Home Free “Mini Double Chocolate Chip Cookies”.

20150812_172104

A sneaky snack when working from home!

Ingredients – Gluten free whole oat flour, Natural cane sugar, High oleic safflower oil, Chocolate chips (evaporated cane juice, chocolate liquor, non-dairy cocoa butter), Demerara sugar, Non-alkalized cocoa powder, Organic tapioca starch, Apple juice concentrate, Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate), Organic vanilla extract, Salt, Baking powder, Xanthan gum, Sunflower or Canola lecithin, Rosemary extract.

This is one of those products that makes me sad.  This is a fantastic product.  When you consider how many allergens are avoided (no dairy, no soya, no wheat, no gluten, no egg, no tree nuts, no peanuts, etc, etc), it’s really amazing that they have made a product that works.  So why does it make me sad?  Because, the Allergy Brothers still can’t eat it!  Sometimes, it just makes me sad when I realise how far we are from “normal” eating.

Anyway, less moaning and more reviewing!  This is a really good product.  As I have already mentioned, many common allergens have been avoided.  In addition, the product is convenient.  It comes in an individual serving, which would be perfect for a packed lunch.  Also, it has a long shelf life so you could stock up.  Finally, the taste.  Well, as always with free from products, the texture is different to what you expect.  In this case, the cookies are more chewy than crumbly.  The taste is also pretty chocolatey, but lacks the richness of a regular cookie.  Basically, if you have never tried a regular cookie then you will be very happy with this product.  If you have tried regular cookies, then you might have to eat a few packets to learn to love these cookies.  It really depends if you have as much dedication as me!

Essy & Bella Eton Mess Gourmet Chocolate

20150820_114958

Ingredients – Cocoa butter, Rice powder (rice syrup, rice starch, rice flour), Sugar; Marshmallows (glucose fructose syrup, sugar, water, dextrose, carageenan, maize starch, hydrolized soy protein, flavouring, colour: titanium dioxide); Freeze dried strawberries; Colour E129.

I really wanted to like this product because it is so rare to find vegan/dairy free white chocolate (see our review of Polar Dream for another similar product), and I just couldn’t.  It managed to be both bland and too sweet simultaneously.  I think the balance was wrong.  There needed to be more strawberries (or better yet, raspberries) so that the tartness of the fruit balanced with the sweetness of the marshmallows and the richness of the cocoa butter.  Finally, the inclusion of E129, which, according to the packaging, may have an adverse reaction on the activity and attention in children, is unforgiveable.  This was really unexpected in a premium product that is marketed as gourmet chocolate.

Semper Cookie-O’s

20150807_143930

Cocoa-flavoured sandwich biscuit, gluten-free.

Ingredients – Cream filling 40% (sugar, palm oil, lactose, emulsifier (soy lecithin), flavouring), maize flour, sugar, palm fat, maize starch, fat-reduced cocoa (4%), glucose syrup, rapeseed oil, egg powder, thickeners (guar gum, xanthan gum), raising agents (ammonium bicarbonate, sodium bicarbonate), vanilla, salt.

Semper may call these Cookie-O’s, but we all know that they are gluten free, fake Oreos.  And, you know they are pretty good.  I think they would definitely pass the “picky small child packed lunch” challenge.  Conveniently, they are packaged into five mini packets of two biscuits.

The Primal Pantry Hazelnut & Cocoa Raw Paleo Bar

Hazelnut_Bar-500x182Ingredients – dates, hazelnuts, almonds, cocoa powder, vanilla powder, almond oil.

I couldn’t get a photo of this bar (I took the photo from The Primal Pantry website). I ate it as a snack during the break at my first Tai Chi workshop. Obviously, as I was meeting a new group of people, I wanted to be undercover and pass as “normal”. I thought photographing a snack bar might be a bad first impression.

Anyway, moving on from my neuroses, this bar was yummy. Sweet but not cloying; it provided an energy boost to get me through the second half of the session.

Delphi Meze (Felafel and houmous)

Ingredients
Houmous – chick peas, sesame seed pulp, rapeseed oil, lemon juice, olive oil, water, salt, garlic powder, preservative E202.
Felafel – chick peas, broad beans, onions, parsley, potato, dried coriander, cumin powder, garlic powder, baking powder, black pepper, salt, vegetable oil, lactic acid, preservative E202.

Allergy Little and I were spontaneously invited over to our friends’ house to play the other day. Obviously, we take our food with us as it’s just not fair to expect others to accommodate our food needs, and anyway I was feeling very smug as I had this Meze pack in the fridge. I grabbed Little’s packed lunch, a pack of Aldi rice cakes and the Meze. Unfortunately, the idea of the Meze is better than the execution. The houmous pot doesn’t have a sealed lid, although the felafel pot does, so the houmous leaked in my bag. Not good, but the houmous tasted fine. The felafel were sealed in, but unfortunately were inedibly dry. A gluten free ready to eat lunch option is definitely a good idea, but this is not the solution.

Trato Provençale Flavour Crisps

Ingredients – potatoes, sunflower oil, cornflour, salt, yeast extract, onions, glucose syrup, parsley, garlic.

I am studying for a short course in SEN law (online through IPSEA, to give them a plug) and I find having a flavourful snack on hand helps to keep my mind focused on the minutiae of the Children’s and Family Act. These crisps had a good strong flavour. My only complaint was that they felt a bit artificial and sweet (I am blaming the glucose syrup for both these problems) so I didn’t feel like I was eating a proper adult crisp!