark Peanut Butter Cup

Ingredients – Dark chocolate (Unsweetened chocolate, Cane sugar, Cocoa butter), Non-GMO soy crisp (Non-GMO soy protein isolate, Tapioca starch, Salt), Tapioca syrup, Agave syrup, Non-GMO Brown crisp rice, Ground peanuts, Peanut flour, Rice bran, Gum acacia, Peanut oil, Natural flavour, Soy lecithin, Salt.

Contains Peanut and Soy.  Manufactured on equipment that also processes products containing tree nuts, milk, and egg.  Product is produced under Kosher supervision and is certified Pareve.

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I was pulling a late night working on my lap top and decided I needed something to give me an energy boost.  This definitely hit the spot. There was a generous layer of dark chocolate, and it was pretty sugary.  The NuGo bar was crispy and light too.  This bar fulfilled all my requirements and fuelled me for another hour with my nose to the spreadsheet grindstone.

 

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Bonvita Hazelnut 71% Dark Chocolate

Ingredients – Cocoa mass, Raw cane sugar, Hazelnuts, Cocoa butter, Vanilla.  (At least 71% cocoa and less than 0.1% lactose).

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If, like me, you like a bit of Dairy Milk Fruit and Nut or Dairy Milk Whole Nut, but it doesn’t like you, then this might be a good replacement.  The hazelnuts are chopped up so the small pieces are spread throughout the bar.  They give a nice, smooth, and, dare I say, milky flavour to the chocolate.

Tolerant Foods Red Lentil Rotini & Violife Prosociano

I have been a bit poorly (that will serve me right for crowing so much about how great I felt doing Veganuary!), but I have not neglected the blog entirely.  In fact, I have been continuing my search for the perfect Allergy Brothers friendly, easy, mid-week meal.  Last week we tried red lentil pasta and vegan parmesan.

Ingredients Tolerant Foods Red Lentil Rotini – Non-GMO, organic red lentils.  That’s it.

Ingredients Violife Prosociano – Water, Coconut oil (17%), Modified starch, Starch, Sea salt, Rice protein, Vegan parmesan flavour, Olive extract, Colour – b-carotene

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I’ll start with reviewing the pasta.  The Allergy Brothers sniffed it and refused to try it.  I poo-pooed their fears , and tucked in.  “This is delicious,” I said.  And it was.  Just like normal pasta, but weirdly filling.  It was easily a meal with just some cheese shavings on.  And then, I had an allergic reaction to it.  The boys are so much better than I am at detecting which things will make us ill!  So if you are not allergic to this then I would recommend it.

The vegan parmesan was pretty good too.  It had a hard texture; this is especially impressive when you consider that vegan cheeses are often a bit soggy.  There was a strong flavour; the smell was too strong for the Allergy Brothers, but this wasn’t for them anyway.  It was really very convincing.  Now the negatives, it is pricey (we paid £4.90 for 235g), but then so is real parmesan.  I also didn’t like the vague ingredients.  What kind of starch?  Rice?  Potato?  What is vegan parmesan flavour?

So in summary, this would indeed be an easy, mid-week meal, but just not for the Allergy Brothers.

Amisa rice bread

Amisa Rice Bread With Flax Seeds

Ingredients: Cereals 59% (Kibbled whole rice 37%, Millet 8%, Kibbled buckwheat 6%, Rice thickening flour 4%, Maize grits 4%), Water, Lupin flour, Flax seeds 3%, Salt, Thickener: guar gum, Yeast, Sunflower seeds, Caramel.

Amisa rice bread

My favourite thing about this product was that I looked up exactly what kibbled meant (to chop or grind up coarsely, in case you weren’t sure either) so the ingredients list enlarged my vocabulary.  If you can’t eat any other form of bread then this will be okay toasted well with something strongly flavoured, such as Gentleman’s Relish or Marmite, on it.  If you can eat other forms of bread then eat them instead.

Two slices of Amisa rice bread toasted and buttered on a plate.  One slice has a bite out of it.

A carton Oatly Orange and Mango drink on a Japanese red Vitra Corcniche shelf against a background of limesronetiles.

Oatly Orange and Mango Oat Drink.

Ingredients: Oat base (water, oats 10%), fruit concentrate (fructose, concentrate of orange and mango juice, concentrate of mango puree, citric acid), flavouring, colour (beta carotene).

I had enjoyed the Oatly pear and apple oat drink that I tested so I expected to enjoy this too.  The orange and mango drink was okay, but nothing special.  In fact, it’s been sitting in the fridge for a week waiting for someone to finish it, and now it’s going to be poured down the sink.  I think I have a bit of a problem with citrus and dairy flavours being used together.  I just think this is wrong; the dairy should curdle, even if it doesn’t.  Lemon cheesecake, I am looking at you as the chief suspect.  And I have carried this prejudice over to non-dairy milks.  So it could be my problem.

A carton Oatly Orange and Mango drink on a Japanese red Vitra Corcniche shelf against a background of limesronetiles.

However, even if the Oatly drink didn’t leave a bad taste in my mouth, then it’s snarky packaging did.  Bearing in mind that this product is probably going to be drunk by people who need to be careful about what they eat and drink (either through allergies, religious beliefs or personal dietary preferences), it just looks means to have the tag line “No milk.  No soy.  No…eh…whatever.”  on the front of the product.  They managed to follow this up by titling the back of the product “The boring (but very important) side.”  Then the ingredients and nutritional information is prefaced with the following “If this side bores you, please read no further.  Flip the carton around and have a wonderful day.  Otherwise, please do enjoy.”  Oh, those caddish advertising executives with their too cool for school attitude!  This must have seemed so edgy and subversive in the meetings.  The reality, as a frazzled Allergy parent, is that it just annoyed me, and for that reason alone I wouldn’t buy it again.

Don’t forget to enter our free from food giveaway, which is not boring or whatever!

A carton of Oatly Apple & Pear drink against a patterned background

Oatly Apple & Pear Drink

Ingredients – Oat base (water, oats 10%), juice concentrate of apple and pear, sugar (1%), natural apple flavouring.  Contains 24% apple juice, 20% pear juice.

A carton of Oatly Apple & Pear drink against a patterned background

I was a bit sceptical about this product.  It just seemed wrong!  The reality was different.  It had a refreshing, lightly fruity flavour, but it filled me up more than a juice drink.  I drank it during the break in an exercise class, and I decided I didn’t need the cereal bar I had with me as well.  It would be fantastic to fuel little people through a busy day (unless they are allergic to oats, like The Allergy Brothers, ho hum).